The Season of Orphaned and Injured Wildlife in Suburbia

In spring, suburban residents tend to find baby birds, orphaned rabbits, injured squirrels, just to name few. What should they do?

Kate Murphy has already started fielding phone calls from concerned citizens, and taking animals into her care. Soon she'll be converting her shed into a wildlife nursery for baby birds, rabbits, squirrels, and other animals. As the Director of Wildlife for Animal Nation, a local animal rescue organization, Kate gets very busy as spring is approaching and beyond, but she doesn't mind because handling injured or abandoned animals is something that should be left to the experts.

According to Kate, the biggest mistake people make when dealing with injured or abandoned animals is interfering. It's often unnecessary and can sometimes be harmful. People find an abandoned animal, think they want to help, and they take it in, but they don't have the training or resources necessary and many times the animal dies. Recalling a story where several small wild rabbits were killed due to inadequate home care, she urges people not to attempt to take care of wildlife. She goes on to add that, although an animal may seem like it has been abandoned, many times it hasn't. A lone baby deer is probably just waiting for mother deer who is foraging on her own until the baby is old enough to go with her. A nest of baby birds without a resident mother doesn't spell trouble, unless the mother doesn't return by nightfall. However, if an animal does seem injured, a licensed wildlife rehabilitator is the one to turn to.

This year, to educate people on the importance of responsibly dealing with imperiled wildlife they encounter, Kate will be holding the information session Wildlife Rehab 101, an event co-sponsored by Animal Nation and Sheldrake Environmental Center. At the event, she'll share insights on what to do, or not do, if they find a baby animal or an injured animal, she'll tell dramatic stories about her animal rescue experiences, she'll talk about some of the different kinds of wildlife that they may encounter as the spring breeding season gets underway, and she'll share information on becoming a wildlife rehabilitator. Appropriate for the general public as well as personnel from veterinary offices, nature centers, local police departments, animal rescue groups, humane societies, museums and pet stores, the event will be held on Tuesday, March 18th at 10 am at Sheldrake Environmental Center in Larchmont, NY.

If you have a wildlife concern or emergency, or would simply like more information regarding the subject, you can contact Kate Murphy at Animal Nation at (914) 447-4990 or at More information on Sheldrake and its programs can be obtained by visiting, or by contacting Amy at (914) 834-1443 or at The center is located at 685 Weaver Street in Larchmont, NY.