What To Do If You Find Orphan Animals

Did you find what you believe are orphaned animals outside and you're wondering what to do next?

First, make sure the animals have actually been abandoned. In many cases, the mom may be nearby searching for food and will return shortly. All baby animals should be with their mom until at least 6 weeks of age while they’re nursing. Baby animals that appear well-fed and clean are likely under a mother's care. If you're unsure, you can watch from a short distance to see if the mom comes back within the next few hours.

If the animals seem dirty, malnourished and hungry, this may be a sign that the mom is not coming back. Depending on the species of the animals, you can call animal control, take them to your local shelter or contact your local wildlife rescue.

If they are wild animals, a specialist with a wildlife rehabber license is the best person to care for them, as these animals have very specific needs. If you do not have a wildlife rehabber license and experience, you shouldn’t try to care for any wildlife including rabbits, opossums, raccoons etc. For more information please visit the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.

If you believe the kittens or puppies you’ve found are truly orphaned and your local shelter is unable to take them in, you can care for them yourself if you can dedicate the time and resources. Check out our step-by-step caring instructions.