How to help stray animals as temperatures warm up

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It's not uncommon to see a bald eagle flying through your neighborhood, or perhaps a new family of ducks trying to cross a street.

Lacy Campbell at Portland's Wildlife Care Center says not every animal that looks hurt or lost is in fact, hurt or lost. Your help may be the last thing they did.

"Most of the animals we get in come from people's backyards. or from the side of the road," Campbell said. "There are a bunch of hazards out there that these animals need to be able to navigate in order to be a well adjusted adult robin, or scrub jay, or rabbit."

Sometimes, humans can do more harm than good trying to help and can get themselves injured.

"The number one cause of injuries we see in the care center, is cat infected wounds," Campbell said. "[Dogs] tend to rush toward the animals that see them as predators, so it will be more likely for them to flush out of an area and it might disturb their nesting habits."

If you see an animal that you think needs help, call an animal rehab expert first, not the vet or animal control.

"You actually have to be permitted to treat these animals. So a vet could do it for 24 to 48 hours to stabilize the animal, then they would be transferred to a wildlife rehabilitator," Campbell said. "Really it just depends on what you're dealing with, and what you're comfort level is too. Not a lot of people want to deal with a hawk, or an owl."

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