Wildlife Rehabilitator Directory
Phoenix - Desert Cry Wildlife, Inc.
Tuolumne County - Debbie Veysey Reptile Rescue - 209-588-0650 firstname.lastname@example.org
Boulder - Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
North Granby - Safe Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
Okeechobee - Arnold's Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Inc.
Tallahassee - Saint Francis Wildlife Association
Clark Fork - American Heritage Wildlife Foundation - 208.266.1488
Grand Coteau - Possum Hollow Wildlife Center, Inc. - Valerie Jagneaux - 337-781-3513 - Email Possumhollowwildlife@yahoo.com
Wings of Hope Wildlife Sanctuary - Leslie Lattimore - 225-698-3168 - Email email@example.com
Bridgton - Caring For Christ's Creatures Wildlife Sanctuary
Cape Neddick - York Center for Wildlife
Roseville - Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota
DeSoto County - Mississippi Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc.
Kansas City - Lakeside Nature Center
Fenton - Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic
Mansfield - AnimalArkRescue
Owego - New York State Wildlife Rehabilitation Counsel
Greensboro - Piedmont Wildlife Rehab, Inc.
Hubert - Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary
Schuylkill Haven - Red Creek Wildlife Center
Acme - Windy Ridge Wildlife Refuge, Inc.
Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island
Barrington - Healing Paws Wildlife Rehabilitators
PAWS, Inc. Wildlife Rehabilitation
North Augusta - Brenda Ice, Certified Rehabber in South Carolina, Opossums ONLY - Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wichita Falls - Wild Bird Rescue, Inc.
Virginia Beach - Evelyn's Wildlife Refuge
Fredonia - Pineview Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
Madison - Four Lakes Wildlife Center
Here are some other advice articles for wildlife rehabilitation:
What to do with a baby bat I found?
What to do with a baby deer I found?
What to do with a baby fox I found?
What to do with a baby opossum I found?
What to do with a baby raccoon I found?
What to do with a baby hawk or eagle I found?
What to do with a baby reptile I found?
What to do with a baby mouse or rat I found?
What to do with a baby songbird I found?
What to do with a baby squirrel I found?
Helpful Rehabilitator Hints
Here are some tips and topics that are mentioned in the articles on this website. On this page, the topics have been expanded to offer additional information.
Hydration! When dealing with a baby animal, always assume some level of dehydration is present. When dehydrated, an animal cannot digest nutrient-rich foods such as formula. Giving oral electrolytes is advised throughout the website; however, if you are comfortable, your veterinarian can teach you how to administer subcutaneous fluids. Mammals (except people) have the unique ability to allow fluid administration in the space between the skin and the muscle belly. This fluid will be absorbed over the span of a few hours and is often a more complete method of rehydration.
Temperature! Newborn animals cannot regulate their own body temperatures. It is very important that they be kept warm—but not too warm. Heating pads and warm water bottles are adequate. A rice bottle, made out of a soda bottle with a hole in the cap, can be heated in the microwave for approximately two minutes. If hypothermia is an immediate concern, throw some blankets into the dryer and use them once sufficiently toasty. Any apparatus you use for heat must be covered. Just as they are susceptible to cold, baby animals can suffer thermal burns from a heat source that is too warm or remains on them for too long. Heat lamps are also a useful alternative, but most wild animals prefer a dark, quiet place.
Food! Do not, under any circumstances, give a baby wild animal cow’s milk. Cow’s milk is for cows and humans, and that is generally it. Severe gastrointestinal distress and death can be caused by giving cow’s milk to an orphaned critter. Kitten, puppy, or goat milk replacer is usually recommended, but read the specific requirements for the individual animal.
Bathroom! Newborn wild mammals cannot go to the bathroom without your assistance. You, as the surrogate mother, will have to stimulate this response. Failure to do this will result in death. Each individual article has instructions on how to achieve this after a feeding session.
