Picture this: you find an injured hawk on the side of the road. What do you do? The county animal control center specializes in domestic animals. Can they help a fallen raptor? Who should you call?

The Tucson Wildlife Center helps wildlife in Arizona
Who can you call if you find an injured hawk in Arizona? // Canva

That's where the Tucson Wildlife Center shines. Founded in 1998 by Lisa Bates and Peter Lininger, it became a 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2000.

READ: Easy Ways You Can Hydrate Arizona's Heat-Stressed Wildlife

The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries recognized them in 2019 as a legitimate, accredited animal sanctuary.

The Tucson Wildlife Center helps wildlife in Arizona
The center rehabilitates a variety of wild animals, including coyotes. // Canva

The center maintains high standards in helping wild animals recover from various ailments and injuries. It operates a 24/7 emergency helpline, transports and captures injured animals, and provides 24-hour emergency care to wild animals, specializing in treating and releasing species like javelina, raptors, and coyotes.

And they do it all for free.

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The Tucson Wildlife Center helps wildlife in Arizona
Nono and Valentine are barn owls like the ones in this photo. They can no longer fly and are permanent residents at the Tucson Wildlife Center. // Canva

The Cost of "Free" Wild Animal Rehabilitation in Arizona

The Tucson Wildlife Center is the only wildlife rehabilitation center in Pima County. The free care for the center's $900,000 annual operating costs is provided through grants, donations, and fundraisers.

READ: The Top 5 Raptors You'll See in Arizona's Sonoran Desert

One way to help the center is to sponsor an animal. From Bisbee, the Wildcat who lacks the skills to survive in the wild, to Nono and Valentine, barn owls with wing injuries who can no longer fly, sponsoring an individual animal can help ensure its continued care.

The Tucson Wildlife Center helps wildlife in Arizona
Bisbee the Wildcat might look like the cat in this photo, but Bisbee no longer has the skills to survive in the wild, so she'll remain at the center. // Canva

If you'd like to choose an individual gift, the center can always use supplies from their Amazon Wish List or donations from this list.

Volunteer at the Tucson Wildlife Center

Many hands make light work, and the Tucson Wildlife Center volunteers have a wide range of duties. Volunteers help with the animals, provide public education and outreach, and perform office duties, and event management. See the complete list for more information on volunteering, and fill out the application form if you're interested in helping.

The Tucson Wildlife Center helps wildlife in Arizona
There are a lot of volunteer opportunities at the Tucson Wildlife Center. // Canva

For more about the Tucson Wildlife Center, visit their website or call 520-290-9453 (520-290-WILD) with wildlife questions or emergencies.

[ Sources: Tucson Wildlife Center | SanctuaryFederation.org | TucsonWeekly.com | Google Maps ]

All photos are for illustrative purposes only. For original images associated with the animals, please visit the Tucson Wildlife Center Website.

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