Baby Mammals

Squirrels

If the baby squirrel is cold to the touch, has obvious injuries (limping, bleeding, dragging limbs), is covered in flies, or was caught by a dog/cat, this animal requires help. Please use a towel or other soft cloth to cover the baby. This will block the baby's vision and reduce stress. While the baby is covered, place the squirrel in a cardboard box with air holes and a soft cloth on the bottom, placed in a warm location. Alternately, you can put the box half on a heating pad set on low, then contact us for further assistance. 
Do not attempt to feed the baby anything! This will typically cause more harm.

 

If the squirrel is vocal, warm and it appears to be uninjured, the mother may come back for her baby or babies.  Look for the mother's nest (usually a bunch of leaves clustered in tree branches) and look to see if the mother is nearby. Place the baby or babies in a small cardboard box, uncovered, so the mother can see into the box. Place the box under the tree where you believe the nest is or close to where the mother was seen. If the mother does not come to get her baby/babies within 2 hours, contact us.

If you are unsure if the squirrel you have found needs help, call us at
(516)-674-0982. Please send a photo to info@volunteersforwildlife.org, if you are able.

Opossums

If the baby is cold to the touch, has obvious injuries (limping, bleeding, dragging limbs), is covered in flies, or was caught by a dog/cat, this animal requires help. Please use a towel or other soft cloth to cover the animal. This will block the baby's vision and reduce stress. While the baby is covered, place the baby in a cardboard box with air holes and a soft cloth on the bottom, placed in a warm location. Alternately, you can put the box half on a heating pad set on low. Then, please call us at (516) 674-0982 during hospital hours or e-mail us at info@volunteersforwildlife.org after hours.

 

If you have found a baby opossum that is smaller than 7 inches, this baby still requires its mother's care. Mother opossums cannot count and often do not know when they lose a baby. 

Often baby opossums are found after the mother has been hit by a car or attacked by a pet. If this has happened, place the baby/babies in a cardboard box with air holes, and a soft cloth on the bottom. Place the box in a warm location or half on a heating pad set on low. Then contact us for assistance. Do not attempt to feed the baby anything! This will typically cause more harm.

 

If you have found a female opossum who has died, she may have babies in her pouch and they will need assistance. Many times during the spring and summer months, a female opossum may be found dead in a yard or on the side of the road. Before you think about disposing of the animal, a bit of investigation could save up to 13 lives! As marsupials, opossums carry their babies in their pouch.  Although a mother opossum may not survive being hit by a car, her babies in the pouch can survive the impact. It is a good idea to check the pouch for any babies before disposing of the mother. Checking for babies not for you? That's okay! You can put the dead opossum in a box gently with a shovel and contact us. We may be able to have the opossum's pouch checked for you.

 

If the baby opossum is larger than 8-10 inches (tail not included) then this opossum is independent and is not an orphan. Unless this individual is injured, it does require help. 

If you are unsure if an opossum is old enough to be on its own, contact us. Please send a photo to info@volunteersforwildlife.org, if you are able.

 

 

Eastern Cottontails

If the baby rabbit is cold to the touch, has obvious injuries (limping, bleeding, dragging limbs), is covered in flies, or was caught by a dog/cat, this animal requires help. Please use a towel or other soft cloth the cover the animal. This will block the baby's vision and reduce stress. While it is still covered, place the baby in a cardboard box with air holes and a soft cloth on the bottom, placed in a warm location. Alternately, you can put the box half on a heating pad set on low. Then, please call us at (516)-674-0982 during hospital hours or

e-mail us info@volunteersforwildlife.org after hours.

Do not attempt to feed the baby anything! This will typically cause more harm.

 

If the nest of a rabbit was accidentally uncovered, check to see if the babies are cold, injured, etc. If so, follow the instructions above. If not, gently place the babies back into their nest and keep pets and people away from the area. Cover the nest with grass. If your dog is the one that uncovered them, the kindest thing to do is to walk your dog on a leash, or keep him/her in another part of the yard until the rabbits have left the nest. 
Mother rabbits will only visit the nest twice a day: once at dawn, and once at dusk. This leads people to believe that the babies in the nest are orphaned. They are usually not! If you are concerned that the babies may be orphaned, place several twigs on top of the nest in a criss-cross pattern. If the twigs have been moved after 12 hours, the mother is still feeding the babies. Please let them be, and keep pets and children away from the area until they are old enough to leave.

 

Eastern Cottontails are stressed very easily; the stress of captivity is often enough to kill them. It is always best that the babies remain with their mother outdoors rather than being hand raised in captivity. Please follow the instructions above before taking the babies to a wildlife rehabilitator.

If the mother does not return, contact us.

Small Rodents

(Mice, rats, voles, shrews)

If the baby is cold to the touch, has obvious injuries (limping, bleeding, dragging limbs), is covered in flies, or was caught by a dog/cat, this animal requires help. Please use a towel or other soft cloth the cover the animal. This will block the baby's vision and reduce stress. While it is still covered, place the baby in a thick cardboard box or plastic container with tiny air holes poked in. Then contact us for further assistance.

For the most part, re-nesting one of these animals is not an option. Please contact us if you have found what appears to be a healthy baby rodent.

IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO KEEP A WILD ANIMAL AS YOUR PET, EVEN IF YOU PLAN TO RELEASE IT.

IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO REHABILITATE WILD ANIMALS WITHOUT A PERMIT.