You Found a Mammal. Now What?
If you are unsure if the animal is sick, injured or orphaned, please call our free advice and rescue hotline at:
Animal Drop Off: 403 Mecham Rd, Petaluma Ca 94952
Hours: 9am-5:30pm seven days a week
*If you find an animal after hours please call our rescue hotline until 10 pm at (707) 526-WILD (9453)
While you are waiting for a call back from a volunteer, click here for proper housing directions.
Do Not feed or give water to the animal. It could make things worse or kill them!
If you've found a baby mammal, please click here.
Please Note: DO NOT attempt to raise baby wildlife on your own. They require special diets and need to have minimal human contact in order to be prepared for life in the wild. Although they are cute when they are young and they appear to be very sweet, they grow up to be vicious and more importantly, scared and unhappy in captivity. They never lose their natural instincts!
Warning: DO NOT handle ANY wild animal with your bare hands. Any animal that bites a human must be euthanized and tested for rabies even if it shows no signs of being sick. They MUST be handled with gloves or towels!
It is illegal to keep wildlife longer than 48 hours if you are not a volunteer or a staff member of a licensed wildlife rescue.This helps protect wildlife from unnecessary stress caused by untrained members of the public and ensures that they receive the most appropriate care for their individual needs. Members of a licensed wildlife center are required to take 2 hours of continuing education to make sure they are refreshed on all the latest care techniques.
Please do not try to care for wildlife. They require very special care so they are releasable back into the wild.
To read about California Trapping Regulations click here.
How Can You Tell if an Animal Needs Help?
Here are some general signs to look for:
-The wild animal is presented to you by a cat or dog
-An apparent or obvious broken limb
-A featherless or nearly featherless bird (nestling) on the ground
-Evidence of a dead parent nearby
-Just a baby animal by itself doesn't necessarily mean it's an orphan. Please click here for more information.
-If a wild animal exhibits any of the above signs, you should immediately call our Hotline 707-526-WILD (9453).
Important Steps if You Have Captured a Wild Animal
If you have an animal that needs to be rescued call the Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue Hotline: 707-526-WILD (9453). While you are waiting:
Never handle an adult animal without first consulting with a wildlife professional. Even small animals can injure you.
Do not give the animal food or water! It could choke, develop digestive problems, or drown. Many injured animals are in shock, and eating or drinking can make any existing problems worse.
Keep Animals Warm, Dark, and Quiet- Keep the animal warm. This is especially important in winter months. We recommend a hot water bottle or heating pad on the lowest heat setting. Make sure the animal can move off the pad if desired. Do not allow the animal to be disturbed. STRESS KILLLS. Humans looking at a sick or injured wild animal is stressful for the animal. Click here for housing instructions. Put the animal in proper housing and don't check on it unless asked to by SCWR staff or volunteers.