How to Become a Wildlife Rehabilitator in Connecticut

Wildlife rehabilitator applicants must be 18 years of age or older. Every applicant must complete the following requirements:

  • Attend Connecticut's Wildlife Rehabilitation Seminar and pass a state examination with 80% or better.
  • Provide verification of having completed 40 hours of training under an authorized Connecticut rehabilitator with at least 3 years of experience by completing a Statement of Apprenticeship.
  • Provide verification of having veterinary services by completing a Statement of Veterinary Support.
  • Submit a Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitator application.

Once all of the above requirements are completed, a volunteer appointment will be issued.


Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitator Application
All persons seeking to rehabilitate wildlife must complete a volunteer wildlife rehabilitator application (Word form PDF version). Applications will be used to assess each individual's qualifications and experience with wildlife rehabilitation. Information regarding your facilities, veterinary resources, and affiliations with other environmental organizations will be used to supplement your qualifications.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Seminar/Exam
To ensure all qualified new applicants receive essential training in basic wildlife rehabilitation principals and become familiar with important related wildlife laws, programs, and information, all new applicants must attend and pass Connecticut's "Wildlife Rehabilitation Seminar and Exam". Seminar/exam notices will be sent to all applicants submitting completed applications during the year, and to those requesting to be on our email contact list. To be add to our email list, please send an email to Seminars are typically offered in-person or as a webinar once a year in the spring. Exams are offered the same day as the seminar and can also be taken electronically by appointment once the seminar requirement is completed.

Statement of Apprenticeship
In a continuing effort to encourage communication and cooperation between rehabilitators, all new applicants must also submit a Statement of Apprenticeship. This statement must be signed by both the applicant and an authorized rehabilitator who is familiar with your qualifications and facilities. Pre-approved continuing education credits (up to 20 hours) can be applied as part of the apprenticeship requirement. A signed certificate from the organization providing the training must be submitted to verify attendance.

Veterinary Support
All applicants must submit a statement of veterinary support. Although this requirement does not obligate the veterinarians in any manner, it does establish that, at the time of application, a veterinarian has been contacted who may provide information and/or treatment for wildlife taken in by said rehabilitator when the need for veterinarian services arises.

Types of Authorization

Standard Rehabilitator Appointment
A standard rehabilitator appointment authorizes a person to rehabilitate injured, sick, or immature nonmigratory birds and mammals (other than deer or Rabies Vector Species), until they can be released. It does not authorize the capture or relocation of nuisance wildlife.

Rabies Vector Species (RVS) Authorization
Applicants wishing to rehabilitate raccoons, skunks, and foxes -- Rabies Vector Species (RVS) -- will be required to meet additional stringent handling guidelines and disease prevention protocols developed by the State's Rabies Advisory Committee (RAC).

White-tailed Deer Authorization
Similarly, applicants wishing to receive authorization to rehabilitate fawn white-tailed deer must apply and meet fawn rehabilitation guidelines established by the Wildlife Division's Deer Program Biologist.

Migratory Birds Authorization
Applicants desiring to rehabilitate migratory birds, which includes raptors, waterfowl, and most songbirds, will also be required to obtain a federal Migratory Bird Rehabilitation permit. Migratory birds include all birds except resident gamebirds, (i.e., ruffed grouse, ring-necked pheasant, wild turkey, etc.), pigeons, starlings, house sparrows, and mute swans. Requests for applications to obtain a federal "Special Purpose Rehabilitator" permit can be made to the USFWS Migratory Bird Permit Office, P.O. Box 779, Hadley, MA 01035-0779; 413-253-8643; or download a Migratory Bird Rehabilitation Application Form.

Reporting Requirements

Rehabilitators must keep accurate records of activities and submit them on forms provided by the Department at the end of each calendar year. This will be a condition of appointment renewal.

Forms for Applicants

Volunteer Wildlife Rehabilitator Application (Word form PDF version).
Statement of Veterinarian Support Form
Statement of Apprenticeship Form

Reference Materials

Wildlife Rehabilitation Resources

Additional Forms for Wildlife Rehabilitators

For further information, contact Laurie Fortin of the Wildlife Division at or mail forms to:

Laurie Fortin
DEEP Wildlife Division
79 Elm Street
Hartford, CT  06106-5127

Content last updated in July 2023.