Willamette Valley Wildlife FAQ

We receive so many great questions about our local wildlife. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve been asked over the years:

A bird/mammal was caught by a cat – does it need help?

Yes – even if it doesn’t appear to have any scratches or bite marks! Any wild animal that has come into contact with a cat is at risk for a deadly bacterial infection. Cats carry this bacteria in their mouths and it is very often fatal to birds and small mammals. Please call our wildlife hotline and let our staff know that you’ve found a cat-caught animal, then follow the temporary care instructions on our website while you prepare to bring the animal in for care.

I’ve found a fawn (young deer) lying on the ground. Is it orphaned, and does it need my help?

It is common for mother deer to leave fawns for hours at a time while they forage. Fawns that are found alone on the ground are not usually a concern. Be sure to give the fawn space while it waits for the mother to return. If the mother does not return within several hours, call your local ODFW office for instructions. CWC is not permitted to provide care to deer, including fawns.

Can I provide care to a wild animal on my own?

It is not legal for individuals to remove native species from the wild, even when they are injured and/or orphaned (and doing so can result in a fine of more than $6,000!). Wildlife rehabilitators in Oregon are required to become permitted by ODFW through a formal application process, which includes an exam. For more information on laws surrounding wildlife in human care, we encourage you to review ODFW’s website and reach out to your local ODFW office for further questions.

Do you accept all wildlife species at the wildlife hospital?

We are able to accept native wildlife species at the discretion of the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) and the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). Species that we are not able to accept include: large mammals (including deer, coyotes, cougar, bears, wolves), non-native species (including Virginia opossums, Nutria, European Starlings, House Sparrows, and more), domestic species (including domestic ducks, exotic pets, and livestock), and wild animals found outside of our service area (mostly Corvallis-Newport-Eugene-Salem).