WCHS takes in any variety of orphaned and injured wildlife, with staff available 8am to 10pm, at no charge. We do our best to rehabilitate wildlife and return it to the wild. However, not all wildlife that you find needs to be rescued -- often, the best thing you can do is simply leave it alone. Please call us before you move any wildlife so that we can help you determine whether or not it really needs help.
Before you bring in that baby squirrel or litter of baby bunnies, be aware that just because mom isn't around doesn't necessarily mean they are actually orphaned. Mother rabbits, for example, usually only feed their babies at dusk and at dawn in order to avoid advertising the whereabouts of the nest to predators. That means that if you find a nest of baby bunnies, you can usually simply put them back where they were and rest assured that mom will be back to care for them that evening (if you want to test to make sure, you can put some string in a pattern on top of the nest and check the next morning to see if it has been disturbed). Likewise, baby birds or squirrels that have fallen out of their nest can usually just be put back, or be put as close to where the original nest was as possible. While you should avoid handling baby wildlife as much as possible, both for the animals' safety and your own (even tiny babies can bite and/or transmit parasites or diseases), it is not true that mom will reject her babies once they have been touched by a human. If you come across what you believe is orphaned wildlife, please call us and we can help determine what the best course of action is.
If you come across an animal that is obviously injured or that appears to be acting abnormally, let us know immediately and we will determine the best course of action. Be aware, though, that just because an animal is acting "strangely" doesn't mean there is necessarily anything wrong -- an aggressive raccoon, for example, may simply be protecting a nearby nest of babies. Please call us and we can help determine whether or not the animal needs assistance.
Nuisance wildlife is wildlife that is not sick or injured, but that just is someplace you don't think it should be (inside your house, or on your porch, for example). Did you know, though, that it is illegal in the state of Ohio to trap and move nuisance wildlife? Believe it or not, whether you live in town or out in the country wildlife is all around you -- and they were living there long before you were! If you see wildlife in your yard, you can usually just let it be and it will move on its own. If you want to speed up the process, bright lights and noise usually are the most effective way to chase critters off. If the wildlife is inside your house, your biggest problem is not the animal but the cracks or holes in your house that let the animal get in (some animals can get through cracks and holes no bigger than a dime). There's no point in chasing the animal out without fixing the bigger problem (after all, if the animal found his way in he can certainly find his way out!), so your first call should be to a good contractor, not the humane society! Once you have patched all possible points of entry, we'll be happy to help you remove any critters that are stuck inside.
If you have any questions about wildlife, or have found an animal that you think needs assistance, please call us. We can help you determine whether or not that animal really needs help, and if so, what the best way to do that is or help you find another wildlife rehabilitation center closer to you.