Wildlife rehab to get a boost

It’s an immediate problem faced by those who come in contact with an injured or orphaned wild animal: What to do?

Licensed wildlife rehabilitators

Most people are unaware that licensed wildlife rehabilitators are available to help – and free of charge, no less.

Carmen Smith, the wildlife rehabilitator at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, wants to make them aware. That’s why she and two other wildlife specialists in Utah have banded together to form a statewide organization to get the word out to those who are likely to come across injured or orphaned animals.

Still in its incubation stage and as yet without a name, the organization is currently composed of Smith, Debbie Pappas of Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation in Price, and DaLyn Erickson of the Ogden Nature Center. They’re currently inviting all Utah licensed rehabilitators and anyone else involved with wildlife to join. Smith envisions the organization as a network for those who care about the well-being of wildlife in Utah.

How to find a wildlife rehabilitator

Answering questions about rescue, rehabilitation and release of wildlife

Their plan is to begin publishing a quarterly newsletter in the spring. Targeting veterinarian organizations, humane societies and any other group with an interest in animals, the Best Friends-funded newsletter will not only be a resource for those who may come across wildlife in need of help, but it will also answer questions involving the rescue, rehabilitation and release of wild animals.

"There is a lot of confusion out there regarding wildlife," Smith says. "Most people don’t know state and federally licensed rehabilitators even exist. By creating this new organization, we hope to spread awareness and be of greater service to our local communities and wildlife populations."

If you’re interested in joining the organization, contact Carmen Smith at (435) 644-2001, ext. 4460, or carmens@bestfriends.org.

Stay tuned here for the launch of the newsletter this spring, and information on how you’ll be able to receive it.

Photo by Clay Myers

Read more about wild animal rescue in the Best Friends resource section.