Recently, an American Robin was brought into BC SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (Wild ARC) after it was caught by a free-roaming cat. This nestling had fallen from its nest and was attacked while on the ground. The tiny bird was in very poor condition and barely breathing when a kind-hearted member of the public found and brought the bird in for treatment.
“Upon arrival, initial assessment showed the robin had a deep wound in its skin tissue caused by the cat bite that would require surgery to repair,” says Andrea Wallace, manager, wild animal welfare. “The bird also suffered trauma from being attacked and will require months of care to heal from the ordeal.”
The robin is receiving antibiotics to prevent infection as well as pain medication, regular fluid treatments, and a specialized diet to ensure its recovery and proper development.
“Staff and volunteers at Wild ARC will continue to provide regular feedings and care, until the feathers grow in and the bird learns to fly,” says Wallace. “The robin will be in care for a couple of months before being ready for release back into the wild.”
This robin is on the mend at Wild ARC but many birds who are caught by free-roaming cats or off-leashed dogs are not so fortunate. Millions of birds and other wild animals are injured or killed by domestic dogs and cat attacks in Canada each year.
This story serves as a reminder to all pet-owners to keep your dog or cat on a leash when taking them for a walk or monitor them when letting them outside in order to protect our local wildlife.
You can also purchase cat bibs to reduce the chance your cat will catch and injure a wild animal. Cat bibs can be purchased online at the BC SPCA shop.