Reasons Behind Rehabilitating Animals
What exactly is animal rehabilitation? The meaning of rehabilitation is to help restore something/someone so that it/they can hopefully readapt to life. Rehabilitating animals usually occurs through veterinarian care, building trust, creating companionship, and even recreating their habitat in the case of wildlife. There are different reasons for rehabilitating animals. The main reasons are injury, sickness, abandonment, or abuse.
When it comes to wildlife, environmental dangers such as destruction of their habitat, getting hit by vehicles, orphaned or abandoned babies, and birds that have fallen from their nest, are more likely to be the cause. (Rehabilitating Animals) Requirements for obtaining jobs that work with animals are somewhat extensive yet, in some ways, simple. Some knowledge in biology and animal anatomy is needed to make sure to have a good understanding of the animal’s body and environment. Animal rehabilitators need to have extensive knowledge of the different species they will be working with.
Wildlife Rehabilitation as a Career
They also need to know a decent amount about their habitats and what they need in order to survive on their own in the wild. There are many jobs associated with caring for animals. Some of these are wildlife rehabilitators, veterinarians, animal rehabilitators for pets and farm animals, and wildlife managers. Many wildlife rehabilitators are members of the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association and/or the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council. Being a member of one or both of these helps rehabilitators to do more for the wildlife than what they do as part of their careers. Wildlife Rehabilitation as a Career) Jobs like the ones mentioned above require a variety of different educational levels. Veterinarians have to go to college for four regular undergraduate years.
During these first four years they take pre-vet courses along with the regular required classes for a bachelor’s degree. After they have completed these first four years, they must complete four more years of actual veterinarian training. Once all eight years of college are completed they are certified as a Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine. Veterinary Education Requirements by Profession Level) If planning to be a wildlife rehabilitator someone can take a six month online course to become certified. If they want to further their education they can always take additional classes like this and even train somewhere local. In order to become a wildlife manager a person must have a four year degree within discipline. When it comes to rehabilitating pets and farm animals a person can either get certified as a wildlife rehabilitator or a person can always train under someone that already does this type of work.
So, even though all these careers have to do with animals, they all require different educational levels. (Career Details- Wildlife Manager ; Wildlife Rehabilitation as a Career) Most people that go into the field of rehabilitation for animals do it purely for making a difference in the animals’ lives. If the person truly cares about the outcome of the animal, then money should not be a factor in helping animals in need. This is a major aspect of animal rehabilitation because rehabilitator’s income, if any is received at all, is low to moderate. Most of the time this work is done voluntarily or as an extra on-the-side job.
Other Ways of Helping Animals
More than likely, the people that is working with the animals to rehabilitate them do it from the heart not for money. Whether it be lending a helping hand at a shelter or running a rescue center out of someone’s own pocket, there are several ways to help out. Since having the expenses is such an important part of running a shelter, it is more common for someone to lend a hand instead of actually running the shelter themselves. Any person can help out just by looking around their neighborhood, in the paper, on the internet, or other resources for places that care for animals and volunteer work is needed.
Other ways to lend a hand are to donate food supplies, money, or even the equipment needed to perform certain procedures. A person could also help out by purchasing land and building supplies for the construction of new rehabilitation centers. Many people would be surprised at the number of rehabilitation, care, and support centers for animals located in their own communities, towns, and cities. There are several centers that are not well known but can be found if sought after. Usually these are the ones that need more support and helping hands to meet their needs. Wildlife Rehabilitation as a Career) When it comes to a main cause for the need of rehabilitation, I am going to bring up animal-rights. The very reasons that brought about the animal-rights movement are some of the same reasons that bring forward the need for rehabilitation. Animal-rights are against the abuse and misuse of animals and for the animals to have their own rights as humans do. Supporters of the animal-rights movement are worried about the use of animals in pleasure hunting, killing for only certain parts of the animal, medical, and cosmetics testing.
