Wildlife Emergencies

As a volunteer powered charitable organization,

we do not have the means or resources for pick ups or field rescues.

We must rely on finders bringing animals in need of care to our facility.

Please do not bring animals to the centre without first confirming an intake time with a wildlife volunteer.

KWC is NOT authorized for Rabies Vector Species

For assistance with a Raccoon, Skunk, Fox or Bat, please contact the closest wildlife centre to you, authorized to accept RVS

What you are witnessing may be perfectly normal behaviour. Learn how to tell if an animal requires assistance.

Look for:

  • Weakness or unconsciousness

  • Vomiting or diarrhea

  • Discharge from the ears, eyes or nose

  • Large patches of missing/damaged feathers, fur or shell

  • Foreign objects stuck to or wrapped around the body

  • A deceased parent or siblings nearby

  • Bleeding

  • Open wounds

  • Cat attack - even without visible or obvious wounds

  • Broken, injured or missing limbs – hindered movement

  • Fly eggs or maggots

  • Non-stop shivering or crying

If you see any of these signs, please follow the

Wildlife Capture Guide and contact us immediately.


Wild animals, even when immature or incapacitated, can be dangerous when scared or stressed, trying to defend themselves or escape.


Observe the situation from a safe distance and take pictures. Do not take unnecessary risks when attempting to help a wild animal; human safety must always come first. 


Never touch a wild animal with your bare hands.


Wildlife Capture Guide

ALWAYS use caution with wild animals, especially Rabies Vector Species such as skunk, fox, raccoon and coyotes.
Do not take unnecessary risks!

If you are unsure please wait until you speak with an Authorized Wildlife Custodian before attempting any rescue.


Prepare a container. A plastic tub, laundry basket or cardboard box can be suitable provided there is adequate security AND ventilation​​ 


DO NOT offer the animal anything to eat or drink! 


Always wear gloves to protect yourself and the animal. 


Cover the animal’s head with a towel or sheet*.

This will help calm the animal and make handling them easier. 


Gently place the animal in the prepared container.

Scoop them up with the blanket or use a shovel, cardboard or plastic lid.


Secure the container to ensure the animal cannot escape. Make sure they can breath. Remove the blanket or towel to prevent suffocation or entanglement.


Record your exact location GPS coordinates or closest intersection.

Animals must be released back the rescue site.


Wash your hands thoroughly.


Contact KWC or your nearest wildlife centre for further instruction.


Feel good about helping Ontarios wildlife!

*Porcupines have over 30,000 barbed quills covering most of their body. While they can’t ‘shoot them’ they will get caught on towels and blankets and it is quite painful when they are pulled out. Never use linens, towels or blankets with an injured porcupine.
Birds of Prey like Owls, Hawks or Falcons have very sharp talons and powerful legs and feet that act as their main weapons and defence. Some may drop on their backs in order to stick their feet in the air when threatened. Be very cautious to avoid the feet and ideally use thick leather gloves.
Water Birds like Herons, Loons and Grebes have very sharp and dexterous beaks used for spearing fish, amphibians and small mammals. They will use their beaks to defend themselves and often aim for the eyes. Wear protective glasses or goggles and secure the beak and head promptly.

While You Wait

A dark, quiet place

Keep the animal in a dark, quiet place indoors. A basement, heated garage, or spare bedroom will work well. This will minimize stimulation and stress, keeping them calm and reducing the risk of further injury or complications. Unlike pets, wild babies or adult animals are NOT comforted by people talking to them, petting them, or looking at them; keep children, pets, and people away and contact to a strict minimum.

A heat source

Baby animals are not capable of thermoregulation and require an external heat source to stay warm without their mothers. There are a few options for a safe heat source: -a clean sock filled with dry, uncooked rice, microwaved for one minute. -a plastic bottle filled with hot tap water, covered in a sock. -an electric heating pad set to “LOW” and placed under half of the box. Re-heat water bottles and rice socks as necessary.

Why shouldn’t I feed it or give it water?

If the animal is dehydrated, starving, or suffering from trauma, the body may not be capable of digesting anything, and the stress of trying could complicate their condition. If the animal is having trouble standing, or panics trying to get out, it could fall into the water dish. This can cause hypothermia, or even drowning. Furthermore, improper feeding technique can cause aspiration, bloating, shock, or death. If you feed the wrong food to the wrong species, it can cause serious and potentially fatal complications. Once you get the animal to an authorized wildlife custodian, they will assess its condition and offer appropriate foods for its health, species and life stage.

Why can’t I help it myself?

It is illegal in Ontario to keep any wild animal in your possession longer than 24 hours without approval from the MNRF. There are good reasons for this, as wild animals can be dangerous, even when immature or not feeling well. Wild animals also host many parasites and diseases that can be spread to both humans and pets if not handled carefully. Wild animals and birds require specialized, species specific, regimented care. The tools, supplies and knowledge needed to raise and rehabilitate native species effectively is something authorized wildlife custodians are uniquely equipped with.

Be Patient

Wildlife custodians are very busy, especially during the spring and summer. Follow their instructions on how to reach them, leave messages or send emails as requested and give them time to respond. Call around to other Authorized Wildlife Custodians in the area and be willing to arrange transportation for the animal once a rehabilitator has responded. Remember that there is no government funding for wildlife rehabilitation in Ontario, and all authorized wildlife custodians are funded entirely by private donations.

Dead Wildlife

If you have found a dead wild animal there are a few steps you can take to ensure it is handled and reported properly, depending on the species. For more information, please visit;


Report window strikes and fatalities to FLAP Canada

flap-logo-black (1).png

Reported sightings and mortalities can help conservation biologists learn more about our native species, citizen scientists can help by reporting to iNaturalist or eBird

Identify Birds

Not sure about the species? All About Birds has everything you need to know about identifying North American bird species.

cornell lab-logo.png