Wildlife rehabilitation is essentially the care and treatment of injured, orphaned, or suffering wild animals so they can eventually be released back into the wild. Sometimes animals cannot be rehabilitated because they are suffering too much pain or suffering too long. Other times, however, animals may have an incurable illness. In these cases, a wildlife rehabilitation centre would be a compassionate and effective solution to providing long-term medical care and a safe and humane home for wildlife species. An animal would be better off living out its natural lifespan in a wildlife rehabilitation facility than being put to sleep in a cage.
Finding the Right Facility
When choosing a wildlife rehabilitation facility, you want to find one with a good track record. The facility should be accredited by the wildlife rehabilitation council and a good place to start your search is online. There are many wildlife rehabilitation centres online and you want to make sure that the one you are looking at is properly accredited. You should also do some research on the background and history of each centre and check up on the success rates. This is important because you don’t want a centre with a subpar record to take in an animal.
Licensing is another important consideration and it is a requirement that wildlife rehabilitation council officers and staff follow the same licensing requirements as health care providers and teachers. Each country has a different procedure when it comes to obtaining a license and it is a good idea to contact a wildlife rehabilitation centre directly to find out what the process is in your region. Wildlife rehabilitation centres are required to obtain a license for each client they treat, whether they are treating a single animal or a group of animals. In addition, some wildlife rehabilitation facilities must also acquire a permit from the provincial government before they can start treating wildlife.
Most wildlife rehabilitation centres have a minimum number of hours of training that each staff member must complete before working. Most of these hours are spent treating large mammals like deer, moose and bears but you want to ensure that a qualified wildlife rehabilitation nurse or veterinarian is available all the time so that any animals that need attention can be seen by a registered veterinarian quickly. The registered veterinarian will be able to give a prescription for the medication needed to treat the animals quickly, preventing further stress and illness from the animal.
Policies and Guidelines
If you are going to look for a wildlife rehabilitation centre, you’ll likely find one near you. There are some guidelines that each one of them follows to make sure they are responsible for their animals and you should familiarize yourself with these guidelines before choosing a wildlife rehabilitation centre. Some wildlife rehabilitation centres have a written policy and procedures manual that you can review and see what the policies are before deciding on the one you’d like to use. You may also want to ask your vet for a referral to a wildlife rehabilitation centre. Your vet may have had contact with a wildlife rehabilitation centre in the past and know someone who has been treated successfully.
It’s important to choose a wildlife rehabilitation facility that treats all of the animals they treat with care. Rehabilitators should take special care to treat sick or injured wildlife as soon as possible, so the animals have the shortest possible recovery period. If an animal isn’t recovering it cannot be returned to its natural environment and put back into the wild, so rehabilitation of sick animals is a key part of ensuring a healthy population of wildlife. An experienced rehabilitator will be able to spot the signs of illness and disease so that treatment can begin immediately.
Some facilities have a wildlife rehabilitation wing that is separate from their veterinary or zoo wing. If you’re looking for a wildlife rehabilitation facility in a rural area, then you’ll likely find a wildlife rehabilitation centre close to your home. Rehabilitation centres also often house the animals they rescued during their operations, so you’ll often see animals in these wings as well. Don’t be afraid to ask your wildlife rehabilitation centre any questions you may have; they will do all they can to ensure your animals receive the best care possible.
It’s easy to visit a wildlife rehabilitation council’s website to find out more about each facility and the treatments available. Most councils conduct annual inspections so you’ll be sure to find out what checks are being conducted on the facility and whether they meet the criteria set out by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). If your vet feels that a wildlife rehabilitation centre is not up to the standards set out by the RSPCA, you can work with your local council to find a better place to take your pets. Each council varies in their requirements, so it’s important to ask your vet before signing anything.