Local animal hospital takes in orphaned squirrels, bunnies, birds, raccoons, deer

Thursday, October 3, 2019
News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- An Augusta animal hospital isn't just taking in cats and dogs, they're taking in everything from deer to flying squirrels and owls.

These are just a few of the little guys that Saint Francis Animal Hospital is taking in. But taking care of them is pricey.

“This one's probably close to two weeks and this one's probably closer to five weeks," said Erin Piccione.

Taking care of flying squirrels is nothing new for Erin Piccione. She says the clients at St. Francis brings in wildlife all the time.

“They see a baby they know it needs help, they know it needs care and we love them all big to small so we end up with a lot of them," said Piccione.

Squirrels, bunnies, birds, raccoons, and deer are just a few of the wild animals this hospital has opened its doors too.

“A lot of our small animals come in with wounds or illnesses so first thing we want to do is to make sure we can treat them," said Piccione.

Their ultimate goal is to get them healthy and release them back into the wild.

“We want to make sure that we restore them back to the wild. No wildlife is meant to be a pet," said Piccione.

Saying goodbye isn't always easy for the staff but it is rewarding.

“We try to not get too attached because the main goal is release, they're not pets but it's easier said than done sometimes," said Piccione.

And with a passion for saving animals, they rarely say no to helping the community and taking one in. But with so many coming in, they're asking for a little extra help.

“We would like to make an outdoor space for these guys, we always need more cages, food is extremely expensive,” said Piccione.

St. Francis has a saint fund if you want to donate. To donate, click here. That money goes to helping the wildlife, feeding them, and making sure they get back into the wild.

If you see a wild animal and think it's an orphan or in danger, there are a few things you should look for before bringing it in to get help.

For a list of what to look for, click here.