Tom Harford Columbia

Before Rehabilitating New York Wildlife Expert Tom Harford Explains Why You Need To Have A License First

Tom Harford is a Western State University graduate and an exotic pet expert. As a New Yorker, Tom explains why you need to have a license before rehabilitating NY wildlife.

Tom Harford is an animal lover and is the defender of exotic animals, pets, and wildlife. He recognizes there are times when people come across hurt animals in the wild. 

“This is something we sadly cannot avoid. But before taking an injured animal home, you need to consider their rights. Animals have rights too, and we need to respect the New York laws put in place to protect them,” says Tom Harford.

He further states, “This does not mean that wounded or baby wild animals should be ignored. It means they need to be cared for by a professional, a person with a license.”

The Rehabilitation Wildlife license authorizes New York residents to rehabilitate a wild animal. This entails caring for injured or young orphaned wildlife in preparation for their return to the wild.

This license is vital for taking proper care of New York wildlife. The goal is to save as many animals as we can by nurturing, loving, and obtaining the appropriate license.

Tom Harford says, “If you are an animal lover, and over the age of sixteen, you can get the license. You will need to take a few classes first to get a license. Here are a few essential things you need to know.”

  • There is no fee for Class I, Class II, or Assistant Licenses.
  • The duration of Class I and Class II Licenses is 5 years. 
  • The duration of the Assistant License is 1 year.
  • The age requirement is 16 years of age or older.

“There are two license types with subclasses for the wildlife rehabilitator license. It is vital that you become fully aware of your options. Gain as much information as you can before becoming a wildlife rehabilitator in NY,” says Harford.

  • General Wildlife Rehabilitator – Classes I, II*, and Assistant
  • Rabies Vector Species Wildlife Rehabilitator – Classes I, II*, and Assistant

With the license, you can care for injured or debilitated wildlife. This includes most of the following:

  • Mammals
  • Reptiles & amphibians
  • Unregulated bird species (i.e., pigeons, European starlings, house sparrows)
  • Some regulated game birds (i.e., turkey, pheasant, grouse)
  • Capturing, housing, feeding and providing emergency treatment to injured wildlife.

If you find a nest of baby birds with no parents or an injured mammal, it is essential to call local officials. Do not take them home—that is, unless you have the Wildlife Rehabilitation License.Learn more about Thomas Harford by visiting his website:

Leave a Comment