Animal Rescue Checklist

During disasters animals are often found needing urgent care. If you are traveling near a disaster area or are planning to go in search of injured animals it is important to think about what equipment and medical supplies you should take with you. Here is a rescue equipment list (Rescue-equipment-list) that can help you help the animals. Remember to only go into a disaster area if you have had proper training, you have the correct equipment (including personal protective equipment) and your presence will not cause difficulties for emergency workers or others trying to respond to the disaster.

Searching for survivors

Searching for survivors

Rescue equipment

Items you may wish to include:

  • Daypack
  • Water bottles
  • Snack food
  • Sunscreen SPF30+
  • Personal first aid kit
  • GPS and/or compass
  • Map and street directory
  • Camera and/or video
  • Binoculars
  • Mobile phone (satellite phones are the best in more remote areas)
  • 2 way radios
  • Whistle
  • Wildlife rescue equipment
  • Field guides for various fauna (may be too heavy to carry. Leave in vehicle)
  • Animal report form or notepad & pencils

You need to consider beforehand what equipment/supplies you need to respond.

Items you should consider carrying with you may include:

  • Carry cages (think about different species you may come across)
  • Nets
  • Cardboard boxes
  • Washing baskets with cable ties
  • Woollen blanket
  • Cotton pillowcases
  • Small cotton bags
  • Towels – different sizes, no loose threads
  • Pouches – various sizes (or socks or beanies)
  • Hessian sacks
  • Safety pins and strong elastic bands or ties
  • Margarine or ice cream containers (for artificial nests)
  • Lead and collar (for domestic animals)
  • Flagging tape
  • Torch
  • Binoculars
  • Notebook and pencil
  • Spray paint
  • Tools – wirecutters, pliers, tweezers
  • Scissors
  • Hot water bottle or chemical heat pad
  • Your leaflet or donation form, receipt book (for cash donation on site)

Medical supplies

You should also carry some medical supplies (it is best to have training in the use of these items)

  • Disposable gloves
  • Hand gel
  • Eyedropper or pipette
  • Sterile syringes
  • Sterile needles
  • Rehydration fluids
  • Saline solution
  • Povidine-iodine (eg, Betadine)
  • Tissues and wipes
  • Clean bowls (can be plastic)
  • Gauze swabs
  • Bandages & dressings (eg, non-stick pads like Melolin)
  • Splint material

It may be appropriate to carry some medications (eg, for pain relief or sedation) under veterinary advice and direction (via training or explicit direction).

This information is offered to help those rescuing animals. Any donations to help Tree of Compassion provide this and other services is very welcome.

Also in this series: Helping Animals After a Fire, What to do on finding a burnt animal

For more detailed information on burns and fluid management, see our manuals (Bushfires, Burns & Their Management in Animals and Introductory Fluid Management in Wildlife by Tania Duratovic & edited by Dr Howard Ralph).