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Species Specific Situations


How to Rid your Attic of Raccoons and Squirrels

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What Do I Do Now? I Found a an Injured/Orphaned Mammal


Injured - These animals have sharp claws. Cautiously place in a carrier or box and transport to a rehabilitator.

Orphaned - These animals are almost never orphaned. If you have to chase it, it does not need to be rescued. Replace the animal where it was found. If the baby is small and the parent is known dead, rescue the baby. Follow the basic rescue rules.


Never touch a bat. If you find a bat on the ground outdoors, cover with a bucket and call a rehabilitator.

If you have a bat in the house, wearing thick gloves, place a plastic cup or butter tub over the bat and gently slip a piece of cardboard between the cup and the wall/floor. Release the bat outdoors.


Injured adult - Leave the animal alone and call a rehabilitator or the Game Warden immediately. These animals can be very dangerous.

Adult deer in a residential or business district - If the deer is not injured, leave it alone and keep people and other animals away from the area. It will find its own way back. If necessary, contact the local Game Warden.

Fawn - Most fawns are unnecessarily rescued. The mother leaves her baby unattended for many hours while she grazes. The baby will not move from the spot that the mother has left it, and will often times even allow themselves to be picked up. Fawns should be returned to the exact place they were found. The mother will come back around late afternoon or dusk. Even if a dog has chased the mother away, the doe will return for her fawn. Put pets away and leave the area.

If the fawn approaches people, is crying or appears sick, dehydrated or injured, or has ants on it, call a rehabilitator immediately.


Injured adult - These animals can bite. Wear thick gloves when handling. Scoop into a carrier or cardboard box. Often a female opossum that is hit by car will have babies in her pouch or around her body that are still living, even if she did not survive. Place the babies with the living mother in the box.

Orphaned babies - Follow basic rescue rules, keep warm. Mother opossums will occasionally drop their young if being chased by a dog, etc. She will not return for them. If the baby is approx. 10" long, not including the tail, it can survive on its own. If you have to chase the baby, it does not need to be rescued.


Injured adult - These animals are stressed very easily and will bite and kick/scratch. Handle as little as possible. Wear gloves and use a towel to capture the animal. Follow basic rescue rules.

Orphaned babies - The most common scenarios involving the discovery of a rabbit's nest are by mowing over the nest or discovery by a dog. If the nest has been run over and it is determined that the bunnies are not injured, it is best to leave the nest and the bunnies alone. Handling the bunnies for inspection will not deter the mother from caring for them, but keep the handling to a minimum.

Cover the nest back over with the mother's fur and surrounding leaf litter lightly. To determine if the mother is returning, create a tic-tac-toe pattern over the nest with twigs, or place two lengths of string in an X pattern over the nest. Wait until morning to see if the nest has been disturbed by the return of the mother. 

If there is no evidence that the mother has returned, the babies should be rescued. Follow the basic rescue rules. In the case of a nest found by a dog, the bunnies will usually have to be rescued, unless the dog's owner can commit to keeping the dog indoors or restrained for 3 weeks. The dog will absolutely keep returning to the nest once found.

If the bunnies are exposed to fire ants, they need to be rescued.

If the bunnies have their eyes open, are hopping around, and are about the size of a baseball or larger, they do not need to be rescued. If you have to chase the bunny, it does not need to be rescued.


Injured adult or juvenile - These animals are very dangerous and can carry rabies. Do not approach or attempt to capture the animal. Keep pets and children away and call a rehabilitator.

Orphaned baby - Wear thick gloves to capture the baby and follow the basic rescue rules. In the case of baby raccoons in the attic, see How to Rid Your Attic of Raccoons and Squirrels.


Injured adult or juvenile - Do not approach or attempt to capture. These animals can carry rabies. Call a rehabilitator.

Orphaned baby - Call a rehabilitator.


Injured adult or juvenile - Handle these animals with caution. They can bite through leather gloves. Throw a blanket or towel over the animal and use a broom to scoop the injured squirrel into a secure carrier or box. Follow basic rescue rules. Transport to a rehabilitator.

Orphaned young squirrel - If you see one orphaned baby squirrel, look around because there may be others.  Often these animals will bite. Wear thick gloves and handle as little as possible. Follow basic rescue rules. In the case of baby squirrels in the attic, see How to Rid Your Attic of Raccoons and Squirrels.

Cat or dog caught - Always rescue.

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