Wildlife Rehabilitation takes place anywhere from back yards to large wildlife teaching hospitals. Whether it's a big operation or a small one, in every case there is special equipment and knowledgeable people.
Animals are received from the public, veterinary clinics, government agencies, police departments and more. Each animal is given a thorough physical examination to determine what its problems are and to note its general health, age, size and weight. A chart is made up, and this chart follows the animal through the rehabilitation process from beginning to end. It's just like it is in a hospital for people!
Wildlife rehabilitators working in homes or centres are responsible for tending the animal's wounds, giving medications, feeding, housing and cleaning. In some cases, the animal may require physiotherapy. The rehabilitator must prepare the animal for release and know without a doubt that this animal is capable of feeding itself, is capable of normal movement and exhibits normal behavior. Then, the rehabilitator must ensure that the animal is released under the best conditions and in the best place.
Most wildlife rehabilitators and centres also do a lot of educating. They may travel to schools, businesses or group meetings to talk about wildlife and its needs. Some of them even bring along a wild guest!
Wildlife Rehabilitation centres come in size small, medium and large. The size of a centre depends on how much help and support it receives from people. Come and visit a centre, and you can have a first-hand look at the help that's available for wildlife.