10 Best Wildlife Rescues in North Carolina! (2024)

Wildlife rescues in North Carolina rescue, rehabilitate, and either release or provide long-term care for various animals, from possums to owls or tigers.

Whether you are looking for a wildlife rescue to come to the aid of an animal you’ve found in North Carolina, are interested in volunteering your time, donating your money, arranging a visit, or have questions about adoptable wildlife.

This guide will give you many options on who you can call, and how to find the right wildlife rescue for you.

Other articles you would like: Adopt A Basenji Puppy and Cane Corso Adoption.

Rescued Wildlife in North Carolina


Unfortunately, wildlife in North Carolina, the same as wildlife anywhere, often becomes injured. Some injuries come from environmental factors, while some stem from mistreatment. Often baby animals are orphaned.

If you encounter suspected injured or orphaned wildlife, the best thing is to leave them alone. You certainly want to avoid touching any animal if you can. They can become aggressive, and you do not know if they carry a disease.

Rather than trying to interfere with an animal, call a wildlife rescue in your area or the NC Wildlife Helpline to help put you in contact with one.

10 Best Wildlife Rescues in North Carolina


In North Carolina, you must have a permit to keep wildlife. Licensed wildlife rehabilitators are the only people allowed to care for and keep wildlife.

Because they must have extensive training and experience to become licensed and to earn and keep their permits, wildlife rescues in North Carolina are full of knowledgeable, compassionate rescuers.

Here are the best places that rescue wildlife in North Carolina.

1. Wildlife Welfare


Wildlife Welfare was founded by wildlife lovers in 1991 and helps around 2,000 reptiles, large mammals, rodents, and other animals annually.

They rescue and rehabilitate injured and orphaned wildlife in and around Raleigh. They also provide support and resources to other wildlife rehabilitators and the community.

Wildlife Welfare Details:

  • Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Phone Number: 919-387-1662 
  • Website: Wildlife Welfare

2. Wildlife Rehab Inc. 


Wildlife Rehab Inc. is a network of licensed home-based wildlife rehabilitator volunteers.

They aim to care for and rehabilitate ill, injured, displaced, and orphaned wildlife. Some animals they’ve rehabilitated include owls, deer, possums, and squirrels. They also provided wildlife education in the community.

Their website includes information on what to do if you find wildlife potentially in need of rescue.

Wildlife Rehab Inc. Details:

  • Location: Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  • Phone Number: 336-785-0912
  • Website: Wildlife Rehab Inc.

3. Valerie H. Schindler Wildlife Rehabilitation Center


Located on the grounds of the North Carolina Zoo, the Valerie H. Schindler Wildlife Rehabilitation Center offers professional veterinary and rehabilitation services to orphaned, ill, and injured native North Carolina animals.

The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center serves over 800 animals a year and accepts donations to help them rescue wildlife.

The rehabilitation center is not open to zoo visitors.

Valerie H. Schindler Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Details: 

4. Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter


Located in Brunswick County, North Carolina, the Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter is a nonprofit that treats and rehabilitates sick, injured and orphaned wild birds.

The Shelter was founded by Mary Ellen Rogers, who identified a need in her community for wild bird rehabilitation in 2005. She spent the following two years gaining the experience, licenses, and permits she’d need to start Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter.

Dedicated to education, the organization offers community education as well as education and resources on its website.

They are open for visitors in groups of eight or fewer every day between 8:30 AM and !0:00 AM. Visits are free, but donations are happily accepted.

Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter Details:

5. Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary


Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit devoted to rehabilitating and releasing injured and orphaned wildlife.

Most of the wildlife that comes to them has had a human run-in, like being struck by a car, attacked by a pet, or taken away from their parents by a well-intentioned person.

The Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary primarily treats and cares for reptiles, shorebirds, waterfowl, songbirds, raptors, and small mammals.

They provide a permanent home for non-releasable rescues. While you can’t adopt wildlife from them, they place adoptable domestic animals.

