Rehabbers – Give rehabilitation some publicity. Make the below NYSWRC press release available in your local area. Add your name and phone number and send to your local paper.
NYSWRC Spring Press Release
Getting up in the middle of the night to feed a baby squirrel or rabbit, feeding baby birds every daylight hour and cleaning up the inevitable messes are just a few of the things licensed wildlife rehabilitators do every spring. This dedicated group of volunteers are licensed by the state and federal government to care for injured and orphaned wildlife. Each spring in New York alone, thousands of orphaned wildlife are placed in their care. The animals are raised with appropriate and balanced diets, kept warm and clean, and provided with veterinary care when needed so that they can be released back to the wild. Release is the ultimate goal of wildlife rehabilitation.
What can the public do to help? The first thing to remember is not to interfere unless there truly is a problem. Baby mammals often stray from their parents to explore and investigate their new world. Many baby birds leave their nest BEFORE they are able to fly. This is a normal part of the learning process and they are still under their parents’ care. All too often a child or well meaning adult will take such an animal, thinking it is an orphan. Your interference can mean death for a young animal and distress for the parent. Watch patiently from afar and usually a parent will appear to care for its young. You can help by keeping cats indoors during this time. If you do encounter an animal that is positively orphaned or distressed, DO NOT attempt to care for it yourself. Proper diet and handling are essential if the animal is to survive, and it is illegal to keep a wild animal without a license. Time is critical, so contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible. To get the name of a rehabilitator in your area contact your local Department of Environmental Conservation or the New York State Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (NYSWRC).
Wildlife rehabilitators do not charge for their services, although donations are always appreciated. All expenses for food, medicine, housing, and education are from their own pockets and their time is volunteered. If you would like further information about wildlife rehabilitation, please contact
NYSWRC, PO Box 246, Owego, NY 13827 or on the web at: www.nyswrc.org.