Woman wearing an R-PAWs T-shirt while holding an animal

R-PAWS Rehabilitation Program at the Wildlife SanctuaryR-PAWS logo

R-PAWS is an organization of volunteer members that nurtures injured and orphaned wildlife for release back into their wild habitats. R-PAWS is licensed by state and federal permits. The program works in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources (D.N.R.), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary receives over 6,000 wildlife patients in need of rehabilitation each year.

PAWS Goals

  • Rehabilitate and release injured or orphaned wildlife.
  • Obtain knowledge for the proper care of wildlife.
  • Provide information in response to public inquiries about wildlife.
  • Provide educational programs for the public and special interest groups.

R-PAWS History

R-PAWS was founded in 1986 in response to the ever-increasing number of sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife brought to the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary.

After mandatory training sessions to learn the proper feeding and housing techniques, members volunteer their time rehabilitating wildlife at their homes. All expenses to raise and care for wildlife are the responsibility of the R-PAWS member. The center will sell food and supplies at a reduced cost to members and supply donated items when available.

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R-PAWS is an entirely donation-supported non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

  1. R-PAWS Training

R-PAWS new member training: this is for people interested in learning how to be a Subpermittee for the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary's Wildlife Rehabilitation program. Subpermittees bring animals home under the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary's supervision and help raise them to be released back into the wild. Subpermittees must live within 30 miles of the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary. This is the first of 3 trainings required for this program. This is not for those interested in on-site volunteering. If you are interested in volunteering onsite, please visit our website at This is the only time this training will be offered this year.

Saturday, April 17th at 8:30 am-12noon Pre-registration is required by Thursday, April 15 at 4 pm; no one will be admitted to the training without pre-registering Limited in-person seating following City and State protocols; masks will be required Zoom virtual option is available Register by calling Lori Bankson, Curator of Animals: 920-391-3683. Location information will be given at that time.

Any questions, please call Lori at 920-391-3683 or email Lori Bankson.

  • Date: To be decided 2022
  • Time: 8:30 am to 12 pm
  • Location: TBD, in person attendance is limited; virtual link will be offered
  • Fee: n/a
  • Registration: Call 920-391-3683 to register
  1. RPAWS in need of Release Sites
  1. Make a Donation