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Volunteer at the Shelter!

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at West Sound Wildlife Shelter! We care for more than 1600 wildlife patients a year, and we could not do any of it without our compassionate and dedicated volunteers! In 2017 alone, our volunteers contributed more than 10,000 hours helping us help wildlife!

Some people believe that the only volunteers at wildlife rehab centers such as ours are those who work directly with wildlife. Not so! In addition to wildlife care, there are many other tasks where we need help all year around.

We provide the training for all volunteer positions, so no prior experience is required. Whether feeding orphaned wild songbirds or opossums, or helping to make an event successful, you can be a part of the life-saving work we do.

If you're ready to volunteer, please click here to get started. There are several ways you can help:

Become a Wildlife Support Steward
Non-wildlife volunteer opportunities
Unpaid Internships

If you are looking for group volunteer opportunities, please contact us at

West Sound Wildlife Shelter also offers volunteer opportunities for people who need to fulfill community service obligations.

eagleWildlife Support Stewards

Wildlife Support Stewards help hundreds of injured, sick and orphaned wild animals every year!

The primary qualifications for support stewards are:

  • A genuine interest and a sincere commitment (minimum three months).
  • Must commit to one 4-hour shift per week, the same day and time every week.
  • Be able to work well with people - you will be working as a team to care for the patients.
  • Have a current tetanus vaccination.
  • Must attend the orientation and basic skills and training class.
  • Must be 16 years of age or older (can be 15 years old with an accompanying parent)
  • Must have own transportation

NOTE: Although they are cute and seem cuddly, wildlife is wild, they are not pets. Their best chance for survival is to remain wild. Therefore, we do not pet, cuddle or talk to the patients. We ask that you understand and acknowledge this before you make a commitment.

Wildlife Support Stewards provide support services for injured, orphaned, and sick wildlife. Duties include but are not limited to assisting in the nursery feeding baby animals, diet preparation, cleaning in the hospital including wards, cages and enclosures; and sweeping, mopping, dishes and laundry.

The Shelter is operational 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Although we are not open on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, volunteers are needed EVERY day, including all holidays.

In the spring, summer, and early fall (March 15 - October 15) the Shelter is open from
9 am - 5 pm. The standard shifts are 9 am - 1 pm and 1 pm - 5 pm.*

In late fall and winter the Shelter is open from 9 am - 3 pm, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The standard shifts are 9 am - 1 pm,
and 11 am - 3 pm.*

(*NOTE: During times of high patient load, the Shelter may request volunteers to stay longer if possible to ensure care is completed for every patient. This is not a requirement.)

Overlapping shifts (e.g., 10 am - 2 pm) may be permitted depending on need, and with prior permission from Shelter staff.

Wildlife stewards are required to commit to one, and the same, 4–hour shift each week to ensure consistency of care. You may commit to more than one shift, but no more than three per week.

There is the opportunity to advance to becoming a Wildlife Care Steward, where you can received advanced skills training and provide a higher level of care to the larger mammals and birds. Volunteers must start as a support steward, become familiar with WSWS operations and its mission, complete basic skills training and demonstrate proficiency, and work the minimum number of required hours.

If desired, competent wildlife support stewards can request to become wildlife care stewards. Wildlife care stewards can then assist licensed wildlife rehabilitators with intakes, exams, treatments, direct patient care, capture/restraint, and more.

How to Get Started

If you have questions, please call the Shelter at (206) 855.9057. You can also email any questions to the Shelter at If you're ready to get started, please click here to complete an application online, or download an application that you can complete and return by mail, fax or email.

Non-Wildlife Volunteer Opportunities (Organizational Support)

We also have a need for volunteers to help with tasks apart from wildlife care. These can be part of hospital operations or administration.

volunteer at the auction
Volunteers make Call to the Wild, our annual auction, possible!

Does helping with our gala auction, the Halloween Spooky Walk, Whiskies for Wildlife, or any of our other events sound fun? We do them all with the help of our volunteers!

IT Support -- We definitely have a need for someone to help us 4-8 hours a month to keep our IT systems healthy. If you have network, and hardware and software experience, let us know if you would like to help out.
We are Windows-based.

We also have a need for website help, graphics (Adobe), photography, writing and editing, outreach, putting up posters for events, and other needs.

For volunteer opportunities helping with administrative and fundraising functions, please send your completed application to Cate McCaslin at

Hospital and Grounds Operations:
Carpenters -- We've been fortunate to have wonderful community help when building our mews (outdoor cages). We need some continuous help with basic in-door maintenance and "touch-ups".

Flower-tenders, lawn-mowers (the two legged sort), and weed pullers.

General maintenance -- are you handy with a hammer, a screwdriver or a paintbrush? We are always looking for volunteers to help with general maintenance during the fall and winter, so we can have all our enclosures ready for the busy time.

For volunteer opportunities in and around the hospital, send your completed volunteer application to us at

If you are just plain interested in volunteering and have other skills that could be of use to us, please complete a volunteer application and note what kind of project you'd like to take part in and email to

Thank you for your interest!!

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