We provide care for injured wildlife native to Louisiana. Wildlife cases can be brought
to the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s Small Animal Clinic during regular business
hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m.). We can also accept wildlife cases between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.,
but no later than 10 p.m. On weekends, we can accept cases prior to 10 p.m.
Keep safety in mind when transporting a wild animal (both your safety and the animal’s).
Call animal control if necessary. You can call your local veterinarian or our Wildlife
Hospital for advice on the animal before interacting with it.
What to Expect
- Wildlife can be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. each day.
- Our program relies on private donations so you may be asked for a donation. Your gifts
will help cover the cost of food, housing, and veterinary procedures and treatments.
Costs vary greatly with species and type of injury, ranging from $50 for basic care
to more than $3,000 for orthopedic surgery.
Injured and Orphaned Wildlife
Who to Call if You Find Injured Wildlife
- Wildlife Hospital of Louisiana (225) 578-9600
- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (800) 256-2749 or (225) 765-2800
- East Baton Rouge Animal Control (225) 774-7700
These agencies will only respond to calls during normal business hours, 8 a.m. - 5
Leave Orphans Where They Are
One of the most common presentations to our facility is the “orphan” bird or mammal.
It is important that we define what an orphan is up front. An orphaned animal is one
that has been abandoned by the “parent.” The vast majority of the cases presented
are not truly “orphans.” Instead they are animals that have been removed from functional
nests or found near a nest as they were exploring their environment. The parents are
often nearby gathering food or protecting their territory.
Many citizens are quick to collect these animals because they feel that they are abandoned.
In these cases, all attempts should be made to replace the animal back in its nest.
The old wives tale that the “parents” will not accept the animal after it has been
touched by humans is incorrect.
Once the orphan is placed back in its original location, it is critical that humans
stay away from the area. The nest should only be observed from far away. If the “parents”
can see you, they are not likely to return to the nest.
In Louisiana, it is illegal to raise wildlife unless you are a trained and licensed
wildlife rehabilitator registered with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Although the intentions of the individuals locating the “orphan” are good, these animals
have very special needs that cannot be met by untrained individuals. Providing the
wrong type of care often leads to abnormal growth and suffering for these orphans.
Staying in their natural environment provides the best chance of survival. Hurricane
Disaster Relief for Birds: What to Expect and How to Help | Audubon
Why the LSU VTH Cannot Accept Non-injured Orphans
Baby animals often require feeding every 1 - 2 hours. While we are a 24/7 facility,
the constant, hands-on care needed to adequately care for orphaned animals requires
more people and resources than we can provide. This creates an undue burden on our
students and staff and takes them away from other critical cases in the hospital.
If you truly feel that an animal is abandoned, you can contact a wildlife rehabilitator
who is licensed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries and can legally
and properly care for orphaned wildlife.
PERMITTED WILDLIFE REHABILITATORS
Faculty and Staff
Interns and Residents
Adam Moreno, DVM, Emergency & Critical Care/Zoological Medicine Intern
Tithipong Plangsangmas, DVM, Zoological Medicine Resident
Emily Schlake, DVM, Emergency & Critical Care/Zoological Medicine Intern
Our program relies on private donations. Your gifts will help cover the cost of food,
housing, and veterinary procedures and treatments. Costs vary greatly with species
and type of injury, ranging from $50 for basic care to more than $3,000 for orthopedic