Kentucky Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators can be found here

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful , committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever does”
— Margaret Mead

what do wildlife rehabilitators do?

"Wildlife rehabilitation is the process of rescuing, raising, and arranging for veterinary medical care of orphaned, sick, displaced, or injured wildlife with the goal or releasing the wildlife back to its natural habitat" (Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, 2018) 

Wildlife rehabbers are predominantly volunteers. The only compensation is from donations. Rehabbers often pay for expenses such as formula, veterinary care and medicines out of their own pockets. In addition they often pursue educational workshops and conferences to continue learning about animals. When taking an animal to a licensed rehabber please keep in mind that any donation is greatly appreciated.

Research shows that the majority of injured, ill and orphaned wild animals handled by rehabilitators are suffering not because of "natural" occurrences, but because of human intervention -- some accidental, some intentional, many preventable: autos, mowers, high line wires, firearms, traps, kids throwing stones, poisons, oil spills, pets, etc. Rehabilitators ease the suffering of these animals by either caring for them until they can be released or humanely euthanizing them. (wildliferehabinfo) 

Wildlife rehabilitation is not an attempt to turn wild animals into pets. Animals remain in captivity only until they are able to live independently in the wild and then they are released. 


Are you interested in becoming a Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator?  Check out our blog. Are you passionate about saving wildlife and helping them to gain the skills necessary to survive in the wild. Along with compassion, a good rehabber has a working knowledge of first aid and triage. Wildlife Rehabbers work with a veterinarian to establish good medical practices and establish proper nutrition. And most important for their safety and the animals well being rehabbers need to have an understanding of zoonoses - animal to people diseases. 

In Kentucky all rehabbers are volunteers and by law must be licensed through the Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. Each rehabber is required to take the class Basic Class in wildlife rehabilitation from IWRC plus classes for continuing education to become licensed. Migratory birds fall under the licensing of the US Dept of Fish and Wildlife and have further requirements. 

Wild animal babies need very specific care. Rehabbers work closely with their vet to provide proper treatment. And our overall goal is to release our animals back into an appropriate natural habitat. Wildlife rehabilitators do not play with wildlife. We want them to be ready for freedom from humans :)


Maybe being a full time rehabilitator is too much or you want to get your feet wet first. Many wildlife rehabilitators welcome volunteers. Check out the list of rehabilitators above and contact a rehabilitator near you. Every rehabilitator will have their own requirements so be sure to ask lots of questions. 


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