I Found Injured/Orphaned Wildlife

It’s important to remember that not every wild animal who seems to be in need really is in need. Rabbit and deer moms leave their babies for long periods of time, and all baby birds have to spend time on the ground learning to fly. Please be sure that an animal is in need before taking action! For advice call Wings Rehabilitation Centre at 519-736-8172, Erie Wildlife Rescue at 519-735-3919, or the Humane Society at 519-966-5751. Toronto Wildlife Centre also has some great resources available online

Municipal Support for Wildlife Issues

The WECHS offers Animal Control Services to the municipalities of Windsor and Amherstburg. Assisting with injured or orphaned wild animals from those communities is part of the service that we provide.


The Towns of Essex and Tecumseh also provides services for sick or injured wildlife through their animal control provider. Please call 519-816-7627.


The Towns of Leamington and Kingsville provide services for raccoons, skunks, and opossums only through their animal control provider. You can contact them by calling 519-796-3013.


The Towns of LaSalle and Lakeshore do NOT provide any services for sick or injured wildlife. Accessing care for wildlife in these municipalities is up to individual residents. If you are concerned about wildlife and you live in one of these towns, please let your municipality know that you believe they should provide services for sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals.

Getting Care for a Sick/Injured/Orphaned Wild Animal

If you have confirmed that the animal needs help (see above), try to get the animal into a secure container or carrier. Keep them warm, but do not offer any food or water unless you are directed to do so by a professional. The Humane Society is not a licensed wildlife rehabilitation centre, but we are able to accept sick or injured wild animals for stabilization and transfer to our partners at Wings Rehab Centre during our regular hours. Sick or injured wildlife can be brought to the Humane Society daily between 8am and 6pm. You can also bring wildlife directly to Wings Rehabilitation Centre (519-736-8172) or Erie Wildlife Rescue (519-735-3919). Please be sure to contact them before going to make sure they are able to accept the animal!


When approaching a wild animal, be aware of your own safety. The animal may be in pain or distress, and won’t necessarily realize that you are trying to help them. It is also important to wash your hands well after handling a wild animal.

Holding a Wild Animal

If you are dealing with an orphaned baby, the most important thing is to get the animal into a warm (not hot) place. This can be on a heating pad, or using a hot water bottle or other warmer. Heat is much more critical than food or water in the short term. Injured animals should not be fed unless you are directed to do so by a professional. Remember ambulances don’t carry sandwiches – when an animal is critically ill or injured a safe, warm place is their most urgent need.


In the event that you have to hold the animal overnight, place them in a secure container (a cardboard box is ideal for most) and put them in a quiet area. This may be a spare bathroom, a garage, or a porch. Keep pets away, both to avoid stressing the wild animal and also to protect your pet from any parasites or diseases the animal may carry. Remember, there is a possibility that the animal may not survive. A wild animal ill enough to let a human help them is sometimes close to death. Don’t blame yourself if you come back to the box and find the animal has died.

I Need Help Getting the Wild Animal to Care

Please see the contacts above for municipal support for wildlife in the area you are seeking assistance. In some municipalities animal control assistance is available to bring an animal to a wildlife rehab centre. In those municipalities who don’t provide these services, the WECHS may be able to assist with transporting the animal during daytime hours only, with the understanding that Windsor and Amherstburg animal concerns must take priority.

This Wild Animal Is A Nuisance. I Just Want them Gone!

It can be frustrating when wildlife are sharing your home or backyard, but it’s important to remember that they are just doing what comes naturally – trying to find food, shelter, and raise their young. Trapping and relocating wildlife is not an effective long term method of wildlife control because it doesn’t address the availability of food and shelter. When you remove one animal another will move in to that habitat. And while it may seem harmless to move the animal to another location, experts estimate that as many as 70% of relocated wild animals do not survive more than a short time in the new location.

If you are experiencing difficulty with an animal at your home, please review this information or these wildlife conflict fact sheets from Toronto Wildlife Centre or the Wisconsin Humane Society.

I Found a Raccoon/Skunk that Appears to Have Rabies

Canine Distemper is common in raccoons and skunks in Essex County. The symptoms of distemper often resemble rabies symptoms, but an animal in our area is unlikely to have rabies. While rabies is not an impossibility, there has not been a case of rabies in a terrestrial mammal since 1994, and the last Essex County case in any mammal (a bat) was found in 2008 so it is unlikely. Distemper is a progressive illness, so you will typically see the animal around for a number of days as symptoms worsen. In most cases we will ask you to confine the animal using a trap, box, or recycle bin during daytime hours for the Humane Society to pick up in Windsor or Amherstburg, as otherwise they tend to wander off. In municipalities without any services for wildlife with distemper, the Humane Society may be able to assist as resources allow, but it is critical that you let your municipality know that these services are needed. For more information visit our Distemper in Wildlife page.