Baby bird season is upon us. Please read these helpful tips, terminology and information on what to do if you find a baby bird.

HATCHLING -This means the baby has no feathers (is pink) or just has a small bit of down. The eyes are still closed. FIRST look for the nest. It is usually close to where you found the baby. If it is safe to do so, PUT THE BABY BACK! If no nest is found then proceed to getting the baby to warmth and  safety. (See below, “keeping a baby bird warm”)         

NESTLING – This means the baby is partially feathered, his eyes are open and he is alert an active. FIRST look for the nest! It is usually close to where you found this baby. If it is safe to do so, PUT THE BABY BACK! If no nest is found then proceed to getting the baby to warmth and safety. (See below, “keeping a baby bird warm”)
 Nestling Woodpecker 7/1/11

FLEDGLING – This baby is completely feathered. He is able to perch upright and can usually hop away from you. This baby is learning to FLY! Gently pick him up and place him in a tree close to where you found him and leave him alone. The parents may be out of sight but are near and watching. ALL baby birds must come to the ground to learn to fly; this is part of fledging. We get too many birds each year from well-meaning people thinking these birds need help. Interfering with a fledging baby bird is like kidnapping from the parents. 
The only time a fledgling should be rescued are for these reasons: if it is weak, falling to one side and/or puffed out; has one wing drooping lower than the other; or can not perch or stand. A good rule of thumb is, 


Fledgling Woodpecker 7/9/11
  • KEEPING A BABY BIRD WARM: Cup the baby in your hands until you can get it to a heat source. Place the baby in a towel lined box. Place the entire box on a heating pad on medium setting and contact a licensed rehabilitator immediately.
    Another option is to use a hot water bottle filled with warm water. Wrap it in a towel and place in the box with the baby.
  • DO NOT put a baby in direct contact with a heat source. Always use towels, an old t-shirt or blanket, etc., as a buffer.
  • DO NOT FEED, even if the baby is asking. CONTACT USor another rehabilitator right away.

It is NOT TRUE that if you touch a baby bird its mother will reject it. Birds have little to no sense of smell and will not reject their young. If it is safe to do so, put the baby back in its nest!

NEVER offer water to a baby bird. Mother birds have no way to carry water to their young – this means they do not drink water while still being fed by their parents. Giving water can aspirate a baby bird.

NEVER buy store-bought baby bird formula for wild birds. This formula is made for pets and can make a wild bird very ill. (Regardless of what the store employees tell you).

This baby mockingbird was raised on a store bought formula and has suffered from metabolic bone disease.

Leave the feeding of baby birds to trained rehabilitators!

                Valley Wildlife Care hand feeding a baby Nuttal’s woodpecker

DO NOTattempt to raise the baby on your own. Wild birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. You must be a licensed facility to have a wild bird in your possession for more than 24 hours. As tempting as it may be, the majority of the birds cared for by well-meaning people for more than 24 hours usually die. This is a result of improper diet, temperature, aspiration, etc.

call a licensed rehabilitator as soon as you find a baby bird.

*Please note, we are unable to pick up animals from the public.  We will spend the next several weeks to months caring for the animal that you have found, and hope that the public can do their part by getting the animal to one of our volunteers. We can direct you to the closest volunteer or organization possible.  The only exception to this is skunks and/or dangerous species, in which case we will handle such species on a case by case basis.*

Valley Wildlife Care (818) 346-8247
Raptors and songbirds (no seabirds or pigeons)

Anna Reams (805) 581-3911
Wildlife Care of Ventura County
Crows and ravens

South Bay Wildlife (310) 378-9921 Raptors, songbirds and hummingbirds
          nestling red-tailed hawk

Valley Wildlife Care Home

Welcome to Valley Wildlife Care

We are a non-profit, volunteer organization serving the San Fernando Valley and surrounding areas.  We are dedicated to rescuing and rehabilitating native wildlife species and releasing them back into their natural environment. 