Handling! Always wear gloves when handling a wild animal. Zoonotic diseases are easily spread, and good hygiene practices can prevent contamination. Rabies is the most obvious illness, but others, like leptospirosis, salmonella, and a host of intestinal parasites, are of equal concern. Intestinal parasites in human children can migrate into the eyes and cause blindness.
What is wildlife rehabilitation?
Wildlife rehabilitation is providing food, shelter and where necessary, medical assistance for wild animals that have been injured or orphaned, conditioning animals as they grow or recover to ensure their survival, and releasing the animals in environments where they have a good chance to survive. It also includes researching the natural history of animals to provide for their comfort while in captivity, and sharing that information with interested people to reduce negative encounters and enhance appreciation of the wonders that surround us.
Can you help the animal yourself?
Providing an adequate diet for wildlife is critical because their development or recovery depends on the nutrition we provide. Specially created formulas are available and specific to each species in rehab. Adult animals provide a special challenge as they will not normally eat food prepared for them, and so food that resembles their natural diet must be prepared.
Special caging may be required for some species. Small mammals often can chew out of plastic carriers or cages and some animals can squeeze through or injure themselves in cages designed for domestic pets.
Veterinary care can be expensive since most adult animals have injuries that require medications or surgeries. These animals are intended to be released, and therefore their care must be sufficient to allow the animal to recover enough to survive in the wild. They must have good eyesight, hearing and total function of their limbs. Although some veterinarians donate a part of the fees, many must charge for medications, x-rays and surgical supplies. You must be prepared to pay to save an animal's life. There is no funding available to wildlife rehabilitators other than private donations or their own funds. No government funds are available for this work.
Wild animals do not tolerate the stress of handling or human contact. You must be prepared to isolate an area of your home separate from your family activities. The animals must be fed a proper diet and where possible, exposed to the sounds and temperatures of their natural environment. Large outdoor (and indoor) cages that allow the animals safety from predators, yet expose them to the environment prior to their release, must be available for conditioning. These cages also allow observation of the behavior and function of the animal to assess whether the animal has recovered sufficiently to be released.
Animals must be afraid of humans prior to release, so contact with them ends once they are old enough to feed on their own. Adult recovering animals can die from the stress of human contact and orphans raised by humans must not trust humans when they are released. Domestication takes thousands of years and has only been successful with dogs, cats and livestock. Wild animals, although they may be tamed, are not predictable, can become dangerous and should not be raised as pets.
The busy season for wildlife rehabilitation is between March and October when people are most likely to be outside. Those are also the months when animals are more active and likely to get into trouble. Many people also choose to vacation during this time, but most wildlife rehabilitators cannot take a vacation. The commitment of time and energy is a requirement that cannot be ignored. Baby songbirds must be fed every half hour from dawn to dusk. Many baby mammals require feedings around the clock - some as often as every 2-3 hours.
If you think you are still interested in raising that orphan, or caring for that injured animal, contact the DNR and apply for a permit. If you are interested in working with any migratory birds, you must ALSO have a permit from the US Fish and Wildlife Service. We are in Region 3 and you can apply for a permit by phone
or via the web at.
If you have decided that it is not for you, you can locate a wildlife rehabilitator near you at www.wildliferehabber.com or leave a message for me.
So why would anyone want to rehabilitate wildlife? I feel that I am contributing to the earth and have been privileged to witness compassion in the one species that we know has the ability to choose. To watch an animal return healthy to its home gives me purpose. I have learned many things about animals, nature and about humans while doing this work and it has become my passion.
To give you an idea of the kind of work rehabbers go through, I'm attaching the contents of an email that I got from one of the rehabbers I keep in contact with:
The 11th & 12th of January weren't fantastic for us ~ our water froze and we went 36 hours without. Volunteers were gathering buckets of snow to melt so that we had water for give to the animals and we were making trips to the laundry mat in order to do the laundry. Overall though it was a pain but we pushed through it and are laughing now. Wow ~ what a week.
