I would like to know how to volunteer to foster a baby deer or other wild animal.

Question:

I am a stay at home mother of two, we live close to the woods and are avid outdoors people. My grandpa used to have a deer farm when my father was little and they tell storys about being able to live closly with animals. I feel that it would be wonderful to be able to share the experience with my children. I hear many storys where people find baby animals and turn them into the fish and game, that isnt best for the animal, but I am sure that means that you have to find foster homes for them. I am interested in finding out how I can become a foster parent for one of these baby animals, and what that would include.

Answer:

Thank you for your question regarding rehabilitation of wildlife taken from the wild.  You are correct, it generally isn't in the best interest of wildlife to remove them from wild.  Many wildlife species, including deer, will spend considerable time away from their young.  This is in part to protect them from predators.  It is not uncommon to find deer fawns every spring, and some people perceive them as abondoned, which is generally not the case.  However, there are times when removing wildlife from the wild is appropriate.  Examples include injured  wildlife or known cases of loss of the adult such as in a vehicle/deer accident.  It is in these cases the Department uses permitted wildlife rehabilitators.  Ultimately, the goal of wildlife rehabilitation is to return the animal to the wild once it has healed or reached an age it has a better chance of survival.  Each of the Department's Regional Offices maintains a list of approved rehabilitators for an area.  If you are interested in becoming a wildlife rehabilitator, please contact the nearest Regional Office.  

Becoming a wildlife rehabilitator should not be taken lightly.  Considerable time committment is required in addition to having appropriate facilities.