Wildlife need rescue for a multitude of reasons, both natural and human caused.  They can be hit by cars, fall out of nests, or be injured by other animals, to name a few.  Some of the most common dangers that we see affecting our native species are:

  • cars
  • power lines
  • building structures and windows
  • primary and secondary poisoning
  • gunshots
  • pesticides
  • disease/illness
  • tree trimming (except October through December)

At Valley Wildlife Care, we are licensed, trained and experienced in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.  We work closely with veterinarians to give the best emergency and ongoing care for every animal, with the ultimate goal of release back into the wild.

Spring and summer are an extremely busy time of year for us, so e-mail might be the fastest way to reach us.  If you have found an injured or orphaned bird or mammal, keep it in a warm, dark and quiet place and DO NOT attempt to give food and water.

Contact Information
Mailing address (mail only, no animal drop off):
6520 Platt Avenue #203
West Hills, CA 91307
Phone:  (818)346 8247
If you have any questions or comments, please contact by email:

Thank you for visiting Valley Wildlife Care.  Please visit again for further updates.

Licensed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service,  City of Los Angeles and California Department of Fish & Game

Valley Wildlife Care is a registered non-profit CA Corp with a 501C3 status. All donations are tax-deductible per the IRS publication 4220.

Help! I Found A Wild Baby Parrot

What to do if you find a wild baby parrot.

By Angela Pham

Photo Courtesy: Brenda Varvarigos
A baby parrot some weeks after being brought in to one of the centers. He is healthy and doing quiEncountering a wild baby parrot is a rare occurrence, but it’s a delicate situation that can’t be taken lightly, bird experts say.

Wild parrot flocks thrive in California’s warm climate. And it’s up to local bird rehabilitation and adoption groups to ensure that found wild baby parrots receive immediate, attentive care.

Southern California boasts flocks of wild Amazon parrots, which are hybrids of Lilac-crowns and Green-cheeked Amazons, and conures, said Bonnie Kenk, founder and executive director of the Parrot Education & Adoption Center (PEAC), based in San Diego. In the San Fernando Valley area, wild parrot species include mitred conures, red-crowned parrots and red-lored Amazons.

But in spite of the existence of these flocks, Kenk said her organization hasn’t had to take in a wild baby parrot since 2003.

“They do belong with their flock, so I’m thrilled that we can keep them out there,” Kenk said.

If a wild baby parrot is found by someone and it has feathers, Kenk first recommends that the person watch over if for the course of several days to ensure that the parents of the bird are feeding and caring for their baby. If the baby is unfeathered and its parents are nowhere to be seen, or the baby parrot appears injured, she instructs that the bird should be immediately brought in to a group like PEAC for care.

“I haven’t had anyone call since [2003] who has found an injured or unfeathered baby parrot,” Kenk said. “But when we were taking them in, regardless of their age, the person was always willing to bring the bird to me within an hour’s time so I could feed it.”

But feeding a wild baby parrot is something that should be left only to the experts, like those at Kenk’s PEAC, or Brenda Varvarigos, director of the nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation group, Valley Wildlife Care of the San Fernando Valley (VWC) in California. VWC is one of the rare around-the-clock rehabilitation groups in southern California that takes in wild parrots.

Varvarigos said that if passers-by tried to feed a wild baby parrot, they are likely to do the bird more harm than good. Feeding these unique birds requires a special technique that involves more than simply inserting food into the baby’s mouth, she said. Those inexperienced with wild, young parrot species should not risk hurting the bird.

While feeding the baby parrot should be avoided, keeping it warm until it can be taken in by rehabbers is essential. How quickly it should be transported to the bird experts is determined by the baby parrot’s age.

Avian veterinarian Attila Molnar, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, whose services are frequently used by Valley Wildlife Care, said if the parrot that is found has feathers, it is likely to be at least 8 weeks old or older. These older baby birds can be kept in a quiet, dark box or small plastic container with warmth from a heating light or heated blanket overnight until it can be transported to an avian veterinarian or bird rehabilitator, though Dr. Molnar warns that a person should be careful not to overheat the bird and burn it. Kenk also recommends that people gently wrap the baby parrot to keep it warm.

