Feeding a Varied Thrush. Photo courtesy of Robin Purcell, West Sound Wildlife Shelter.
How to Find a Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator
In the drop-down box to the right and below is a referral list of trained licensed wildlife rehabilitators. Do not attempt to treat or raise a wild animal yourself; it’s illegal. Call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator immediately and follow their instructions. All species are different in their capture, care and handling requirements. If you are not properly trained, you could make an animal’s situation worse or kill it. If kept improperly, animals may lose their natural fear of humans and become more vulnerable to predation or injury. These animals are referred to as “imprints” or “habituated” - conditions often irreversible and doom the animal to euthanasia.
Remember, wildlife rehabilitators are volunteers. Most pay expenses out of their own pockets. Many are involved in educating both children and adults in biology, ecology, stewardship, and responsible relationships with wildlife and the environment. Typically, their finances and time are limited and demand is great. You may not be able to reach a wildlife rehabilitator immediately especially during spring and summer when they are swamped. You may be able to find a veterinary clinic willing to give immediate care (licensed veterinarians may possess wildlife short-term), however many veterinarians are not comfortable treating wildlife.
Washington State Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator Referral List
Most wildlife rehabilitators are unable to provide services to pick up wildlife. Wildlife rehabilitators, including veterinarians, are volunteers and by law may not be paid for their services except by donation. They are not on call 24 hours/day and many of them have their facilities at their home. Please respect their time, compassion, and personal expense put into every animal they care for and please consider donating to these caregivers.
Wildlife Rehabilitators are limited by their state and federal permits as to how many and what species of animals they may admit to their facility.