January the 14th brought in an injured bald eagle that had a foot caught in a leg hold trap. After amputating part of his toe we're fighting to save the rest. The wildlife and parks officer that caught him really needs to be commended. They got a report on him and located him. The trap had been pulled out of the ground and he was flying with it dangling from his leg. They tracked him throughout the afternoon and when he went to roost that evening he got him out of the tree. After calling me he traveled 1.5 hours to our facility after hours to bring him in. The officer even stayed with me at the facility and helped to restrain him so I could remove the toe, clean it, wrap it and get him started on antibiotics since I didn't have any volunteers available. To me that's going a bit beyond and above the call of duty. He was starving because he couldn't hunt with this thing hanging off of his foot. He has figured out what food is and is a stinker when it comes to being fed.
Saturday January 15th was spent at Wyandotte County Lake doing the 10th Annual Eagle Day there. We had a total of 16 of our public education birds on display and did presentations throughout the day. It went well and lots of people turned out for a chance to see wild eagles on the lake and learn about raptors that are native to our area. We got a lot of nice comments on our birds and presenters.
Tuesday brought in an injured Canada goose that had been hit by a car in Overland Park. The woman that brought it in watched it get hit. There was a line of geese crossing the road and she said that everyone had stopped to let them go by. He was the last one in the line and a car sped up and swerved to purposely hit him. His pelvis is broken and he'll be here for months healing. She was so shocked that she didn't get the tag number of this "idiot". It saddens me that some people are in such hurries with the nuances of their own small worlds that they take little care of consideration for other things. What the purpose of that gesture? He is having his swimming therapy in the picture below.
On Wednesday I headed to western Kansas to a small town called Kirwin. In this part of the state they bus the kids to Kirwin Wildlife Refuge and an opportunity to learn about bald eagles. They also get to go out on the refuge and spot eagles. I headed out around 11 AM and the roads were good until I hit Topeka. The snow had begun to fall and it was a white out with visibility being about 1/2 mile. Everyone was good and we settled into one lane traveling about 50 miles an hour until we hit Junction City. Then the ice began. The rest of the trip is what I would call a "white knuckler". The temperatures dropped to the teens and no matter how high and hot I ran the defroster I couldn't keep the ice from building on the windshield. What should have been a 5 hour trip turned out to be 8. Needless to say they canceled the night program and we started a little later the next day having the schools come in.
After the programs we headed back. I-70 was clear by now but when we hit Topeka you could see a definite line of where the snow was. I got back to calls, calls, calls. I guess the animals didn't get the message that I was out of town for 2 days .
My first call this Friday morning was coyote hit by a car off of 24-40. A member of OWL had found her and she was laying by the side of the road lifting her head every time a vehicle drove past. Her back end wasn't working. We put a catch pole on her protect us in case she decided to snap or bite; then lifted and secured her to our stretcher. After arriving at the main facility we treated her for shock and began our examination. Unfortunately, her back had been broken. The spine was moved 1.5 inches the right with a definite twist. The kindest thing we could do for her was to euthanize her. I'm always amazed at this species tenacity. Not once did she growl, snap or act aggressive towards me and yet I knew she had to be in great pain. She seemed to accept what was happening to her without malice. As I watched the light go out of her eyes I wished her well and told her I was sorry. I really dislike this part of my job because I want all of them to live. On the flip side ~ had someone not stopped for her how long would she had laid beside the road in freezing temperatures waiting? I can't begin to tell you how many cars passed by her and each time she would lift her head. Compassion wasn't on their list this morning that was for sure.
Our facility is full ~ we don't have an open cage in the house and they are calling for more snow. Guess we'll have to break out the portable kennels. Thanks for supporting our group. This week has been full of ups and downs. Have a good weekend.
|Please be kind to wildlife! Our wild animals are intelligent, and believe it or not, they definitely have emotions!