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Animal Rescue Program

Seal Animal Rescue Clinic



Mystic Aquarium’s Animal Rescue Program (ARP) has been rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing sick, stranded or injured marine animals since 1975.




Our Program covers more than 1,000 miles of coastline throughout Connecticut, Rhode Island and Fishers Island, New York.


A majority of patients admitted to the Animal Rescue Clinic are seals including those commonly found in New England like harbor, gray, harp and hooded seals.

Working closely with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, which is the ARP’s permitting office, and other government agencies, the Animal Rescue Team responds to an average of 150 hotline calls each year while also providing support to other stranding facilities in New England and even as far as California.

When you peek inside our Clinic, you’ll see a collection of pools that are specially designed for each stage of the rehabilitation process. From their initial admission date to the final days leading up to release, our Animal Rescue Team ensures each seal meets vital milestones throughout their rehabilitation process. So whenever you see a seal swimming or lounging in the largest open pool, know that there may be a seal release in the near future! Click here to join our mailing list and be among the first to hear about upcoming seal releases.

Animal Rescue Clinic

All marine mammals (dead or alive) are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. This prohibits the hunting, harassing, capturing or killing of any marine mammal.

  • Leave a message on the Mystic Aquarium’s 24-hour hotline (860.572.5955 x107) and expect a return call
  • Give the animal plenty of space, keeping people and pets at least 150 feet away (it’s the law!)
  • For the animal’s safety and your own, do not touch, feed or attempt to help in any way
  • If the animal appears to be dead, keep your distance – some zoonotic diseases are harmful to humans and can be transferred to pets

You can volunteer for the Animal Rescue Program by becoming a first responder. In this role, you would be dispatched to various types of marine mammal and sea turtle responses that may include the following: live animal monitoring, data collection, and public outreach. There is no specific time commitment or schedule requirement for this role. Mystic Aquarium accepts applications for this volunteer position in late summer/early fall. If you would like to be notified when the applications become available or if you would like more information about the program, please email

Seal Release Volunteer

Rescuing and rehabilitating stranded marine animals is no small feat and wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of community members like you. Please consider making a donation to our Animal Rescue Program today.