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Find a wildlife rehabilitator

If you find a sick, injured, debilitated, or orphaned animal, you may decide to contact a rehabilitator. A licensed wildlife rehabilitator can care for the animal and attempt to return it to the wild.

Use the table below and sort by town to find a rehabilitator near you. Please note that many rehabilitators specialize in treating certain species or categories of animals. Before trying to capture or transport an animal for care, contact a rehabilitator to get advice on the best procedures for safely collecting an animal.

In the table, the letters M, B, and R under the rehabilitator's name indicate the wildlife category the rehabilitator will treat if possible. M = Mammals, B = Birds, R = Reptiles

Updated June 2018

* = Has federal permit

* A Federal Migratory Bird Rehabilitation permit issued by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is required to rehabilitate migratory birds. A state wildlife rehabilitation permit only authorizes the following bird species to be rehabilitated: wild turkey, ruffed grouse, rock pigeon, mute swan, ring-necked pheasant, house sparrow, starling, and northern bobwhite. If a rehabilitator does not have an asterisk (*) by their name, then they cannot accept migratory birds.

More information

Please keep in mind that 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.

Additional Resources for More information

Veterinarians

Every permitted wildlife rehabilitator is required to identify a consulting veterinarian. Any medical procedures for which a veterinary license is required, such as surgery or the prescription of drugs, is typically done by the consulting veterinarian, but may be done by any veterinarian licensed in Massachusetts. These services are generally donated. While it is unlawful for anyone to charge a fee to accept a wild animal for rehabilitation, a wildlife rehabilitator may be responsible for veterinary consultation or services [321 CMR 2.13(23)].  

Any veterinarian licensed in Massachusetts who intends to rehabilitate animals on a regular basis (≥ 10 animals annually), or who intends to advertise or promote their services as a wildlife rehabilitator, must receive a wildlife rehabilitation permit from MassWildlife. Veterinarians are exempt from some of the permitting requirements, including the exam and fee [321 CMR 2.13(15)].

Any veterinarian licensed in Massachusetts is authorized in regulation to rehabilitate or euthanize individual animals on an emergency basis, but must meet all of the requirements of 321 CMR 2.13, including the submission of an annual report to MassWildlife by January 31st for the preceding calendar year.

Veterinarians who are not permitted as a wildlife rehabilitator, but who provide care to wildlife should communicate directly with MassWildlife the next business day to determine how long the animal should stay under the veterinarian’s care. Typically after the initial medical treatment, these animals should be transferred to a rehabilitator. Additionally, veterinarians who perform humane euthanasia on wildlife must notify MassWildlife immediately. Veterinarians may not treat deer, moose, or bear, except to humanely euthanize White-tailed Deer.

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