WSWS Rescue & Rehabilitation

RESCUE & REHABILITATION

West Sound Wildlife Shelter

Serving the Greater Western Puget Sound Region

We are open 7 days a week, excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. West Sound Wildlife Shelter:

  • accepts all injured, sick, and orphaned wildlife species except seals, bears, and cougars.
  • provides non-lethal advice for nuisance/problem wild animals.
  • can help with questions on wildlife natural history information and identification.

For wildlife problems or questions call West Sound Wildlife Shelter at 206-855-9057.
To find a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator in your area, click here.

squirrel
Great Horned Owl
WSWS Baby Bird

pelican
WSWS-Opossom

Rescuing Injured Birds

WSWS Bird Rescue

We treat most species of bird in Washington State including passerines, waterfowl, corvids, seabirds, and raptors.

​If you have found an injured or sick adult bird, please give us a call at 206-855-9057 before bringing the animal to the shelter. We can give you advice on the best way to handle the animal and transport to the shelter.

**DO NOT offer birds any food, water, or medication. They will be supplemented appropriately upon arrival at the shelter. Provide transport for the animal as soon as possible.** 

​Did the bird hit your window or structure?
  • Gently place the bird in a box. Place the box in a warm, dark, quiet place. After two hours, open the box. If the bird flies away-great! If it doesn’t, please give us a call and plan for transport. Often times they just need a safe resting spot.
  • Is the bird repeating hitting your window? Try drawing your blinds, pulling curtains, or placing window decals on your windows. Often times, they think their reflection is a threat or rival. Buy some window decals here.
Transporting the animal to the shelter:
  • Prepare an appropriately-sized cardboard box,  pet kennel, or paper bag. Make sure to provide small holes to allow oxygen flow. Please do not transport in a bird cage.
  • Line the carrier with a pillowcase, newspaper, or paper towel.
  • Do not put any items, other than substrate, in transport carrier.
  • Cover the carrier with a towel to help minimize stress.
  • Minimize human contact and stress. Do not talk to animals, cuddle, or pet them.
  • When travelling turn off music and drive slow and steady.
  • Keep the carrier warm, quiet and place in preferably in darker areas.
Capturing the animal for transport
  • Please call us before you attempt to capture large birds of prey (eagles, hawks, owls).
  • Cover animal with towel or pillowcase.
  • Gently grab the animal and place in the carrier.

Rescuing Injured Mammals

The West Sound Wildlife Shelter treats most small and medium-sized mammals; including eastern cottontails, chipmunks, Virginia opossums, squirrels, rodents, young raccoons, fox kits and coyote cubs. We can provide initial treatment of deer fawn. We cannot treat large mammals such as adult deer, elk, bear, coyote or cougar.

Please read this page before attempting to rescue wildlife.

If you have found an injured, dead, or stranded marine mammal please call the NOAA Marine Mammal Stranding Network at 1-866-767-6114. For more information click here.

Injured Adult Deer

Use caution and do not approach

  • We DO NOT treat injured adult deer.
  • Adult deer with an injured leg: If it is up and walking, it is best to leave it alone. They can usually get around with one injured leg-they do not do well in captivity. If it becomes lame or lethargic, please call your local police department or 911 and ask them to dispatch someone.
  • If the deer is unable to stand please call your local police department or 911 and ask them to dispatch someone. If the deer is standing and walking, it is best to leave it alone.
  • Deer hair loss syndrome: Deer are susceptible to several external parasites, learn more here.
  • Entrapment: If an adult deer is stuck in something, please call WDFW for assistance.
​Injured Adult Raccoons or Coyotes

Use caution and do not approach

  • We DO NOT treat adult raccoons or coyotes.
  • If animal appears “sick” do not approach and keep pets inside.
  • If you have concerns about raccoons or coyotes please call WDFW.
Injured Bats

Use caution and do not approach. Do not touch.

  • If the bat was in a human dwelling or came in contact with a human or pet, call your local Health Department immediately.
  • If you find a sick, dead, or injured bat, do not touch it and call us at 206-855-9057.

WSWS Rescue Mammal
Injured small to medium-sized mammals
  • If the animal is visibly injured or sick, give us a call at 206-855-9057. We can give you advice on how to capture and transport the animal.
Transporting the animal to the shelter
  • Prepare an appropriately-sized cardboard box,  pet kennel, or paper bag. Make sure to provide small holes to allow oxygen flow. Please do not transport in a bird cage.
  • If transport is not immediate: Keep the carrier in a warm and quiet place.
  • Line the carrier with a pillowcase, newspaper, or paper towel.
  • Do not put any items other than bedding in transport carrier.
  • Cover the carrier with a towel to help minimize stress.
  • Minimize human contact and stress. Do not talk to animals, cuddle, or pet them.
  • When traveling turn off music and drive slow and steady.
Capturing the animal for transport
  • Please call us (206) 855-9057 before you attempt to capture any wildlife.

Orphaned Wildlife

Please read this page to see if the animal needs to be rescued.

Sometimes, “orphaned” wildlife are not actually orphaned. After reading this page, if you determine the animal you have found is injured or orphaned, please call us right away 206-855-9057.

Visit WDFW page about on when NOT to rescue wildlife here.
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Baby Birds: Are they in need of help?

