What is wildlife rehabilitation?
Wildlife rehabilitators provide professional care to sick, injured, orphaned and “kidnapped” wildlife. Wildlife rehabilitators are dedicated in their efforts to ensure comprehensive and humane care. The goal is to return healthy wild animals to their natural habitat.
Wildlife rehabilitators are required to have a valid Virginia permit. Information on how to become a certified wildlife rehabilitator OR to contact a certified wildlife rehabilitator.
How do you know when and how to assist wildlife?
It is important to recognize the species you are attempting to rescue and its species-specific ecology and behavior. In many instances, “orphaned wildlife” are not actually orphaned, abandoned, or in distress. Most commonly kidnapped young animals are:
- Birds (fledglings have feathers and open eyes, unable to fully fly yet)
- Deer (fawns left unattended by their mother during daylight)
- Rabbits (young rabbits left unattended by their mother during the daylight)
- Turtles (Independent upon hatching from egg)
Visit Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for more information.
When should I call Animal Control for wildlife?
Animals that pose a direct threat to public health and safety are a top priority. Animal Control responds to wildlife calls for injured, sick, or aggressive animals. Seriously injured or aggressive wildlife will be humanely euthanized. Contact Animal Control at (703) 691-2131.