I’ve found an injured wild mammal. What should I do?

If you can pick up the animal:

  • Do so with care to both yourself and the animal, especially if it is injured.
  • Place a towel or t-shirt over a mammal before picking it up, or wear gloves, unless it is a tiny baby.
  • Place the animal in a secure container (with a towel or t-shirt in the bottom). A stunned animal may “come to” during transport.
  • If you are in San Francisco, transport the animal immediately to SF Animal Care and Control at 1200 15th St/ cross of Harrison or call for an SF ACC Officer to pick up the animal. (See “If you have a wild mammal in your possession” below for more information.)
  • Reduce noise during transport (radio off, quiet talking only).

If you cannot safely pick up the animal:

If you are in San Francisco, call San Francisco Animal Care and Control at (415) 554-6364 or their emergency dispatch number at (415) 554-9400. An ACC Officer will rescue the animal. Be precise about the location of the animal to help the Officer locate the animal, especially if no one will be there when the Officer arrives. Tell the dispatcher as much as you know about the situation, such as how long the animal has been there, anything you know about the cause of an injury, the direction it came from, etc.

Please stay to protect the animal from harm or disturbance by dogs and people until a SF ACC Officer arrives. Frightened animals may run into traffic or leave the area and be hard to relocate. Keeping an eye on the animal if it moves will make it easier for the Officer to locate, increasing its chances of getting care. If you cannot stay, try to find someone to protect the animal from disturbances, and note if its location moves, until the Officer arrives. Covering an animal with a box or laundry basket, when possible, will reduce visual stress and chances of animal running off. Always approach a wild animal slowly. Fast movements scare them.

If you are not in San Francisco, click this link to find agencies that can help in other areas.

If you have a wild mammal in your possession:

  • Be sure the animal is in a secure box with air holes. A stunned animal (hit by a car or bird who hit a window) may “come to” while in your care.
  • Keep the animal warm and quiet.

Reduce stress to wild animals by not talking or playing a radio in their presence. Domestic animals are predators of wildlife, so please, keep wildlife away from domestic pets. (Just the presence of domestic animals is stressful to wildlife.)

Is the animal orphaned?

If the animal does not appear injured but is alone, click here for information about possibly orphaned animals.

Click on type of mammal that may need help: