Pennsylvania Wildlife Laws
It is illegal to take or possess wildlife from the wild. Under state law, the penalty for such a violation
is a fine of up to $1,500 per animal. Under no circumstances will anyone who illegally takes wildlife
into captivity be allowed to keep that animal, and under a working agreement with state health
officials, any “high risk” rabies vector species confiscated after human contact (bit, scratched,
saliva contact) must be euthanized and tested; it cannot be returned to the wild
because the risk of spreading disease is too high.
Animals infected with rabies might not show obvious symptoms, but still might be able to transmit the disease.
Though any mammal might carry rabies, the rabies vector species identified in the agreement are: skunks, raccoons, foxes, bats, coyotes and groundhogs. People can get rabies from the saliva of a rabid animal if
they are bitten or scratched, or if the saliva gets into the person’s eyes, mouth or a fresh wound.
Only wildlife rehabilitators, who are licensed by the Game Commission, are permitted to care for injured
or orphaned wildlife for the purposes of eventual release back into the wild. For those who find wildlife that
truly is in need of assistance, a listing of licensed wildlife rehabilitators can be found on the Pennsylvania
Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators website...
If you are unable to identify a wildlife rehabilitator in your area, contact the Game Commission region office
that serves the county in which the animal is found so that you can be referred to the appropriate licensed
wildlife rehabilitator. Region office contact information can be found through the “Connect with Us” tab
on the agency’s website...