The Wildlife Rehabilitation
Center is always looking for safe places to release
hand-raised orphaned Cottontails, Raccoons, Opossums,
Gray Squirrels and Mallards. These release sites
need to be private land that is under your control.
Release sites do not need to include dozens of acres
and do not have to be strictly rural. Unfortunately
urban lots and small suburban yards are not good
environments for recently released wild animals.
Raccoons and Opossums need mature deciduous woods
with water near by, preferably with lots of oaks
(raccoons love tasty acorns!). Gray Squirrels need
similar habitats and a large suburban lot is sometimes
suitable as well. Mallards need a large pond, lake
or river, preferably with emergent and floating
If you would like to offer your property as a release
site for our beautiful rehabilitated wildlife, please
here to apply after reading our release guidelines
Release Site Guildelines
– Since most of the injured, sick, and orphaned
wild animals we care for originate in Milwaukee
County, we would like to find release locations
for them within the county. However, other release
sites are also needed. For logistical reasons, generally
the closer the site is to our location, the more
likely we will be able to use it: some species do
not travel well and cannot tolerate a long drive
to a release site.
In order to give our released patients the best
chance for long term survival, we do not release
them on or near areas that allow hunting or trapping.
Nor do we release predatory animals near game farms,
poultry farms, waterfowl refuges or endangered or
threatened species breeding areas where their species
may be considered a nuisance.
Close proximity to residential areas or heavily
traveled roads may make a tract unsuitable for the
release of some species.
Size – A tract of land does
not have to be huge to qualify as a release site.
Small tracts may be quite usable if they are adjacent
to other areas of appropriate habitat, or they are
attached to other suitable tracts by “corridors”
such as undeveloped river ways or parkways that
the animals can use to move from site to site.
Habitat – Habitat requirements
vary from species to species. Captive-raised mallards
will require a large pond, lake or river. Gray squirrels
will require deciduous woods with nut-bearing trees.
We carefully consider the habitat features of a
proposed release site before releasing animals there.
We must also consider the populations of
other animals on a proposed release site.
A tract with a high number of raccoons on it already
would make a poor choice for a raccoon release site.
A parcel of land heavily hunted by large owls or
foxes would make a poor choice for a cottontail
rabbit release site.
WILD-life – It must be understood
that we release WILD animals. They are not pets!
You must not attempt to capture, handle, or tame