Our shelter manager Kaleb is licensed by the state of North Carolina to rehabilitate small mammal wildlife. If you find an orphaned and/or injured wild animal, please feel free to call us and we can evaluate if it needs care. Photos are particularly helpful if you can send them.
Please do not attempt to feed the animal or force it to drink water. Wild critters are easily killed by people with the best intentions. Do not attempt to raise an orphaned wild animal. We ask that you keep the animal safely contained, warm, and quiet, do not handle the animal, and contact a licensed rehabilitator as soon as possible.
Due to constraints on our time and energy, we are only focusing on the rehabilitation of groundhogs and opossums during 2023.
We do not rehabilitate birds of any kind. Refer to the NC Wildlife website to find a species appropriate rehabber.
NC wildlife laws prohibit rehabilitation of rabies vector species in WNC counties. This includes: raccoons, foxes, skunks, bobcats, etc. Rehabilitation of coyotes is strictly prohibited.
The Do's and Don'ts of Contacting a Wildlife Rehabilitator: Etiquette 101
- DO: Offer a donation if you're able to do so - even a few dollars is helpful as special formulas, habitat requirements, and specialized veterinary care can become very expensive.
- DO: Consider keeping your cats indoors. Cats are natural hunters and will often bring injured wild animals home as gifts. Indoor cats live longer, healthier lives, and do not negatively impact wildlife populations. Most of the animals we receive have either been in a cat's mouth or been hit by a car.
- DO: Follow common sense hygiene practices and thoroughly wash your hands after handling any animal.
- DO: Educate yourself on when wildlife needs human intervention. (Any animal found with flies around it or nits/maggots on it needs immediate help; most uninjured bunnies found in their nest do not need help - their mother only comes to feed twice a day to keep predators from finding the nest)
- DON'T: Expect immediate service, especially at night. Keep the animal safely contained in a warm, quiet place.
- DON'T: Expect the rehabber to stop caring for the animals in their care to go pick up another - be willing to bring the animal to the rehabber or at least meet somewhere.
- DON'T: Attempt to give the animal any food, water, or milk of any kind! Licensed rehabbers have been trained in the specific and very complex dietary needs of each species, and starting them off on the wrong diet can be fatal. Just keep them warm and quiet.
- DON'T: Handle the animal unless absolutely necessary. The stress of being handled can kill wildlife (especially bunnies). Keep pets and children away from the animal and contact a rehabber.