So a random dude picked up an injured groundhog from the side of the road last night. He showed up at the door of our ER with it thrashing in his arms and was upset that we wouldn’t treat it.
First, we don’t treat wildlife. We aren’t legally allowed to do more than stabilize it in any case. Then it has to go to a wildlife rehabilitator which means we have to find one who will take the animal.
If the wild animal is seriously injured, I can humanely euthanize it so it won’t suffer. This guy refused that option. So while I understand wanting to save any animal, there is a practical aspect that wildlife also has to be releasable after care.
If it couldn’t drag itself away from the side of the road or from the guy who scooped it up, this poor groundhog was probably in bad shape.
He told us he’d even pay for care, but I can guarantee you he’d backtrack on that once he found out the real costs. Or he’d stop answering his phone and dump the animal on us. I’ve seen how this plays out in the past.
But the biggest factor in refusing care in this case is that they are all considered “suspect rabid animals” as a species in my state, the same as raccoons. I can’t put my staff at risk like that. Didn’t you learn not to pick up wild animals when you were a kid?
So if you do find an injured wild animal at the side of the road, maybe call us first? Or call Animal Control like we suggested? And if you don’t like those options, then at least don’t show up and shove a bloody groundhog up to the glass of our door until it pisses on you.