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Wildlife Rehabilitation at VCA Ponti Animal Hospital

Wildlife Rehabilitation

VCA Ponti Animal Hospital is a wildlife rehabilitation facility. We have special state and federal permits to handle and house wild animals for the purpose of repair, rehabilitation and release.

What does the Washington State government say about keeping wild animals?

WAC 232-12-064 Live Wildlife

Taking from the wild, importation, possession, transfer, holding in captivity.

(1) It is unlawful to take live wildlife (except unclassified marine invertebrates and fish), wild birds(except starlings, house sparrows and rock doves by falconers and bird dog trainers), or game fish from the wild without a permit provided for by rule of the commission and issued by the director.

RCW 77.15.130

(2) Unlawful taking of protected fish or wildlife is a misdemeanor.

So, what IS a wildlife emergency and what should you do?

Birds: The "a baby bird was found on the lawn/street/patio/etc., now what?" question. Let the experts handle it and in this case the expert is the wildlife parents. Many babies are left alone for long periods of time while the adult feeds. As baby birds are learning to fly, parent birds will feed their babies on the ground. Put cats in the house for 2 or 3 days until the birds move out of the area. You can put baby birds back in the nest. There's no truth to the myth that a parent bird will turn it's back on the baby if they detect human scent. If the entire nest falls, put it back in the same area in the tree so the parent bird can locate it. Often the parents know something about the baby that humans cannot discern. For example, a mother bird or squirrel may know that their baby will never survive on its' own and kick it out of the nest. While it is kind and compassionate to want to try and help the baby, it is better to let Nature do her thing. Ponti Veterinary Hospital accepts baby song birds ONLY if they are OBVIOUSLY injured. We take all types of Raptors for example hawks, eagles and owls. They are also known as birds of prey.

In the late spring and early summer you may see a fawn that seems to have been abandoned. However, it is not uncommon for the doe to leave her baby for up to 10 hours. Since fawns are born without a scent, they are all but invisible to predators. If a human touches the fawn, then the human scent is on the baby and predators can now locate the baby, thus putting it in danger. Although these little adorable creatures are all but irresistible, PLEASE, BACK OFF and observe the baby for several hours before contacting the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, or a local, specially trained and licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife number is 509-892-1001.

REMEMBER wild animals and raptors can injure you and may carry serious zoonotic diseases (illnesses that can be transferred to humans).

Here is a website to help you with Wildlife questions.

www.iwrc-online.org -- Wildlife education, training and support for wildlife rehabilitators, liaison with wildlife professionals, organizations and agencies.

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