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Orphaned kittens and puppies:

The most important aspects of care for wee ones are to keep the orphan warm and fed. You can obtain puppy/kitten milk replacement at our hospital, a petstore, Walmart or most grocery stores. We will be happy to give you the numbers of  local rescue/adoption organizations which you can contact during the day.

Newborn puppies and kittens will still have the umbilical cord attached to their tummies. This will dry up and fall off on its own in a few days. Their eyes are closed until they are 10-14 days old. Babies at this age need to be fed every 3-4 hours around the clock. You can use a nurser obtained at a pet supply store or a store like Walmart. Don't force the baby to nurse. You may end up getting formula down in the baby's lungs which will cause severe problems. When the baby is through nursing, take a cotton ball moistened with warm water and use it like mama's tongue to stimulate the baby to urinate and have a bowel movement after each feeding. You will need to do this until the baby is about 3 weeks old. Blood sugar levels in newborns can fall very quickly. That is why it is important to feed them as often as recommended. If you find your baby is lethargic or non-responsive, put a little Karo Syrup on its tongue to help raise its blood sugar and get it to your vet immediately.

When they reach about 4 weeks of age, you will notice they are beginning to get their first teeth. At this point you can start putting down a little moist kitten or puppy food for them to try. They may need you to put a bit on their tongues to help them get the idea of a more solid food. Many times when first eating solids, they will attempt to suck the food from the dish. Plan on them wearing more than they eat for the first week or so.

As they reach 5-6 weeks you can start adding in some dry food to their bowls to have on hand around the clock so they can snack. Puppies can begin potty training outside at this point and kittens should be beginning to use the litterbox.

Have the baby checked by your veterinarian after you get it to make sure it is healthy. When it reaches 6 weeks, it can begin its vaccinations and worming protocol to ensure it will be a happy, healthy pet to be with you a long time.

There are times when even the best care isn't enough to raise an abandoned newborn. Mama's seem to know that a baby has a problem and will leave them to concentrate on the babies that are healthy. Even though you do everything just right, the baby may not survive. Its a difficult task to raise a newborn successfully. Don't be crushed if your little one doesn't make it. You gave it a chance that it would not have had otherwise.

Orphaned baby birds, rabbits, other wildlife

In most cases, it is best to leave the baby where it was found, or try to place it back in the nest. Even if a parent is not seen, they may often be watching from a distance or will return shortly to care for their young. A young animal's best chance of survival is with its natural parents who can ensure that it retains all of its natural behaviors for survival in the wild. Always use caution when approaching wild animals as they may scratch, bite or may carry diseases such as rabies.

Visit the Carolina Wildlife website at www.carolinawildlife.org for information on how to feed and help the orphans you find. They also have the numbers to call to have a wildlife rehabilitator take the baby and raise properly it to be returned to the wild where it belongs. These folks know how and what to feed the orphans and are the next best place to being with mama.

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