Dane County Humane Society's Wildlife Center, formerly known as Four Lakes Wildlife Center, was founded in 2002 by David Madden, former animal care director at DCHS, and Patrick Comfert, a local licensed wildlife rehabilitator. In the inaugural season, the fledgling wildlife program received over 100 patients.
After the first summer’s influx of wildlife, it was clear there was a need for wildlife rehabilitation in our community and that more help would be needed to provide the care for the increasing number patients. The program began to recruit and train interested community members to care for the wildlife in our care, and to this day, volunteers and interns provide the majority of the basic daily animal care.
Since its inception, the program has had over 30,000 animals pass through its doors. With the support of the community, the wildlife program continues to grow and now serves nearly 4,000 animals every year.
What species are accepted at the Wildlife Center?
We work with more than 100 different species of animals at the Wildlife Center including all species of native birds, reptiles and amphibians, and most small mammals. If you are not sure if we will accept a species, please call us at (608) 287-3235 or (608) 838-0413 ext. 151.
What species are NOT accepted at the Wildlife Center?
To protect current patients from the rapidly-spreading Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Virus, DCHS’s Wildlife Center is currently NOT accepting for rehabilitation any adult waterfowl, water birds, raptors, game birds, or birds showing signs of neurological symptoms. As HPAI is highly contagious, it is not recommended that any member of the public interact with an animal that could be infected. Please follow the instructions below and contact the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources right away.
Additionally, we do not work with deer, raccoons, house sparrows, European starlings, rock pigeons, mice or skunks.
If you have found an animal that we do not work with, please call the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WIDNR) Call Center at (888) 936-7463 for a referral or advice regarding next steps.
Interested in an update on an animal you brought to the Wildlife Center?
We are happy to provide finders with an update on a patient brought to the Wildlife Center. We ask that you please allow 3-5 business days for our volunteers to respond to your request, and keep to only one update request per patient. Please provide as much information as possible in your request, including a patient ID, type of animal, date that you brought it in, and contact information. If you were not the person to admit the animal, please provide additional details so that we can match your case. Click here to request patient updates.
What is the cost of care?
While there is no fee to bring an animal in, DCHS's Wildlife Center receives no federal or state funding. The Wildlife Center relies on community support to fund our operations. The average cost to care for each animal admitted to the Wildlife Center is $100, and donations to help us continue the care you started are very much appreciated. Donations can be made here or are accepted at the time of admission.