Wildlife Rehabilitation State Requirements
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Wildlife Rehabilitation State Requirements

Below you'll find links to the various state agencies that oversee wildlife rehabilitation in the United States, along with a brief description of the requirements. You'll note that most states have similar requirements, such as a minimum age of 18, reliable access to veterinary care, and an annual inspection of the facilities. However, some states may require far more (or less). We encourage you to check with your state agency directly before completing an application; contact information is always available online.

Keep in mind that websites and addresses are constantly changing. We do our best to keep this information current, but if you can't find what you're after, or would like to provide us with any updates to the listing, please send them to support@animaledu.com.


Alabama

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Applicants are required to be at least 19 years of age, permanent U.S. residents, possess appropriate facilities and equipment for caging and confinement and provide documentation of receiving a tetanus shot within the last ten years.


Alaska

Alaska Department of Fish and Game 

Applicants must have proper facilities, be at least 18 years old and have at least 100 hours of hands-on experience.


Arizona

Arizona Fish and Game Department

Must also include a copy of your federal permit and a copy of your approved agent list (USFWS) with the application.


Arkansas

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission

Arkansas has two types of permits for wildlife rehabilitation: apprentice class and general class wildlife rehabilitation. Apprentice permits are free, applicants must be at least 18 years old.

General class requirements must include ONE of the following:
o Two years of experience as an Apprentice Class Rehabilitator and a recommendation from a current Commission General Class Wildlife Rehabilitator.
o Evidence of having a Commission General Rehabilitation permit or equivalent permit issued by another state in the last five years.
o Evidence of currently being an International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator and a recommendation from a current Commission General Class Wildlife Rehabilitator.
  


California

California Fish and Game Commission

Before applying for a Wildlife Rehabilitation permit, applicants must submit to the department two letters from permitted facilities in the nearby vicinity stating that they believe there is a need for a new facility. If this is approved, the applicant must also provide documentation of four hundred hours within a two-year period of experience working with a permitted wildlife rehabilitation facility in California, or experience that the department determines is equivalent. They must include a letter from a veterinarian who agrees to sponsor the applicant, a statement of general intent and plans describing protocol.

 

Colorado

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Applicants for a wildlife rehabilitation permit in Colorado must fill out a detailed application as well as obtaining a sponsor. The sponsor must be a wildlife rehabilitator with at least three years of experience who agrees to mentor the applicant.

 

Connecticut

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Applicants must be 18 years or older, attend a seminar, pass the state examination with a score of 80% or better, provide proof of having completed 40 hours of training under an authorized Connecticut rehabilitator with at least 3 years of experience and provide verification of having veterinary service. These requirements must be completed before applying for a  permit.

 

Delaware

Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife

To apply for a wildlife rehabilitation permit in Delaware, you must be at least 18 years old and have complete at least 100 hours of hands-on experience working with animals in the past year.


Florida

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

To operate a wildlife rehabilitation facility in Florida, you must submit an application and pass a state examination with minimum score of 80%. After this, a state investigator must inspect your facilities and approve that they are up to state standards. See the website for more details on the different requirements for class I, II and III licenses.

 

Georgia

Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Applicants for a license must pass a state examination with a score of at least 80%. When this is completed, they must submit and application. The applicant’s holding, treatment and rehabilitation areas will be inspected before a license can be issued.

 

Hawaii

State of Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife

Applicants for a Wildlife Rehabilitation permit must submit a resume and application to the Department of Forestry and Wildlife. If the application is approved, a license will be issued. This site offers a checklist and a list of requirements; contact the department directly for an application.

 

Idaho

Idaho Fish and Game

There are no prerequisites for obtaining an Idaho Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit.  Applications can be made at IDFG Regional Offices.  Renewals are required every three years.

 

Illinois

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Please contact the Office of Law Enforcement at the Department of Natural Resources for more information.

 
Indiana

Indiana Department of Natural Resources (direct link to application)

The state of Indiana requires applicants for a Wildlife Rehabilitation permit to have at least one year of experience in either working with a veterinarian who is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, working at a zoological park, working at a university animal clinic, or working with a licensed wildlife rehabilitator who has had their permit for at least three years. The applicant must also get a veterinarian to assist them in wildlife rehabilitation, provide a description of their facilities, and be at least 18 years of age. 

