Wisconsin Wildlife Rehabilitator's Association

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Wildlife Rehabilitation

Wildlife Rehabilitator’s
Code of Ethics

A wildlife rehabilitator should…..


-Strive to achieve high standards of animal care through knowledge and an understanding of the field.  Continuing efforts must be made to keep informed of current rehabilitation information, methods and regulations.

-Be responsible, conscientious, dedicated and should continuously work toward improving the quality of care given to wildlife in rehabilitation.

-Abide by local, state, provincial and federal laws concerning wildlife, wildlife rehabilitation and associated activities.

-Establish safe work habits and conditions, abiding by current health and safety practices at all times.

-Acknowledge limitations and enlist the assistance of a veterinarian or other trained professional when appropriate.

-Respect other rehabilitators and persons in related fields, sharing skills and knowledge in the spirit of cooperation for the welfare of the animals.

-Place optimum animal care above personal gain.

-Strive to provide professional and humane care in all phases of wildlife rehabilitation, respecting the wildness and maintaining the dignity of each animal in life and in death.

-Encourage community support and involvement through volunteer training and public education.  The common goals should be to promote a responsible concern for living beings and the welfare of the environment.

-Work on the basics of sound ecological principles, incorporating appropriate conservation ethics and an attitude of stewardship.

-Conduct all business and activities in a professional manner, with honesty, integrity, compassion, and commitment, realizing that an individual’s conduct reflects on the entire field of wildlife rehabilitation.


There have been recent detections of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses in wild birds and poultry in the western and central United States and Canada, with a most recent detection being announced on Monday from southeastern (Jefferson County) Wisconsin, WI DATCP News: http://datcp.wi.gov/news/?Id=1270.

Information about HPAI can be found on the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), the Bird diseases - Wisconsin DNR, and the WI DATCP: Avian Influenza websites.

What is Wildlife Rehabilitation?

Wildlife rehabilitation is the act of providing temporary care for injured, sick or orphaned wildlife with the goal of releasing them back into the wild. Animals released back into the wild must have the ability to recognize and find appropriate foods, socialize with members of their own species, and exhibit normal behaviors such as fear of humans and predator avoidance.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issues licenses for wildlife rehabilitation to ensure that all persons engaged in wildlife rehabilitation are qualified and provide humane care and housing for wildlife being rehabilitated. The department's responsibility is to assess all applicants, and work with those who can provide proper care.

Persons agreeing to accept this responsibility must be willing to donate their own personal time, and assume the financial obligations that come with providing quality animal care.

If you are interested in applying for a wildlife rehabilitation license in Wisconsin visit the following website for more information:


 The WWRA board members are here to help you every step of the way.

Other links for wildlife rehabilitation:

Animal Help Now

A website and free phone app to help you find immediate and appropriate assistance for the full range of animal-related emergencies, day or night, 24/7.

All licensed rehabilitators whose names are listed either on their State's published list of rehabilitators or are on the USFWS list of rehabilitation centers already have an account with Animal Help Now.  More information and specific details, as well as ability to add or update your listing information, are available at www.ahnow.org

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