Every year a large amount of animals are put into animal rehabilitation due to numerous factors, most of which being humans and other animals. When put into rehabilitation, animal rehabilitators step in to make sure that the injured animal is able to maintain a safe action plan of survival. The point of rehabilitators is to help an animal gain back the strength or health it needs in order to survive in the wild while, at the same time,not converting the animal into a pet.
When animals are converted to pets it is often detrimental to their life if they were planned to be released. Release rates are not as high as most rehabilitators wish, as stated by Stallwood “The wildlife services admit over 2,000 animals every year and maintain a release rate near 65% in animal rescue.” The amount animal rehabilitators are able to help still leaves 35% of animals that they cannot re-release to the wild due to the condition they are in. When animals are brought to rehabilitators most people believe they are healthy, but in some cases humans could in reality be the cause of that animals death. Sometimes, when an animal is deemed unfit to be in the wild they are sent to sanctuaries where they can continue to life out their life in a stable environment. Animal rehabilitation provides the animals with the care needed to ensure a healthy recovery Animal rehabilitation is a complex process that can have numerous benefits for both humans and animals when done correctly. Animal rehabilitation is the necessary repair provided to a dangered or injured animal in order to attempt to return the animal to the wild. Though it is difficult to keep the animal at bay while still attempting to provide the animals with the necessary help they will need in order to survive upon release, rehabilitators complete tasks like these on a day to day basis.
Rehabilitators provide the animals with a space in which they feel like they are in the wild and provide the animals with a source of food in water to make sure each animal receives the nutrition needed. “The goal of wildlife rehabilitation is to provide professional care to sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals so ultimately they can be returned to their natural habitat.”(Into the Wild Inc.
)When it comes to rehabilitation most people don’t take into account the necessary procedures needed in order to be able to release the animal receiving rehabilitation. For example, first the rehabilitators have to determine if the animal brought to them really is orphaned. This is due to the fact that often times people believe that if they see newborn animals that the mother has in turn abandoned the animals when in reality the mother has not. Newborn rabbits are often killed due to this since most people don’t know that a mother rabbit only feeds her newborns once or twice a day and that most of the time it’s at night.
This process is not a one person job; most times rehabilitators work alongside veterinarians in order to make sure the animal is receiving the best possible care it could.Since rehabilitators don’t have all the experience veterinarians have rehabilitators turn to them in order to determine the problem with the animal.As Into the Wild Inc.
Stresses, “Wildlife rehabilitators work with veterinarians to assess injuries and diagnose a variety of illnesses. Due to the important differences between wild animals and domestic animals, rehabilitators need extensive knowledge about the species in care, including natural history, nutritional requirements, behavioral issues, and caging considerations.” Animal rehabilitators provide the veterinarians with the outside knowledge on wildlife animals and assess the damage done to the animal in order to find a common solution that works for both sides. The veterinarians are often the ones responsible if the animal requires surgery or any other types of medicinal attention.
The veterinarians and rehabilitators have to have the same plan in order to make sure the animal is going to receive the correct amount of attention it needs without making the animal into a pet. Rehabilitators are trained in wildlife so in some cases when the same solution cannot be met the rehabilitator overrules the veterinarian due to their large amount of knowledge in the wildlife field.Into the Wild Inc. discusses the strengths of rehabilitators by stating, ” Rehabilitators can provide instructions on how to reunite wildlife families, keeping the safety of the animals and the rescuers in mind, and they can suggest humane, long-term solutions when conflicts arise between humans and their wild neighbors. ” (Into the Wild Inc. ) Wildlife rehabilitators also have to work alongside other humans in order to not only inform them of the dangers of taking an animal from the wild but how to protect an animal they might happen to find. In most cases the best thing you can do is leave the animal alone unless there are visible signs of injury. Rehabilitators also try to find solutions for when their are wild animals that people do not want on their property.
