How the New York State DEC Want You to Help a Wild Animal in Distress
It is so hard when you see a wild aminal in need of help. Your first instinct is to run at it to help, then the thought crosses your mind, wait a minute this is a wild animal. That's the moment when you call a professional.
We mean well when we want to help, but often our interference can cause the animal more harm. Now to be clear, I am not talking about the simple task of moving a turtle from the middle of the road. However, you need to be careful doing that too. Turtles bite, they carry bacteria that can make you sick and people have even been hit by cars while assisting a turtle to cross a street.
I am talking more about when you see an animal that looks sick or that you know has been injured. Sadly a lot of animals don't make it after an injury especially if we are talking about them getting hit by a car. But when you witness an injured animal the best thing you can do is hand it over to the pros.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) released information today (January 7th, 2022) on the Facebook page that gives complete instructions on what to do when you want to help an animal in distress.
What Do You Do If You Find a Wild Animal that Needs Help?
You call an animal rehabber and keep in mind that many of these people are volunteers, so they might not be available as soon as you need them. The NYS DEC has a very helpful guide you can use by clicking here. They cover all the possible situations and give you instructions and phone numbers to call. This link covers everything from baby animals to animals with rabies.
Another good piece of information you should know is that we are in NYS DEC Region #3 and the main office is located in New Paltz next to the Shop Rite Plaza. During the week you want to call them at 845 256-300 for assistance. On the weekends you want to call the Environmental Conservation Officers dispatch line at 1-877-457-5680. It might be a good idea to put these numbers on your cell phone.