South Florida Wildlife Center

Found an Animal?

What to do?

SFWC is here to help. If you see any of the following on a wild animal you’ve just encountered, please give us a call at
(954) 524-4302 so we can best assist you.

  • Attacked by a dog or cat
  • Evidence of bleeding
  • Obvious broken limb
  • Featherless and on the ground
  • Shivering
  • Found near another dead animal
  • Has been crying for several hours
  • Seen wandering with no direction as if lost and unsure of what to do

If After Hours - Remember

You can leave the injured, orphaned or sick wild animal in one of our night cages so we can assess first thing the following morning, or you can keep the animal somewhere safe and contained in your home until you are able to bring it to us the following morning (recommended).

  • Use common sense and think of your safety first
  • Try to contain the animal if safe to do so
  • Keep the animal warm and quiet until it can be transported and while it is being transported
  • Do not pet or handle the animal
  • Do not try to feed or give water to the animal

How to do it?

When to leave an animal alone:

It is common to see wild baby animals outside during spring, as a new generation makes its way into the world. Wild baby animals might seem like they  need our help, but unless the animal is truly orphaned, or injured, there is no need to intervene. Give us a call if you are unsure and we can help guide you.


Animal Drop-Off:

The South Florida Wildlife Center is available to receive injured, orphaned, or sick wild animals Monday-Sunday from 9 AM to 5 PM. There are no admissions fees though donations are highly encouraged so we can continue our work.

Rescuing a wild animal:

Never handle an adult animal without first consulting a wildlife professional. Even small animals can injure you. Once you’ve contacted someone who can help, describe the animal and his physical condition as accurately as possible.


Unless you are told otherwise, here’s how you can make an animal more comfortable for transport:
  1. Put the animal in a safe container. For most songbirds, use a cardboard box or similar container. First, punch holes for air (not while the animal is in the box!) from the inside out and line the box with an old T-shirt or other soft cloth. Then gently place the animal in the box.
  2. Put on thick gloves and cover the animal with a towel or pillowcase as you scoop him up gently and place him in the container.
  3. Do not give the animal food or water. It could be the wrong food and cause him to choke, trigger serious digestive problems or cause aspiration pneumonia. Many injured animals are in shock, and force-feeding can kill them.
  4. Place the container in a warm, dark, quiet place—away from pets, children and all noise (including the TV and the radio)—until you can transport the animal. Keep the container away from direct sunlight, air conditioning, or heat.
  5. Transport the animal as soon as possible. Leave the radio off and keep talking to a minimum. Because wild animals aren’t accustomed to our voices, they can become very stressed by our noises. If they’re injured or orphaned, they’re already in a compromised condition. Keep their world dark and quiet to lower their stress level and help keep them alive.