Wildlife In Trouble? Contact Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator in Connecticut

Taken from VCA Shoreline Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center, 895 Bridgeport Avenue, Shelton, CT 06484, Telephone: 203-929-8600, Fax: 203-944-9754,www.VCAshoreline.com


To locate and contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator http://www.cwrawildlife.org/findarehabilitator.html

CT DEEP General Info: 860-424-3000

CT DEEP Emergency Dispatch: 860-424-3333

An injured animal has been found, what should I do?

Carefully evaluate the situation before approaching the animal.  Wild animals can react strongly when fearful or in pain, causing further injury to themselves and potentially injuring the rescuer.  Some species have sharp beaks, teeth, claws and talons that could easily injure a rescuer.  Some species can carry diseases that can be transmitted from wildlife to humans.  Call a wildlife rehabilitator for instruction.  If the animal is in immediate danger and needs to be relocated, wearing protective gloves or using a fluffy towel, gently scoop up the animal and place it in a secure container.  Always wash your hands after having contact with wildlife.  Call a wildlife rehabilitator for further instruction.  If the animal appears to be stumbling, staggering, walking in circles, dragging a limb or the hind end, or is behaving strangely, do not handle the animal.  Call your local animal control officer or the DEEP for assistance.

A baby bird has fallen from its nest, what should I do?

Contrary to popular belief, birds will not reject their young if you touch them.  Birds have little to no sense of smell.  If the bird is a newborn, place the bird back in the nest if possible.   If the nest is not accessible, place the bird in a small basket and place on a nearby branch.  If the bird is a fledgling [feathered], it is likely the young bird is learning to fly.  Most species of birds learn to fly from the ground up and should be left alone.  If predators are a concern, place the bird in a small basket on a nearby branch.  Always wash your hands after having contact with wildlife.

A bird has flown into my window, what should I do?

In the Spring/Summer months it is not uncommon to see birds “fighting” reflective surfaces.  Birds can sometimes mistake their reflection for another bird competing for resources.  Occasionally, this can cause birds to become “stunned”.  Wait 30 minutes after the bird hitting the window, the bird will likely regain its strength and fly away. If the bird does not fly away, gently place the animal, using gloves or a fluffy towel, in a dark covered container that has holes in it so the animal can breath, and keep it overnight.  If the bird is unable to fly away the next morning, it may be injured.  Always wash your hands after contact with wildlife.  Call a wildlife rehabilitator for further instructions.

A baby squirrel has been found, what should I do?

If an uninjured baby squirrel is found on the ground, gentle place the animal in a basket and hang it near the trunk of the tree.  Allow the mother 4-6 hours to come back and retrieve her baby.  If the baby is untouched after that time, it is likely orphaned.  Call a wildlife rehabilitator for further instructions.  If the baby squirrel is injured, call a wildlife rehabilitator right away.

A baby rabbit has been found, what should I do?

Rabbits make shallow nests in the ground, typically with a light grassy covering.  These shallow nests allow for easy disturbance.  If you find baby rabbits, gently place them back in their nest and cover them with grasses.  Mother rabbits only visit their babies at dawn and dusk, so it is not uncommon for baby rabbits to be unattended for long periods of time.  Rabbits leave the nest at a young age, although still very small, and can often be mistaken for orphans.  It is best to leave them alone.  In the event a rabbit is injured, call a wildlife rehabilitator for further instruction.

A baby opossum has been found, what should I do?

When a young opossum has outgrown mothers pouch, they cling to her back as she goes about he business, often forging for food.  Occasionally, a baby opossum may lose its grip and fall off.  Unfortunately mother opossums are very forgetful, and it is very unlikely that she will retrieve her baby.  These babies are orphaned.  Call a wildlife rehabilitator for further instructions.

A raccoon/skunk/fox has been found, what should I do?

Raccoons, skunks and foxes are considered “rabies-vector-species”.  This means that they can carry and transmit rabies! You should not approach these species without instruction from a wildlife professional.  If the orphan appears relatively healthy, contact a wildlife rehabilitator for further instruction.  If the animal appears to be stumbling, staggering, walking in circles, dragging a limb or the hind end, or is behaving strangely, do not handle the animal.  Call your local animal control officer or the DEEP for assistance.

A deer has been found, what should I do?

  1. 99% of orphaned fawns are not orphans. Unless a deceased doe is found nearby, the fawn is not orphaned.  Mother deer often leave their young to avoid drawing predators to the area.  Mother dear typically do not return until dark, and can sometimes take over 24 hours to return to their fawns.  Do not touch the fawn; a mother will reject her baby if touched by humans.  Please leave the fawn alone.  If a deceased doe is found nearby, contact a wildlife rehabilitator.