They offer educational programs throughout their community. They also serve as a learning center for new rehabilitators or those working towards the permits and licensure they need to be wildlife rehabilitators.

The Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary accepts visitors, volunteers, and donations.

Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary Details:

6. Wildlife Rescue of Charlotte


Serving injured and orphaned wildlife of Charlotte, the Wildlife Rescue of Charlotte is a volunteer-run, home-based 501(c) (3) nonprofit that relies on donations.

Their goal is to rehabilitate and release rescued wildlife. They care for eastern gray squirrels, southern flying squirrels, opossums, eastern chipmunks, and cottontail rabbits.

The Wildlife Rescue of Charlotte has a resource on its website if you are interested in finding a local rescue that deals with other types of animals.

Wildlife Rescue of Charlotte Details:

7. Carolina Tiger Rescue


Carolina Tiger Rescue is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit wildlife sanctuary. They keep and care for around ten species, including tigers, cougars, lions, and kinkajous.

Their rescues come from private owners, small family-run zoos, circuses, and other places whenever the cats are abandoned, given up, or confiscated by the police.

Carolina Tiger Rescue is committed to protecting tigers and other big cats in captivity and those in the wild, and education is a large part of their mission. They offer education throughout their community.

They offer ticketed tours that you must purchase in advance. Their tour options include public tours, Twilight Tours (adults only), and Tiger Tales, a tour suitable for very young children. 

Carolina Tiger Rescue accepts volunteers and donations. They even have a symbolic wildlife adoption program.

For an annual donation over the course of your adopted animal’s life, you receive photos, visits with your adopted animal, and training to interact with them safely.

Carolina Tiger Rescue Details:

8. Appalachian Wildlife Refuge


The Appalachian Wildlife Refuge is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that treats, rehabilitates, and releases wildlife. They also support the wildlife rehab network and offer conservation education throughout their community.

Their facility opened in 2018 to support home-based wildlife rehabilitators overwhelmed with the area’s wildlife rescue and care needs.

While not open to the public, they hold community events and accept volunteers and donations.

You can’t physically adopt one of their animals. If you are interested in adopting wildlife, you can do so with a symbolic adoption.

For a $50 donation, you will receive a plush animal of your choice, a certificate, a folder, and satisfaction knowing you played a part in the rehabilitation and release of North Carolina wildlife.

Appalachian Wildlife Refuge Details:

9. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue


The Carolina Waterfowl Rescue is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that specializes in rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild fowl, migratory songbirds, farm animals, and reptiles.

They care for wildlife, farm, and exotic animals. Some animals that come to them, such as domestic fowl, farm, and surrendered exotic animals, are available for adoption through them if you meet specific criteria to ensure the safety of the adopted animals.

Volunteer-run and donation reliant, they hold many communities and fundraising events. However, they are not open to the public.

As with most wildlife rescues, education is part of their mission, and they have many educational resources and materials on their website.

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue Details:

10. Our Wild Neighbors (OWN)


Our Wild Neighbors provides rehabilitation and release to wildlife in the Hillsborough area. They were founded by licensed wildlife rehabilitators and wildlife lovers, are staffed by volunteers, and run entirely on donations.

They offer education to children and adults in the community and also write wildlife columns for local papers. Their website is full of resources on what to do if you should find an animal you think needs help.

They accept volunteers and offer internships.

Our Wild Neighbors (OWN) Details:

Conclusion For “Best Wildlife Rescues in North Carolina”


There are many wildlife rescues throughout North Carolina. Most of them specialize in a particular type or specific species of animals, so it is always good to know what kind of animals they work with before reaching out to them.

A few wildlife rescues in North Carolina place their animals into adoptive homes, but for the most part, whenever possible, their mission is to rehabilitate and release.

North Carolina rescues are always looking for volunteers and donations and are a great way to make a difference in your community.

If you should come across an animal you think is in distress, do not touch the animal. Call the NC Wildlife Helpline at (866) 318-2401.

You will also like:

For more information about Wildlife Animals, check out the video down below: