What Do Wildlife Rehabilitators Do?
Wildlife Rehabilitators are people who have obtained state and federal permits to care for injured, ill and orphaned wildlife, with the ultimate goal of releasing them back into the wild. Most Wildlife Rehabilitators are individuals who work out of their homes, on a volunteer basis, and receive no monetary assistance. Rehabilitators pay for caging, supplies, food, and medication out of their own pockets.
It is illegal in the state of Massachusetts for the general public to take in, care for and/or treat wildlife. For most kinds of animals, permits from both state and federal wildlife agencies must be obtained in order to become a permitted wildlife rehabilitator. Rehabilitators with state permits can rehabilitate mammals and reptiles; federal permits are needed to treat most birds. Some rehabilitators are specialized, only working with certain types of animals; other rehabilitators are interested in handling a wider range of creatures. Please visit MassWildlife or Wildlife Rehabilitors’ Association of Massachusetts for more information.
How to Become a Wildlife Rehabilitator
If you would like to know more about becoming a Wildlife Rehabilitator, permit prerequisites and application procedures, call Mass Wildlife at 508-389-6360.
You may also visit the Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Massachusetts (WRAM), a statewide membership association which hosts meetings, publishes a newsletter and gives information on becoming licensed in Massachusetts.
A good way to learn more about rehabilitation and see if it is something you might like to pursue is to volunteer with a local Wildlife Rehabilitator in your area. The following websites have additional information about wildlife rehabilitation: