Nick left for work the other morning and called me a half hour later, to tell me there was a pigeon needing urgent attention. The bird’s leg was caught in barbed wire and he was flailing around. I quickly called our local wildlife rescue to let them know the situation and that Nick would be on his way.
Nick grabbed a towel from his car and tried to free the bird. The bird was flapping around and he was very frightened. Nick was so scared to hurt him more, but he knew he had to act quickly, as he was bleeding a lot. The wire was too thick to cut, so he took a deep breath and unhooked him. After he freed him, he wrapped his body in a towel, put him in a box, and headed towards the rescue. He kept the heat on, the music off, and his cell phone on low, to keep it very quiet and warm. When birds are injured or in shock, it’s imperative that they are kept warm, and they are in a quiet, dark and safe place. Preferably a closed box with air holes. They can die quickly from stress, so try to handle them as little as possible.
Nick had all the equipment he needed to help this bird, because he keeps his car stocked with all the rescue essentials. This makes a rescue easier on everyone involved. Preparing ahead of time will give you the ability to save the animal more quickly, too. Here is a great article on how to care for injured wildlife, and things you’ll need in your kit.
It’s best to learn a bit about the wildlife in your area, so you can take precautions. You can learn about some of your local animals here. Also, it’s a good idea to look up wildlife rescue organizations and emergency rescues ahead of time. Here is a U.S. List of Wildlife Rehabilitators by State and This Is An International Wildlife Rehab Search List. These lists might not have all of the wildlife rescues on them, so be sure to do a quick google search for your area, as well. Keep the numbers and addresses in your phone, and written down in your rescue kit. This will save you lots of time, while you’re helping an animal.
When you call a rescue, they might not answer the phone right away. They are very busy and most of the time, are solely dependent on volunteers. Please just leave a message and give them 30 minutes to call back. Try to call a few rescues, if you have more in your area. If the animal doesn’t have that long, you can drive to your nearest emergency wildlife vet (if available). This website is a great resource for animal emergencies. If you cannot drive the animal in your car, note your exact location for when help arrives. If you have to leave the animal, tie a ribbon near a tree or street sign. If you can’t get any help for some reason, you can turn to social media. Post a photo of the animal, and ask around for help. Most of the time, you’ll find someone who can guide you in the right direction or you could find a private rehabber.
There are other ways that you can help, too. You could donate money to your local animal rescue. The smaller ones could really use it. Just think about how much it costs to help just one animal. Even a small donation is so helpful to them. If you can’t donate money, maybe you can donate some time. You can volunteer to help with transport, office work, networking, or other positions. They definitely could use an extra hand.
After I rescue an animal, I often hear…”you’re an angel” or “you’re a hero” or “we need more people like you in this world.” Although I’m deeply thankful for these comments, I often reply…” You can be a hero, too! All you have to do, is try to help the animal the best you can. If you prepare ahead of time, you’ll feel more confident about saving a life. Also, I often hear, “there are children starving in this world and we need to care for them first.” This always makes me sad and confused. Why not just help anyone you can? Why does it have to be ranked? An animal suffering is just as terrible as a child suffering. Let’s just all stand together, and do what we can to help. I wholeheartedly believe, that any soul that crosses our path, is for a reason. So, if an animal or human in need has crossed your path, help them in any way that you can. They need you.
I love Nick’s heart… he had so much to do that morning, but he put it all aside to save a life. He didn’t look the other way, and that beautiful bird is alive because of him. Compassion is the best quality a human can have. That bird would’ve died, if Nick hadn’t found him and helped him. This sweet soul, now has a second chance at life.
Thank you for reading. I will be sharing a post soon, on how to help companion animals in need.