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I've found an injured/orphaned animal in need of help...

What do I do?

First, please make sure that we are legally able to accept the animal


Learn what to do for baby birds specifically.


Learn about what to do with baby mammals specifically.


Please continue reading below.


ECWR does NOT have a rescue team or professional trappers

(we wish we did though!). It's simply financially not accomplishable

at this time as we operate solely on donations, grants, & our fundraising efforts. We receive no federal or state funding.

Therefore, we heavily rely on the reporting citizens to step in as citizen rescuers & bring the animals in need of help to our facility. 

Wear Gloves!

Wear gloves when rescuing wild animals.  This will protect both you and the animal from germs and scratches

or bites.

Use a Towel

Many species become easier to capture once their eyes are covered.  You can also use a towel to protect your hands.

Danger Zone

Always restrain the most dangerous part of the animal first. For shorebirds (like herons), it's the beak. For mammals, it's their head/mouth. For raptors, it's the talons.


Actual animal containment and transport box (this one was for a songbird). 

Equipment used within ECWR

When in doubt, keep it...


Place a soft blanket or towel into a box with a closable lid. Be sure to poke air holes into it!

Tip: Do these BEFORE placing the animal in the container!


Keep the box in a dark, temperature controlled location.

Tip: Think Goldilocks...not too hot, not too cold!


Keep the box in a quiet location, so that noises don't scare or stress the animal.

Common Questions from Citizens

What!? Are you guys crazy? I'm not Steve Irwin!

I don't have the technology you guys have.

I'm not comfortable apphreneding this animal. 

Don't worry, neither are we! In fact, our staff, interns, and volunteers are no different than you. We're just a team of individuals obsessed with animals. And we will walk you through it!

We don't have the kinds of special equipment (tranquilizer gun, net gun, boat, etc.) you may think we have. We use towels, plastic storage boxes, and common grocery store nets. 

ECWR does NOT want you to capture any animal you're not comfortable with, especially a rabies vector species (raccoons, foxes, coyotes, etc.). However, if you are comfortable with it, always remember to use personal protective equipment.

We understand that this can be an intimidating request. For any concerns or questions, please call us at 850-684-1485
(8 am - 4 pm) and we may be able to help you further.

Are we too far away or unable to help? Check out Animal Help Now for wildlife rehabilitators anywhere.

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