When people see animals in distress, they want to help. But in which situations do animals really need our help? Who should be contacted? The Rescue Department has updated the instructions issued for animal rescue situations to help with locating help.
“Residents have been uncertain as to which number they should call in animal rescue situations. We are trying to clarify the situation with these new instructions,” says Marko Lassila, animal rescue specialist from the Rescue Department.
Some cases involving animals warrant contacting the authorities immediately.
“If public safety is at risk, you should call the emergency number 112 immediately. An example of a situation like this is when an elk walks down a busy street, a large number of bees have flown indoors and pose a danger to people, or a horse has fallen down in a ditch,” Lassila says.
“If you see elk, deer or large predators in the inner city of Helsinki or on busy roads, please also call the public emergency number 112.”
You should contact the animal rescue team of the Rescue Department by calling +358(0)9 310 30151 if an animal has been hit by a car or is otherwise clearly injured. You can also contact the team if an animal has been caught in a net or fallen down a well, and you are unable to help it yourself.
Determining the condition of the animal is not always easy. Lassila advises people to try to shoo the animal away. If the animal is unresponsive, it is highly likely that the animal is unwell and needs help.
Not all animals need help
Not all animals that seem to be distressed need help from humans. Baby seagulls or hares, for example, that look abandoned, but are clearly in good condition do not need help. The mothers look after their young, but do not spend all of their time close to the babies.
Birds and squirrels that have come indoors can usually be shooed away.
“Close the curtains and open a window or a door. The animal should leave the room by following the light,” Lassila says.
According to Lassila, it is quite normal to have wild animals moving about in suburban areas, so you should not be alarmed if you see an animal. However, you should take action if the animal behaves in a menacing manner.