Injured or orphaned toads, frogs, salamanders, and lizards

If the animal has an obvious injury, is bleeding, or the animal is attempting to move away but is falling over, this animal needs immediate help. Please review our Emergency Care information. 

If the animal is not injured, please review this information to further determine whether your wild animal needs assistance.

There are nine species of salamanders and lizards that make Minnesota their home. Salamanders are amphibians which live near the water and need to lay their eggs in the water. Lizards are reptiles which lay eggs on land. Both are shy creatures who avoid human contact as much as possible.

There are 14 species of toads and frogs in Minnesota. They can be found in backyards often quite far from any obvious source of water. They may spend a large part of their life in the leaves of the forest floor, and do not need to be moved from your yard and placed in a pond or lake. Many species lay their eggs in water while others lay their eggs in clumps attached to moist vegetation. The tadpoles of some species may take up to 2 years to transform into adults.

Toads, frogs, salamanders, and lizards eat enormous quantities of insects as their diet.

Window wells that do not have protective covers can become a trap for many animals. You can easily rescue the animal that is in the window well, by gently scooping them up into a large sturdy container such as an ice cream pail or by gently scooping the animal up in your hand. Never pick a lizard or salamander up by its tail. You can release the animal away from the window well but do not relocate the animal from your yard. It is normal for frogs or toads to urinate when handled; this does not indicate any injury. You should always wash your hands if you have handled any animal.

It is illegal to keep a wild animal as a pet. These animals should always be returned to the original location where they were found.

If you find an injured toad, frog, salamander, or lizard, scoop the animal very gently into a bucket or a deep box. Cover the container with either a breathable fabric or a lid or cover with holes for air flow. A wet cloth or towel should also be placed in the container with any of these species. A wet cloth or towel provides the critical moisture to keep them alive while you are getting them help.

Contact a wildlife rehabilitator, wildlife facility, or a wildlife veterinarian as soon as possible. Do not keep the animal at your home longer than necessary. Get the animal professional help as soon as possible.

Animal Humane Society's Golden Valley location provides care for all wild animals except skunks. We will provide phone advice for skunk situations. Please bring your wild animal directly to the Golden Valley location. If you need further advice or assistance you may call the Wildlife Exam at (763) 489-2223.