 

Iowa

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Applicants for a wildlife rehabilitation permit in Iowa must provide approved facilities, proof of a licensed veterinarian willing to provide professional counsel to the rehabilitator, and list the species they plan to work with.

 

Kansas

Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

In Kansas, wildlife rehabilitators must be at least 18 years old, provide documentation of at least 100 hours of experience in handling and care of wildlife, and three letters of recommendation from people who the applicant has known for at least two years.

 

Kentucky

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife

Applicants must have successfully completed International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council’s course on Basic Rehabilitation, be at least 18 years old, and ave their facilities inspected by a KDFWR Conservation Officer.


Louisiana

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Must be 18 or older and complete an application, release statement and financial responsibility statement. Also need to complete the LDWF wildlife rehabilitation course in addition to annual continuing education courses. Application must be accompanied by a \ statement of veterinary support  and a letter of recommendation from a permitted Wildlife Rehabilitator. The facility must pass an inspection meeting or exceeding the NWRA/IWRC minimum standards.

 

Maine

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (direct link to application)

Maine applicants must pass a state wildlife rehabilitation test in addition to turning in an application. It is recommended that applicants have experience working with wild animals and are involved in professional organizations related to the field.

 

Maryland

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Applicants in Maryland must fill out an application and find a licensed wildlife rehabilitator to sponsor them as an apprentice. They must be 18 years or older
and demonstrate reasonable skill in handling and caring for wildlife.

 
Massachusetts

Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife


Applicant must pass the MA Wildlife Rehabilitation exam with a score of at least 80% prior to filling out the application.

 

Michigan

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Applicants must provide detailed explanations of their prior experience, a letter of recommendation from a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, and a letter from a licensed rehabilitator stating that they will mentor the applicant. The application must include descriptions of facilities, planned practices and proof of a licensed veterinarian agreeing to assist them. strongly suggest applicants interested in rehabilitation of wild animals join one of their rehabilitation organizations

 

Minnesota

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

To obtain a wildlife rehabilitation permit, applicants must pass a state exam, submit an application and pass an inspection of their facilities.

 

Mississippi

Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks

In Mississippi, applicants must simply submit an application and get it approved to obtain a wildlife rehabilitation permit. Mississippi strongly suggest applicants  join one of the recommended rehabilitation organizations.

 

Missouri

Missouri Department of Conservation

Missouri wildlife rehabilitation applicants must fill out an application providing information about relevant experience, facilities they will be using, and proof of a licensed veterinarian who is willing to assist the applicant. Contact the department directly for proper forms. Codes and addresses available on MDC rules pdf.

 

Montana

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

To obtain a wildlife rehabilitation permit in Montana, the applicant must fill out an application and get it approved by the state. Contact the department directly for more information and an application.

 

Nebraska

International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council

The only requirement to become a certified wildlife rehabilitator in Nebraska is to pass the state exam.

 

Nevada

Nevada Department of Wildlife

To obtain a wildlife rehabilitation license, applicants must submit an application, a description of their facilities, a description of previous relevant experience the applicant has had, and proof of at least two years working with a licensed wildlife rehabilitator or a letter from a licensed veterinarian attesting to the qualifications of the candidate.

 
New Hampshire

New Hampshire Fish & Game

If interested in becoming a wildlife rehabilitator, please contact NH Fish and Game's Law Enforcement Division at 603-271-3127 for requirements.
 

New Jersey

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection: Division of Fish and Wildlife

Requirements for a wildlife rehabilitation permit in New Jersey include a one year apprenticeship with a licensed rehabilitator, a letter of reference from that rehabilitator, a letter from a veterinarian agreeing to work with the applicant and an approved inspection of facilities.

 

New Mexico

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish: Field Operations Division

Applicants must submit an application, list of references, list of experience, and description of facilities.

 

New York

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Applicants must be at least 16 years old, pass an examination with a score of at least 80%, submit an application, provide two letters of reference and complete an interview.

 

North Carolina

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Applicants for a wildlife rehabilitation license must fill out an application and submit an application fee of $5 and a transaction fee of $2.

 

North Dakota

North Dakota Fish and Wildlife Service

Applicants must be at least 18 year old with at least 100 hours of hands-on experience within the course of one year. Applicants will also need a letter of recommendation from a rehabilitator, a letter from a licensed veterinarian, and photographs or diagrams of their facilities.

 

Ohio

Ohio Division of Wildlife

To apply for a permit in Ohio, you must be at least 18 years old, provide facilities meeting state requirements, complete a wildlife rehabilitation course and provide a veterinarian who will assist you.

 

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

Applicants must provide a detailed description of their facilities and submit a detailed application, which must be approved by the state. Facilities will be inspected by the county warden.

 

Oregon

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

As part of the application process, applicants must provide a supervising veterinarian to assist them in wildlife rehabilitation, provide evidence of sufficient experience, supply at least one letter of recommendation from one of these experience positions, and submit a written application.

 

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Game Commission

New applicants must successfully pass a state wildlife rehabilitation examination with a score of at least 80%. They must also submit photographs or videotape of their facilities and pass an oral examination/interview.

 

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management - Fish and Wildlife

To obtain a wildlife rehabilitation permit, applicants must pass a state examination, complete at least 25 hours of hands-on activity and 6 hours of instructional training, and get their facilities approved by the state. Contact the department directly for more information and an application.

 

South Carolina

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

Wildlife Rehabilitation permits must contain proof that a veterinarian who has agreed to assist the applicant, along with a detailed description of the facilities.

South Dakota

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks

Applicants for a wildlife rehabilitation permit in South Dakota must pass a state examination, provide a veterinarian to assist them, and provide a detailed description of their facilities, which must be approved by the state. Their site contains multiple contacts that can provide assistance with the application process.

 

Tennessee

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (direct link to application) 

Requirements for a wildlife rehabilitation permit in Tennessee include having 200 hours of experience or one year of full time employment as a veterinary technician or be in possession of a wildlife rehabilitation permit from another state. However, permits are given on an as-needed basis, so even qualified candidates may not be certified right away.

 

Texas

Texas Parks and Wildlife

Applicants must fill out an application including information such as relevant experience, descriptions of the facilities, proof of sufficient knowledge (or a passing score on a state exam), a veterinarian agreeing to supervise the applicant, and two letters of reference.

 

Utah

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Utah issues two forms of permits, wildlife rehabilitators and wildlife apprentices. Applicants for either permit must be at least 18 years old. Rehabilitators must submit a description of their facilities, the signature of a licensed veterinarian agreeing to assist the applicant (or be a licensed veterinarian), have had at least two years of relevant experience and provide documentation of a passing score on the state exam. Applications for certificates of registration are available from division office.

 

Vermont

Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department

Vermont encourages prospective rehabilitators to start as an apprentice (application online). There are three components to a wildlife rehabilitation permit application in Vermont: the application, exam, and facilities inspection. The application includes a $50.00 application fee along with a description of relevant experience, the signature of veterinarian assisting the applicant and two letters of recommendation.

 

Virginia

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

There are three levels of wildlife rehabilitators in Virginia: Category I, Category II, and Category III. Each of these is based on years of experience. To apply for a Category I permit, you must have completed at least 6 hours of education, be sponsored by an active Category II or Category III wildlife rehabilitator, and meet all education requirements outlined in the application.

 

Washington

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

To apply for a wildlife rehabilitation permit in Washington, applicants must be a licensed veterinarian or be able to demonstrate six months experience in wildlife rehabilitation, have a veterinarian who is willing to sponsor you (if you are not a veterinarian), complete an application, complete the state exam with a score of 80%or higher, and provide evidence of appropriate facilities.

 

West Virginia

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

Applicants must pass a state examination with a score of 80% or higher to apply for a wildlife rehabilitation permit in West Virginia. Next, they must submit an application including a description of their facilities, educational background, prior experience and proof of a licensed veterinarian agreeing to supervise the applicant.

 

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have passed a state examination on wildlife rehabilitation, complete an application, provide evidence of a licensed wildlife rehabilitator willing to mentor them, provide evidence of a veterinarian willing to assist them and maintain approved facilities.

 

Wyoming

Wyoming Game and Fish Commission

To obtain a wildlife rehabilitation license in the state of Wyoming, you must be at least 18 year old, provide a description of your facilities, provide proof of a licensed veterinarian willing to assist you, provide documentation of your hours of experience and education, certification that your proposed treatment of wildlife is within the established laws, a letter from a licensed wildlife rehabilitator stating that you possess the necessary skills for the job and verification that you have not violated any wildlife rehabilitation laws previously.

 

 

 

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