Do’s and Don’t of Living with Wildlife


Do keep your cat inside, especially during spring and summer when baby birds are on the ground learning to fly.  If you must let your cat out, please supervise their outdoor activity or place on a leash.

Do try to put baby birds with no feathers that are found on the ground back into the nest (only if they have not been attacked by cats). Mother birds will not reject babies that have been handled by people.

Do drive with care on all roads. Motor vehicle related injuries are one of the main reasons animals are admitted to the wildlife center. Take a brake for wildlife.

Do place injured a bird in a cardboard box and a mammal in a pet carrier, with a non-frayed towel or paper towel on the bottom, and place in a warm, quiet place until they can be transported to the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. (See note in Don’ts)

Do put caps on chimneys and seal up any entrances to your house before a wild animal decides to move in.

Do keep trash in secure containers equipped with sealable lids, or equip regular trashcans with tie-downs or weights placed on their lids (ie raccoons).


Do trim trees in the fall.

Do check long grass for rabbits nests before mowing lawn.

Do cut six-pack container rings before recycling so animals cannot get their heads or necks caught.




Please don’t peek in the box, as wildlife view us as predators and could injure you.

Don’t give the animal any food or water before speaking to a PWRC volunteer.

Don’t pet or play with any wildlife.  In most cases, these animals are under a lot of stress and unnecessary handling could cause premature death. Wildlife also carry parasites and diseases that can be transferred to humans or domestic pets.  If you find an injured or orphaned wildlife, place in a cardboard box or pet carrier and keep them in a quiet, dark and warm place. Keep them away from the smells and sounds of your pets and yourselves until you can contact PWRC.

Don’t ever feed a wild animal cows’ milk, concoctions from the internet, or formulas bought over the counter. These formulas do not meet the animals’ nutritional requirements and can potentially cause malnutrition or even death. Mammals are not able to properly digest cow’s milk, which therefore leads to bloating and diarrhea.

Don’t attempt to treat a wild animal yourself. If you can do so safely, transport the animal to PWRC as soon as possible. Don’t travel with your pets in the car. The travel alone is very stressful for the wildlife; your pet in close quarters will only make it worse. Don’t have any music or talking when transporting.

Don’t assume that animals left unattended always need your help. Many animals will leave their young alone for long periods of time.

Don’t trap wildlife during the spring and summer months as they may have babies and this could potentially cause unnecessary orphans. Call PWRC for advice or check out Humane Pest Control.

Don’t trim branches in spring, if you need to please look first to see if a nest is in the area before trimming.  Do trim trees in the fall.

NEVER keep any wild animal, even a turtle or snake, as a pet.