Tell The Dodo: Stop Promoting Irresponsible Wild Animal Care

Tell The Dodo: Stop Promoting Irresponsible Wild Animal Care

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Songbird Rehabbers started this petition to The Dodo

A video that’s gone viral on The Dodo shares the story of a young woman "saving" a wild American robin. While it is a nice, feel-good story that appears to have a good outcome, this is not how the story ends for other wild birds and mammals cared for by well-intentioned individuals. This raises concerns in the licensed wildlife rehabilitator community for many reasons.

Those who know better can do better. 

Please sign and share this petition that tells The Dodo to remove the “Woman Rescues A Baby Robin And Becomes His Best Friend” post which perpetuates irresponsible actions and images with wildlife and provides a forum for others to share, discuss, and get ideas around improper interactions or care. 

Guessing can do more harm than good. 

Unfortunately, many rehabilitators deal with the consequences of unintentional harm from well-meaning individuals who cared for a wild bird or animal. If proper care had been taken sooner, many of those situations could have been avoided – like illness due to malnutrition or imprinting that leaves the animal unable to assimilate back into nature with its own species.

It’s equally concerning how many commenters admit to trying to "save" a wild bird or animal themselves. Many descriptions amount to what is considered imprinting behaviors and even behaviors that translate to stress. One commenter even shared how their imprinted wild bird followed them around the yard until it was run over and died.

Those who truly care about wild bird or animal welfare should give them their best chance.

Licensed wild bird and animal rehabilitators are trained in myriad topics including basic anatomy, correctly identifying a species and its proper nutrition, as well as treating species-specific diseases. They can recognize when something isn’t right and take the best course of action. Medical treatments and medications may vary based on age, weight, and types of trauma or illness. They know which species are extremely high stressed and at risk of killing themselves trying to escape to those that imprint easily and at risk for not surviving on their own without the proper environment. They also understand the legal requirements concerning possession of protected bird species and fur-bearing wild mammals.

It's illegal in the United States. 

Migratory birds, which include songbirds like the American robin, are protected under federal law. Possession of a protected bird, its nest or eggs without a permit is illegal. It is also illegal to attempt to rehabilitate injured or orphaned wildlife without proper state and federal permits.

Caring enough to want to do something about a wild bird or animal in need is the first and most important step towards getting it help. But don't stop there! Help us help them by signing our petition asking The Dodo to remove that post and not promote similar posts in the future.

Let’s stop the persistent sharing of irresponsible behaviors and instead help spread the word on how to HELP THE RIGHT WAY by volunteering for a local, licensed wildlife rehabilitator or by exploring a career in wildlife rehab. Find a licensed rehabilitator in the US with Animal Help Now and internationally with IWRC

Animal Help Now
National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association
The International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council

Personal story
We are a global group of licensed wild bird and mammal rehabilitators who connect to support each other on shared experiences and knowledge.
Code of Ethics #9: A wildlife rehabilitator should encourage community support and involvement through volunteer training and public education. The common goal should be to promote a responsible concern for living beings and the welfare of the environment.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,500!
At 1,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!