To become a wildlife rehabilitator, you should first become involved with a local licensed facility. To acquire an individual permit, you must work for two years with a wildlife facility; during this time, you should learn as much as possible about the species that you plan to rehabilitate. Depending on your state and the species you are planning to work with, you may also need state and federal applications for your status.
- Begin working with a local rehabilitation facility
The first step toward becoming a wildlife rehabilitator is working with an existing rehab facility. You need a minimum of two years of experience and should take advantage of the opportunity to learn as much about rehabilitating animals as possible.
- Obtain letters of recommendation
Ask the existing facilities in your state for letters of recommendation. Make sure the letters outline why you are qualified to run a rehabilitation center, and explain the need for a new wildlife rehabilitation facility.
- Get a veterinarian to work with you
Get a letter from a veterinarian declaring his intent to work with you.
- Obtain and complete state and federal applications
The specific agencies with which you have to register vary depending on several factors, including your state and the animals you plan to rehabilitate. If your state has a Fish and Game department, that is a good place to start. Also check with the Federal Fish and Wildlife department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.