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Wildlife Advice/Contacts

Unfortunately Zoo Staff are not able to come out to your home to collect or dispose of a wild animal. The information below is provided to help you find the correct organization to call.

West Nile Virus

I've Found a wild animal

Found Dog/Cat


Poison Control

Cats and Wildlife

Contact Phone Numbers


Have you found a dead bird or squirrel?

Please dispose of the dead bird or squirrel by placing it in a plastic bag and then in your garbage can. Please call the West Nile Virus hot line at 1-877-968-2473 (1-877-WNV-BIRD) to report the location of the dead bird or squirrel for their stats. Or visit the California Department of Public Health online at www.westnile.ca.gov You can only contract West Nile Virus by mosquito bites, not from dead birds or squirrels.

A pre-recorded phone line educates callers on West Nile Virus at 916-874-2000, toll free (866) 319-2001. Information is available in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Hmong, Mien, Arabic, and Russian. 

What to do if you find a wild - or domestic - animal in need.

Please note that Zoo Staff are unable to leave the premises to take any animal to Sacramento Wildlife Care or any other Wildlife facility for you, and that we are not a drop-off station for found animals.  Please use the correct contact information provided here to best care for your found bird or mammal. 

If you see an animal with the following symptoms, it could need your help:

  • Obvious injury such as broken bones or bleeding
  • Visible parasites such as flies or maggots
  • Inability to flee danger such as people, other animals, traffic, hot sun, flooding, etc.
  • Listlessness or apparent absence of fear or concern.
  • Inability to stand.
  • Uncoordinated movements.

If you think the animal will be safe, call for expert help. It's best if you can leave someone who can keep an eye on the animal while you call. Scroll down for list of qualified rescue people.

Sacramento Wildlife Care (a volunteer organization) take injured wildlife - birds, squirrels, and small mammals. Call them first at 916.965(WILD)9453. Their facility is open 7 days a week from 10am - 5.30pm. They are located in McClellan Park, in the old airforce base between Watt Ave and Winters exits.  Their address is 5211 Patrol Road.   Please visit their website too which has lots of great information and volunteer opportunities. Click Here.

Directions from Davis or West Sacramento going East on Hwy 80: Take I-80 to the RALEY BLVD exit (2.6 mi West of Watt Ave, 5.4 mi East of Hwy 5) - go 0.3 mi, Turn L or North on RALEY BLVD - go 0.4 mi, Turn R on BELL AVE - go 0.7 mi past a stop sign at Pinell St and just past Dayton St, but before Astoria St., Turn L on PARKER AVE (Gate 657 or big opening in chain link fence just past DAYTON ST) - go 0.2 mi, Turn R on DEAN ST (just past several RR tracks) - go 0.1 mi, Turn L on PATROL RD (just past Urbani Ave and another RR track) - go 0.8mi

From Citrus Heights or Auburn going West on Hwy 80: Take I-80 to the WINTERS ST exit (1.6 mi West of Watt Ave, 6.4 mi East of Hwy 5) - go 0.2 mi, Turn R or North on WINTERS St - go 0.6mi, Turn L on BELL AVE (at the dead end) - go 0.3 mi past Astoria St, but before Dayton St and Pinell St, Turn R on PARKER AVE (Gate 657 or big opening at end of chain link fence before DAYTON ST.) - go 0.2 mi, Turn R on DEAN ST (just past several RR tracks) - go 0.1 mi, Turn L on PATROL RD (just past Urbani Ave and another RR track) - go 0.8 mi.


  • California Fish and Game Dispatch: 916-445-0045
  • Gold Country Wildlife Care: 530-885-0862 (Placer & Nevada)
  • Sacramento Wildlife Care: 916-965-9453 (Sacramento & Placer)
  • Sierra Wildlife Care: 530-621-4661 (El Dorado County)
  • Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care: 530-577-2273
  • Tri County Wildlife Care: 209-223-2809


Remember 3 things - WARM, DARK AND QUIET

  • If possible, prepare a container: a closable cardboard box, a pet carrier, or a paper grocery sack.
  • If you can, cover the animal/bird with a light sheet, a shirt, or towel and gently pick it up and place in the container.
  • Keep the animal/bird in a warm, dark, quiet place.
  • Don't give the animal/bird food or water.
  • Leave the animal/bird alone. Keep children and pets away.
  • Note exactly where you found the animal/bird. This is important for finding the owner, or for release of a wild animal.
  • Wash you hands, crate, towels, etc.
  • For a pet, contact a veterinarian or animal control facility immediately.
  • For a wild animal, contact a wildlife rescue group, state wildlife agency, or wildlife veterinarian immediately. (Scroll down for list and telephone numbers.)

What could go wrong?

A frightened or injured wild animal - or pet - might bite. If you think there is a risk, don't take a chance. Call for professional assistance. Never approach an injured animal. Never touch an animal acting strangely. NEVER touch a bat or skunk.

Wild animals/birds sometimes carry diseases or parasites that can be transmitted to humans and pets. Rabies is an example of one dangerous disease, and ticks and mites are common parasites.



Caring for wildlife is very different from caring for domestic animals and it will be a lot harder than you initially expect. An animal raised by a human loses fear of ALL humans. Wild animals must learn survival skills from parents. If you keep a wild animal even briefly it will not survive when you let it go.

