Vet Blog

Important Notes About Wildlife

August 03, 2018

We've been getting a lot of calls from people who have found wildlife and want to bring them in for treatment.

Here are some important things to know about wildlife:

  1. Some animals, particularly deer, hide their young in tall grass while they are nearby. Please don't disturb or pick up fawns, their mother is probably close by!
  2. Like deer, baby rabbits and birds are generally best left alone. Their mothers are probably nearby (and they usually don't do well in captivity).
  3. Some animals can be dangerous, particularly angry deer moms, bucks, birds of prey, herons (some will instinctively peck at eyes), coyotes, foxes, among others. Deer have been known to injure and even kill people, and every year we see 1-2 dogs with injuries from deer.
  4. Raccoons, foxes, and bats can transmit the rabies virus (all mammals can, but squirrels and opossums are not as likely to carry the virus).
  5. Canadian geese are protected under state and federal law. Geese will aggressively protect their nests and may charge people.
  6. Most snakes will leave you alone if you leave them alone, but snake bites in dogs (usually from copperheads) are not uncommon. Here is information about Georgia snakes:
  7. Alligators should be self-explanatory. Stay away from them and call the experts (see below).
  8. Treating and rehabilitating wildlife requires special licensing. At most, we can provide emergency stabilization.

If you suspect a wild animal is injured or sick, we recommend you leave them alone and call:

  • The Georgia Department of Natural Resources
  • The Nature Conservancy (404)873-6946
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services
  • Your county's animal control office