I am not so familiar with the teachings of Yogananda, but I spent two years & a half years with a teacher who followed these teachings. I am curious about something. She was completely indifferent to animals & suffering. She would not hurt an animal (karma) but would not help one either. If one was hungry or suffering right in front of her, she would say, "It's okay if they die. They need to evolve into something higher." Am I missing some higher truth here? I cannot ignore something in pain.
You are not missing any higher truth by aiding a suffering or dying animal. Each of us responds to suffering in different ways and perhaps your friend was not comfortable with aiding an animal that was injured or dying.
We all know St. Francis befriended animals as did Yogananda.
Bless you in your service to others,