What is Wildlife Rehabilitation?

Wildlife Rehabilitation is the professional care given to sick, injured, misplaced, and orphaned wild animals with the ultimate goal of being returned to their natural habitat.

Wildlife Rehabilitators in Virginia follow these basic guidelines:

  • To work with mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, wildlife rehabilitators must have a Rehabilitation Permit from the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources
  • If the Rehabilitator works with birds, they are also required to have a Migratory Bird Rehabilitation Permit issued by the US Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Before getting these permits, one must have a mentor, training must be documented, and facilities inspected
  • After receiving permits, Continuing Education requirements must be met annually
  • Wildlife rehabilitators must work with veterinarians to assess injuries and diagnose a variety of illnesses
  • Wildlife is never turned into “pets
  • Wildlife is held in captivity only until able to live physically and mentally in the wild
  • Wildlife that sustains an injury preventing them from living in the wild as a normal individual are usually humanely euthanized, however
  • Occasionally, individual animals that have recovered but are not able to survive in the wild may be placed in educational facilities

Interested in becoming a Wildlife Rehabilitator?

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