Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Wildlife Center of Virginia?

The Wildlife Center is an internationally acclaimed teaching and research hospital for wildlife and conservation medicine located in Waynesboro, Virginia. Since its founding in 1982, the nonprofit Wildlife Center has cared for more than 70,000 wild animals, representing 200 species of native birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.


When is the Center open?

The Center’s clinic is open seven days a week year-round to handle wildlife emergencies. The front desk is staffed daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; one of the Center’s three staff veterinarians is on call after business hours.

Is the Center open for tours?

As a veterinary hospital, the Center is not open to the public. The Center does offer open-house tours throughout the year. These are offered at no cost, although reservations are required.

How large is the Center?

The Center owns approximately 20 acres just outside Waynesboro, Virginia. The Center backs up to the George Washington National Forest; some of the Center’s outdoor patient enclosures are located in the forest.

The Center’s building is about 5,700 square feet.

Who brings animals to the Center?  And is there a charge?

Most of the Center’s patients are brought in by caring citizens. Other patients are brought in by animal-control officers, police officials, humane society representatives, etc. The Center’s veterinary services are provided at no charge.

Is the Wildlife Center a state agency?

The Wildlife Center is not an agency or affiliate of the federal, state, or local governments. The Center receives no government funding for its veterinary care of wildlife.

How many patients does the Center treat each year?

The Center admits about 2,500 patients each year – sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals from all across Virginia.    The Center usually admits about 150 species during the year.

What are the most common animals admitted to the Center?

Generally, the most common species are Eastern Gray Squirrels, Eastern Cottontail Rabbits, and Virginia Opossums. You read our annual reports for our list of species treated each year.

What happens to Center patients?

The goal of the Center is to “treat to release” – to restore patients to health and return as many as possible to the wild. The Center provides state-of-the-art medical care for the sick and injured and sustained, quality foster care so that animals are returned to the wild with the ability to survive, and thrive, in their native habitats.     

Unfortunately, not all Center patients make it. Some die; others have such serious injuries that they are euthanized. A few non-releasable animals remain at the Center and serve as environmental ambassadors.

What’s the annual budget for the Center?

About $1 million. The great bulk of those funds are provided by generous, caring individuals.