Help for Sick, Injured, or Orphaned Wildlife

What to Do If You Find Wildlife in Need of Assistance

First, call us for advice at (270) 547-4200.  We answer our phones 365 days a year, and do our best to answer calls 24 hours a day.  We will do our best to reply immediately in critical situations. 

Raccoon, Heron, Hawk, and Bunny


We accept all native wildlife in need in Kentucky.  We can send a driver to a limited area, depending on the nature of the call.  We would appreciate if animals could be brought to us, or at least if you can meet us part way, especially if the call involves a baby or small animal that can safely be contained in a box or carrier.  Call us at (270) 547-4200 and we will provide advice, or possibly refer you to a wildlife rehabilitator that may be closer to you.  If the line is busy or you can't get through, it's because we're helping others, so we ask for your patience and please, keep trying and leave a voicemail message.  Please do not post messages about animals in need on our Facebook page or send messages or e-mails because they are not monitored 24 hours a day. It's imperative that animals get help as soon as possible.  Please consider making a donation to help offset the transportation costs if we travel to pick up an animal.  That will help keep our ambulances on the road.  Even a $5 donation makes a difference!

Be cautious and do not handle wildlife unless it is absolutely necessary. If you must, use heavy gloves, towels, and be extremely careful, especially with mammals and birds with sharp beaks and talons.  A bite or scratch from a wild animal can have serious consequences for you AND the animal. Remember, though you understand your intentions, wild animals see you as a predator, not a rescuer, and you or the animal could be injured. During transportation, remember that an unconscious animal may regain consciousness, so be sure that your carrier or box is secured. Your safety, and that of the animal, could depend on this.

Keep the animal warm, dark and quiet, keep them away from children and pets, and CALL US. Our staff includes a full-time wildlife veterinarian and state and federally licensed wildlife rehabilitators who are experienced and can advise you. If you can, put the animal in a box or container lined with paper towels and make sure there are air holes for breathing, but not big enough that an animal can get it's head through or get stuck. Resist the urge to keep babies and raise them yourself. Not only can it be illegal, but it's not in the long term best interest of the animal. There's a reason why our staff members get licensed and go to seminars - there's a lot to learn!

Please do not feed or force water on wildlife. Feeding the wrong food or forcing water on baby birds or mammals, or on sick animals, can actually kill them.

Every minute counts in some situations. In other situations, we may tell you to just leave the animal alone.  Baby rabbits and fawns who are just waiting for their mom to return, or fledgling birds who are learning to fly while their parents care for them, may not need your help.  Unless you know for sure that an animal has been orphaned, monitor the baby to make sure that mom is not just out searching for food.  Baby birds, for instance, do not just fly out of the nest - they learn to fly from the ground up.  If they are feathered and hopping around, they are most likely fledgelings who are spending several days in the trees or on the ground in bushes, while their parents feed them and teach them how to survive.  If baby birds have fallen out of a nest and are not fully feathered, you may be able to return them to the nest if they aren't injured.  Fawns stay hidden in the bushes for hours while their moms are nearby, so resist the temptation to "kidnap" them unless you know for sure that something has happened to the mom. That's why it's important to contact us for guidance.

We receive many calls and messages requesting follow-up information and photos of animals that compassionate folks have rescued and sent to us. We understand why people want to know what happened after they have made such an effort, but please remember that we are a hospital and our priority is caring for the animals. Especially during baby season, we have hundreds of babies who need to be fed and cared for, some every 15 minutes, and some even throughout the night. We would love to follow up on all the requests, but sometimes it just isn't possible. Imagine that we may have 15-20 baby robins being fed - it's almost impossible to determine which one came from where while they are all squawking for dinner! Please don't assume that the animal you rescued didn't survive - we have a very high success rate and just because we can't track down a specific animal does NOT mean that something bad happened. Our goal is to give every animal the best care possible so that they can be released back into their native environment.

And last but not least, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Broadbent Wildlife Sanctuary. We are a charity and rely on our friends in the community for support. We do not receive funding from the government. No donation is too small and every donation is GREATLY appreciated!

Thank you so much to everyone who contacts us about wildlife in need, and to those who also make donations. We could not do OUR work without YOUR help.

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