2. Adult deer cannot be rehabilitated.  If an adult deer is injured, and is unable to stand or walk without assistance it should be humanely euthanized.  For help with an injured adult deer, call the local police department or the DEEP for assistance.


Spring is an amazing time of year, especially after a rough winter.  While we’ve spent the past 6 months worrying about our pets and cold-weather hazards, the coming of spring and warmer weather comes with its own set of worries for our four legged friends.


Chocolate Easter bunnies, Easter egg and other chocolate treats are everywhere this time of year.  As with other holidays, remember that chocolate is toxic to pets and can cause a variety of ills including severe gastrointestinal upset, cardiac arrhythmias, and seizures.  Keep all chocolate away from cats and dogs. If your pet does  get into the Easter stash, call ASPCA Animal Poison Control at 1-888-426-4435.  The toxicologist on duty will determine if the type and amount of chocolate consumed will cause illness and will instruct you as to how to proceed.  Remember, even though the ASPCA charges for the call, it may save you a visit to the ER.  If you do have to make the trip to see one of our emergency doctors, the toxicologist will speak with our veterinarian and they will work together to provide the best course of treatment possible.  But in this case, the best treatment is to keep the chocolate away from any nonhumans living in your house!

Easter Lilies:

Popular this time of year and throughout the summer, fragrant lilies brighten up any room. However, if ingested by cats, and their flowers are attractive as they can look like frilly play-things, serious illness and kidney damage can result. lease tell your family and friends to refrain from purchasing arrangements containing lilies if you have cats.  Additionally, the bulb or tuber part of the plant is most toxic, so if you plant lilies outdoors, and dig them up in the fall, please be sure to store them in plastic containers in areas where your pets can not reach them and be sure to keep them out of reach when replanting in the spring.  If you believe your pet has ingested any part of the lily plant or bulb, you should seek veterinary care immediately.


Everyone wants their plants and grass to grow now that it is becoming warm and sunny.  Please remember that fertilizers can be dangerous as can soil containing fertilizers. Very often these preparations also contain mold and insect inhibitors as well as chemicals to adjust the acidity of the soil.  Some of these materials are caustic, and others can cause tremors and seizures.  Again, when using these materials, keep your pets far away. If they happen to walk through an area where the material was recently used, give them a thorough bath with a mild soap and water and contact Animal Poison Control

Ant Traps, Insecticides:

While most ant traps are a harmless mixture of attractants and pheromones, some do contain potent toxins.  These small, plastic discs are attractive to dogs because they smell good, and slide around and are fun to chase.   To avoid potential ingestion, keep these out of your pets reach.  Do not throw the outer cardboard containers away because very often if our pet chews up the disk and you have discarded the outer packaging, it is impossible to determine which chemicals your ant trap contained.  Poison control will need this information if your pet does consume an ant trap to determine if treatment is necessary.  For other insecticides, do not spray them on surfaces near your pet, remove your pets from the premises when you are using these sprays or powders, and be sure to rinse all dishes and wash all bedding so that your pet does not come in direct contact with any of the sprays used for wasps, spiders, flying insects or other vermin.


Warm weather means everyone is outdoors more, not only you and your pets, but wild animals are more active, there is more traffic, and other dogs and cats are also outside often disregarding property lines.  To avoid any potentially serious or deadly trauma incidents, keep all dogs on a leash and do not leave dogs outside unattended.  Even if your yard is fenced in, wild animals can often climb and dig their way into enclosures looking for food or shelter.  If your pet is bitten by another animal, wear gloves and rinse the wounds thoroughly and seek medical attention immediately.  For trauma, be careful when lifting or carrying your injured pet as they are likely to be painful.  Using a board and a soft tie as a muzzle will help you safely transport them to the emergency clinic.  And just a reminder to not give any medication, even if your pet seems painful, until they have been evaluated by a veterinarian and have been prescribed a medication that is safe and properly dosed.

Infectious diseases and parasites:  

Remember to keep your pets up to date on their rabies vaccine as well as vaccines for infectious diseases such as distemper, Parvo virus and kennel cough which are all more prevalent during the warmer months.  Parasites such as round worms, hook worms, and whip worms also live in the soil during the warm months so having your pet checked annually, treating any infections, and using a preventative for heartworm and other parasites that has been prescribed by your veterinarian will avoid serious illness due to parasites.  We do not recommend buying products on-line because their authenticity can not be guaranteed.  Your veterinarian will recommend one of the many products that are available that he/she is comfortable with and that can be easily administered by you.

If you have any questions, please consult with your family veterinarian, or you can call the VCA Shoreline at anytime!


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