Often children come home with an adorable little kitten or puppy found ‘abandoned’ on the road. The sad fact of the matter is that very often your child is actually responsible for separating that little creature from its much-needed mother. Here are a few precautions you can take – go back to the place where the animal was found and search thoroughly for signs of the rest of the litter, or for a mother. Remember the mothers need to go in search of food and may have been temporarily absent when their baby got ‘rescued’. If there is no sign of a mother, ask the people around there – auto drivers, shopkeepers, watchmen who are likely to know exactly how the animal came to be there. Put the baby back where its mother can find it.
Look out for the following signs: A lost or abandoned baby will be thin and hungry and crying. If you see a wellfed pup or kitten, it is likely to have been with its mother until recently and you must not take it away in haste. If people around actually mention the demise of the mother, in a road accident, or to an illness, then you know that baby needs rescuing.
You need to take a call on how much at risk the baby is while you are ascertaining whether mama is around. Is there heavy traffic with no safe place to keep it? Are there no wellwishers or caregivers to look out for it? Often tea shop workers are happy to give information and to
look out and give you feedback. IF there actually is a mama and she is taking care, you could keep an eye on the litter, help find homes for the weaned kittens or pups and do your bit for animal welfare by arranging to have the mother sterilized once the babies go!!
If you are quite sure that the little one has been orphaned, then go ahead and take care of it!
Or try and find it a home, do not send it to the nearest animal shelter as the few there are have enough animals and are over burdened. There is no substitute for a good home.