Some of the people that feel so strongly about the bad treatment of animals have even turned to vegetarianism. (Animal-Rights; Animal-Rights Movement) Animal-rights campaigns have been in a large degree responsible for the tightening of the reins on the use of animals in research. Whether it is lab rats, monkeys, or other laboratory animals, it is unfair to them as living things to be treated like this. Using animals for such experiments can leave them with lifelong scars, both emotionally and physically, and can even end up killing them.
The scared animals are then in need of rehabilitation, love, and new found trust for humans, which may not even be of any help. Whether it is medical or cosmetic, the use of animals for testing must come to an end. (Animal-Rights Movement) Many people believe that animals do not have any rights and are a form of property only to support humans and their needs. Others believe quite differently. They believe that they are for the use of people as said in the Bible, but that they also have their own sense of being and have feelings just like humans.
Still, there are others that believe animals are not property and should not help man in any way whatsoever. The animal-rights movement has over one-hundred groups in the United States that are interested in the welfare of animals. There are still those that believe that this movement is backed by extremist that will ruin the economic, political, and religious institutions. The animal-rights movement is also in action in Canada, Western Europe, Australia, and even New Zealand. (Thorburn) Some people may think that physical therapy for animals is a bit farfetched.
However, when a person thinks of the nature and the benefits behind therapy for pets, it turns out to be the best option. It can help reduce the need for medication, help heal small injuries before they get worse, and even help with chronic problems. Physical therapy can be performed in many different ways. The main one is taking the time to get an animal use to humans and to expect and return love instead of fear and anger, as well as gaining a trusting relationship. Massages are another type and can be given by the owner or care giver.
They are mainly used to relax the muscles and help to comfort the pet. Also, hypnotherapy is conducted in a pool or tank full of water, and it helps the pet exercise without causing extra stress or pain on the muscles and joints. (Mazis) It has been said that there has recently been a large increase in the amount of people giving physical therapy to pets. With this increase of people, a person can also get an increase of places offering this service. The requirements for the people offering this rehab are still widely varied in the since of both education and training.
It is best to get someone that is professionally trained in rehabilitation/physical therapy and veterinary technology with good experience working with a person’s kind of pet. (McMahon) Physical therapy is a good choice for older animals due to their aging bodies. If an aging animal undergoes physical therapy when it reaches a certain age then it will continue to build its strength instead of becoming lazy and weak. Physical therapy is also a better choice for those with chronic musculoskeletal problems, such as hip dysplasia or arthritis, than medicine or even surgery might be.
Since these disorders are usually treated with surgery, therapy is often a requirement for recovering. Undergoing physical therapy can help a pet or wild animal adjust to living with its conditions more comfortably then if it were to go without it. As one can see, physical therapy can be safer and less expensive than many other methods of treatment. Then only difficulty with physical therapy is that if it is not performed properly, it can result in injury for both humans and animals. Even if people know how to properly give physical therapy, they need to be trained to handle specific species.
As always a specialist in physical therapy should be consulted before performing it on any animals without training. This type of work is becoming larger in many pet services such as pet stores, check-ups at the vet, pet spas, and many others. With these growing pet services, pet therapy is becoming more available in different areas as the benefits are becoming better known. Still yet finding the right physical therapist for one’s pet can be difficult depending on their location and what type of pet they own. Mazis) To fully understand the way that rehabilitation works, one would have to get involved. It takes a lot of time, patience, a gentle touch, and a caring heart. A person must be fully devoted to the cause and not get easily discouraged. Just like humans, animals need the attention and the support to fully rehabilitate. There are many different methods to rehabilitating animals. All of them require time, trust, and companionship in different levels. Shockingly this is needed whether a person is working with wildlife or companion pets. More of the ompanionship is needed with the pets than with the wildlife so that the wild animals can be returned to the wild. If someone is working with a pet that has been mistreated, the best approach is to let the animal come to them. Let it know that this person can be trusted and that they will not mistreat the animal. A person has to show them that not all humans are cruel and harmful. This will take time but most cases result in new found trust. On the other hand, someone dealing with an abandoned or injured pet the healing process is quite different.
