Good Samaritan Regulations

Indiana DNR regulations (312 IAC 9-10-9, Sec 9-1b) states “An individual may, without a permit, take possession of a sick, injured or orphaned wild animal and transport it to an individual with a valid permit under this section within twenty-four (24) hours.” This allows a member of the public time to locate help for the animal.

USFWS regulations (which only cover migratory birds) 50 CFR 21.31a states” any person who finds a sick, injured, or orphaned migratory bird may, without a permit, take possession of the bird in order to immediately transport it to a permitted rehabilitator.” Interpretation of this regulation allows for a reasonable but short timeframe to identify a rehabilitator and either transport the bird to that rehabilitator or wait for the rehabilitator to pick it up.

Conservation officers and officers of the law are also protected by these regulations, and can transport injured or orphaned songbirds or birds of prey if necessary. Conservation officers and USFWS law enforcement can confiscate from the public birds that are retained beyond the scope of these regulations.