What to do if you find an injured or sick animal


The RSPCA will pay for initial emergency treatment for animals whose owner is unknown or cannot be contacted. We will also do our best to collect such animals and transport them to a vet if necessary. HOWEVER most areas only have two inspectors and three or four animal collection officers to cover the whole of a county. If it is possible for you to transport the injured animal direct to your closest vet it is likely that this will give it the best chance of survival.

To contact the RSPCA control centre about an injured animal, phone 0300 1234 999. This centre is staffed all the time but, because of the very large number of calls it receives, there is a queuing system to ensure that the most urgent calls are answered first. To request help with an injured, ill or suffering animal you need to select the options 2, then 4. These responses must be made at the appropriate points, so please listen carefully to the options you will be given by the message tape.

Before you call, please ensure that you can give the exact location of the injured animal (especially if you need to ask for someone to come out to collect it). If it is at all possible, confine the animal so that it cannot escape.

If you are able to take the injured animal direct to a local vet, payment by the RSPCA can be arranged after you have got there if necessary. Outside normal surgery hours it is important to phone ahead to make sure that the surgery is staffed. All vets will have an emergency number giving details of their arrangements for out of hours cover.

Be aware that all our inspectors and animal collection officers will have a long list of animals needing attention. They cannot spend lengthy periods of time attempting to capture birds and mammals who are capable of evading them as this would mean ignoring others such as traffic accident victims whose plight is so urgent that it cannot wait.

Prevention is much better than cure. You can view a short video on changing your driving habits to reduce the danger of road accidents involving deer on the BBC website.