Rescue Advice

Staff at the Wildlife Center of Virginia are available seven days a week to help deal with wildlife health issues. Please call 540.942.9453 to reach the Wildlife Center. The front desk is staffed from 9 AM to 5 PM daily. Center veterinarians are on call after hours to deal with wildlife emergencies. 

If you find a sick or injured wild animal, or a baby animal in need of intervention [see below], please contact the Wildlife Center at 540.942.9453 or a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in your area as soon as possible. Some specific suggestions for dealing with some of the most common baby animals - birds, rabbits, squirrels, opossums, and deer - are provided below. Special care should be taken in dealing with high-risk rabies species - raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats and groundhogs [e.g, wear heavy leather gloves when handling; try to get the animal to move into a box or crate on its own].

To provide temporary shelter for a sick, injured or orphaned animal: keep the patient warm and dry [the Wildlife Center generally recommends a lidded box with a cloth or towel on the bottom] and keep the patient in a quiet place away from children and pets. A heating pad underneath the box [low setting] or a rice or bird-seed bag may be used to help keep the patient warm.

Unless specifically advised to do so by the Wildlife Center or a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, please DO NOT attempt to offer food or water to a patient. Such treatment is likely to cause more harm than good. Many wild animals have very sensitive stomachs and require very special diets.

MANY, MANY baby animals brought to the Wildlife Center each year are not really "orphans" in need of the kind of hospital care that the Center provides. In fact, many animals brought to the Center are in need of no "help" from humans at all. They are young animals still receiving care from their parents, or young animals that are ready to live, and thrive, on their own. The Wildlife Center encourages those who care about wildlife to ask questions FIRST about the most appropriate course of action [see below]. Despite our natural inclinations, the BEST chance of survival for a young uninjured animal is often to leave it in its parents' care.

Help! I have found a ...

Baby Bird
Baby Deer
Baby Opossum
Baby Rabbit
Baby Squirrel

Did you receive wildlife assistance from us?  Please take our re-nesting survey here!

If you have found an animal not listed above, please contact the Wildlife Center of Virginia at 540.942.9453 or a local wildlife rehabilitator
for additional advice.

More Wildlife Advice

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The Case for Indoor Cats
Keeping Your Windows Safe for Birds
The Problem with Feeding Ducks
The Message of the Apple Core

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The Dangers of Glue Traps