Caring for Native Wildlife as a Rehabilitator
Caring for native wildlife is the primary responsibility of an animal rehabilitator. As a rehabilitator, you will care for sick and injured animals. The animals should regain their strength and health; after that, the animals will be released into their native habitats. State agencies regulate the activities of animal rehabilitators. Before you can become a licensed and experienced rehabilitator, you need to undergo a series of trainings.
Being a rehabilitator is rigorous work but it is a very rewarding task. You can either work alone or you can work in a group under an established rescue center. If you love challenge, this might be the task for you.
States have different policies regarding animal rehabilitators. Contact the state’s department which is concerned with the protection or management of native wildlife so that you can determine the requirements. The apprenticeship training hours and qualifying exams are dependent on the state you live in. You must be able to fulfill all the requirements to become an animal rehabilitator. Once you’re through, you can apply for the permit.
Try to read various books and publications on housing and treating wildlife and about rehabilitation of wildlife. Collect current information because it will be of good use to you. Find a local wildlife rehabilitation center and present yourself as a volunteer. It’s easy to find the centers and you can do it online to make a fast search. The best way to learn all the things about animal rehabilitation is to do the actual job.
If you know several experienced animal rehabilitators, you can talk to them. They can provide you with the needed info on how to become a licensed rehabber. These individuals can easily point you to the right direction so that you know what to do.
Symposiums, conferences, and training sessions are held for animal rehabilitators. Always be on the look out for this stuff because you can learn a lot about being an animal rehabilitator. The NWRA or the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association usually hold annual conferences and training sessions for those who would like to become animal rehabilitators. If you join NWRA, you will be able to get a comprehensive source of info, networking, and support.
After you’ve passed the necessary requirements, trainings, and examinations, you will be issued a permit as a licensed animal rehabilitator. Once you’re a rehabber, you have to make sure that you’re properly insured. Being a rehabber is hazardous work. You’ll never know what’s going to happen especially when you’re already handling wild animals. Check if you’re covered. You can also check your personal health coverage so that in case you meet an accident or you get sick, you will be covered.
There are times when licensed animal rehabilitators decide to organize their own rehabilitation service. If you would like to run your own non-profit animal rehab organization, you need to hire a good lawyer so that you can comply with all the legal requirements. The lawyer will assist you in preparing all the legal matters attached to running a rehabilitation center.
Animal rehabilitators are needed nowadays to protect and save native wildlife. They are the only ones who are capable of caring for native wildlife. Know the requirements and qualifications so that you can already start your way in becoming a good animal rehabilitator.