Chances are at some point you will encounter an animal that has been injured or orphaned. The most important thing to remember is to not keep the animal and take care of it yourself! Not only could it potentially do more harm than good to the animal, but it is also illegal!
In the event you ever find an injured or orphaned animal out in your yard or in the wild, contact a permitted Wildlife Rehabilitator prior to picking the animal up. The TWRA is happy to provide a list of authorized Wildlife Rehabilitators to ensure the safety and well-being of the animal and yourself.
Note: Wildlife Rehabilitators do not pick animals up. If you find an animal and a rehabilitator can accept the animal, you will need to arrange transportation to deliver the animal to the Wildlife Rehabilitator.
Qualifications Needed To Be Eligible For A Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit
- A person must meet one of the following criteria in order to be eligible for a Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit:
- 200 hours of experience in rehabilitating the species in which the person wishes to be permitted
- One year of full-time employment as a Veterinary Technician
- Possess a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and be Board Certified in the State of Tennessee
- Possess a valid permit for Wildlife Rehabilitation from another state for the species in which the person wishes to be permitted. Also, individuals in this category must have been in good standing in the state in which the permit was held.
- In the event a person cannot meet the needed criteria, they may substitute the following:
- Every credit hour earned for college courses worked in zoology, animal husbandry and veterinary medicine can be submitted for hours of experience, up to 100 hours.
- There will be no substitutions for the following categories:
- One year of full-time employment as a veterinary technician
- Possession of a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine
- Have been permitted for Wildlife Rehabilitation by another state
- Anyone who has been found in violation of any state wildlife laws or federal wildlife laws does not qualify for a Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit.
- Anyone holding Captive Wildlife Permits or possessing non-native wildlife species is not eligible for a Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit.
- The possession of any wildlife must be in accordance with the city and/or county ordinances in which the wildlife is being held.
- Issuance of a Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit will be done on an "an needed" basis, in which need is determined by TWRA.