It is always best to leave an animal where it was found and trust that your intervention is not required. Human interference and involvement often causes more harm than good and should be avoided. In Alabama, Wildlife Rehabilitators are specifically permitted by the Alabama Department of Conservation, Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries to care for native game and nongame mammals with the goal of eventual release. Wildlife Rehabilitators provide a resource for the public by prescribing an appropriate and humane course of action for wildlife in need.
Frequently Asked Questions about Wildlife Rehabilitation
Who can possess native wildlife?
A wildlife rehabilitation permit is required to possess sick, injured, or orphaned native wildlife. Nobody, even veterinarians, are exempt from this requirement. Neither are well-meaning citizens, animal control agents, government employees such as fire and rescue personnel, police, or those associated with "humane" or animal service organizations.
What is a wildlife rehabilitator?
In some instances, wildlife found by the public can be turned over to a wildlife rehabilitator. Wildlife rehabilitators are specifically permitted by the Alabama Department of Conservation to care for native game and nongame mammals with the goal of eventual release. There are a number of organizations and individuals throughout Alabama who are permitted for this purpose. Most bird species must go to a rehabilitator that is permitted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to care for birds.
- How do I find a wildlife rehabilitator near me?
The list of permitted wildlife rehabilitators is available here: Current Rehabbers. This list is updated as new permits are reviewed and approved.
- What is required to become a wildlife rehabilitator?
Becoming a wildlife rehabilitator requires an application and approval process. Permits are not issued for animals that are already in your possession. Contact the appropriate district wildlife supervisor if you have additional questions about becoming a wildlife rehabilitator.
- I would like to learn more about becoming a wildlife rehabilitator.
The intention of a Wildlife Rehabilitator is to provide a resource for the public by prescribing an appropriate and humane course of action for wildlife in need. Wildlife Rehabilitators are permitted by the State but are volunteers. They must have large amounts of resources in order to carry out their mission: compassion alone does not aid wildlife in need. Rehabilitators invest large amounts of their personal assets to finance the caging, supplies and medical care of their charges. There are minimum caging sizes required to contain individual species. In addition, a great amount of time is required to provide for wild patients. Because of the considerations of time and money, becoming a Wildlife Rehabilitator is not something to be undertaken lightly. Intimate knowledge of the natural history of native species is required in addition to material provisions. Wild animals cannot be raised in a household environment: they are not held and treated as pets. Those that lose their wary behavior because of early association with humans often must be euthanized. Wildlife Rehabilitators must be willing to do this task as well. An application and approval process is required. To apply for a permit for migratory birds, contact the US Fish and Wildlife Service: http://www.fws.gov/forms/3-200-10b.pdf
- I have found a young wild animal that needs help. Can I raise it if I plan to release it?
No. Possession of live native mammals, even if the intent is eventual release, is prohibited unless done under the authority of a Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit issued by the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. Possession of most native birds is prohibited unless done under the authority of a Migratory Bird Rehabilitation Permit issued by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service. These permits are not issued for individual animals and are not issued after an animal is found.
- What do I do if I find an orphaned wild animal that needs help?
- I’ve been watching all day, but the parent animal is not returning. Can I help now?
- I have already touched the animal. Will its mother reject it?
- My cat/dog will kill this animal if I don’t remove it from the area. Can I do this?
- Bad Weather is coming. Should I bring young wildlife I find indoors?
- I found an injured animal that will die without help. What should I do?
- Wildlife is damaging my home or property. What do I do?
- I know someone who has a pet raccoon/deer/squirrel. What do I do?
|District||Address||Enforcement #||Wildlife #|
|1||21453 Harris Station Road, Tanner, 35671||256-353-2634||256-353-2634|
|2||4101 AL Hwy 21 North, Jacksonville, 36265||256-435-1642||256-435-5422|
|3||8211 McFarland Blvd West, Northport, 35476||205-339-5716||205-339-5716|
|4||3520 Plaza Drive, Enterprise, 36330||334-347-9467||334-347-9467|
|5||30571 Five Rivers Blvd., Spanish Fort, 36527||251-626-5474||251-626-5474|
|Mont.||64 N. Union Street, Montgomery, 36130||334-242-3467||334-242-3469|