If the pet has been injured it mainly needs veterinarian care and the time to heal. More than likely, even if it is left with a defect, it will spring right back to normal. Sure, it may never exactly be the same animal it once was, but its spirit is still the same. If the pet has been abandoned, then someone really has the easiest job on their hands. The likely cause behind this abandonment is the lack of time to care for the animal or maybe even the lack of care and love for the animal. Most companion pets need just that, companionship.
All they want and need is the love and attention that they strive for in order to be the best animal that they can be. One can either find them a new home with loving caregivers or even keep them themselves. These animals are the ones that are attention deprived, therefore, all they need to rehabilitate is that attention and care they have missed out on. Give them that, and a little extra love, and the caregiver will have a closed case every time. Now when it comes to rehabilitating wildlife, one has a whole different case on their hands.
Yes, they too need the same amount of, if not more, time, trust, and definitely the patience as pets require. The main difference is that wildlife must also be taught how to use their instincts to help them survive in the wild. If the animal has been abandoned from birth then it will most likely require a lot more time to recover than others. A person has to decide what all the animal is going to need to survive based on the type of animal, its living conditions, and the animal’s age. Then a person has to help the animal learn how to live in its natural habitat so that it can later be returned to the wild.
Throughout this process a person has to make sure that the animal does not get too attached to the caregiver. If it does then its release back into the wild could be difficult or dangerous for the animal as well as the caregiver. If the animal is injured then it could require a decent amount of time to recover but less than one that has been abandoned. This is because one that has been abandoned generally has more needs than an injured animal. In this case, a person would have to find the injury, try and fix whatever is wrong, and then help the animal to recover from the procedure as well as the shock.
In both the cases where a person has an abandoned wild animal or an injured one the results could end out worse than a person had hoped. In order for the animal to survive, a person may end up having to raise it in captivity for the rest of its life. This is not what rehabilitators strive for. However, it is a better outcome than if the animal does not make it. It is quite rare that a person would run into a case of a wildlife animal that is being ill-treated. Even though this rarely happens, it is very possible to run into a situation such as this.
It could be that a person has captured and kept a wild animal such as a skunk, ground hog, any wild birds, wolves, bobcats, or other animals of this type. Not only is capturing these animals a type of cruelty but the person may not be taking good care of the animal or has been mistreating it. In this situation, a person would just take the animal from the person’s possession, treat any wounds that the animal has, make sure it can survive if set out into the wild, and then treat it like a person would any other animal. As one can see there are a variety of ways to handle the rehabilitation of wildlife as well as companion pets.
These that I have mentioned are just a few of the basic methods and situations that a person could run into. There are many more that people have discovered, or are perfecting, and even those that will be used in the future. There might even be some ways that have been used in the past but have yet to be discovered by today’s rehabilitators and historians. Just imagine all of the possibilities that could become reality for those that care about the welfare and health of companion pets and wildlife as well as the benefits for these animals.
In conclusion, animal rehabilitation is one of those topics that more or less need to be discovered individually. Every person will have a different way of handling the rehabilitation process. Maybe they will come up with their own new way to administer the physical therapy, or perhaps they will use someone else’s already discovered tactics. Careers in animals rehabilitation, as stated before, are not numbered in plenty, but they are more than most people have noticed. These careers do not offer a large amount of money but they require non-expensive tools.
These tools are love, attention, care, and the facility to house the rehabilitation. Animal rehabilitation is a profession that is in need of many more workers. Despite the many people that claim to care about animals and their rights as living things, not all of these people put forth an effort. It is understood that some may not have the expenses to do so, but simply offering a person’s love, time, and attention is all that is needed. Although one may not completely understand the work that is done, a helpful hand is always welcome.
I strongly encourage anyone that has the time and patience to look around their neighborhood for a rehabilitation center and lend a helpful hand to those in need. Animal rehabilitation is full of new and improved ways for healing physically injured, emotionally harmed or distressed, abandoned, and orphaned animals. No matter which one of these “injuries” it is that the animal is going or has gone through, rehabilitation through physical therapy and loving care is just what the doctor ordered.