Hotline: 805-543-9453 (WILD)

Frequently Asked Questions

We hope you find these FAQs helpful. If you have a question that's not in this list, please submit using the form.

What should I do if I see a wild animal in distress?

Call our Hotline at 805-543-9453 (WILD) and listen to our message. You may leave a message for a Hotline volunteer or there are instructions for capturing and transporting the animal to our clinic.


What are the hours for your Hotline?

You may leave a message anytime on any day of the year, including holidays. Our volunteers check messages at least once per hour between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm daily, including holidays.

I left a message on PWC’s Hotline but no one called me back.

Pacific Wildlife Care’s Hotline is manned by volunteers from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily, including holidays. However, there are times when no volunteer is available and at those times you will be leaving a message for the next available volunteer. Please be patient and know that we are doing our very best to answer each call to the Hotline and to help each caller by answering questions, giving advice, and directing, as needed, our Rescue/Transport volunteers to the animal in need of care.

Want to help? Read how you could become a volunteer for PWC.

What are the Rehabilitation Center hours if I decide to bring in the animal myself?
The Rehabilitation Center is open to receive animals every day of the year, including holidays, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Are there any animals that PWC will not accept?

Pacific Wildlife Care does not accept domestic animals such as pet birds, dogs, or cats. Call your veterinarian for help with these domestic animals. We also do not accept large mammals such as adult deer. Approaching an injured adult deer can be dangerous for the would-be-rescuer and for the deer because deer respond negatively to imposed outside stress.

What do I feed sick animals I find before I bring them in?

It is best to not feed anything to an ill or injured animal. Think about what is offered to a patient coming into an emergency room: nothing.  It is the same for animals.

Is it OK to feed wildlife?

No. While birdfeeders are fine to have for various species of birds, other wild animals are best left alone and there are many good reasons. below are links to information explaining why it best NOT to feed wildlife.

SPCA for Monterey County

Northwest Territories: Environment and Natural Resources

Can I visit the animal I brought in?

That is not possible. Part of the rehabilitation process demands that the animals in our care be kept in a quiet environment, minimizing human contact so they don’t become accustomed to interacting with humans. Although the care and feeding require some interaction, we keep that interaction to a minimum and do not allow visitors.

Also, PWC's Rehabilitation Center operates under state and federal permits and must adhere to strict requirements pertaining to interaction between members of the public and the wildlife in our care.

Will the animal I brought in be OK?

That is difficult to say as each animal brought in is unique and is handled individually based on its condition upon arrival at Pacific Wildlife Care. There are some animals that are beyond help when they arrive. That’s tough for everyone, and for those cases the animal is treated humanely and will suffer less than they would have had they been left to their own devices in the wild. We offer the best chance an animal has for recovery by receiving care from a full-time veterinarian, rehabilitation technicians, and trained volunteers.

How do I find out what happened to an animal I brought in?

Each animal brought into Pacific Wildlife Care is assigned a “case number.” You may ask for that case number and after a few days you can call the hotline, 805-543-9453 (WILD), and ask how that animal is doing. The hotline volunteer is sometimes very busy, so if you left a message please be patient while waiting for a call back.

Will you release an animal back to where I found it?

As much as possible Pacific Wildlife Care will release an animal to, or near, the location where it was found. Releases are done for the benefit of the animal and if it is determined that another location would be more beneficial to the animal then we will use that location. We have a re-nesting team of volunteers that will sometimes return a nestling to the nest from which it fell, or to a near-by location, depending upon the bird species and other circumstances.

Can I be there when an animal I rescued is released?

That is sometimes possible, but not always. When an animal is ready to be released we want to do it ASAP so that the animal is back in the wild and in its proper environment. We only have so much time and we are not always able to take the time to contact rescuers, many of whom would like to be present at release, and still do what is best for the animal: that is, a timely release.

Can I take care of wild animals in my home or keep them as a pet?

It is illegal for the public to care for wild animals or to keep them as pets. This is for the animal's well being as well as your own. Pacific Wildlife Care is licensed to care for wildlife through California Department of Fish & Wildlife and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services.

There are several good reasons why only licensed organizations should care for wildlife. To fully understand what rehabilitation encompasses you can read Wildlife Rehabilitation: Is It For You? (PDF).

Is there some way I can keep my cat from catching birds and other animals?

Pacific Wildlife Care has several products for sale at the center that are intended to deter cats from catching birds. This is a serious problem in all urban settings. According to Science News cats kill more than 6 billion birds annually world wide, and an estimated 1.3-4 billion in the United States. If your cat is allowed to roam outside then you might want to consider one of the following products.

BirdsBeSafe (YouTube video)

CatBib (YouTube Reuters story)

Can I do anything to prevent birds from flying into my windows?

Yes, you can. Pacific Wildlife Care has a product called WindowAlert for sale at the center.  You may also purchase it online. The small ultraviolet decals are placed on the window and can easily be seen by the birds, preventing them from flying into what they see as vegetation but what is actually being reflected by the window.


What time of the year is best to trim trees and bushes?
September through January are the best months for pruning. Do not trim during nesting season as that can start as early as March and extend into Fall. It is actually illegal to disturb established active nests. More detailed information is available in this Tree Trimming (PDF) guide.
How do I keep wild animals off my property?
See information on our Living Compatibly page.
Anna Hummingbird

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