But if the baby parrot does not yet have feathers, Molnar said the bird is much more delicate: “The bird must be rushed to an emergency hospital to a vet and be fed [by the avian veterinarian] every three hours,” he said.

Finding an injured wild baby parrot is another story. Molnar stresses that while finders of a baby parrot should not try to medicate the bird themselves, even a layperson can help an injured baby from worsening the damage.

He suggests that if a baby parrot has a broken wing or leg, the person can gently push back the limb or wing into a normal position and stabilize it with a large wrap or bandage. If the parrot has an open fracture and the bone is exposed, he recommends gently stretching the wing or leg, placing the bone under the skin, applying triple antibiotic ointment to the wound to cut infection, and bandaging everything up. The bird should then be transported to an avian veterinarian “as soon as possible,” Molnar said.

Because spring and summer, the months when most parrots breed, have passed, wild baby parrots will probably not be found by people until next year, Varvarigos said. Her organization reports that about 75 to 90 percent of wild baby parrots are found in palm trees in the Southern California area, but Varvarigos also notes that each year more wild babies are brought in.

So far, in 2008, VWC has taken in 12 wild baby parrots, she said. In 2007, there were seven; in 2006, there were five; and in 2005, only two had been taken in. Varvarigos said she suspects that habitats are expanding and breeding is more successful, though she said that wild parrots typically have a low survival rate.

After a wild baby parrot is taken in by rehabilitators, like the Parrot Education & Adoption Center or Valley Wildlife Care, and care is provided, two options exist: adoption or release. Choosing which route to take is often dependent on the age of the parrot.

Kenk said that if a baby parrot entered without feathers, it can easily become tame and be placed for adoption as a domestic pet. For older parrots, the transition to being tamed is not as easy, and these birds are typically returned to the wild.

“[Older parrots] have been taught all their wild instincts by their parents and are not happy being in captivity,” Kenk said. “If they can be released, they are released back with their flock. If they cannot be released, they are transferred to a sanctuary.”

With the increasing influx of wild baby parrots taken in, funding becomes even more essential for these parrot rehabilitators, Varvarigos said. Though she emphasizes that Valley Wildlife Care does not turn any birds away, she said that parrots are not cheap to treat. Veterinarian fees and the cost of feed during the current tough economic times have taken a toll on the group, which relies solely on donations to operate.

“Our group takes in more than 95 percent of all the wild birds from animal control, from six Los Angeles city animal shelters,” Varvarigos said. “But if we don’t take them in, who else is going to?”

Duck & Duckling Help

HELP I have a mother duck and ducklings

in my swimming pool!

Why are they in my pool?

Mother ducks do not have their babies in ponds or lakes because male ducks (drakes) are very aggressive. They will drown all of the babies in attempts to continue mating with the mother duck. A mother duck must find a safe nesting place to birth and raise her young away from other ducks…YES YOUR POOL!

Can we move them?

NO. First- Duck’s are protected under the migratory bird treaty act. Therefore, it is illegal to tamper with them for any reason; the only exception to this is if they are injured, then they can be safely transported to a licensed wildlife rehabber.Let’s say it was NOT illegal… Well, unless you know of a body of water that is not inhabited by other ducks, where do you plan on taking them?  Many people make the mistake of gathering up the family and releasing them in park ponds and lakes. This is a BIG mistake, as soon as the male ducks spot the family, they will kill them all. Why do you think she chose NOT to nest there?

They cannot get out of my pool.

Right! They can get in but not out. You must build some sort of ramp for the babies to get out. You can use anything from ply wood to an iron board. Be creative!  Ducklings have no feathers, only fuzz…Therefore, they have no drying oils. If they get wet, they must get out and get under their mother who will then shed her oils onto her baby’s skin which will dry them.  Hypothermia is the number one killer of ducklings. If you see a straggler that can not get out of the pool, help him out!

How can I get them out of my yard?

