When concerned citizens encounter injured or orphaned wildlife they often are not aware there are permitted wildlife rehabilitation centres that can help. In Alberta the only facilities that are legally permitted to give long term care to injured or orphaned wildlife are wildlife rehabilitation centres. Not all wildlife rehabilitation centres are permitted to handle every species but all centres work together and will see that the patient gets to the appropriate facility. The Alberta Wildlife Hotline - 888-924-2444 - can offer assistance in finding the a facility.
Legally, veterinary clinics, if they choose, may offer emergency care at no charge to the public. Unless they have a wildlife rehabilitation permit, they may not offer long-term care.
Just as with humans, the first few hours after the injury are the most critical and the sooner the patient receives treatment the better chance there is for success. Something as simple as a warm, dark place and the administration of fluids can mean the difference between life and death.
* I am Considering Caring for the Animal Myself
- It is illegal for the public to have wildlife in their possession unless they are taking it to a permitted care facility.
- If you really care you will want to see the patient get professional attention.
- Even if it's small and cute now it could grow into something that may become dangerous when its natural instincts develop or at the very least, become large and messy.
- Incorrect food may keep the animal alive but not healthy.
- Even if you plan to release it in the future, raising wildlife in captivity will not give them the chance to learn the survival skills they would get from a natural parent and may permanently impair them from living successfully in the wild.
- Wildlife deserves to be free and raised by a natural parent.
- You can be involved with the rehabilitation process at MRWC by keeping in contact with your patient's progress and being present at the release.