About Wildlife Help
LEGALITIES AND BASIC ISSUES
Wildlife rehabilitators are licensed by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to possess wildlife that is orphaned, injured, sick, or in any kind of need. It is illegal to possess a wild animal in Michigan without a permit from the DNR. We are not allowed to accept or treat skunks, bats, or mute swans.
The majority of us do this out of our homes and pay for the care of these animals ourselves, including but not limited to veterinary care and medications, travel, training, housing, food, and information resources. We are trained individuals that don’t take spring and summer vacations and always have a phone with us. Too often we get calls about animals that have been what we call “kidnapped” by well-meaning people who are uninformed about the natural behavior of certain species. We are hoping that this website will help babies remain where they should be so that we can focus our efforts and limited resources towards those who need our help. If you are not sure whether a wild animal needs your intervention, please call us for advice unless it is in obvious distress or danger. Refer to our tab for the DNR website to locate a wildlife rehabilitator and to our section for help advice for each species. Select the appropriate wildlife rehabilitator by reading the whole listing including the right two columns which will tell you what our specialties are. We can also direct you to a veterinarian that treats wildlife if the animal needs immediate medical attention.
A licensed wildlife rehabilitator will not tell you on the internet how to feed or otherwise take care of a baby, so be careful of what you read in chat rooms and so forth. Incorrect advice from untrained people has resulted in the needless deaths or ill health of wild animal babies.
Wildlife does NOT abandon its babies. If you handle it the mother will simply lick off your scent. Most people think birds will turn their babies away if touched by a person, but most birds have a poor sense of smell if any at all.
DO NOT FEED THE BABY ANYTHING UNLESS DIRECTED TO DO SO BY A LICENSED WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR!! DO NOT FEED WILDLIFE COW’S MILK!!
Each species has specific needs, and feeding the wrong formula to a baby can kill it. Some people will keep a baby animal for a few days such as over a weekend, show it to their friends and neighbors, feed it an inappropriate diet, then call us when the animal’s health fails. Many times the animal is euthanized or dies on its own due to the incorrect care or the wrong diet and stress by being exposed to people.