Getting Started as a Wildlife Rehabilitator
My very first rehab, Nutso the squirrel, came to me as a surprise one morning. I got a call from my husband who knew I'd be able to figure out how to take care of a little guy a friend found and was trying to save. I picked him up and spent the whole day trying to find someone to take him (later found out I couldn't even tell it was a GIRL and that I had more to learn than I thought). I spent the entire day trying to find someone who could take her. Nobody would! What?!?! I have this helpless squirrel that needs help and nobody can help her? So, then the next round of calls was to vets trying to figure out how I could help. One finally told me what food to buy, how often to feed the squirrel, and had me come get a syringe. LIFE SAVER! So, I rehabbed the squirrel! (NOTE: She wasn't releasable, but that is a different story for a different blog.)
The next year, 2 more came...then another...
Squirrels stole my heart, and I needed to take action! Long story short, I found an amazing mentor and took the test to get my permit to rehabilitate wildlife in florida. I can rehab all wildife except migratory birds. However, since I know NOTHING about birds and very little about reptiles, I only work with mammals. If you find something other than a mammal, it will be better off with a rehabber that specilizes in those...I promise!
With all of that said, I now have a gamified, elearning course to teach how to properly care for and rehabilitate orphan squirrels. Please contact me if you are interested in taking the course and working under me as a subpermittee. I can have osters that live in the state of Florida and work with Florida wildlife under my guidance. I'm happy to let you take the course and test, and then apply for a spot under me (they are limited). It's rewarding work, gets you LOTS of squirrel love, and is an amazing experience. There's not much better than the unconditional love of a squirrel while they are in our care.
Or, if you have an orphan you are trying to find someone to help you with, you can contact me for northeast Florida wildlife, or go to AnimalHelpNow.org to find a wildlife rehabilitator in your area or state. We're all in this together!