What it takes to care for wildlife 

This is how much it costs from rescue to release to care for wildlife. For basic medical treatment, appropriate food/formula, and bedding:

$500 or more to raise a baby deer

​Photo credit: Emily Case


​$75 per week

Hawks and owls
​​$50 per week

Photo credit: Chet Gottfried, Ron Crandall, and Sue DeArment

$200-500 per kit

​$150 in formula to nurture baby rabbits for 60 to 90 days

​$150-200 for formula to nourish a baby squirrel to release

Breakdown of how much it costs to nurture a bird

  • $12,000 – average food costs per year
  • $1,000 – veterinary care for the year
  • $500 – food costs per WEEK from May–September
  • $90 – average amount it costs to care for an insectivore (chimney swift, barn swallow, tree swallow, etc)
  • $45 – amount it costs to raise a neonate into adulthood
If an animal is injured, the veterinary and medicinal costs can be much higher.

For example, curing an owl of West Nile Virus can cost up to $500. Repairing and rehabilitating a broken bone on a bird of prey can run upwards of $1,000. Enclosures for mammals and birds can cost in the range of $5,000.

Food, cleaning, and medical supplies needed by wildlife rehabs

 Here are the kinds of supplies needed by wildlife rehabilitation centers on a daily basis throughout the year:​


  • Dry puppy, dog, or kitten chow
    (not senior, indoor, or special diets)
  • Unsalted peanuts in the shell
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Fox Valley Raccoon Formula
  • Fruit/vegetables/chicken baby foods
  • Bird Seed
  • Black Oil Sunflower
  • Shelled Corn
  • Scratch Feed


  • Newspapers
  • Heating pads
  • Surgical drapes
  • Bales of straw or hay
  • Animal carriers and cages
  • Rubbermaid storage containers


  • Educational baby and toddler toys
  • Cat climbing trees
  • Dog and cat toys

Medical supplies

  • Lactated ringers
  • Syringes
  • Needles (all gauges)
  • Latex exam gloves
  • Sterile saline solution
  • Vet wrap, cling wrap
  • Cotton balls
  • Q-tips

Cleaning supplies

  • Plain white paper towels
  • Unscented liquid laundry detergent
  • Clorox brand bleach
  • Clorox Clean-Up liquid
  • Dawn dish detergent
  • Plain white Kleenex
  • Clorox wipes
  • Trash bags


  • Unscented baby wipes (alcohol free)
  • Wood bark mulch
Taking in over 3,000 animals annually, from the tiniest hummingbird to the largest eagle, from chipmunks to deer, Red Creek is helping others become wildlife rehabilitators through classes, seminars, and online training, expanding this service to new areas in Pennsylvania and nationally.

How to support wildlife rehabs in Pennsylvania

Give directly to a Pennsylvania wildlife rehabilitation center in your area. Browse featured PA wildlife rehabs below.
You can also purchase our annual Pennsylvania Wildlife Samaritans calendar – 100% of the Proceeds go to the featured PA wildlife rehabs! 
Not in Pennsylvania?
Find out where your local wildlife rescue and rehab is and be sure to keep their phone number handy in case you ever have a wildlife encounter (e.g., orphaned, injured wildlife in need).