Dedicated to making the world a

better place one squirrel at a time

‘Letting Nature take its course...”

Some people don't want to go through the trouble to find a rehabilitator.

It does take time and once a placement is found for the baby, it may require hours

of driving to take them there.  Its just easier to let ‘nature take its course’, right?  

You may elect to take that stance but don’t fool yourself. Nature is not kind.  

Orphaned babies usually starve to death, die from dehydration and exposure, alone without their mother.  Injured animals may succumb to infection, most certainly experience fear and pain, some dragging themselves great distances in search of shelter, food or a little water.  Humane euthanasia is a kinder option and many wildlife  and animal control agencies, veterinarians, humane societies and animal shelters will provide this service free of charge.  

Do not take a baby animal, such as a possum smaller than 7 inches from nose to rump, a bunny less than five inches, or a baby squirrel whose tail is not fully fluffy and at least 3/4 adult size and leave it out thinking you are ‘giving it a chance.’   It has no chance.  

If it is in your power to reduce suffering and it is the compassionate thing to do, then please take the time to do it, be it taking the animal to a wildlife rehabilitator, a humane society or your vet - whether the outcome is rehabilitaton and return to the wild or humane euthanasia.    The few rehabilitators there are cannot do it alone.

Squirrel refuge’s mission is to provide services to injured and orphaned squirrels. We will take other small mammals as space permits; however, during peak baby squirrel seasons  (April through September) it is rare for us to have  available space, caregivers, medical and financial resources to care of other species.  In many cases, as with birds, raccoons, and deer we do not have the licensing to legally take these animals into rehabilitation. Squirrel refuge is run by the only licensed wildlife rehabilitator in Clark county who; in addition to caring for wildlife, works full time to fund the costs associated with this service (food, housing, veterinary bills, etc.) This  means that in many cases you will need to reach out to licensed rehabilitators in surrounding counties for help.  

Most people are surprised to find that there are so few resources for wildlife.  There is no state run agency, like animal control, that will come out free of charge and pickup  injured  or problematic wildlife.   Please consider getting involved in our initiative to start a wildlife center here in Southwest Washington to facilitate expanding the rehabilitator resources to meet the needs of Clark County’s wildlife.

The volunteers at Squirrel Refuge are 100% utilized caring for orphaned and distressed wildlife and do not have time to transport  wildlife for you.  We cant do it alone, but together we can make a difference for these animals.  Please be willing to do your part by transporting the animal to resources that can help.

I found a baby bird

Squirrel Refuge does not hold a migratory bird permit; therefore, it is not legal for us to accept most birds.   This page provides links to Portland resources that can accept birds, as well as, help identifying  birds.

I found a baby bunny

Baby bunnies are weaned at four weeks when they are  about four or five inches from nose to rump. Knowing when a bunny needs help can be a bit tricky.   Click on the ‘When to help’ link for more information.


How to Care for Orphaned Wild Cottontail Bunnies

Bunny Rehabilitation Manual

I foud a baby opossum

If you find a baby possum alone and its  size is less than 7 inches from nose to rump, please contact a wildlife rehabilitator.

Smaller possums cannot survive if released back into the  wild too young.

Taking Care Of Orphaned Opossums

National Opossum Society

Opossum Society of the United States

I found a fawn

Squirrel Refuge does not have the facilities or permitting to accept deer or elk.  

I found a baby raccoon

Squirrel Refuge does not have the facilities or permitting to accept raccoons.    

Click on the link to the right for  a list of resources and suggestions to get help.

Find a Wildlife Rehabilitator

How to Care for Orphaned Raccoons

Raccoon Rehabilitation Network

Getting Help for Birds and other Mammals

Washington Species Facts
Find a Rehabilitator

Links and other helpful resources to assist you in finding qualified help for injured and orphaned wildlife.

Find a Wildlife Rehabilitator