FOUND A WILD ANIMAL?
If you have found what you think is an injured or orphaned wild animal in Rhode Island, please call us at 401-294-6363 before taking action so we can assess the situation with you in real time. Not all circumstances require intervention.
If found in Massachusetts: Click Here
If found in Connecticut: Click Here
Marine mammals and sea turtles: Click Here
PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH RABIES VECTOR SPECIES
Skunks, foxes, woodchucks, raccoons, and bats are considered Rabies Vector Species (RVS) in Rhode Island. If you come across an individual of any of these species that you think may be in need of assistance, please do not touch them with bare hands. Any bare-handed contact is considered an "exposure" by the RI Department of Health and the animal is required by law to be euthanized and submitted for rabies testing. Proper handling protocols must be adhered to. BEFORE you handle, please contact us for instructions at 401-294-6363 or contact the RI DEM at 401-222-3070.
Please note it is illegal to take a wild animal into your home and keep it as a pet or care for and release it unless you are a licensed rehabilitator. It is also illegal to move a wild bird or mammal across state lines.
Rhode Island does not permit the rehabilitation of adult white-tailed deer, however the Wildlife Clinic is able to provide care to fawns. If you have encountered a white-tail deer fawn and believe it needs assistance, please contact us before intervening. Mother deer will leave their young in a particular spot for several hours at a time. The fawns are excellently camouflaged and carry no scent which helps to protect them from predators. If you come across a lone fawn, even one that is vocalizing and walking around (like any toddler, they sometimes throw a tantrum when they don’t have their mom) please do NOT assume the fawn is orphaned or in need of intervention unless it is visibly injured.
Please do not attempt to raise a fawn on your own. Not only is it illegal, but commercially available formulas are NOT suitable for deer and will often cause debilitating diarrhea leading to dehydration and death. Even a few days can mean the difference between our rehabbers being able to save a fawn or not. Each year we receive at least 2 or more fawns that don’t make it, or require extreme measures to save them, just from being fed improperly for days before they came to us. Additionally, there are few, if any, permanent placement options for older, habituated/tame deer and The Wildlife Clinic is not able to provide placement for them. RI DEM will euthanize deer raised by unlicensed individuals.
The picture posted here is an excellent graphic to help you determine if an otherwise healthy looking fawn needs assistance.