Young animals may seem helpless, but oftentimes they are neither abandoned nor orphaned and don’t require assistance. Animals taken out of the wild by well-intentioned people are often subjected to more stress and have a decreased chance of survival and ever having a normal life. Learn what to do if you find a wild animal that might be sick or injured.
Wild animals are protected by law. It is illegal to take an animal from the wild to care for or to attempt to keep as a pet. If you think that an animal may be in need of intervention, you can contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for assistance. Use the map of list below to find a rehabilitator near you. If using the map, click on an icon to get information about the rehabilitator.
Start out by contacting a rehabilitator to see if they can accept the animal. Next, get instructions about how to safely capture and transport the animal since rehabilitators are usually unable to pick up injured wildlife. Many rehabilitators specialize in treating certain types of animals, and not all rehabilitators may be able to accept every injured animal.
Note about birds: Some bird rehabilitators cannot legally accept certain all types of birds. Any bird rehabilitator may accept wild turkey, ruffed grouse, rock pigeon, mute swan, ring-necked pheasant, house sparrow, starling, and northern bobwhite. Rehabilitators must have a Federal Migratory Bird Rehabilitation permit to care for migratory birds, including raptors/birds of prey, songbirds, and waterfowl. Check the notes in the map or list below to determine whether a rehabilitator is authorized to care for migratory birds.
Click here to view a full screen map. Last updated 04/01/2020
Wildlife rehabilitators volunteer their time to provide services to wildlife and are not compensated by the Commonwealth. When contacting a rehabilitator and they are unable to answer your call, please leave a voicemail and they will return your call as soon as they are able. Licensed rehabilitators aid in the care and recuperation of provide care of sick, injured, or debilitated animals with the goal of returning the animals to the wild as quickly as possible so the animals have the best chance of survival.
Wildlife rehabilitators are not authorized to rehabilitate Endangered, Threatened, or Special Concern species protected under MESA. If you're not sure whether you have found a listed species, please contact the Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. Wildlife rehabilitators are also not authorized to rehabilitate venomous snakes, black bears, moose, or white-tailed deer. Additionally, for any issues related to coyote, bobcat, fisher, river otter, and beaver, or for advice on whether a young animal needs intervention, please contact MassWildlife at 508-389-6300.
Additional Resources for
Table of wildlife rehabilitators
A contact list of licensed wildlife rehabilitators is offered here for your convenience. The table below only lists towns with rehabilitators. Therefore, not all towns are listed.
Last updated 04/01/2020