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State Agencies that Maintain Lists of Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators

The links below are to lists maintained by the state agencies under which wildlife rehabilitators are permitted. States have varying requirements for licensure, and some still have none. At NOS, we do not think that a license automatically qualifies a person as a good caregiver for opossums. There are as many nuances as there are individuals. For instance, many licensed rehabbers have apprentices, or sub-permitees. It is not uncommon for those working under the permit holder to get minimal actual instruction for caring for their charges, and that seems to be more common when all are working under the umbrella of a larger organization.

There are also myriad of reasons that a rehabber might choose not to be licensed. State agencies vary widely on policies and also on unofficial attitudes regarding assisting wildlife. Many are laser-focused on managing wildlife strictly for their availability for hunters and trappers to "harvest", and have very little interest in rehabilitation. Some have so little interest that they may want to make things as difficult as possible for the rehabber, especially regarding certain species.(Of course there are state wildlife representatives on the other side of that coin that bend over backwards to assist the rehabber with friendly contact and transport of wildlife in need.) We know of many excellent care-givers who have never been licensed, and others who choose not to renew their license for various reasons.

A benefit of knowing that a care-giver is licensed is that, depending on the state, there are some regulations in place that should serve to benefit the animals, like housing requirements, cleaning protocols, other husbandry issues, and, importantly, euthanasia standards. These may be based on Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation. If a state has an examination that must be passed in order to obtain a license, then the licensee has probably had to learn about meeting nutritional requirements and how to ensure that a formula/diet contents and schedules meet the requirements of different species. They may have had to learn to calculate drug dosages based on body weight and study which parenteral or oral fluids are suited to which situation. A licensee generally has access to, and is sometimes under the supervision of a veterinarian with an interest in wildlife medicine.

We believe that, as a species, opossums have some inherent disadvantages, no matter what the legal status of the caregiver is. They can be difficult to rehab, but that difficulty isn't always recognized among rehabbers. Their physiology is unforgiving of many errors in how they are cared for. And they aren't seen as glamorous. These are essentially the reasons the National Opossum Society even exists! We want to support caregivers and rehabbers who are trying to do their best by the opossums in their care, despite the difficulties.

If you haven't been able to find assistance for the opossum you have rescued, please use these links to expand your search. LittleGuy











Kansas Occasionally a state has a disparaging orphaned/injured wildlife site that encourages
you to do as little as possible to help wildlife. Shame on you, Kansas. We see you.
They do have a list of licensees, however.








Mississippi Occasionally a state has a disparaging orphaned/injured wildlife site that encourages you to do as little as possible to help wildlife. Shame on you, Mississippi. We see you. They do have a list of licensees, however.




New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina



Oregon Oregon has a "prohibited species" list that includes opossums, cottontail rabbits, and Eastern grey squirrels. Like anyone who values habitat and ecosystem preservation, we at NOS understand that invasive species are a problem worldwide. But Oregon's war on opossums is not founded on scientific data,and it is simple to understand that even if opossums had not been introduced to the state 100 years ago, they would have easily migrated there in a natural manner. Shame on you, Oregon. Contact the rehabbers on the list and ask for their frank advice. Rehabbers in neighboring states may be able to help.


Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota We are horrified to learn of South Dakota's bounty program on opossums, badgers, striped skunks, racoons and foxes. If you live in SD, please contact your governor and legislators regarding this appalling program.






West Virginia


British Columbia




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