What should I do if I have a sick wild animal in my garden?

The Garden Wildlife Health vets are unable to treat sick or injured wild animals, however it is important that these cases are reported to us so we can build a picture of the issues affecting garden wildlife health throughout the country. You can do this by reporting incidents here.

If you find a sick or injured wild animal that is capable of avoiding threats (such as domestic animals and human beings) it may be in the best interests for this animal to be left alone. However, if you have doubts or the animal is not capable of fending for itself you should contact your local veterinary surgeon or animal rescue organisation (see below).

Organisations that can help with tending to an injured or sick wild animal:

You can find your local vet by using the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons’ search function. Vets are required to render veterinary care to relieve suffering in all species. They are entitled to seek payment for these services but this will vary between practices so we recommend that you call them in advance if possible. Do not expect every case to be treated in a similar manner to your pet. An ethical decision will be made in each individual case regarding the merit of pursuing veterinary treatment versus euthanasia. Wildlife have unique requirements for survival after treatment and are relatively intolerant of prolonged captivity (even for veterinary care). Please bear this in mind when asking your local vet for help.

The RSPCA (England and Wales) and the Scottish SPCA (Scotland) may provide veterinary care for wildlife casualties.

The British Wildlife Rehabilitation Council maintains a list of rescue organisations sorted by county.

Back to the wild – wildlife treatment and rehabilitation (RSPCA PDF document)