When this happens the animal loses a percentage of their survival rate due to not knowing their new surroundings. However, when it comes to animal rehabilitation the unit that rehabilitators focus on most is making sure that the wild animal does not become a pet. The animal is wild and therefore should not be put in a cage and deemed as a pet. “Wildlife rehabilitation is not an attempt to turn wild animals into pets. Patients are held in captivity only until able to live independently in the wild. Fear of humans is a necessary survival trait for wild animals and every effort is made to minimize human contact and prevent the taming of rehabilitation patients. Often wildlife rehabilitation is an elaborate and time-consuming process.” (Paws Corp.
) In order to be able to return these animals to the wild it is crucial to maintain a safe distance with the animal while still providing the animal with the help it needs in order to survive within the wild. This process is crucial to the determination of whether or not the animal is deemed fit for return to the wild. When rehabilitators handle animals they need to do what they need to do as quick as possible in order to keep the animal wild and ensure the animal does not determine on the rehabilitator for food and other things. Animal rehabilitators spend numerous hours assessing and assisting animals in need of attention and rely completely on the others to help the animals they care for.
It is a lot of work to care for wild animals. It takes a large amount of time, energy, and money for wildlife rehabilitators to successfully release animals back into the wild. Sometimes the outcome isn’t what one would want. However, we coexist with wildlife and it is important to try to rehabilitate wildlife so that they, just like us, have a fighting chance.
Animal rehabilitators find animals in all types of places. Judith Wakelam found a bird while walking her dog and decided to help it, despite being told that the bird was essentially a lost cause, she kept assisting the bird in any way she could.(MacDonald) The animal got better all it needed was some help in order to get back to its original state or at least a survivable state. Not only did the animal get to survive but Judith found joy in helping such an animal get its health back. Animal rehabilitation has many positive impacts on both humans and the animals when done correctly.
MacDonald states, “Animal Rehabilitation makes it possible for the animal who was given little chance in the wild to obtain the necessary fight or flight response needed in the wild that it did not have the chance to gain.It is a lot of work to care for wild animals. It takes a large amount of time, energy, and money for wildlife rehabilitators to successfully release animals back into the wild.” Some animals who get injured and find it hard to be able to do simple things either end up with rehabilitators or inevitably dying from their injuries.
This is the dark truth and sometimes it can’t be avoided. However, when an animal is brought into a rehabilitation center, rehabilitators have all the necessary equipment they might need in order to get the animal the fight or flight response it needs to be able to survive in the wild. Animal rehabilitation makes it so these animals are given a chance and not just left in the wild with no defense against prey.
Which leads to MacDonalds point, “Is the individual animal really that important to the population? Many rehabilitators place a great deal of value on the individual and function as though each animal has a “right” to medical care for its own sake.” Our population does not understand how crucial the life of one animal is to the future of the whole species. Sometimes when injured animals are found people find it is their place to end the animals life as a way to end the suffering the animal is going through.
Little do people know the animal may not be in as much pain as thought. The animal they choose to put down could also account for the hundreds of animals being added to the extinction list. Animal rehabilitation saves all types of animals from being added to the extinction list, which grows every year and has thousands of types of animals currently on the extinction list. It is crucial to the animals who are on this list, and even those who aren’t, to receive rehabilitation in order to conserve the species. As Stallwood states,” Rehabilitation offers a positive and personal way to give back to nature for all that humans take and the problems we create.
” Since humans are a root cause of many of these animals deaths and entrances into animal rehabilitation centers, animal rehabilitators use all their knowledge in order to protect the animal from death or further injury. Humans, in reality, are more than half of the reason for animal rehabilitators. Since animal rehabilitation is only a job when animals are in danger, us humans create the problem resulting in someone else having to correct it. Which is where the animal rehabilitator steps in to save the animal. The positive of this aspect is that humans are able to correct their wrong doing by letting other humans who are skilled in that aspect take the lead and help the animal gain back its health to a survivable state, which sometimes can be unattainable.When it comes to animal rehabilitation, there are many upsides to conducting such services, however, animal rehabilitation has its limits.
