Wildlife rehabilitation is the process of caring for injured, orphaned or sick wild animals and releasing them back to the wild when they are able to survive on their own. Permits are required from the Ohio Division of Wildlife to rehabilitate any native wild animals. Additional permits are required from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service to rehabilitate native birds.
The Law in Ohio
Native wild animals are legally protected. It is illegal for anyone to possess a native wild animal unless permitted by the Ohio Division of Wildlife. A person found illegally possessing wildlife can be subject to fines, imprisonment and/or restitution. A person can transport an animal in need to a permitted rehabilitator. For additional information or to find a rehabilitator close to you, contact the Division of Wildlife at 1-800-WILDLIFE or http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/.
Ohio Wildlife Center holds permits from both the Ohio Division of Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to practice rehabilitation.
Wildlife Rehabilitation at OWC
The OWC wildlife hospital is open for anyone in the community who has an animal in need in a veterinary hospital and has an excellent reputation for medical treatment of injured, sick, displaced and orphaned wildlife with the goal of returning a healthy individual back to the wild for independence.
Founded in 1984 by local veterinarian Donald L. Burton, OWC offers the only hospital of its kind in the region and admits nearly 5,000 animals in need each year.