Some States do not have an official list or directory of licensed wildlife rehabilitators or wildlife centers and organizations, therefore these links will point to one of the larger online directories.
I, like many other licensed wildlife rehabilitators, work out of my own
home and volunteer my time and just about every spare cent I can
gather towards animal rescue efforts and public wildlife education.
No local or state funding is available for animal caging, veterinary
care, medicine and food. That's why most rehabilitators gratefully
accept donations towards the care of animals they receive from the public.
Wildlife Rehabilitation in America, a Documentary by Birgit Sommer
Make sure you watch Part 2 and Part 3 of above Documentary "Wildlife Rehabilitation in America" by Birgit Sommer.
Some folks find the idea of wildlife rehabilitation ridiculous or claim it's "messing with nature".
These folks neglect to see that most wildlife related calls that require our human intervention ARE the direct result of unnatural conditions such as careless behavior of people, toxins, poisons, automobiles, guns, traps, lawn mowers, to name just a few.
Often we are confronted with animals that have suffered traumatic wounds and horrific injuries. Some animals come in poisoned, shot, injured by cars and left for dead by humans.
The stories and cases are endless and heartbreaking.
THAT is called “messing with nature” and careless humans do it everyday, whether we mean to do harm or not.
We, as wildlife rehabilitators, are dedicated warriors on the front lines between suburban development and natural habitat and are grateful for every bit of support we can get. Thank you!
More information on orphaned urban wildlife
If you find a Baby Bird:
Many baby birds are found by people and taken in to be cared for. People believe the baby bird is rejected by its parents, lost, or can not get back into the nest. This is 99% of the time not the case.
The fatality rate of baby birds that are taken in by kind-hearted individuals is unfortunately very very high.
Many people ask if a baby bird will be rejected if a person handles the baby and the bird parents smell the human. This is just an "old wives'" tale. Baby birds are NOT rejected by their parents if a person handles them. In fact, most birds have a very poor sense of smell or are incapable of smelling at all.
DO NOT try to raise an infant opossum if you do not know what you are doing! It is also illegal in most States!
Most opossum babies end up orphaned, because their mother was hit by a car (their only real defense is to play dead...) or killed by dogs.
So PLEASE, if you care and you happen to hit an opossum with your car - accidents happen - take a minute and make sure that there are no babies on the animal, because they usually survive a lot within momma's pouch. After all, they are America's only Marsupials.
If you find orphaned babies please do not try to feed them. Keep them warm and get them to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator as quickly as
possible. Fed incorrectly these little ones can aspirate [inhale formula into
their lungs] and die.
Even as they get a little older we still must be careful
to match their mother's milk and their diet as it would be in the wild. Their
systems are delicate at this age and they do not have the ability to digest
many of our foods.
If you do find what you believe to be an orphaned kit, please, don't just
snatch it up. We first need to make sure that it is indeed an orphan. Many
babies play while mother is sleeping in a tree. Mother is nocturnal, but
babies are not.
Found an orphaned animal?
Find out how to determine if it needs your help or not!
Wild animals of all shapes and sizes are born during the spring and summer months. In your own backyard, you may come across baby birds, rabbits, squirrels, opossums, and other young wildlife as they make they make their way into the world.
For many people, the pleasure of seeing these young creatures is mixed with a sense of protectiveness—of wanting to help them survive. But spotting a baby animal by himself doesn't necessarily mean he's an orphan. Many wildlife parents leave their young alone during the day, sometimes for long periods. The parent is usually nearby and quite conscious of her young. Also, keep in mind that despite their small size, many young animals are actually independent enough to fend for themselves.
How can you tell if an animal needs your help or should be left alone? Here are some general signs to look for:
A wild animal presented to you by a cat or dog
An apparent or obvious broken limb
A featherless or nearly featherless bird (nestling) on the ground
Evidence of a dead parent nearby
If a wild animal exhibits any of the above signs, you should immediately call one of the following local resources for assistance. You will find listings for most of these in your telephone directory.