Tax ID # 22-3184384

The New Jersey Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators (NJAWR) began with a meeting between licensed New Jersey wildlife rehabilitators and representatives of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife (NJDF&W) to discuss issues directly affecting the rehabilitation community. Incorporated as a non-profit organization the following year (1991), NJAWR continues to serve as an excellent resource for information and educational opportunities for wildlife rehabilitators and many other individuals working in related fields.


  • Encourage professionalism and standardization¬†within the field of wildlife rehabilitation.
  • Provide proper and timely dissemination of information among all persons handling wildlife.
  • Offer workshops, seminars and newsletters providing up-to-date information on wildlife care, policy changes, new products, new techniques and many other topics pertinent to the handling of wildlife.
  • Ensure that all groups handling wildlife are doing so with the best information available.

Officers and Directors

Melissa Anahory
Woodlands Wildlife Refuge, Pittstown, NJ

Vice President:
Priscilla Purnick
St. Francis Wildlife Center, Inc. West Windsor, NJ

Heather Freeman

Lori Swanson
Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge, Medford, NJ

Jane Rakos-Yates
Peter Revilla
Cathy Longi
Nicole Herbert
Marie Wludyka
Denise Hassinger

Relocation Policy
NJAWR has successfully worked with the NJDF&W to develop the relocation policy for rabies vector and other species. This change expands the choices in selecting properly suited release sites while ensuring the safety and protection of both the animal and the general public.

Licensing Requirement Standards
To enhance professionalism within the field of wildlife rehabilitation, and to help providing the best possible care to the animals, NJAWR has worked to establish minimum standards and guidelines for acquiring and renewing state permits.

The creation of a sub-permittee category increases the rehabilitator’s ability to assist more animals.

Apprentice Program
The apprentice program is designed to provide training and guidance for persons interested in becoming licensed NJ wildlife rehabilitators.

Annual Conference
An annual conference is held each spring for members and non-members. Qualified speakers present the latest information available on a variety of topics related to wildlife issues. All rehabilitators and other interested persons including veterinarians, vet techs, Animal Control Officers, pest control operators and volunteers are encouraged to attend.

Workshops and roundtables are offered throughout the year to update our members on pertinent information and specific topics of interest to the rehabilitation community.

Rehabilitator Directory
NJAWR has worked with the NJDF&W to develop a comprehensive annual listing of all active, NJ licensed wildlife rehabilitators. The directory provides information organized by last name, county and species and is an excellent source of information for the general public, police departments, animal welfare organizations, veterinarians, and for persons interested in locating rehabilitators who offer apprentice or volunteer programs.

Professional Representation
In the past, wildlife rehabilitators played an important, but virtually unknown, role in working with and preserving New Jersey’s wildlife resources. As a formal organization with a growing membership, NJAWR brings recognition to our work and provides a strong voice for our concerns.