Piedmont Wildlife Center no longer operates a wildlife clinic, but we can help you with your wildlife questions and concerns and locate a wildlife rehabilitator in your area. For wildlife questions or to get a referral to a licensed rehabilatator in your area, call us at 489-0900.


  •  Please do NOT give it any food or water
  •  Place it in a well ventilated box lined with a t-shirt or non-frayed towel.
  •  Isolate the box away from pets and children in a warm, quiet area. Do not keep wild birds in wire cages as they may cause further injury to themselves.


Wildlife care is specialized and shouldn’t be attempted without proper instruction – it’s very easy to do more harm than good. Even if the animal appears to be thriving, it can be suffering from metabolic or developmental problems that can affect its health and abilities when returned to the wild. Therefore, we can only recommend contacting a licensed rehabilitator to care for the animal. This is not the time to try your hand at something new or try to prove you have a mother’s instinct.

NC Wildlife Resource Commission maintains a list of rehabilitators for North carolina, by county. Click on the “Contact a Wildlife Rehabilitator” link.

Wildlife Welfare maintains a network of rehabilitators in the Wake County area.  919-387-1662

CLAWS rehabilitates animals in the Orange County area. 919-619-0776

Triangle Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic  has a wildlife veterinarian on staff and rehabilitates birds, small mammals and reptiles and is located in Durham.  919-544-3330

The following instructions will either guide you to your next course of action or tell you how to make the animal comfortable and safe until you have turned it over to a rehabilitator.

Please click on one of the selections:



Wildlife and Rabies


Rabies is a fatal viral disease spread by a bite or by having contact with saliva, onto a cut or other opened wound, from an infected animal. The virus can enter the body through mucus membranes (such as mouth, eyes or nose) if a droplet of saliva happens to come into contact with this tissue. All mammals are susceptible to the rabies virus but risk is usually higher in carnivores. In North Carolina the most likely wildlife species to be diagnosed with rabies are raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes. In contrast, opossum are seldom diagnosed with the disease due to lower body temperature that does not allow the virus to survive. Additionally, animals with head trauma or other bacterial or viral diseases may present with similar symptoms.

  • A rabid animal will generally behave as if mad or dumb:
    • Mad- the animal is displaying symptoms of aggression, drooling or foaming, out and in view at times and in areas not normal, and approaching both other animals (such as dogs and cats) and/or humans. These animals will bite without provocation or warning and in some cases will chase after a person or animal.
    • Dumb- the animal is displaying symptoms of tameness or lack of fear, approaches but without apparent aggression, or has paralysis that begins in the hind quarters and progresses forward. These animals will also bite without provocation or warning.
  • If a human has been sleeping and a bat has been discovered in the room with them, the Centers for Disease Control recommends rabies treatment begins immediately. Bats are very small creatures and often a bite does not cause pain and is not visible to the human eye.
  • If bitten by or exposed to a rabid animal a series of shots from your doctor will prevent you from getting this disease. HOWEVER, one should contact health officials immediately if there is a possibility of exposure. The first post-exposure vaccination must be given right away. Once a human has the virus active within the body, which can happen from only a few hours to a few days depending on exposure location, the vaccination does not work and death occurs.
  • Keep your pets vaccinated and indoors or leashed. If a vaccinated pet is bitten by an animal you suspect has rabies get them a booster shot immediately, regardless of when it last received a rabies booster.

Rabies Info:



A predator is hanging around my house / going after my livestock or pets.


As people move further away from the cities and develop natural environments into houses, there is less and less room for predators to roam and less natural food to be found. Unfortunately this means predators are forced into our communities looking for other sources of food and places to find shelter. When we confine a potential source of food to an area, or introduce new “prey” such as free-roaming cats, it often attracts predators because it offers a potential meal. If a predator is doing no harm other than controlling local rabbit/squirrel populations it is best just to learn to cohabitate in peace.

  • Penning your animals up at night or bringing them inside, starting at dusk, is the best protection against animals looking for an opportunity. Any pet would prefer to be indoors at night where it is warm and secure.
  • Acquiring a larger animal such as a llama or miniature donkey also deters predators and offers some defense to smaller animals. Keep in mind however, such animals may not be allowed in certain areas and one should research this before acquiring a large animal.

Ultimately, each city or county has its own regulations on predator control. To find out all your options call your local governmental agencies and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commissions at (919) 707-0050.   





Non-Native and Domestic Animals


If you have found any of the species listed below, unfortunately PWC is not legally able to admit it. If you would like to get help for that animal you must find the person responsible for it or take responsibility yourself and contact an exotic vet listed below. Certain species marked with an (*) may be able to go to a home rehabilitator. For these animals, please contact the hospital to see if there is a rehabilitator near you.


New pictures added for baby season! Click on links for adult pictures.

American Robin (left), a native species, has a whitish beak; European Starling (right) has a wide yellow beak.

Starlings' lower beaks jut out past their upper beaks.

     mo domo doMourning Doves (native) with whitish- brown


Domestic animals are any animal that is kept as a pet or can be found at a pet store i.e.: dogs, cats, parakeets, hamsters, iguanas, chickens etc. If you find an injured stray animal, you must take it to a veterinary clinic for domestic or exotic species.

  • Second Chance Pet Adoptions
  • Wake County SPCA

  • Exotic Vets in the Triangle Area:

  • For Stray Cats and Dogs:

  • Triangle Wildlife Removal, Inc: (919) 661-0722
  • Critter Control: (919) 382-0651

    PWC is an advocate of Cats Indoors. Please visit their website to make your cat a healthier, safer indoor pet:www.abcbirds.org
    You can also download a brochure: “Protect Your Cat…Protect Wildlife” at the very bottom of this page.   



    Humane Animal Removal

    Please keep in mind that long before your house was built, wild animals once called that space home. As more natural habitat is reconstructed for human use, animals are forced into closer contact with humans although they perceive us as predators. When you find an animal in your home, it is often more scared of you than you are of it. Often, the best thing to do is to turn off the lights in that room and block off access to the rest of the house while allowing for an exit point to the outdoors (open window or door). Leave the room or area of the house for approximately 30 minutes to allow time for that animal to find its way out. If the animal is still in the room after some time has elapsed it can be gently herded towards the exit from a safe distance using a sheet or towel. If more steps are needed to remove the animal, please be kind and use humane traps and removal services to relocate these animals to a safer location. If you have found a snake, you may visit our Reptiles section for more information.

    For information on nuisance wildlife please visit the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website at: http://www.ncwildlife.org/fs_index_06_coexist.htm

    Humane traps:

    The PWC does have a few Havahart (c) traps available to borrow free of charge, although we can not guarantee there will be one available when you need it. These traps can often be purchased at your local home improvement stores. For more information on Havahart (c) traps, please visit their website at http://www.havahart.com/

    Humane Removal Services:

    The PWC does not perform animal removals and recommends these two humane removal services:

    If the animal is already deceased, then it is the responsibilty of the property owner to dispose of the remains which can often be placed in a garbage bag and taken to an animal shelfter for disposal or buried at least 6 inches deep away from roads, sidewalks, trails and bodies of water. If a large animal is a traffic hazard than the city, county or state highway department should be contacted. In the case of a dead bear, please contact the NC Wildlife Resources Commission: (800) 662-7137.



  • Avian and Exotic Animal Care– Raleigh
  • Bowman Animal Hospital– Raleigh
  • The Birdie Boutique– Durham
  • House Sparrows*House FinchHouse Finch (native) with whitish beak versus House Sparrow House Sparrow with yellow beak.
  • Rock Doves (common pigeon)*- pigeonpigeonPigeon with yellow down feathers versus
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