In California, it is illegal to keep wildlife as pets or, raise wildlife for release unless you have a permit from the department of Fish and Game.
Three additional good reasons that you should not raise wildlife your self are...
Diet Each year young animals are brought to us by people who have tried to raise them, not knowing which formula to use, the appropriate amount that should fed or correct method of feeding. These animals come in emaciated, dehydrated, with chronic diarrhea or with aspiration pneumonia. Instead of contacting a licensed rehabilitator to care for these babies, these people cannot resist the temptation of keeping such a "cute, adorable, cool" animal for themselves, at least until it all starts to go wrong. Help is sought out when the animal become lethargic, stops eating and starts to go down hill, which for many animals, is too late.
Disease Another consideration is the risk of contracting a Zoonotic disease. Rehabilitation professionals are trained to recognize and
treat such things as Baylisascaris, giardiasis , Chlamydiosis and coccidiosis
Animals are kept in areas away from household pets and go through a quarantine period, even before the same species are co mingled. Precautions are taken if handling is necessary and animals are monitored for any symptoms of parvo, FIV and distemper to name a few.
Habituation . The third consideration is
keeping wildlife wild. In order for an animal to survive when released, it needs to be fearful of people, be active at the appropriate time of day in order to find food and recognize and want to be with its own species. Every precaution is taken at our facility not to tame any animal that comes in for care. Enclosures are set up so that people are not in view and voices are kept to a whisper. Feeding racks are used with some species so that handling is kept to a minimum and a single animal is never raised alone . Grouping animals together after quarantine promotes play, grooming, mock fighting and in some species, team hunting. These animals would be much better off being raised in the wild by their parents, but when that is not possible, they need to be given the best chance available.If
you truly care about the animal that you have found, you will want the absolute best for it, and that is with a wildlife rehabilitator.