Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) publishes a list of Authorized Wildlife Custodians on their website.
This is the only 'official' list of legally authorized wildlife custodians in Ontario.
To view the list and maps,
- you may find other 'listings' of wildlife rehabilitators in
Ontario and other groups, however, neither OWREN nor the MNRF can verify if
those listed on other websites are authorized wildlife custodians on an
Before you take a wild animal to someone listed on another website, that you don't see listed on the MNRF's list, contact your district MNRF office to verify if they are authorized to accept those animals into care.
Note also that Foster Care Givers must be registered with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and be working under the direct supervision of someone who is authorized by the MNRF. Foster Care givers by law, are not permitted to directly admit wildlife into care and bypass the wildlife custodian under whom they work. All wild animals MUST be seen by the authorized wildlife custodian first, before being sent to a foster care giver.
All registered foster care givers must have a copy of the custodian's authorization (under whom they work) visible at their premises and a copy of the signed agreement with the MNRF and the custodian under whom they work, on display at their location as well. If the person to whom you are taking a wild animal does not have these documents they may not be registered, trained or qualified to provide proper care for wildlife and should not be admitting them. Foster Care givers are bound by the same Conditions of Authorization as the permit holder.
These laws exist for the protection of our native wildlife. Please help keep our native wildlife safe and well cared for.
Here is the link to the MNRF's listings:
The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNRF) in Ontario, has district offices throughout the province. Issuing authorizations to custodians falls under their jurisdiction. Each district maintains a list of those who are authorized in that area.
Here is a link to a map of the MNRF's districts:
Link listing the location and contact phone numbers of each of the district offices:
When you have obtained the number and location for the district office in your area, call and ask for the Senior Fish and Wildlife Technical Specialist. This individual should be able to provide you with the names of other authorized custodians or centres near you. It is possible that there may be other newly authorized custodians listed who were not yet authorized or on the current list provided on the MNRF's website.
OWREN MEMBERS DIRECTORY
PLEASE NOTE, OUR MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY IS CURRENTLY BEING PRINTED and will be out shortly.
Other Sources to Locate a Wildlife Rehabilitator
The Wildlife Rehabilitation Information Directory
To find listings for Canada, scroll down and click on 'International Wildlife Rehabilitator Contacts (outside the USA)'.
With an easy search function to enable you to locate by country/province or state.
National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association
Some additional links to help you find a wildlife rehabilitator.
A Word About Listings
The vast majority of wildlife custodians and rehabilitation centres in Ontario
are not paid for the work they do nor the services they provide in their own communities.
They depend on community donations, and their own fundraising efforts.
Shortfalls in funding are often offset by the custodian’s own personal income
to maintain the ability to provide care and rehabilitation for these animals.
There is no 'paid government funding' for those voluntarily doing wildlife rehabilitation.
If you want to help, please support the independent wildlife custodian
or rehabilitation centre in your own area.
No individual rehabilitator or wildlife rehabilitation centre has the unlimited resources that are necessary (caging, manpower, funding, etc.,) to responsibly and effectively care for all the wildlife that may be presented to them in a given season.
Simply because they have listed themselves on a website should not be taken to imply that an individual or a centre, can, or will, accept ALL wildlife brought to them - at ALL times. Some custodians may only have the resources or ability to effectively care for one particular species or age group within a species. Others choose to specialize in certain species and age groups and limit their intakes to provide the best care.
Please be aware of these limitations when contacting these individuals or centres (or when referring members of the public to them) and whenever possible, please contact the individual or facility directly and make arrangements in advance, before you deliver wildlife to them.
Finally, you may encounter an answering machine when you attempt to contact a rehabilitator, especially during the very busy spring and summer seasons. Be patient in waiting for a response. Some facilities prefer you contact them by email, this is likely because they are too busy and don't have a free hand to pick up all calls. VERY FEW have paid staff to answer calls and prefer you email them. Be patient with those facilities also as they are doing the best they can.
Also note that you will likely need to deliver the wild animal to the rehabilitation centre or rehabilitator. Most of them cannot fund the costs of providing free pick up services, and all of them are kept very busy caring for the animals. Please be considerate and find a way to deliver the animal to them, along with a donation. It will be gratefully accepted.