Ducklings can not fly until they are roughly 8 weeks of age. Therefore, mommy duck must go on foot wherever she wants to take her babies. This means crossing the 101, Ventura Blvd, Topanga Canyon, you get my point…. Leave your gates open and do not feed them. They will leave! There generally is not enough food in one yard to satisfy an entire family.

What if I find an orphaned Ducking?

DO NOT let it get wet! Place it in a box with a soft lining. Place the box on a heating pad on a low setting. Call a rehabber!

What if I see ducks crossing busy streets?

The best you can do is help them by deterring traffic around the crossing family. They are not lost! Mom knows where she is going but she needs to go on foot since her babies can not fly!Ducklings have very poor survival odds. As cute as they are, they’re natures little prey species. Everything likes to eat them and they are an easy target. Some of their predators are dogs, cats, cars, crows, ravens, hawks, opossums, raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, weasels and more. A mother can have two clutches of up to 15 babies per year. Only one or two per year might make it to adult hood.

For more information, please contact us at:

send us an e-mail at

Smokey the Owl

January 2009 UPDATE
Smoky the owl has been released back into the wild.  
Read the full news story here:

Look Who’s Back

Updated 3:23 PM PST, Thu, Jan 15, 2009




“Smoky the Owl” moments before his release into the Santa Monica Mountains

Smoky the Owl was given a second lease on life Wednesday night when he was set free to roam the Santa Monica Mountains.

It was just two months ago when Smoky was rescued after suffering burns in the Sayre Fire in Sylmar.

After much loving and tender care given by volunteers at the Valley Wildlife the beast was released back into the wild Wednesday night along Kanan Dume Road in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Valley Wildlife volunteer Brenda Varvarigos said people in the neighborhood were happy to add “Smoky” to their community since they have been suffering through a ground squirrel overpopulation.

Valley Wildlife, a non profit all volunteer based organization that relies on donations in order to operate, responded to questions about the owl. Visit the organization’s Web site for information or send an e-mail

Why was Smoky not released back to Sylmar?

Smoky’s old territory was carefully evaluated by us and his territory was completely burnt leaving the prey base at none. If Smoky were taken back there he would likely starve or be forced to hunt closer inland where he might get shot or poisoned.

Where was Smoky released?

Smoky was released on a private 10 mile ranch near Kanan Dume. The ranch is free from rat poisons and pesticides and the prey is plentiful.

What if there are already great horned owl’s in his new territory?

Due to the abundant prey base, Smoky will not be pushed out by local owl’s. The area is large enough to accommodate 5 breeding pairs.

Why was Smoky released at night?

Owl’s are nocturnal and are completely in-active during the day.

What will Smoky eat?

Great horned owl’s have a large variety of prey in their natural diets. They eat skunks, squirrels, rabbits, rats, water fowl, and other small mammals.  The ranch has a ground squirrel overload so smoky will serve as natural rodent control.

How long will Smoky live?

Great horned owl’s can live 50 years. Sadly, most don’t make it to their 5th Birthday due to rodenticides. When people poison the rats, they also poison the predators.  The predator that eats the poisoned rat suffers the same fate as the rat. NO poisons are safe, regardless of what the pest control “experts” tell you.

Watch video of Smoky’s release!

Brenda Varvarigos releases Smoky the great-horned owl

Most recently, we have recieved wildlife victims of the wildfires blazing through southern California.  This great horned owl is currently recovering in an oxygen tank.

watch the latest news here:


Injured owl
An injured owl is rescued from SoCal wildfires in November 2008.


Firefighter Rescues Great Horned Owl

Animal rescue workers have already begun their work.  ( 

Brenda Varvarigos, director of the nonprofit Valley Wildlife Care (yes, they need your donations) sent a photo of this injured owl around the Internet, with this note:

“Not only do people loose their homes during the fires, so do thousands of wild animals.  Due to the fact that I am the only bird rehabilitator that will intake emergency wildlife 24 hrs a day, I have not had much sleep. The patients coming in are very sad cases, many of them not salvageable.