As Hartigan conveys when stating, “an important first consideration is the legality of the rehabilitation effort and the species involved. A federal permit is required to pick up and transport, or have in possession, any marine mammal or migratory bird (alive or dead). Any endangered species is even more highly regulated.” Anyone who wishes to help these animals has to be licensed and very few people go into animal rehabilitation because sometimes there is no profit for your work. Animal rehabilitation is easily overlooked since in many cases people who wish to pursue this area do not have enough money to keep their company going. Kris Forsythe-King confirmed this statement when in her interview she stated that she relies on donations from other people to keep these animals alive and healthy. Animal rehabilitators give so much time and effort to the animals they are helping that some don’t get to have “real” jobs to help pay for these animals. Money can often be the deciding factor on whether or not the animal will live or not.
Whenever there are insufficient funds for them to help an animal they often turn to people who care about animals, like another rehabilitator, or a veterinarian who can help them with the procedure, lowering the cost. Animal rehabilitators make sure to give care to each animal they take in while places,such as zoos, do not take each animals well being into account.According to Shea, “Zoos buy, sell, trade, borrow, loan out, and breed animals. Many animal welfare advocates believe that zoos, even those with scientific and educational aims, exploit animals by keeping them in captivity and exhibiting them to the public.” Zoos do not provide injured wild animals with all the care they need.
These animals are wild but are born or brought into captivity which is against their nature. Animal rehabilitators are nothing like zoos and make their main goal the release of the animal they are helping. Zoos often keep animals until their death and never let them experience their true nature but rather keep them contained in a cage with no means of ever letting them go. Animals brought up in zoos also cannot obtain the necessary skills to survive in the wild which could be bad for the animal if it ever gets released.
Animal rehabilitation is a process that is often overlooked due to the few amount of people in this industry. Many rehabilitators cannot afford to keep their businesses running and often end up closing due to insufficient money to help the animals. In order to put a halt to animal rehabilitators losing their jobs it is crucial to our community to do something to help these animal rehabilitators. The best way to help an animal rehabilitator is to either donate money to their cause or rather donate food or animal beds for the animals to use while they stay with the animal rehabilitator. Each donation does not have to be a large sum of money, oftentimes five dollar donations are the most common type received. Animal rehabilitators do not to keep any of the money they gain from the animals brought in, which makes it harder for rehabilitators to stay open. A simple donation can be what saves an animals life.
There are other ways to support animal rehabilitators such as not bringing in animals that are believed to be abandoned without calling them first. If any person is under the assumption that an animal is abandoned or injured it is best to give an animal rehabilitator a call in order to help them make sure that the animal is truly abandoned. Some other less common ideas to help support animal rehabilitators are out there too. Such as volunteering with an animal rehabilitator, or even providing animal rehabilitators with portions of land to put these animals on. Even providing a release sight for animals can be beneficial to both the animals and rehabilitators.
Since it gives rehabilitators another place to release animals where they hadn’t released other animals that could end up killing the animal they are then releasing. Other local support that can be provided is by assisting rehabilitators by spreading what you have just read in this paper. Just by simply spreading what you read in this paper you can save many animals lives and also provide rehabilitators with time to focus on other animals.
To conclude, when done correctly animal rehabilitation can have benefits towards both animals and humans. Many animals can be released each year to the wild and are able to survive without help. Without animal rehabilitators, the amount of endangered species would increase a grave amount and could result in many animals extinction. Animal rehabilitation gives these animals a second chance.
Works CitedForsythe-King, Kris. Personal Interview. “Animal Rehabilitation.” 4 Nov. 2017.Shea, Rachel Hartigan. “Are Wildlife Sanctuaries Good for Animals?” National Geographic, National Geographic Society, 20 Mar.
2014, news.nationalgeographic.com.Accessed. July 7.17.Macdonald, Helen. “Rescuing Wildlife Is Futile, and Necessary.
” The New York Times, The New York Times, 13 Aug. 2015, www.nytimes.com.Accessed.
, Jan. “PAWS – People Helping Animals.” Wildlife Rehabilitation » PAWS, Feb. 2015, www.paws.org/wildlife/center/rehabilitation/ .
Accessed Sept 2.Stallwood, Kim W. “Joining the Party: Political Action for Animals.” Animals’ Agenda May/June 2000: 22-27.
SIRS Researcher. Web. 06 April 2010.
Accessed.Aug.25.the Wild Inc.
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