Have you come across an orphaned or hurt baby animal, and don’t know what to do? Follow these steps to ensure that the kitten or puppy is taken care of.
Sometimes, you hear a mewling sound or a whining sound, and it ends up being a puppy or a kitten that is lost. At such moments, you don’t really know what to do and hence, the leave the animal alone, which might not be the safest option for it. Here’s what you can do, to ensure the baby’s safety:
Stop and Look for Mommy
Often, if you find an abandoned puppy or kitten, chances are that its mom is close by, and has gone off to look for food. If you have some time to spare, wait and see if the mommy cat or dog shows up. If not, ask the people around the area, if they’ve seen the animal’s mother. Place the baby animal by the side, and take it out of a busy traffic area, but don’t take it too far away from its original place. Ask the shopkeepers in the area if this kitten or puppy just wandered here, or has been here all along.
Check the Animal for Visible Signs of Injury
Check if the kitten or puppy is showing any signs of injury, malnutrition or distress. You can also post a picture and description of the animal on animal rescue groups on Facebook. These communities are very active and responsive and have lots of experienced people who can help you with your query. Try Adopt a Pet or YODA - Youth in the Defence of Animals.
Take Them to a Vet or an NGO
If the animal is injured, you might have to take them to the nearest pet or animal hospital. You might have to pay nominal charges at NGO and Government-run animal care facilities, while private vets are more expensive. NGOs and other such organisations are also more sympathetic to the cause of orphan animals, however, animal shelters are not the best places to leave baby animals or sick animals.
Get Medications and Treatment
If there have been any medications or treatment procedures prescribed by the vet, make those purchases and make a small animal care bundle. Also, ask the vet what you can feed the animal safely. Milk is a bad idea as it can cause the animal to have diarrhoea, as it is hard to digest. It is best to feed them kitten or puppy formula, or mashed tuna / chicken gravy for dogs or cats that don’t have any flavouring or seasoning.
Look for a Temporary Foster
Once the animal has been treated, the next step is to find a foster. If you cannot keep the animal, ask a few friends to help you out for a couple of days, or ask the NGO/the animal hospital to help you find one.
Ensure the Animal is Warm and Safe
Baby animals need some reassuring, and this is why warmth goes a long way in making them feel better. Also, depending on their age, they might need to be bottle-fed, or kept on a few towels, which have a heating pad underneath them. It is also important to keep them warm so that they don’t contract a cold or any other infection.
Put up a Post for Adoption
Once the baby animal is safe and healthy, you can put up adoption posts on your social handles, which detail the story of how you came across the animal, and what are their quirks and special characteristics. The cuter the posts, the higher the chances of the animal getting adopted. Also, ensure that the photos have been taken in well-lit situations, with a good phone camera. Share these posts on Facebook groups that specifically help adoptions, and tag your friends!