“This male Great Horned Owl flew right thru an open flame in Sylmar last night. A firefighter spotted him coming thru the heavy black cloud when he noticed that he looked like he could barely fly and was very disoriented.  He thought quick to get his hose on him and down he came.  Thank god for this firefighter; the owl’s eye’s were completely singed and his eye lids almost burnt off. There was so much debris and ash ain his eyes, nose and throat, I am amazed he was still capable of flight.

“After lots of flushing, fluids, and care he has become alert to his surroundings and is now standing up.  He needs constant oxygen and cool rags on his eyes and face.  What we don’t know is if his vision will be affected. After he is stable, he will see a Veterinary opthimoligist to asses his eyes.

“I have 3 owls here from the fires. The other two have oxygen tubes down thier throats and they have virtually no feathers as they burnt completely off. They are in heated incubators trying to survive. So far, so good.”

In another correspondence, Brenda wrote:

“Here is Smoky Joe. After several eye treatments throughout the night, he was able to open his eyes.  I was pleased as his pupils showed stable light response and he appears to have no impaired vision.  His eye lids are raw and bleeding, but intact. Of course, once stable, he will still get checked by the eye doc. I flushed him with fluids and he coughed up about 1/4 cup of ash. His incubator smells like a chimney :(“

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Los Angeles

 Wing, Prayer and a Firefighter: Smokey the Owl Recovering From Burns


Smokey the owl

An owl that was rescued by a firefighter during a wildfire in Sylmar is recovering at an animal rescue facility.
The owl, named Smokey, was removed from an oxygen tank. Workers at Valley Wildlife Care monitored his breathing, and said all signs were normal.

The great horned owl was listed Friday in stable condition. He was given a 75-percent chance of survival.

The owl flew through a wall of flame during the Sayre Fire. A firefighter saw the bird and rescued him.

The nonprofit facility sent photos and a note.

“It has been 24 hrs and Smokey is no longer considered in critical status. He is stable. We now believe that unlike his original prognosis of 50-percent chance of recovery, we are giving him a 75-percent chance of recovery.

“We expect Smokey to be able to feed himself within the next couple of days.  We will continue to support him with fluids and force feeding and have him x-rayed daily to monitor any further lung swelling.

“His eyes are healing beautifully despite the burns on his eyelids. Our avian veterinarian believes he has no permanent vision impairment. We will have him examined by a veterinary opthomoligist prior to his release.  As you can see from the picture, the small feathers that surrounding his beak have been completely burned. These feathers are important as they serve as ‘sensors’ while the owl is eating in the dark.  These feather shafts will need time to heal and re-grow.”


VWC In the MEDiA :Hawk

Lucky Hawk Survives Arrow, Lead Pellet

Red-tailed hawk to spend months recovering

Updated 5:39 PM PDT, Mon, Oct 26, 2009
Valley Wildlife Care

A red-tailed hawk has managed to survive a variety of attacks, and now a full investigation is under way.

The bird was shot in the leg with an arrow, and in the wing with a lead pellet, said Brenda Varvarigos of Valley Wildlife Care.

Harming migratory birds — such as the red-tailed Hawk — is punishable with jail time and fines.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has opened an investigation into the incident, Varvarigos said.

A doctor works to save a hawk’s life.
The bird had an arrow lodged in its leg.
Doctors also found a wound from a lead pellet.

“The bird has undergone surgery and is in the care of Valley Wildlife Care, where she will spend the next several months recovering from her injuries,” said Varvarigos in an e-mail.

Valley Wildlife is a non-profit all-volunteer based organization that relies on donations in order to operate.

Source here

Rosie The Coyote


Rosie was safely rescued on Sunday November 22, 2009  and is now in the care of VWC !

VWC is still in need of financial support to assist us with recovering some of the costs we endured with Rosie’s rescue and for the ongoing treatment and rehabilitation as Rosie will be staying at VWC through the winter. The LA coyote was named “Rosie” by the community. We typically do not name the wildlife in our care.

VWC would like to extend special thanks to the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter for their assistance as well as the Canyon Community and everyone who supported our efforts.

