Caring for Wildlife

What to do if you find a sick or injured animal:

(Contact information applies for Charleston, SC area residents)

  1. Do not put yourself in danger.
  2. Leave baby birds, bunnies and squirrels alone for a few hours and watch from afar.  Usually mom is just nearby hunting or readying a new nest, and will return for the offspring.  Wildlife mothers do not abandon their young.  If you have witnessed a cat or dog moving the baby, or the mother does not return after three hours, then pick up the young, keep it warm and covered, and take it to an animal hospital or animal rehabilitator as soon as possible (see list below).  Do not try feeding the baby.
  3. If you think you can safely get a smaller, slow-responding, ill or injured animal into a box or carrier which closes firmly, take it to an animal hospital yourself.  Call before you go, as not all veterinarians work with wildlife.  Pet Vet in Mt. Pleasant (843.884.7387) is open during business hours and routinely treats wildlife.  Nights and weekends, the Animal Emergency Hospital of Mt. Pleasant (843.216.7554) will accept wildlife.
  4. For birds of prey (eagle, hawk, kestrel), call the The Center for Birds of Prey in Awendaw (843.971.7029).
  5. For wildlife pests invading your yard or home, call Wildlife Solutions (843.571.5556) or another private company to humanely trap and remove them (they do charge for services).  Contacting a rehabilitator to arrange transfer and follow-up care will prevent the animal being stressed or injured after it is trapped (see list below).
  6. For alligators over 5 feet long, call the SC Wildlife Department (843.825.3387).
  7. If smaller alligators or feral cats become a pest, call City of Charleston Animal Control (843.720.3915).

State Licensed Rehabilitators:

Keeper of the Wild, Inc.(non-profit)

Mammals and Rodents:

Janet Kinser, Director (843.636.1659) St. George, SC

Song Birds:

Sarah Landgrebe (843.849.6149) Mt. Pleasant, SC

Shore Birds:

Holly Reynolds (843.886.4933) Isle of Palms, SC

Turtle and Tortise Society (non-profit)

Turtles and Tortises:

(843.871.6606) Ladson, SC

These rehabilitators, and the veterinarians who work with them, are not funded by the state. Public donations are greatly appreciated.