Once I can afford a house, I hope to rehabilitate wildlife and take in homeless animals. I'm going to college for wildlife biology, and though I don't think you need to have any kind of college degree to do that kind of stuff, it couldn't hurt! Plus taking care of all those animals will be expensive, I'll be working with animals for my job, then going home and spending all my hard earned cash on ...big surprise, animals!
I know for sure they're would be legal issues with people taking in wild animals. Then there's the issue of if your planning on rehabilitating the wildlife and releasing them, or keeping them their whole lives in captivity. You will need permits to keep wild animals. They will need to come to your house, or where ever your keeping the animals, occasionally to make sure you're caring for them properly. They are very serous about this, because wild animals can cause disease and injuries if your not careful enough.
In most states, to be able to rehibilate wild animals, you must work with a rehibilator, most of the time for no pay, in order to learn from them. This can be either a home based rehibilator, or in some sort of facility. Some states say you have to have experience working under a lisenced rehibilator for a certain amount of time, such as 1 year, before you can take care of wildlife on your own. You also sometimes have to take take a test, find a vet willing to work with you if the animals under your care need vet care, which they often will, get premission to have captive wild animals on the property your working on, get permits to be able to have certain animals, and go to at least one education program each year. You will need a permit to be able to care for wild animals, and that permit must be renewed each year. When giving out and renewing permits, they look at a lot of things, from your knowledge level, to your ability to keep good records on all animals in your care. Also, your permit will list what types of animals your allowed to care for, and if someone brings in an animal your not lisenced to take in, you have to bring it to someone else.
Anyways, thats just to give you an idea of what a pain it is to be able to take in wildlife. I plan on starting my apprenticeship as soon as I graduate.
I really don't know what's involved with keeping domestic animals, I'm sure it's alot easier. You'll probably still need permits and such I would think, mostly because of the number of animals you'll have - and I know you need to go through this whole process to be able to list your rescue as a nonprofit orginazation.
If your really serous about doing all this, maybe you could start by helping out a nearby shelter? You could take in foster's and work at the shelter to help care for and sociolize the animals. That way you'd be helping animals, and if you did decide to try to open your own rescue you would have people to talk to that might be able to help.
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