This was one of the most challenging cases VWC has ever endured but worth every step.
Rosie was taken to the animal hospital where she had several tests, medication, and even a bath for her infected skin. The road ahead will be long but watching Rosie bloom into the beautiful coyote that she was born to be will be worth every step.

You can make a donation via our web site or by mailing to our address listed below. Please write “Rosie Coyote” so that we can add you to our special list an send you a picture of her.

We are so pleased to report that Rosie is making great strides in her recovery and has grown 75% of her fur back. She still has a long road ahead but we are happy with her rapid progress.

Thank you for your support !


Please note:
Here is a recent article written by the Los Angeles Times.
The article makes reference to animal communicators and the community using them. We think it is important for everyone to know that VWC does not have any affiliation with animal communicators.

We solely believe that every wild animal needs to remain wild to ensure their survival once returned to their native habitat. Animal communicators were used by the residents of the Laurel Canyon community and were not affiliated with VWC in any such manner.


Rescuing animals is an art in Laurel Canyon

With songs, psychics, walkie-talkies and camouflage, a sick coyote is tracked and saved.

Steve Lopez

January 17, 2010

The mysterious gray, hairless animal was first spotted last summer lurking in backyard gardens, sacked out on a chaise lounge and strolling down narrow lanes.

Was it a chupacabra?

A strange dog?

The missing link?

Soon, all of Laurel Canyon was abuzz. For several weeks starting in August, they tracked the animal, with residents communicating by walkie-talkie because cellphones don’t work in the canyon. But the creature, which turned out to be a sick coyote, was too wily.

In those early days, the battalion included two animal control officers, a veterinarian and an off-duty cop who was armed with tranquilizer guns and wearing camouflage, with leaves and twigs poking out of his hat. Three animal “communicators” were consulted to learn more about the coyote’s movements and thoughts.

Yes, it’s a little different in Laurel Canyon.

Dana Miller of Montrose was one of the animal psychics called in to make contact with the elusive beast, which they were calling Rosie. Miller told me last week that she helps people find lost pets by making contact with the animals telepathically. By just looking at a picture of any animal, she said, she can talk to it.

“I personally have the ability to hear what they say.”


So what did Rosie say?

Miller kept a transcript of her conversations, which included this Q and A exchange:

“Q: Should we help?

“A: I am only one amidst a sea of many. I can’t believe anyone cares.”

Miller said she told Rosie to go into the trap and she wouldn’t be harmed.

Skip Haynes, who was involved in the search from the beginning, was the one in contact with Miller. He has a record label called Laurel Canyon Animal Co. and makes CDs for animals, such as the one titled “Songs to Make Dogs Happy.” Haynes said he uses “communicators” to tell him what music the dogs like.

Haynes said he’s a skeptic and can’t understand what the animal psychics are saying most of the time, but they’ve offered eerily canny observations about what kind of music animals like.

The person who first identified Rosie’s species wasn’t a psychic, though. It was Brenda Varvarigos of Valley Wildlife Care, a volunteer-run nonprofit that rescues and rehabilitates sick and injured native wildlife before releasing the animals back where they came from.

“I knew right away that it was a young coyote suffering from sarcoptic mange,” said Varvarigos, who was rescuing a barn owl from a swimming pool in the Valley when I called.
She said it’s common in local animals and a good example of the threat people pose to wildlife. She guesses the coyote’s mother fed her a rat that had been poisoned by a homeowner trying to exterminate rodents. So by poisoning rats and killing off the coyotes that hunt them, Varvarigos said, you may end up with more rats.

Varvarigos told residents that Rosie could be treated and returned to health if she were captured. But Varvarigos would have to lead the way, because you need a permit to go after a wild animal. They’d have to move quickly, she said, because the hairless Rosie was out and about in daylight only to stay warm, and she’d die when cold weather set in.

Through the fall, “it was almost like a military operation,” said Haynes, with neighbors manning traps and e-mails going out at every sighting.

Not everyone was committed to saving Rosie, Haynes said. Some wondered why they should bother, given how many pets are chomped by coyotes.

