Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Massachusetts Code of Conduct

WRAM is an organization designed to be a collaborative group where the membership and the board of directors’ work together for the benefit of wildlife in Massachusetts. We work to achieve these benefits through WRAM’s core objectives, which are:

  • To promote the communication and dissemination of information among the wildlife rehabilitation community
  • To provide educational materials and resources to the residents of Massachusetts
  • To support the conservation of wildlife and natural resources in Massachusetts
  • To foster partnerships between licensed wildlife rehabilitators and governmental agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

In support of these objectives we ask that all WRAM members hold themselves to a high standard of professional conduct. Please review the organizational code of ethics and membership communication guidelines outlined below. Violation of these rules may result in revocation of membership.

Note: WRAM’s code of conduct is not intended to supplant any regulations, statutes, or guidance provided by State and Federal Wildlife Agencies. WRAM members are expected to adhere to all laws and regulations governing the rehabilitation and treatment of wildlife in the territory in which they operate.

Code of Ethics as Adapted from the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association Council:

  1. A wildlife rehabilitator should strive to achieve high standards of animal care through knowledge and an understanding of the field. Wildlife rehabilitators should strive to remain informed of current rehabilitation information, methods, and regulations through participation in continuing education.
  2. A wildlife rehabilitator must abide by local, state, provincial and federal laws concerning wildlife, wildlife rehabilitation, and associated activities. Massachusetts State regulations governing the care of wildlife can be found here: 321 CMR 2.00: Miscellaneous Regulations Relating to Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
  3. A wildlife rehabilitator should establish safe work habits and conditions, abiding by current health and safety practices and should work continuously toward improving the quality of care given to wild animals undergoing rehabilitation.
  4. A wildlife rehabilitator should work within the scope of practice when providing care to patients and should maintain a working relationship with veterinarians including their veterinarian of record.
  5. A wildlife rehabilitator should respect other rehabilitators and persons in related fields, sharing skills and knowledge in the spirit of cooperation for the welfare of animals.
  6. A wildlife rehabilitator should conduct all business, activities, and communications in a professional manner, with honesty, integrity, compassion, and commitment, realizing that an individual's conduct reflects on the entire field of wildlife rehabilitation.
  7. A wildlife rehabilitator should encourage community involvement through volunteer training and public education. The common goal should be to promote a responsible concern for living beings and the welfare of the environment.

WRAM Membership Communication Guidelines:

One of the most valuable services WRAM provides is a community for its members to share information and resources. This communication allows members to benefit from the collective knowledge-sets and experiences of licensed rehabilitators and wildlife professionals across New England. Positive and cooperative communication serves to strengthen the abilities of all who care for wildlife. It also engages the general public and helps to guide their perception and response to wildlife issues.

To preserve these benefits, we ask that WRAM members follow the guidelines below when communicating in public forums such as: social media, websites, wildlife forums, message boards, etc.

  1. Keep conversations productive and be kind. Education and friendly discussion are always encouraged, but do not criticize or disparage other members, other wildlife rehabilitators, government agencies, government employees, or veterinarians.
  2. If you have concerns or disagree with the protocols of another wildlife rehabilitator, please refrain from posting publicly in a way that is harmful to that person. We encourage members to resolve issues one-on-one, but if you are not comfortable or need assistance, WRAM is happy to help. If you have concerns about the Safety of an animal or are concerned someone is violating the regulations, please contact WRAM leadership or MA Fish and Wildlife directly.
  3. Racist, sexist, or discriminatory language of any type will not be tolerated and will result in revocation of membership.
  4. All advice dispensed and promoted must be in keeping with all applicable state and federal laws, rules, and regulations. This includes social media content as well as consultations with other rehabilitators and members of the public.
  5. All photos, videos, posts and comments must be in keeping with state and federal laws, rules, and regulations. Proper protective equipment (latex gloves, leather gloves, masks, face shields, hard hats or other species specific equipment) should always be evident in all photos. In general, public forums should be used to promote the wellbeing of wildlife and public education.