General Topics and Information - Central East

Site: No Physical Location

Service: Reporting Sick, Orphaned or Injured Wild Animals

Record #: CWD7615
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2024
Last Full Update: 05 Aug 2020


Description (Service) Reporting Sick, Orphaned or Injured Wild Animals
If you see what you think may be sick, injured or orphaned wildlife, don't remove it from its natural habitat. The bird or animal may not need assistance and you could actually do more harm in your attempt to help.

Where an animal is in need of help, it requires specialized care to recover and return to the wild.

You cannot keep wildlife in captivity without approval from the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. However, a person may possess a wild animal for up to 24 hours to transport it to a wildlife custodian or a veterinarian.

Determining if Wildlife is Orphaned
Some species leave their offspring alone temporarily, especially during the day. For example, deer and cottontail rabbits spend much of the day away from their well-camouflaged offspring to minimize the chance of predators finding them.

To determine if young wildlife is truly orphaned:
  • Check the animal periodically for 24 to 48 hours to see if it is still around, but keep your distance.
  • Keep cats and dogs away from the area inhabited by the young animal; the adult will not return if it is noisy or if predators or people are close by.
Signs of injury or illness
  • Blood, wounds or swelling on the body
  • Body covered in fleas
  • Unusual or uneven loss of fur or feathers
  • Difficult or raspy breathing or sneezing
  • A dangling leg or wing
  • Closed eyes; head tucked under wing
Care Necessary To Help The Animal
  • Contact a wildlife custodian who can help you assess the situation and provide advice on what action to take.
  • If specialized and immediate care is necessary to help the animal, take it to a wildlife custodian or a veterinarian within 24 hours of capture.
  • If you must handle the animal, follow the instructions provided by the wildlife custodian on how to minimize risk of injury to yourself and to the animal.
  • Wear protective clothing and equipment, such as leather gloves, to avoid bites or scratches, and wash hands well after handling the animal.
  • It is important to recognize that many of the volunteer-operated organizations have limited capacity to accept animals, especially during the spring.
Resources to report Sick, Orphaned or Injured Wild Animals:
  • Ontario Wildlife Rescue 416-436-9892. Connects people who have found injured or orphaned wild animals with those who can look after them and get them back into the wilds. Through a network of rehabilitators and wildlife centres across Ontario. Contact Ontario Wildlife Rescue
  • Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (MNDMNRF) - check website for more information
  • Call your local district office. Phone number can be found at Regional and District Offices
  • Call 1-800-667-1940 - Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm
  • Larger municipalities may have resources to help with wildlife
Who to contact to access rabies information including diseased or dead wildlife
Animal bite or contact with a suspected rabid animal, contact your family physician, or go to the local hospital emergency department, contact your local Public Health Unit

If you suspect there is a public health risk from a live sick wild animal, such as rabies, call your local police force or detachment of the OPP or your local public health unit

For dead animals at the side of the road, depending on the area, call Animal Control or either the Municipal or County roads department.

Dead, potentially rabid wildlife contact the MNDMNRF rabies hotline 1-888-574-6656

To report other dead animals, including birds and bats, contact the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative 1-866-673-4781

Dead, potentially rabid pet or livestock contact OMAF Agricultural Information Contact Centre 1-877-424-1300 Provincial government, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

Rabies is fatal for humans and animals if not treated.

If you or a family member is unfortunate enough to be bitten by an animal, wash the wound right away with soap and water. Clean the wound thoroughly and then contact your doctor. You should also ensure the health unit is notified of the incident so that it can be investigated and assessed for potential rabies risk. Based on this assessment, post-exposure rabies immunization may be recommended.

Symptoms of rabies and several other diseases in animals can include tremors, aggressive behaviour, partial paralysis, convulsions, and loss of fear of humans.

Service Details

Hours n/a
Areas Served Ontario
Eligibility n/a
Application Call
Languages English
Fees None

Address and Location

Address & Map
Coordinates: 44.6073644, -79.4190960
Physical Access Not Applicable

Contact Information

Office Phone No public telephone number

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