Springtime is a particularly hard time for us at the rescue, with plenty of baby wild animals coming in, almost every day. Each animal can take a huge amount of time and effort, so it puts an extra strain on the charity.
Firstly we need to assess the patient, we need to be sure of the breed and age to ensure we feed them an appropriate diet. We check them over for wounds, weigh them, check for parasites such as ticks, ensure they are not dehydrated and check their general health and treat them accordingly.
Quite often patients are cold, before we can even think of feeding them or administering medication, they need to be warm, for this we use heat pads or incubators. Giving them food or drink whilst they’re cold can lower their body temperature even further putting them at a greater risk.
Once checked over and treated for any immediate priorities and they are warm, we can think about feeding them. This can initially involve force feeding them and they don’t recognise us as their parents. Force feeding should never be attempted by anyone who is not experienced and trained.
Our days revolve around the young, some need feeding every hour, some every few hours and some around the clock. This is very difficult, especially when looking after so many other animals and working full-time for a living. It’s a good job Beth has an understanding boss who lets her take a menagerie of animals into work each day!