I found an injured or orphaned animal; what now?
Give us a call at (360) 886-8917. We are open everyday 9am to 5pm, including holidays. If we are closed, please leave us a detailed message.
Things to include in a phone call or message:
Your name, phone number, and city/town.
Animal species (best guess is ok- we may ask for a picture to confirm the species).
Age of animal, if known (newborn, baby, juvenile, adult).
Circumstance (hit by car, found on porch, fell out of tree, etc.).
Why does this animal need help? (orphaned, leg injury, bleeding, stuck in fence, etc.)
The more information you can give us, the better we will be able to help.
Depending on the species, circumstance, and your location, we may...
Recommend you bring the animal to our center for care.
Refer you to another licensed wildlife rehabilitator in your area.
Ask you to monitor the animal and call us back after a period of time.
Give you the number of a governmental agency that can assist you.
How do I capture/secure an animal for transport?
Use caution when handling wildlife of any kind, no matter how small or cute. Animals can and will bite!
Covering an animal's head with a towel or blanket will often calm them down. If you are unsure if you can safely capture something, call a wildlife center for advice.
Animals can put in a covered cardboard box or appropriately sized kennel/animal carrier. Line the container with a towel or blanket.
I can't get to the center right now/the center is closed- what do I do with this animal while I wait?
Provide water, but do not provide food. Keep it in a warm, dark place while waiting or transporting. Keep noise down and conversation minimal- all animals, especially prey species, are very vulnerable to stress.
I found an injured pigeon; can I bring it in?
Most are not considered wild; "city pigeons" or rock pigeons are actually long-ago escaped domestic pigeons (AKA feral). There is only one pigeon species native to Washington: the Band-tailed pigeon. It is grey with a white strip on the back of its neck and white on the tip of its tail. The easiest way to tell if your pigeon is wild or feral is by the color of its feet. Wild pigeons have bright yellow feet and beaks; feral pigeons have reddish brown, pink, or orangish feet. If you have found a band-tailed pigeon, give us a call. If you have found a rock pigeon, first check to see if it has a bird band around its leg; it may be someone's escaped pet or racing pigeon. If there is no band, please call your local humane society, bird rescue, or another center that can care for domestic species.
I found a baby deer all by itself; is it orphaned?
Not necessarily. Mother deer leave their babies alone for hours at a time, relying on the fawn's camouflage to keep them safe from predators. However, if the baby seems injured, ill, or distressed it may be orphaned. If it looks healthy and happy (quiet), his mother should return for him in a couple of hours. In fact, if you remove the fawn from his original location his mother will continue to search for him for three days!
How do I take care of the baby squirrel/bunny/opossum/raccoon I found?
Please remember that it is illegal for you to take care of wildlife without a rehabilitation license from WDFW. No matter how cute and sweet a baby wild animal seems, it will grow up to be wild. You should bring in any orphaned babies to a rehabilitation facility to ensure they get the best chance at making it in the wild once they're older. If you are interested in becoming a licensed rehabilitator in the state of Washington, please click the following link: