Unsure of whether or not to call the hotline? Here are some answers to commonly asked questions.
If you currently have an injured animal, stop reading and contact our Wildlife Hotline.
Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue's A Wildlife Exclusion Service helps homeowners and business owners with nuisance wildlife issues. We are centrally located in Petaluma and are available to help you when you need it. Please click the button below to view our website.
We assist with the recue, release and rehabilitation of most sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. Visit our Found an Animal page and select the type of animal found for species specific information.
It is illegal in the state of California to relocate wildlife. If you have caught an animal on your property, you must release it on your property. If you are afraid to release the animal on your property by yourself and need assistance, call AWES at (707) 992-0276. If the trapped animal is injured, leave a message on the hotline.
We can only come and rescue animals if a finder is willing to wait and watch the animal. Otherwise, animals usually slink away, and we can’t find them to help them. If you can return and keep eyes on the animal, please call our Wildlife Hotline.
While odd behavior can be indicative of rabies, and skunks and raccoons are a rabies vector species, occurrence of rabies in both species is very low in Sonoma County. For exact statistics, contact the Health Department. It is not uncommon to see raccoons or skunks during the day, especially in times of drought. When food sources at night are not sufficient, they will extend their foraging hours into daylight. However, if you see them circling, stumbling, or falling down, this may be a sign of distemper. If this is the case, please contact our Wildlife Hotline.
Animals come into your yard to seek food, water, or shelter, not just to annoy you. If you remove the reason for their attraction to your area, you can discourage them from coming. The following tips should help discourage these animals from visiting your yard.
If you would like to schedule an in person consultation through our Wildlife Exclusion Service, please click below.
DO NOT TOUCH THE BAT!
Call Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue at (707) 526-9453 and we will advise you on the
safest way to handle the situation. Bats are a rabies vector species. In all instances where a human or domestic animal is possibly exposed to a bat by a bite, scratch or mucus membrane contact, the bat in question must be safely collected and tested for rabies, resulting in euthanasia.
A wild mammal that lets you approach it could be sick and could have rabies. Handle bats as you would any other wild animal, with great caution. Do not touch it whatsoever. A bat will bite in self-defense. Please click below for flowchart on bat and what to do if you find them.
If you have a persistent bat problem (i.e. in your attic or the eaves of your home), it is an exclusion case. Please click here to learn more about our exclusion services.
There are many skunk smell remover formulas. Tomato juice is completely ineffective.
Volunteers here who work with skunks recommend this:
Mix the following:
1 quart 3 percent hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
1 teaspoon liquid soap or dish detergent
Mix these together and bathe ("shampoo" in or rub down) the spray victim thoroughly.
Be sure to use this mixture immediately after it is created, as it is unstable.
Rinse with tap water afterward, and repeat if necessary.
For spray in the eyes, flush with water as soon as possible.
For spray stuck on clothing or fabric, lay the items in the sun for a couple of days.
This opossum most likely does not have rabies. They hiss, drool, and play dead as a defense mechanism. The opossum is probably scared of you. Furthermore, the opossum’s body temperature is so low that the rabies virus doesn’t thrive in opossums. If the opossum is injured, we’ll gladly take care of it. Please contact our Wildlife Hotline.
It is illegal to trap and relocate animals in the state of California. See CA Trapping Laws for more information. Release the animal you caught by accident. If it is stuck in part of the trap, or it has been injured in the trapping process, call our Wildlife Hotline.
If you are scared to release it by yourself, call AWES at (707) 992-0276.
We work with wild animals only. Please call your local animal control or humane society. Forgotten Felines of Sonoma County deals with stray cats. Their number is (707) 576-7999.
Unfortunately, our permits do not cover wild pigs, as the Department of Fish and Wildlife views them as a domestic animal and an invasive species. We are unable to help wild pigs. Please call the Department of Fish and Wildlife at (707) 944-5500.
First, place the nest back as close to the original area as possible. If the nest itself is destroyed, you can put babies in a box with a towel in it in the same area. Leave the area undisturbed for about 24 hours to give the mother a chance to move her babies to another area. If the mother has left any or all babies behind after this time period, please call our Wildlife Hotline.