Cape Wildlife Center rolls out traveling animal-rescue service
The Cape Cod branch of New England Wildlife Centers is now traveling throughout Barnstable County and as far as Boston to rescue and treat injured animals on-scene.
The service dispatches veterinary technicians in a donated truck to respond to emergency calls from residents, and assist animal control officers in providing onsite care to seagulls, coyotes and turtles, among 200 other species.
Birdsey Cape Wildlife Center in Cummaquid is fielding more calls than usual during baby season, says executive director Zak Mertz.
"We're getting somewhere around 100 calls a day. And instead of people calling an agency to pick up and bring in an animal, we're actually out there in the field," he says.
"I think we are actually keeping more animals in the wild than ever before. Having a team that can go out and pick up these animals safely can go a long way toward getting them into treatment, and results in a much better outcome not only for the animal but for the community at large."
Yarmouth-based International Fund for Animal Welfare offers a similar service, transporting stranded dolphins to Provincetown for release.
New England Wildlife Centers operates hospitals in Barnstable and Weymouth. Rescued animals spend an average of 40 days in treatment, Mertz says.
If you encounter a wild animal in distress, contact Birdsey Cape Wildlife Center at 508-362-0111.