Wildlife Rehabilitation

Baby squirrels should receive care from a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Wildlife rehabilitators are trained to provide care for wild animals. They are licensed to do so by provincial and/or federal governments.

Baby squirrels need specialized formula, species-specific housing, and medical treatment that you cannot provide at home. They also have to be raised with other baby squirrels to learn the social behaviours they need to survive in the wild.  It is illegal to keep any wild animal at home without a permit for longer than 48 hours. Please contact a wildlife rehabilitator right away for help with the baby squirrel you have found.

Help for baby squirrels in the City of Toronto and King Township

If you have found a baby squirrel in Toronto or King Township, call our Wildlife Hotline at 416-631-0662 and leave us a message. Our hours are 9am-6pm, seven days a week (yes, even on holidays!).

If the baby you have found is not a squirrel, please go back to our species selection page. 

Help for baby squirrels outside the City of Toronto and King Township

Due to the extremely high volume of calls about orphaned baby squirrels, we can’t admit babies or answer calls from other municipalities.

There are other wildlife rehabilitators who might be able to admit the baby squirrel you’ve found. Please check the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s complete listings. 

If you are in the cities of Markham, Aurora, or Richmond Hill, contact the OSPCA. They are contracted in your municipality to provide wildlife rehabilitation. You can reach them at (905) 898-7122.

If you cannot reach a wildlife rehabilitator right away

Keep trying. Wildlife rehabilitators are very busy, especially during the spring and summer. If you get an answering machine, leave a message and make it easy for them to reach you. Call around to others in the area. Be willing to arrange transportation for the animal once a rehabilitator is found. Remember that there is no government funding for wildlife rehabilitation in Ontario, and all rehabilitators are funded entirely by private donations.

You cannot keep the baby squirrel or care for it yourself – it needs specialized care that you don’t have the means to provide. Keep it in a cardboard box in a dark, quiet, place. Make sure it has a heat source, like a hot water bottle.  Don’t give it any food or water until you’ve spoken to a wildlife rehabilitator. Further temporary care instructions can be found here.