How to identify an animal in distress
If you need assistance with a wild animal in distress, call the BC SPCA Call Centre Hotline: 1-855-622-7722 (1-855-6BC-SPCA). The cruelty and wildlife hotline is open Mon to Fri: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Sat & Sun: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
A wild animal may need assistance if it is...
- an adult animal that can be captured easily
- seriously favouring a leg or wing
- sitting on the road, not moving for traffic
- having difficulty breathing or convulsing
- a bird sitting with its feathers puffed and not moving for a long period
- a bird running on the ground when others fly away
- has been caught by a cat, even if there are no obvious wounds or injuries
In most cases, leave baby animals alone! Depending on the species, it can be difficult to assess whether they are still in their parents' care, as often the adult animals will be out of sight. If in doubt, contact the BC SPCA Call Centre for advice on the situation.
The BC SPCA Call Centre will advise where the closest wildlife rehabilitation facility is located, as you may be asked to carefully observe the animal and report on its condition before you attempt to capture it.
If you are on southern Vancouver Island, you can also call Wild ARC directly 250-478-9453. For the rest of BC, wildlife rehabilitators can be found through the Wildlife Rehabilitators Network of BC.