As a general rule, if you find a wild animal in distress, do not move or disturb it. Call The SPCA Wildlife Center for help. SPCA Wildlife Rehabilitation Technicians are available to rescue and rehabilitate wild animals in need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Click here for step by step directions to determine if it needs rescue!
Does, or mother deer, will leave their babies hidden and alone in a safe space during most of the day to feed. These babies are not abandoned; the mother is likely out of sight watching you. If you find a fawn lying quietly in the grass – leave it where it is, stay back and out of sight, and keep dogs as far away as possible. The mother will not return if she senses people or dogs are too close. If a fawn has been picked up or handled, gently place it back in the exact place where it was found, or within sight of that spot. Stand back several hundred feet, and wait for the mother’s return (which could take hours).
If you are worried that the fawn might be in distress, look for the following signs: labored breathing, walking and vocalizing for over an hour, blood, clearly broken bones, lying prone on its side (rather than curled or on its stomach), or a deceased mother on site. If you see these signs, call our Wildlife Center at 831-264-5427 or, if it is after hours, call the 24-hour hotline at 831-646-5534. Once contacted, our technicians will evaluate the situation and give you instructions on how to proceed.
Do not attempt to rescue the fawn without the guidance of our technicians. Fawns are extremely sensitive to stress. The terror of being handled by humans and receiving any incorrect care severely decreases a fawn’s chances for survival and release.
You can reach us at (831) 264-5427 during regular hours, or 24 hours a day at (831) 646-5534.
Never attempt to treat or keep a wild animal yourself. Not only is it illegal, but injured and orphaned animals have specialized needs that only trained and experienced technicians can provide. Just one day of the wrong diet can permanently injure or kill a wild animal.
Do you want to take a hands-on role in helping wildlife? Click here to learn about our volunteer opportunities!