But Haynes was beginning to rethink his relationship with wildlife. He knew of neighbors who wanted to feed wild animals and others who wanted to shoot them on sight, and neither is the right thing to do, in his opinion.

Feeding them, as he learned from Varvarigos, can kill them in the end, because they’ll get the wrong food and lose their hunting instinct. And killing them seems absurd for people who have chosen to live in a densely wooded wildlife habitat.

“We have to learn how to live with them,” said Haynes, who found himself driving along curvy hilltops with bobcat meat, imported from Montana, for the traps. His girlfriend Rikki Poulis, a design director for the Grammy Awards, was also on patrol.

“You could say it became an obsession,” said Haynes, who recorded a song called “Coyote Girl” and played it while he drove me around.

He showed me the spots where animal control officers, the vet and the off-duty cop had stalked Rosie with tranquilizer guns. Also the spot, near the home of Laurel Canyon Assn. President Cassandra Barrere, a script supervisor, where the cop sat in a lawn chair, dressed as a bush.

“I’d go out to get the mail and see him all camouflaged,” said Barrere, who always knew when Rosie was near because her pets scampered to the window to look outside.

Rosie brought the community together, Haynes and Barrere agree.

“It was something from the heart, and the community was engaged,” said Barrere.

Weeks into the hunt, they’d caught raccoons, skunks and birds in their traps, but no Rosie. Finally, in late November, Haynes checked the trap in his garden and there she was.

Varvarigos took Rosie to the vet, where she was treated and released to Varvarigos’ rehab center in the Valley. She now occupies a sprawling outdoor pen in the Santa Monica Mountains. Her hair has grown back, she’s gained weight and she’s wary of humans, all good signs. If she can master hunting, Varvarigos said, she’ll be returned to Laurel Canyon.

And that’s pretty much the end of the story for Rosie, but I’m not done yet with the animal communicator.

At the risk of sounding self-serving, I asked Miller an important scientific question.

“Can you tell some raccoons to stay away from my yard?”

It’s possible, Miller said, but I’d have to send her a photo of the relentless, inconsiderate, lawn-digging critters.

I’ll be out there tonight with my camera.

Meanwhile, good night, Rosie, and good luck.

Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times


We work together with other rescue organizations with the common goal of rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife, educating the public about native species and what we can do to preserve and protect the environment they live in.

Other Important Phone Numbers

 squirrels  Sharon
(805) 498-8653
 raccoons  Cathy
(805) 374-9027
 bobcats  Nicki
(805) 482-4127
and ravens
(805) 581-3911
 small mammals (squirrels, opossums, skunks)  Marcia
(310) 480-1760
 sea birds, ducks, and ducklings  IBRRC
(310) 514-2573
 All species in the South Bay and surrounding areas  South Bay Wildlife
 birds of prey in Ventura County  Ojai Raptor  Center
(805) 649-6884
 For hummingbirds  Frank (310) 657-0812
 Los Angeles Animal Services  (888) 452-7381

Due to the high volume of animals we recieve from the Los Angeles area, we cannot intake animals from Ventura County.  Please call the following if you have found orphaned/injured wildlife in Ventura County:

 Songbirds in Ventura County  Beth 805-320-2438
 All species in Santa Barbara  805-966-9005


*Please note, we are unable to pick up animals from the public.  We will spend the next several weeks to months caring for the animal that you have found, and hope that the public can do their part by getting the animal to one of our volunteers. We can direct you to the closest volunteer or organization possible.  The only exception to this is skunks and/or dangerous species, in which case we will handle such species on a case by case basis.*

Thank you for visiting Valley Wildlife Care.  Please visit again for further updates.

Valley Wildlife Care would like to thank Turbo Graphics for all the  donated copy/printed material. You can help us by supporting this business.

*This site is under construction.

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What You Can Do to Help

It takes an extraordinary amount of time and resources to rehabilitate, house, provide medical care and food for our rehab animals.  Our ability to provide care to wildlife is made possible by the generous donations of volunteers, veterinarians, and people in the community.  Without the time and donations of these caring people, we would not be able to continue our work rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife.
We thank you for your generosity.  Please take a moment to look over our Wish List.

