Volunteer Wildlife Care 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
- Must attend the orientation and mandatory trainings
- Must be 16 years of age or older (can be 15 years old with an accompanying parent)
- Must have reliable transportation
- Must be able to sit or stand for long periods of time
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.
Apply to be a Wildlife Volunteer
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 skills, where you can receive 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.