WSWS Hatchlings

Mostly naked birds (hatchlings) and lightly feathered birds (nestling):

  • Visibly Injured, lethargic or animal-caught?
    • Babies are in need of rescue
  • Did it fall from the nest?
    •  If yes, please gently place the bird back into the nest. It is a myth that a mother bird will not accept her babies once you’ve touched them. However, do not place it back in the nest while she is in the nest or nearby-she may then abandon them.
  • Do you see a dead parent bird?
    • If yes, the babies are in need of rescue
    • If no, watch the nest for a couple hours for parental activity. Call us if the parents are gone for more than 2 hours.
  • Has the nest been destroyed?
    • If yes- but a parent is still around, you may be able to create a replacement nest. Please call us for more details.
    • If yes-but parents are absent, the babies are in need of rescue
WSWS Baby Feathered Bird

Fully Feathered, Short Tail, and Wings (fledgling):

  • Visibly injured, lethargic or animal-caught?
    • Babies are in need of rescue
  • Has the nest been destroyed?
    • If yes, at this age many baby birds do not stay in the nest. If the parents are nearby, the babies are not in need of rescue
    • If not and the nest is intact, and the parents are around, the babies are not in need of rescue
  • Hopping on the ground but not flying or flying awkwardly? Are parents nearby?
    • If yes, there is no need to rescue. They are practicing their flying skills. Exception: Swallows and swifts do not fledge from the nest until they are flighted, if you have found a non-flighted swallow or swift, please call us right away
    • If no, watch the area for a couple hours to see if parents will return and feed it. If the parents don’t return please give us a call at 206-855-9057.

Baby Mammals: Are they in need of help?

Found an injured or orphaned marine mammal? Contact the Marine Mammal Stranding Hotline at 1-866-767-6114.

Mammals:

  • Visibly injured, lethargic or animal-caught?
    • Babies are in need of rescue.
  • Mother mammals sometimes drop their babies while moving them, please allow mom a couple hours to come pick up her offspring before determining that it is orphaned. If it is in a walkway, road or path, please wear gloves and gently move out of the way of danger.
  • FAWNS and COTTONTAILS: The mother visits her young twice a day, around dawn and dusk. The rest of the day they are left unattended. Please call us if you think they are injured or orphaned.
  • Other mammals who are left alone for a couple hours, and the parents have not returned-may need rescue. Please contact us for more assistance.
  • Nest destroyed:
    • Babies are in need of rescue.
    • For Cottontails: Wear gloves and create a new nest for the babies using the same or similar materials. Place babies in the nest. Cover them with grasses and a twig “X”, check back the next day, if the X is disturbed the mother has returned. If not, please give us a call.

WSWS Baby Mammal

Transporting Birds & Mammals

  • Prepare an appropriately-sized cardboard box,  pet kennel, or paper bag. Make sure to provide small holes to allow oxygen flow. Please do not transport in a bird cage.
  • Line the carrier with a pillowcase, newspaper, or paper towel.
  • Keep young animals warm.
  • Do not put any items, other than substrate, in transport carrier.
  • Cover the carrier with a towel to help minimize stress.
  • Minimize human contact and stress. Do not talk to animals, cuddle, or pet them.
  • When traveling turn off music and drive slow and steady.
  • Keep the carrier warm, quiet and place in preferably in darker areas.
  • Please transport the animal to us as soon as possible.

We are limited in the amount and type of species that we can care for. Please call us before bringing in a patient. If we cannot treat the patient, we will refer you to someone who might be able to help.

Non-Lethal Solutions
to Nuisance Wildlife

WSWS Nuisance Widlife
Mammals Under Porches, in Sheds, Attic, and Crawl Spaces

Animals like these areas because they are dark and quiet. By making it uncomfortable with noise and light, you can usually evict the animal within 24 hours. The following techniques are good for otter, raccoon, opossum, skunk, weasel, fox and coyote:

  • Install a temporary light and leave it on all day and night.
  • Place a battery-operated radio in the area and let in play all day and night.
  • A rag soaked with household ammonia will also make the space uncomfortable.
Birds Hitting Windows

Birds hit windows, especially in the spring during nesting season.  They see shadows in the window and think it is another bird that they must chase from their nesting area.

  • Place streamers outside in front of the window so that the movement will scare the bird
  • Place silhouettes on the windows (available at our shelter and many feed & bird stores)
  • Cover the window from the outside.  If covered from the inside, the bird can still see their shadow
  • If the birds are hitting a particular window that has a bird feeder close by, the bird may be protecting the food source.  Move the feeder or add another feeder in a different part of the yard.
Wild Animals Coming Too Close to the House

Food and shelter is what draws animals close to humans.

  • Remove all food sources such as open trash cans, compost piles that contain meat, the scent of food on BBQ grills, cat & dog foods, fallen seed from bird feeders and any other food.  Animals’ noses are very sensitive and any food will attract wild animals.
  • Be aware that if you feed a wild animal, that animal may also go to your neighbor’s house looking for food.
  • Scare the animal. Don’t let wild animals get relaxed around your house. Tough love can save the animal’s life.

For other wildlife problems or questions call West Sound Wildlife Shelter 206-855-9057. The wildlife care staff will be happy to speak to you about nuisance or problem wildlife and concerns.