Virginia Beach SPCA Wildlife Program
Wildlife Referral Line: 757-263-4762
UPDATE June 7, 2017: We are pleased to share this update on our wildlife permits:
May 26, 2017: VBSPCA Statement in response to the recent suspension of staff's wildlife rehabilitation permits by Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries:
The Virginia Beach SPCA deeply regrets a recent mistake having to do with the reporting of an injured bald eagle to authorities. This was an honest mistake made by a staff member who was a permitted wildlife rehabilitator trained in reporting requirements. While this mistake should not have happened, it was strictly a reporting error. The eagle received appropriate and compassionate treatment while in our care. However, the VBSPCA acknowledges that our actions on May 6, 2017 hindered an important criminal investigation into the illegal killing of a bald eagle.
Thanks to our staff members’ wildlife rehabilitation permits through the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and US Fish and Wildlife Services, the VBSPCA has assisted with the rehabilitation of tens of thousands of wildlife since the late 1990’s. The state permits have now been temporarily suspended due to the reporting errors.
The Virginia Beach SPCA is the largest provider of wildlife rehabilitation in the region. Last year the Virginia Beach SPCA, through its staff and vast network of volunteers, helped 2,600 injured and orphaned wildlife animals in need.
The VBSPCA has been helping wildlife for more than 20 years, and staff members have never previously been found in violation of state or federal wildlife rehabilitation permit conditions. We do not receive any federal, state or city government funding for our wildlife services and must raise the funds needed to fulfill our mission.
The suspension of all of our staff members’ wildlife rehabilitation permits until until January 31, 2018 precludes our organization’s ability to operate as a permitted wildlife rehabilitation facility.
The VBSPCA is taking immediate steps to appeal the disciplinary action taken by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Suspension of permits is at their discretion, and we look forward to resolution of this issue. We hope to be able to return to our life-saving rehabilitation of wildlife very soon.
Aside from having an outstanding core group of wildlife volunteers, The Virginia Beach SPCA boasts its very own Wildlife Treatment Room onsite at the shelter. We are very proud to be one of only a handful of shelters nationwide that have a dedicated room just for wildlife care. Having a separate, self-contained area provides a quiet, reduced-stress area for our wild patients, and streamlines their initial care and processing through the shelter before they are delivered to local rehabilitators.
We have an extremely dedicated group of volunteers. Our transporters ensure that wildlife received at the shelter reach the appropriate rehabilitators for continuing care. Our Referral Line volunteers assist thousands of callers each year, providing valuable advise or directing them to local wildlife rehabilitators. Several of our professional rehabilitators have cared for wildlife for almost 20 years. Our volunteer wildlife rehabilitators are located throughout Hampton Roads and receive wildlife from the shelter, from other wildlife groups and animal agencies, and also directly from the public.
We offer complete training, a new comprehensive private volunteer database, and an exceptional group of fellow volunteers willing to assist new volunteers at anytime.
We strongly advocate coexistence with wildlife and work to educate and assist the community in understanding the nature of wildlife conflicts so that humane solutions can be utilized. The majority of wildlife conflicts can be resolved by addressing the cause; what is drawing wildlife in. We strongly discourage trapping and relocation. Studies have shown that both methods are ineffective in addressing problems on a long-term basis, and may even result in higher wildlife populations.
If you have found orphaned or injured wildlife, you can contact our message line for a listing of volunteers that can assist you in locating a rehabilitator that can accept wildlife. Please call 263-4762 for more information. (Due to the volume of calls received, it may be 2-4 hours before your call is returned. Please ensure that wildlife are safely secured in lined box or carrier and are kept in a warm, dark location until you receive transport instructions. Please do not provide food or water.)