Veterinary professionals may not treat (or alter) animals that are classified as wildlife unless they are working with a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.  Licensed wildlife rehabilitators are authorized by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to consult veterinarians as necessary to ensure that proper medical care is administered to injured, orphaned or distressed wildlife.  They are also authorized to capture, possess, transport, house, and feed wild animals; veterinarians, however, are not authorized to do so.

To locate a wildlife rehabilitator in your area who has the experience, expertise, and facilities to successfully treat and release wild animals, call your nearest DEC Regional Wildlife Office.

Information on wildlife health procedures and practices, and the laws surrounding those issues, is available at  With specific questions about which animals are considered to be wildlife, please contact the DEC Special Licenses Unit,, (518) 402-8985.