WildHelp is a free mobile application for iOS, designed to connect people who find wild animals in distress with the nearest wildlife professionals specializing in the type of animal being reported.
Every day, throughout the country, thousands of wild animals are found in trouble and in need of help. They are found sick, injured, displaced, trapped, orphaned, entangled, and in serious trouble, but, the task of finding help can be arduous.
Too often, finders must make multiple phone calls, using critical minutes, even hours, in search of the right person or organization to assist.
The challenge of finding aid for a wild animal in distress is one of the greatest, most pervasive issues faced by wildlife casualties and the people who find them.
WildHelp was designed to bridge the gap between finders and experts by streamlining the reporting process, expediting aid to animals in need and the people who find them – helping save thousands of lives every year!
How does it work?
Once WildHelp is downloaded onto an iPhone or iPad it can be used to locate help for a wild animal in trouble. The app’s ‘wizard’ interface guides the user through a series of simple questions about the animal they’ve encountered and its condition. It also provides them with the option of attaching an image.
Based on the information provided and the phone’s GPS coordinates, WildHelp offers a list of the closest resources – the nearest wildlife hospitals or first responders, and prompts the user to choose one to contact.
Once the user has made their selection, behind “the screens”, the app sends an email to the selected resource, notifying them of the potential emergency and providing them with the information on the animal, including any images. There’s also an option for them to receive a text, alerting them of any incoming messages. The GPS function can pinpoint where an animal is located, or at least where the call for help was placed. More on the GPS accuracy HERE.
Depending on the situation, the user may be provided information specific to the incident or type of animal being reported. For example, if someone finds a baby bird or mammal, the app will offer a few first aid tips on how to keep the animal warm until it reaches a professional.
The history of WildHelp
Rebecca Dmytryk, author of Wildlife Search and Rescue and founder of Wildlife Emergency Services (WES) came up with the idea for this life-saving tool in 2012. Dmytryk took her ideas to IVR Technology Group – the company that hosts WES’ emergency hotline. Together, they designed the app’s user-friendly interface and intuitive functionality.
After nearly three years in development, on May 16th, 2016 WildHelp received final approval from Apple and the iOS version was officially released through the App Store. The Android version is currently in development.
How to be added as a responder?
If you’re a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in the United States or an agency or organization willing and able to assist wildlife in distress, please go HERE to add your services to our database.
If you’d like to support WildHelp with a charitable donation online, safely and securely, click HERE, or the button below.
Wildlife Emergency Services
P. O. Box 65, Moss Landing CA 95039
Please write WildHelp in the memo section of your check. Thank you!!!