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Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Wildlife Treatment Center

The Wildlife Treatment Center was established at the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine to provide medical treatment and care for injured wildlife. turtle

Does the animal need my help?

It's common to see baby wild animals outside during spring, as a new generation makes its way into the world. Baby wild animals (or wild animals in general) might seem like they need our help, but unless the animal is truly orphaned or injured, there is no need to rescue it. Determining whether an animal is orphaned and needs your help depends on age, species and behavior. Babies of some species are left alone all day and rely on camouflage for protection, while others are tightly supervised by their parent(s). The following are scenerios that would indicate that the animal is injured and does need your help:  

  • It is brought to you by a cat or dog
  • There is evidence of bleeding
  • There is an apparent or obvious broken limb
  • It is featherless or nearly featherless and on the ground
  • It is shivering or has been crying and wandering all day long
  • You see a dead parent nearby

What animals do we treat?

The center accepts a variety of injured wildlife, EXCEPT venomous reptiles or animals which may be infected with rabies and are likely to bite people — raccoons, foxes, coyotes or skunks — or deer or other large animals. The center cannot accept uninjured or orphaned animals. However, the Department of Natural Resources keeps a list of wildlife rehabilitators that may be able help in those situations. (View current list)

What is the best way to handle injured animals?

If you find an injured animal, it is best to wear gloves and cover it with a towel before picking it up. Transport it by placing it in a covered, ventilated cardboard box. Be sure to call 706.542.3221 before bringing any animal to the hospital. If you find an uninjured orphaned animal, it is best to leave it be. Its parents are usually nearby waiting for you to leave so that they can care for their offspring.

Who pays for the medical care?

The teaching hospital spends thousand of dollars every year on the care and treatment of injured wildlife. Since 2010, our wildlife caseload has grown dramatically. People who bring in injured animals usually do not (or cannot) pay for the animal's treatment.

Each year, the College of Veterinary Medicine and the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital provide the Center with a small amount of funding to treat wildlife patients, to support student education. We also encourage good Samaritans to leave a donation to the Kate Grant Wildlife Fund, which provides funding to help offset the cost of treating these patients.

How can you help?

Funding is dependent on the generosity of animal lovers like you who care enough to rescue wild animals. Our veterinarians and students who work in the center donate their time without compensation. Please help us with a donation to the Kate Grant Wildlife Fund.

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