Why are wildlife rehabilitators required by state and federal laws to be permitted?

The Florida Wildlife Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services both have a process in place to verify that rehabilitators are knowledgeable, experienced, and capable of caring for wildlife. In order to receive a permit each agency required that applicants prove their expertise through a series of screenings that include proof of hands on supervised experience, a knowledge based exam, veterinarian endorsement, property inspection and more. It is vital for the survival of the animals that they are able to quickly receive the care they need.

How do I know the person responding to my call is associated with a permitted facility?

Anyone who is responding either as a rehabber or on their behalf is required to carry a copy of their permit. If they are dealing with a mammal or reptile they should be able to show you a copy of their state permit which would include the Florida Wildlife Commission seal on the top left hand corner. If the animal is a bird they would have a copy of a federal permit issued by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. If they are a rehabber their name will be printed on the permit. If they are a transporter you can always ask the permitted rehabber who they are sending on their behalf. That person will still have a copy of the permit but would also be able to produce a photo ID as well to verify they are the person who should be taking possession.

Is my donation to Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife tax deductible?

Absolutely! Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife is a 501c3 non-profit organization registered with the IRS. If you donate via PayPal you will automatically be provided with a receipt. If you donate by other means we will gladly provide you with a receipt upon your request.

Where is Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife located and can we visit/tour?

Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife is based in Odessa, Fl. However, in order to keep our overhead minimal so that our funds can be used on animal care and due to the nature of what we do at this time we have elected to work out of our homes. As many of our cases are critical care and/or babies they often times need around the clock attention and keeping them close to us allows us to provide that care for them. So we do not allow visitors, sorry, but if you need a physical address to ship a donation it can be mailed to 12932 Royal George Ave Odessa, Fl 33556.

How do I see the current job openings/apply for a job at Owl’s Nest?

Simply answered, you can’t. Owl’s Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife is 100% volunteer run. Not a single person in our organization collects a pay check. If you are still interested in working (volunteering) with us you can fill out the volunteer application.

What should I do if I find a Gopher Tortoise on/near a roadway or that has been attacked by a dog?

Gopher Tortoises are a keystone species and play a very important role in our ecosystem. If you happen to find one that is injured you are allowed to contain it and transport it to permitted rehabber. We can be reached by call or text at 813-598-5926 and we will provide you with further direction and/or send a volunteer to meet you to pick up the tortoise. Please do not place the tortoise in water as they are terrestrial by nature and are not adapt for the water.

You may NOT however move a tortoise that is simply in an inconvenient location. If you have any questions or concerns about how to deal with a gopher tortoise you may also call the Florida Wildlife Commission directly at *FWC.

What should I do if I find a sick or injured bird?

No matter what the bird (shore bird, raptor, song bird, dove, etc) they are FEDERALLY protected and you should contact a PERMITTED rehabilitation organization. If you happen to find a bird in need of rescue please carefully collect as much information as you can (species if you know it other wise a description, location, nature of the injury, etc) and give us a call or text at 813-598-5926.

What should I do if I find a baby bird on the ground?

The first thing you would need to do is determine if it may be orphaned. Often times as baby birds become fledglings they begin to venture out of the nest which is completely natural and they are not necessarily in danger or in need of rescue. You can refer to our blog post Baby Bird 9-1-1 for more information on how to determine if the bird is in need of rescue. Of course if the bird is clearly injured or in need or rescue do not hesitate to call us at 813-598-5926.

What should I do if I find a sick, injured, or orphaned Florida native mammal?

If you happen to find a mammal in need of rescue please carefully collect as much information as you can (species if you know it other wise a description, location, nature of the injury, etc) and give us a call or text at 813-598-5926. As cute as these furry animals may be they require specialized care and can be dangerous if not handled properly so please do not try to keep them yourself. It it important that they are given to a permitted rehabber who can provide them with the care they need.

Rehabilitation Community:
Who can I call if I am not in the Tampa area?

It is important that all animals stay in their home area. If they are released in a new territory it can introduce new strains of disease that could harm the local population and/or separate breeding pairs. For a list of other rehabbers we work with please visit our “Resource” page.