Perhaps you've found a cat that got hit by a car, or came across a tied-up dog suffering from heat stroke- what are you supposed to do?
First things first, you need to be prepared. At our office, we have an animal rescue pack ready in case of an emergency. This pack is full of anything you'd need in a many different types of emergencies. We suggest you keep your pack in your car, that way it will always be near you.
When helping an injured animal, the most important thing is to protect yourself. You never know how a strange animal will react, so always include gloves and muzzles in your pack. Other items could include (some are pictured below):
Blanket -for cold related injuries
Baby wipes -to wash animals
Bungee cords and rope -to close gates or tie down carriers
Collapsible water bowls
Plastic bags -you never know when these will come in handy
All purpose sheers -if the animal is caught in something
Pen and paper-to keep notes
You have the stuff, now what? Luckily, there's an app for that!
The American Red Cross has an app called Pet First Aid that tells you what to do if a dog or cat is hurt, all the way from burns, to CPR, to frostbite. You simply click on the injury of the pet and it walks you through the steps you need to take. These steps are for stabilization only and you should always seek a vet ASAP. The app also includes contact info for vets nearest to you.
You can also download the Animal Help Now app to find local wildlife rehabilitators.
Want to be better prepared? The American Red Cross also has an online cat and dog first aid class. The $25 course is online, allows you to work at your own pace, and provides you with a certificate upon completion.