Frequently Asked Questions
+ Where can I find a rehabber in my area, outside NYC?
To find a wildlife rehabilitator in New York State check the NY DEC rehabber contact list. To find a rehabber in other states contact your State Department of Environmental Conservation, or call the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association at (320) 230-9920.
+ Can your animals use my old fur coats?
At this time, we don't need any fur coats. Please try Coats For Cubs.
+ What kinds of animals do you rehab?
We currently rehabilitate small wild mammals and marsupials (ie squirrels, opossums, chipmunks, etc.). Because we do not yet have a dedicated rehabilitation center our capacity is very limited; we are not currently able to accept birds or large mammals, and we are not licensed to accept Rabies Vector Species -bats, raccoons, or skunks.
+ My neighbor is poisoning squirrels or other wildlife, keeping wildlife illegally, or otherwise abusing wildlife. What can I do?
Please call the DEC law enforcement dispatch line: 844-DEC-ECOS (844-332-3267) or report it with this online form. For cses of animal abuse, call 911 and ask to speak to the NYPD Animal Cruelty Unit.
+ I see a distressed animal - can you come pick it up?
Due to our very limited resources we are currently unable to facilitate pick-ups.
+ How do I humanely evict an animal from my attic/garage/porch/etc.?
For excellent resources on dealing with "problem" wildlife, please visit our friends' at the Toronto Wildlife Center. For a list of rehabilitator-run pest control companies visit Humane Wildlife Control.
+ Why do you care for squirrels and other pests?
We do not consider squirrels, opossums, and other wildlife pests, but rather important members of our ecosystem.
+ Where is Urban Utopia Wildlife Rehabilitation located?
UUWR does not have its own facility yet. Right now the animals we rehabilitate are cared for in the private NYC spaces of licensed rehabilitators, which is why our current capacity is very small. We hope to one day open a fully operational rehabilitation center.
+ Are you an animal shelter or sanctuary?
We are neither. The goal of wildlife rehabilitation is to release animals back into the wild. Keeping wild animals in captivity is illegal except in rare cases where special licenses are granted.
+ What is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator?
A licensed wildlife rehabber is an individual licensed by their state to possess injured, orphaned, sick, and otherwise distressed wildlife for the purpose of caring for them and returning them to the wild. Wildlife rehabbers are specially trained to care for these animals, and are required to abide by state and federal laws regarding wildlife possession, care, and release. Remember, it is illegal to possess wildlife if you are not a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
+ How do I become a wildlife rehabilitator?
To apply for a Class I wildlife rehabilitation license contact your State Dept of Environmental Conservation for an application and details. For NY residents that info is here.
+ What is an RVS or Rabies Vector Species animal?
Bats, raccoons, and skunks are classified as Rabies Vector Species in NY, and wildlife rehabilitators need a Rabies Vector Species License to possess and rehabilitate them. Even though RVS have higher rates of rabies than other animals, any mammal can have rabies. If you have come in contact with a rabies vector species contact your doctor immediately.
+ Does UUWR rehabilitate pets?
No, we can only work with wildlife. If you find a sick or injured pet or domestic animal, please contact a local veterinarian or animal shelter.
+ What education opportunities does UUWR offer?
UUWR is happy to send a representative to speak to your class, group, or at your event. We have presented wildlife programs for kindergarteners, girl scouts, and the Brooklyn Historical Society in the past, to name a few. Please contact us for any wildlife ambassador needs!
+ How do I volunteer or support UUWR?
For information on helping UUWR visit our Get Involved page.
Follow these links to more sites featuring information about wildlife rehabilitation.
- National Wildlife Rehabilitation Association - http://www.nwrawildlife.org/
- New York State Wildlife Rehabilitation Council - http://nyswrc.org/
- Tristate Bird Rescue and Research - https://tristatebird.org/
- International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council - https://theiwrc.org/
- New York State Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, Inc (NYSWRC) - http://www.nyswrc.org/
- New York State Department of Environmental Conservation - http://www.dec.ny.gov/index.html
- National Wildlife Federation - http://www.nwf.org/
- World Wildlife Fund - http://worldwildlife.org/
- Interested in pursuing a career with animals but not sure where to start? Visit the Careers with Animals guide at https://www.moneygeek.com/careers/careers-with-animals/