Foxwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Raptor And Wildlife Rehabilitation, Hawks, Owls, Mammals

​​FoxWood Raptor and Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

What if I want to take care of a wild animal myself?

There are many reasons to bring ALL orphaned and injured wild animals to a licensed rehabilitation facility.

  • First of all, it is ILLEGAL.  Federal and State laws prohibit the keeping of ANY and ALL wildlife without a permit-- even if it is short term care!
  • IF your concern is really for the animal and not for your own entertainment, experienced professionals best insure the animal's chances of survival.  Diet, medication, and exposure to and imprinting on humans must be controlled to successfully rehabilitate wild animals.
  • Wild animals are hosts to a wide array of parasites, bacteria, and viruses that may harm your family and/or pets.
  • Mortality rates are high among orphaned and injured wildlife. Your desire for a fun experience will probably end  in a death that may be more traumatic than parting with the animal in the first place... and definitely traumatic for the animal itself.

Ok, I found a wild animal...what do I do next?

If you find an animal you think is orphaned, please make sure you first look to see if there is a parent around.  Do not take a fawn out of the wild (it's mother is probably nearby eating), or a fledgling bird who is being taught to fly by its parents. 

If the animal is indeed orphaned, or injured, follow this advice:

  • Do not handle the animals without gloves. And if you do handle them WITH gloves, make sure they are the type that will not allow the animal bite through or stick it talons through. Wild animals may carry fleas, mites, parasites, and bacteria which can harm you or your pets.
  • Do not stress the animal. You, as a human, are a predator to the animal and the torment of prolonged handling on top of an injury or orphaning may be a great shock to recover from. Any exposure to humans worsens the animal's chance of survival. Animals do not understand that you are trying to help them, and if they are still, they are traumatized, in shock from trauma, or mortally ill.  
  • Do not offer water or food.  It is easy for young animals to aspirate water into their lungs.They can be easily drowned by dropping water into their mouths since their esophagus is next to their throat.  They are at risk for pneumonia. It is also better to give them nothing to eat than the wrong food.  Cow's milk cannot be digested, and digestive problems often prove fatal. If you cannot get the animal to us quickly, call us for interim care recommendations... which usually involves the use of Pedialyte!
  • Place in a secure container. Do not place twigs, grass or leaves in the container because they can spread parasites or bacteria to the animal, or cause injury.  The animal is already physically compromised.  Newspaper or paper towels on the bottom of a small box will do fine, and make sure the box is securely closed.
  • Arrange for transport. Find a way to get the animal to us.  We do not have adequate resources to pick up every animal. Try to minimize trauma during transport by reducing exposure to noise, and conversation.