Valley Wildlife Care Wish List

Evangers canned food. Sold at feed stores.
Hunk of beef or whole chicken thighs preferred.
Natural Balance dry ultra premium cat food
Bird seed, dove, finch, or any.
Walnuts or almonds in the shell.
Gerber or Beechnut baby chicken
Gerber carrots or applesauce
Organic non toxic cleaning supplies
White hand towels
Paper towels
Blue shop towels
Wee Wee pads
Exact hand feeding bird formula
Gift cards to Trader Joe’s
Gift cards to Petco or Petsmart
Gift cards to Home Depot
Postage stamps
Vinyl folding pet carriers
Wood stove pellets, sold at home improvement stores and pet feed stores (we use these in place of cedar shavings, they are safer for the animals!)
Items for our silent auctions for our semi annual fundraiser.
And of course cash donations are most needed and tax deductible!
We are always looking for people who can make bird perches and other items. If you are handy, e-mail us!
If you would like to make a donation, please contact Valley Wildlife Care

Valley Wildlife Care
6520 Platt Avenue #203
West Hills, CA 91307             


Coexisting with Coyotes

Due to the rapid loss of habitat by over-developing, many coyotes have found themselves co-habitating with humans, often to the dismay of the humans. With a little knowledge, we humans can learn to co-exist with this native species. Eradication of the coyote from certain areas disturbs the eco-system of that area and will not solve the problem of dealing with the “urban” coyote. Education and co-existence are the keys.

As with many wild animals, the coyote, when left alone, will regulate their own numbers. If coyotes in a certain area are killed, die or are relocated, the remaining members will fill the vacancies, either with larger litters or by allowing outsiders to move into the area.

Trapping or hunting coyotes is illegal in the state of California. They are protected under the native species act.

Coyotes are a vital part of our eco-system, eating disease carrying rodents and keeping the rodent population to a minimum. They are also are a main buffer from certain diseases carried by vermin to your home, diseases that the coyote cannot catch (ie plague). 

Coyotes and all other predatory mammals are “opportunistic hunters. While the coyotes’ principal diet may be small rodents and fruit, they will not hesitate to prey on small domestic animals if the “opportunity” provides for such. Consequently, if you move to or presently live in an area frequented by coyotes, it is your responsibility to afford protection for all of your domestic and companion animals.

We have included some tips to keeping them out of your yards if you don’t want them there as well as how to live with them peacefully:

 *Coyote Rollers  These are easy to install and will make your yard COYOTE PROOF!

*Battery operated flashing lights, tape recorded human noises, scattered moth balls and ammonia-soaked rags strategically placed may deter coyotes from entering your property.

*Coyotes rarely climb anything higher than a six (6) foot fence. Augment your existing fencing with extenders angled outwardly, hot wire, or cement blocks and large rocks buried outside the fence line to prevent animals from digging into your yard.

*Keep cats and small dogs indoors, allowing them outside only under strict supervision. In addition to coyotes, small pets often fall prey to free-roaming and feral dogs and great-horned owls.

*Do not feed the coyotes. Coyotes have a job to do, let them do it! By feeding them you create a dependency on humans. This is not healthy for the coyotes.  Feeding wild animals is also illegal.

*Make your trash cans inaccessible. Keep trash can lids securely fastened or keep trash cans in your garage until trash day. Ammonia or pepper in the trash can may also discourage the scavenging coyote,

Coyotes help keep the balance of nature in order, and are great at rodent control. An area with coyotes will not be overrun with mice, gophers, squirrels or rabbits.  Natural rodent control is certainly preferable to our man-made poisons and inhumane traps. Most of the intelligent cattle ranchers in the West welcome coyotes on their lands as a way of controlling the burrowing rodents whose holes have injured many cows and horses during round-up time. Coyotes love insects and many a farm has been saved from massive large insect invasions (i.e. grasshoppers) by allowing the coyotes to roam the fields.

Lastly, contrary to belief coyotes do not howl when they make a kill, they howl when they communicate to other coyotes.