WSWS Internship


Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship

The West Sound Wildlife Shelter (WSWS) is a wildlife hospital, rehabilitation and education facility and serves as the primary rehabilitation center for Kitsap County, and other counties in the western Puget Sound region. We rehabilitate injured, sick and orphaned wildlife, giving them a second chance at life. We strive to follow best practices when it comes to care for our patients and our education animals.

In addition to our rehabilitation efforts, WSWS works with the greater western Puget Sound community on habitat and species conservation and education. We have partnerships with several local community groups and work with the cities of Bainbridge Island, Gig Harbor, Kingston, Port Gamble, and Poulsbo, to promote conservation, education, and awareness.​

WSWS holds rehabilitation permits from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and a federal permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allowing WSWS to rehabilitate migratory birds. The Shelter holds a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service permit to possess non-releasable raptors for educational programs. The permanent WSWS staff is comprised of the executive director, the special events and development coordinator, two full-time licensed wildlife rehabilitators, and the volunteer coordinator. The entire wildlife care team includes the shelter staff, seasonal employees, seasonal interns, more than 70 wildlife care and support volunteers, and 5 volunteer veterinarians.

West Sound Wildlife Shelter
West Sound Wildlife Shelter
West Sound Wildlife Shelter
West Sound Wildlife Shelter

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The internship will give interns the opportunity to learn about many aspects of wildlife rehabilitation. Interns will work with staff and seasoned volunteers to help wildlife patients. Some of the practical skills learned will include individual species identification, behavior, and natural history, wildlife husbandry, animal handling, infant animal feeding, and medical care. While West Sound Wildlife Shelter is committed to both rehabilitation and education, interns will not be working directly with our permanent resident education animals.

Job duties
  • Setting up and maintaining animal enclosures
  • Cleaning: cages, dishes, floors, laundry
  • Diet preparation (includes preparing dead prey – you will not be excluded from consideration if you are uncomfortable with dead prey diet preparation)
  • Patient handling and proper restraint techniques
  • Infant care:
  • Small mammals (e.g., chipmunks, opossums, and squirrels)
    • Songbirds (wrens, sparrows, robins, swallows)
    • Waterfowl nursery (geese, gulls, several duck species)
  • Enrichment (cage setup, diet and supplements, foraging behaviors)
  • Assessment of animals for meeting requirements for weaning, moving outside, and release
  • Assisting with animal intake and physical examinations, and medication administration
  • Other tasks as required
  • All applicants must have:
    • Proof of health insurance or willing to sign a waiver
    • Housing and reliable transportation
    • Proof of two COVID vaccines and a booster
  • All applicants must be able to:
    • Work independently, and cooperatively with co-workers and volunteers
    • Be on your feet for long stretches of time (6+ hours)
    • Carry 30 pounds
    • Work evenings, weekends, and/or holidays
    • Communicate via email
    • Speak, read and write the English language fluently
  • Understand that this is an UNPAID position
  • This position may not be suitable for an individual with an auto-immune disorder or who may be pregnant