Animal Control Officers DO NOT respond to wildlife matters unless a domestic animal is involved, eg.: Dog chasing / attacking / killing: deer, raccoons, geese, ducks, etc.
SPCA WildARC: 1 (855) 622-7722
If you observe injured wildlife in Greater Victoria call the WildARC facility in Metchosin and seek their advice before doing anything.
If the wild animal is in the following state or circumstance it may need assistance:
- adult animal that can be easily captured
- animal seriously favouring a leg or wing
- animal sitting on a road & not moving for traffic
- having difficulty breathing or convulsing
- a bird sitting with its feathers puffed-out and not moving for a long period
- a bird running on the ground when others fly away
In most cases, leave baby animals alone!
Be concerned only if they appear to be emaciated or have obvious signs of injury.
WildARC instructions for capturing and confining a wild animal in need:
- Do not handle any wild animal if doing so risks your safety or the safety of others. If you are injured, you cannot help the animal. When in doubt, do not attempt capture and call WildARC for advice.
- Use a towel to cover the animal's head to calm it down and reduce shock.
- Do not handle or pet the wild animal, this just creates more stress and may lead to deeper shock - many wild animals in shock in fact look like they are resting. Keep a safe distance from the animal, and do what you can to protect it from harassment by pets or other people.
- Wear gloves and protective eyewear for long-billed birds.
- Do not offer the animal food or water, and do not leave food or water in the box with the animal (except hummingbirds which must be given a sugar-water solution immediately, and every 30 minutes thereafter to avoid dehydration). Because the animal has not been medically examined, it is impossible to know the exact extent of its injuries. Feeding the animal or forcing it to drink water at this point could cause death. As with humans, hospitalized animals need to be very gradually rehydrated and fed using special formulas and techniques. Wild animals have specific dietary requirements that are unique to each species - feeding the wrong food can greatly impact the animal's health.
- Prepare a well-ventilated, covered box of appropriate size by lining it with something absorbent, like newspaper or clean cloths (without holes or ragged or fringed edges). If you have no other alternative, wrap the animal in a towel or sweatshirt for immediate transport to a wildlife rehabilitation centre.
- Place the box in a safe, quiet, dark place that is free from noise and pet and human traffic. Place a heating pad, set on the lowest temperature, underneath half of the box. This allows the animal some room to move away from the heat if it gets too warm. Do not use a heating pad if it is a hot day.
- Do not attempt to treat the animal's injuries. The best treatment possible is to leave the animal as is until it can be transported to a wildlife rehabilitation facility. Additional handling causes stress and improper treatment can cause further injury. One exception is if the animal is bleeding excessively. If this is the case, simply apply gentle pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding. Do not apply a tourniquet of any kind.
- Wash your hands immediately afterwards as many wild animals can transmit diseases to you, your children, and your pets.
- Do not attempt to rehabilitate the wild animal on your own. Each animal has nutritional and care needs that are highly specific to its species. Call a licensed wildlife rehabilitation facility to arrange to drop off the animal.
In general, WildARC does not recommend that members of the public handle wild animals unless the animal is in critical distress and needs to get to help quickly. The stress of capture by humans is a significant cause of death in wild animals. If you have to handle a wild animal, protect yourself from teeth, claws, and talons. Feathers and bone are fragile, so handle wild animals firmly but gently!
To make an injured animal as comfortable as possible during its transport:
- Place the animal's covered box securely on the seat or floor of your car - preferrably not beside the pet dog!
- Keep the car warm and quiet (no radio, minimal talking) while you travel. Keep all windows rolled up for safety and warmth.
- Do not let anyone, especially a child, hold the animal on his/her lap during the trip. It is very important to think first about what the injured animal needs and remember that contact with people is always stressful for the animal.
- Once the animal arrives at a rehabilitation center, it will be treated by experienced staff who will ensure that it receives the best care possible. Do not try to remove the wild animal from the box yourself.
Where to take injured wildlife?
Injured wild animals can be taken to Wild A.R.C. located at 1020 Malloch Rd., Metchosin, B.C. (off Rocky Point Road).
Hours of operation:
- May to August: 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (7 days/week)
- September to April: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (7 days/week)
Injured wild animals can also be taken to the Victoria Branch of the SPCA - 3150 Napier Lane (at Burnside Rd. E.)
Hours of operation: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (7 days/week - except on Statutory Holidays)
NOTE: As of July 1, 2021 Central Victoria Veterinary Hospital will no longer receive sick, injured or orphaned wildlife.
Wild ARC's Authority
Wild ARC is permitted annually by the BC Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to rehabilitate raptors, mammals, amphibians and reptiles, and by the Canadian Wildlife Service, to treat migratory birds. The facility does not have the appropriate caging nor is it permitted to care for large carnivores such as bear and cougars. Seals and other marine mammals are rescued and emergency medical treatment is administered until the animal can be transferred to a facility specialized in marine mammal care.
Information for this section was obtained from the BCSPCA WildARC website: http://www.spca.bc.ca/branches/wild-arc/
Investigate human/wildlife conflicts, cougar & bear sightings, and can provide information on all wildlife matters. They will also attend to sick or injured deer. 1-800-663-9453 or 1-877-952-7277 (24/hr)
* BC Conservation will only attend injured deer if they are not mobile. The stress of capture by humans is a significant cause of death in wild animals.