I found a possum walking in the street very disorientated yesterday. She would even sometimes fall over – in the street. I noticed too that she had a pouch full of babies. When I had the right moment, I covered her with a very large container. Made sure there were air pockets and I waited for animal rescue. They came about 4 hours later. Unfortunately mom didn’t make it but there were at least 4 babies that did. The volunteer took the mom and brought her in to check for more babies. All I can picture is the babies clinging to their dead mom. It broke my heart.]]>
Regarding the water: Injured/sick animals who fall into humane hands are in shock (like I would be if I were abducted by aliens). Shock causes circulatory collapse, and a variety other reactions that impede normal bodily functions. Lack of circulation impedes the ability to swallow, so they choke. If they get liquids down, they aren’t absorbing normally so they will likely vomit anyway. If the animal is dehydrated, their electrolyte balance is off, and straight water rushing into cells causes them to burst—causes hypotonic state, which can lead to death. Temperature of fluids given is another concern, shock victims can’t regulate their body temp, and giving water that is too hot or cold can cause more harm than good in that regard. In short, animals who are offered food or water while they are in shock die, with few exceptions. Like humans, animals need to be given fluids that stabilize their electrolytes once they are out of danger (shock-wise).
As for your questions on the rehabbers: It is all about doing good research. AC agencies often deal with hoarders, for example, to keep their euth numbers down. Some agencies have next to zero standards for how they keep the animals at their shelter, so why should we just blindly trust a referral from any agency?
You go to the rehabber, you check things out, are there animals there who should have been euthanized, animals who are going to live their lives at the rehabbers, is s/he relocating wildlife (bad for the animals, in most cases, and most rehabbers don’t even realize this), etc. A single referral is a single referral.
Unless one absolutely trusts that their source is top notch, and has done extensive vetting, then one doesn’t simply take that as gospel, especially since an animal’s life is at stake.
Hope that helps!]]>