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We encourage you to call  our center for assistance at 618-466-2990. Please do not try to email us or contact us via Facebook, as the animal may need immediate care and we do not staff our social media accounts 24/7. Do not attempt to handle the animal or to offer it care unless given specific instruction from a wildlife rehabilitator for temporary purposes. You potentially run the risk of injury to yourself or further injury and stress to the animal if you venture to administer help without proper guidance. If you find an animal you think is in need of help, check out the information below and contact our center.

Remember, wild animals do not make good pets and it is illegal to take an animal into you possession that originated from the wild. In Illinois you also must have a wildlife rehabilitators license to care for a native wild animal. Our center is licensed to rehabilitate native wildlife, including endangered species, for release back into the wild. We have staff trained to care for animals in a way that they can be released without becoming dependent on humans. We are also licensed as an education facility, which allows us to permanently house non-releasable wild animals. 

Step One: Assess the Situation

Do not approach the animal right away. Take a look at your surroundings and observe the animal. Not all animals found are actually in need of help. For instance, some baby animals are left alone by their mothers for hours at a time and will sit and wait for their mother to return.

  • Can you identify the animal?

  • Is the animal in obvious distress?

  • Is the animal injured and if so, how?

  • Is there a dead mother nearby?

  • Are there flies buzzing around the animal?

  • Is the animal in immediate danger?

  • Are you at risk if you approach this animal?


These are questions that may be asked when you call our center for assistance. Please note, wildlife rehabilitators do not advocate interfering with natural predation.


More often than not, before good samaritans give us a call, they will attempt to give the animal food or water. This is potentially very dangerous for the animal as they require special diets that cannot be found in your kitchen or local store. For example, cows milk from your refrigerator or leftover human baby formula is not good for wild baby animals.  The animal may also be very weak and require medical attention from a professional before it is strong enough to properly digest any food or water.   

Step Three: Contact us at TreeHouse Wildlife Center

Before attempting to handle the animal, please call our center at 618-466-2990 for assistance. Our hours for rehabilitation are from 8 AM to 4 PM daily. If you cannot reach us right away, we may be busy taking care of current patients or out on a rescue. Leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible.  Need assistance after hours? Call the 24-hour Bi-State Wildlife Hotline at 855-945-3435.

At this time, TreeHouse Wildlife Center is not equipped for raccoons, or orphaned songbirds. Illinois has also banned the rehabilitation of adult deer, bats and skunks.  If you call about any of these animals, we can give you advice on the situation and/or direct you to other wildlife rehabilitators.

Found an animal in need of help?

Detailed Species Information
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