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Can we save them all? Of course not, but we wish we could. Here's how we determined if we're able to take in an animal or not.

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Hello everyone.  Welcome back to Animal Wonders.  Today, we're going to be visiting with some of our wonderful and super adorable animals like Hazel while we take on the complicated subject of rescuing animals and talk about what some of the challenges are.


We get asked to take in animals all the time.  Literally every week, we get a handful of calls and messages asking if we can take in an animal like a pet rabbit or guinea pig or a budgie or cockatiel that isn't friendly or lizards and snakes who aren't appreciated anymore.  Sometimes, it's an orphan skunk, raccoon, fox, or even a deer,.  Animals that aren't as common but still make the list are owls, songbirds, raptors, vultures, even tigers, bears, and alligators.  

The simple truth is that we absolutely cannot take every single animal and give them a safe and permanent home, which means that sometimes, we have to make really hard decisions.  So when we get a message or a call about an animal, we have to take some time to assess if we have the means to care for the animal for the rest of their life.

First, we look at if we have the physical space in our facility to meet their needs.  Sometimes an animal can share space with another, like when we took in Cayenne the Patagonian cavy and she could live with Chili Pepper and the guinea pigs, but sometimes, they need more space than we can offer.  For example, animals like rabbits, ferrets, and iguanas, they're very common animals to be re-homed, but we just don't have the space to offer them.

The second big consideration is the cost of feeding the animal, so we look at what their diet would be and see if we already carry those foods or if we need to order something completely different.  When we said yes to Ophelia the opossum, we were already feeding Lollipop the skunk a similar diet, so adding her on wasn't a big issue.

The third consideration is if the animal will be an asset to our public presentations.  

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Can we handle them or will they be trainable for future presentations?  Our mission is rescue and education, so making sure we don't just have 100 leopard geckos is important, though we do love our leopard geckos.  Our public presentations bring in a lot of the funds we use to feed and provide medical care to the animals and to pay our staff, so once we get through the three main questions, we then assess on an individual level. 

We ask questions like, "Is the animal sick and how much will it take to get them healthy?" or "Will they need special housing like chewproof walls?" and "Do they have challenging behavior that will require a lot of extra time to work through?"  These last questions are really important as well, because they determine if the team and I have the time to give the animal what they need and it helps us determine if we have enough money to incorporate all their needs into our budget, so if we get asked to take in an animal like a tiger, we can run through our questions to see if it's a possibility.  We don't currently have an enclosure large enough to house a tiger, so there's really no space for one, and we don't currently order whole prey items suitable for a tiger, so that's a no go to the food question, too, and I definitely wouldn't feel comfortable bringing a tiger into a classroom for a presentation, so that's a no for question three as well, which means we won't be taking in a tiger anytime soon.

So if we can't provide for an animal in a good way, then we simply won't take them in because it's not fair to promise them a good life and not be able to deliver and it's not fair to the other animals already here to use up the time and resources already promised to them.  It's also not fair to our human team to ask for more than we can give, so when we have to say no to an animal, we do try and offer other facilities who might be able to take them in. 

If the animal is a domestic species like a dog, cat, or a rabbit, we usually direct them to our local humane society.  If the animal is a wild native species, we direct them to a wildlife rehabilitation center, and if the animal is an exotic pet, then we reach out to a few of our friends who have facilities that could possibly house the animal, and this is what we've done for many of the recent parrots and macaws we've had to turn away since we have no more physical space to house them.

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Now, occasionally, we can take in an animal temporarily because we know we can place them in a home in the near future, like the box turtle we recently rescued.  When we take an animal temporarily, we're still providing whatever resources we have to make sure that animal is healthy before going to their new permanent home.  First, they get a vet exam and receive any medication or supplements they might need.  They also get a physical to take care of overgrown nails, soiled feathers or fur, or anything else that might need attention, like Phoenix the turtle needed a nail and beak trim and Vitamin A drops in his eyes daily.

The temporary animal is switched onto a nutritious diet and we watch closely to see if they have any individual preferences or dislikes so we can tailor their diet to them while still making it complete, and they're set up in a temporary habitat which is usually too small for permanent residence but it meets their immediate needs until they can be rehomed.  

We don't do this often because we don't have unlimited resources and the space we have to offer temporary animals is not ideal so we don't feel great about it.  The reason we continue to offer this occasionally is because instead of doing nothing, we can see a good life in their future and they just need a little help getting there.

I really do wish we could help make every situation end happily ever after and I think we do that for so many animals but we can't do it all on our own.  The best solution I've come up with is that we continue to help as many animals as we can and then, through education, we can inspire so many more to help us in our cause, which is why we're so thankful to all of our supporters on Patreon who help us share our mission of education and giving animals a good life, no matter what species they are.

If you'd like to help us continue to spread knowledge and empathy, then head on over to, make a pledge, and join our amazing community.  The link is below.  I just love to see happy and healthy animals everywhere.  

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Speaking of happy and healthy animals, I recently watched a video called "African Animal Rescue" and it's incredible to see the knowledge needed and the dedication given to help wild animals living on nature preserves.  It's so impressive, and you can watch it too on CuriosityStream, who is the sponsor of today's video.  They're a subscription streaming service that offers over 2,400 documentaries and nonfiction titles  from some of the world's best filmmakers, including exclusive originals.  Get unlimited access starting at just $2.99 a month, and for our audience, the first 30 days are completely free if you sign up at and use the promo code 'animalwonders' during the sign-up process.  

Thank you for watching, and if you'd like to continue learning about animals and go on adventures with us every week, be sure to subscribe and hit that notification bell so you don't miss a thing.  Thanks.