Where Do You Bring a Sick Squirrel?
If you have a squirrel that is sick or injured, the first place you should take it is a wildlife rehabilitation center. If you live in Orange County, you may want to look for a center like the Willowbrook Wildlife Center. But what about the rest of the country? Here are some other places where you can bring your sick animal. Here are a few:
Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center of Orange County
If you’ve recently found a sick squirrel, don’t worry – there are many places to turn for help. If you’re unsure where to turn, try calling the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center of Orange County. These non-profit organizations are dedicated to saving wildlife and helping to restore the wetlands. The center is located in Huntington Beach, which is notorious for its large population of squirrels. The center is currently overrun with squirrels, and the City of Huntington Beach continues to work with regional, state, and federal response entities to save these creatures. The Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center of Orange County is part of the Southern Glades Wildlife and Environmental Area, a 32,000-acre expanse of Everglades wetlands.
Animal control officials can transport the squirrel to the center if needed. You can bring your injured squirrel to the center using a carrier like a cardboard box. Make sure to use heavy-duty oven mitts to protect yourself and the wildlife. Don’t forget to pack warm, soft items underneath. The lid should have plenty of air holes. If you can, make sure to place a warm dish or towel underneath the animal.
Getting rid of attractants like garbage, stray pets, and bird nests can help discourage wildlife from entering your yard. Small dogs and cats are also easy prey for predators. Also, avoid leaving pet food or fruit out overnight. Trash cans should be stored in heavy-duty plastic containers and yards should be free of debris and potential shelter. Wildlife should have access to three life-sustaining elements: water, air, and land.
Willowbrook Wildlife Center
If you’re wondering where to bring a sick squirrel, then you’ve come to the right place. Willowbrook Wildlife Center has been helping wildlife since 1956 and receives approximately 9,000 animals each year. The center has many native species of animals in its care, and animals are welcomed there during migration and other critical times of the year. Visiting the center is an educational experience for you and the animal, so be sure to wear protective clothing and bring a small container to transport the animal in. Babies love to hide under something, while birds need non-slippery feet.
If you find a baby squirrel, keep an eye on it and put it in a small box at the base of a tree. After 24 hours, bring the squirrel to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. The infant squirrel may need a special diet and careful handling to survive. Do not attempt to feed the baby squirrel or it may suffer irreversible damage. If you’ve been feeding the baby squirrel, it may have fallen prey on its mother.
If you’re worried about your pet’s well-being, the first step is to contact your local wildlife rehab center. Calling the wildlife center ahead of time is essential. Depending on the nature of your sick animal, it could take up to several days for a diagnosis. Wildlife centers are located at 525 S. Park Blvd. in Glen Ellyn. If your squirrel is sick, you should contact them immediately to make sure your pet doesn’t need to be rushed or moved.
Other wildlife rehabilitation centers
There are many other wildlife rehabilitation centers to choose from if you have a squirrel or other wildlife in need of care. However, not all wildlife centers are created equally. Some of them have limited experience working with avian species, or they may not be able to operate properly due to rabies. Those facilities also may have limited hours of operation, and you should check their policies before bringing your sick animal.
There are a variety of hydration methods used by wildlife rehabilitators. Some are given orally, while others are administered intravenously. If you bring your squirrel to a wildlife rehabilitation center, you should know how to administer each type of fluid. You should also know how to transition infant animals to formula by gradually increasing the strength of the formula. You can do this by observing the animal’s feces, which is the best indicator of when it’s time to transition to full-strength formula.
Other wildlife rehabilitation centers to bring a sick and injured squirrel to may also be able to help with other species, including foxes. Foxes and squirrels are often orphaned, and they may require special treatment. It is often difficult to tell which animal is orphaned without a parent. A little background information about each species can help you determine if your animal has been orphaned.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.