  • Teach children to respect wildlife - to look but don't touch and to ask an adult if they think an animal needs help.
  • Never keep any wild animal, even a turtle, frog, or snake, as a pet.
  • Know the law: birds, mammals and reptiles are protected by Federal and State laws.
  • Collect all line and lures and dispose of properly when fishing.
  • Don't feed your pets outside. Don't tempt wild animals to snack in your yard.
  • Educate yourself and your family about living with urban wildlife.
  • Education = Safety. For you and animals.

Wild Orphan?

If you see a wild animal who seems orphaned or abandoned, stand back and watch from a considerable distance - or leave and come back later to see if the parent has returned. Often wild mothers leave their young to hunt for food. This is particularly true of mammals: for example, deer and seals may leave babies for several hours. Be sure the little ones really need your help before you intervene. It is OK to put baby birds back in nests, if they're not injured. If the nest has fallen, put it in a small container, and put it as high in the tree as you safely can.

Found a Dog or Cat?

If you think it's safe to approach the animal, check the dog for a collar and license, rabies tag or address/telephone tag. If safe, leash or contain the dog while you call Folsom Animal Services at 439-2268 M-F 7:30 - 4:30 PM. Provide water. If the dog has no tags, remember that most veterinary and animal control facilities will scan for a microchip. (Responsible cat, bird, reptile, etc. owners microchip their pets, too.)

If you can keep the animal for a few days, put up signs around your neighborhood. Check newspaper lost dog and cat sections. Most newspapers will advertise found animals for free. Call all the animal control agencies/shelters in your area for advice and assistance.

Lost a Dog or Cat?

Does your dog or cat know your phone number? No. So license your animal, and provide a collar with a name tag. Or consider permanent microchipping: vets or shelters can do it inexpensively. Visit local animal control shelters daily. (Don't call - Visit!) Check to see if your local shelter has a "pet match-up line" and use it. Put up "missing" signs (with photo if possible) in your neighborhood. Check your phone messages frequently.


Any snake can bite! Leave all snakes alone, and give them a chance to move off. If you have a rattlesnake that you feel is a threat, you can call Animal Control or your local Fire Department for advice. Do not try and approach or capture the snake yourself. Also consider "snake-proof" fencing your yard if you are in an area that is Rattlesnake habitat. Remember - especially if you are living in a new home construction site, that your land was probably once their home - give them a chance to relocate!

  • Folsom Animal Services Officer:  916-439-2268 
  • Sacramento County Animal Control: 916-368-7387
  • Sacramento City Animal Control: 916-264-7387
  • El Dorado County Animal Control: 530-621-5795 (Placerville)
  • Placer County Animal Control: 530-886-5500

    Rattlesnakes are quite shy. Their rattle is a warning to STAY AWAY. Rattlesnakes use their venomous bite to kill the small mammals they eat. You can't always identify a rattlesnake by color patterns, it's rattle, or triangular shaped head.


    • Tease a snake of any kind. Many people are bitten trying to kill a snake.
    • Rattlesnakes bite because they're frightened and are protecting themselves.
    • Never corner a snake. Give it a chance to escape.
    • Never touch a freshly killed rattlesnake. The head can still have reflex actions that can cause multiple bites.


    • Be aware of your surroundings. Wear high topped shoes/boots and long pants in rattlesnake country. Stay on trails and out of bushes and tall grass. Look where you put your hands and feet.
    • Keep your dogs on a leash. Rattlesnakes can be deadly.
    • Remember that headphones block out the sounds of nature: some are warning sounds, like the buzz of a rattlesnake.


    • Move yourself or the victim away from risk of a second bite. Record the time for emergency personnel.
    • Remain calm. Keep your heart rate low. Avoid strenuous activity.
    • If possible keep bite area at heart level.
    • Remove rings and jewelry to prevent problems when swelling starts.
    • Don't eat or drink anything.
    • Don't attempt to remove venom - by suction or cutting.
    • Call 911 or go directly to the nearest hospital.


    Acetaminophen (Tylenol
    Ibuprofen, Ketopropohen
    Tricyclic Antidepressants
    Japanese yew
    Apricot pits
    Walnuts (if moldy)
    Dumb Cane

    Onion & Garlic
    Rodent Bait
    Household Cleaners
    Pine Oil Cleaners
    Many over the counter flea products.

    Never give your animal any medication without checking with your veterinarian.

    Questions? Sacramento Poison Control: 1-800-876-4766


    • Sacramento County Animal Control: 916-368-7387
    • Sacramento City Animal Control: 916-264-7387
    • El Dorado County Animal Control: 530-621-5795 (Placerville)
    • Folsom Animal Control officer: 916-439-2268
    • Placer County Animal Control: 530-886-5500
    • Sacramento SPCA: 916-383-7387



    • Folsom Feline Rescue: 916-484-4099



    • California Domestic Ferret Assn: www.cdfa.org


    • Animal Place: 707-449-4814

    • California Potbellied Pig Assn & Rescue: 925-937-9045


    • Companion Parrot Connection: 530-237-6283


    • House Rabbit Society: 916-863-9690



    • Rat Res Q: 530-268-3502


    • California Foundation for Birds of Prey: 916-645-3708
    • U.C.Davis Raptor Center: 530-752-6091


    • International Bird Rescue: 707-207-0380
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