Veterinary Department Volunteer Opportunities

There are a variety of ways for volunteers to serve in the Center's veterinary department, depending on interests, availability, and the needs of the Center. Interested applicants can find a description of each area below, as well as requirements and availability. Due to shift restrictions in some areas, volunteer positions will not always be available.

How to become a volunteer

Once you have looked at the general requirements and the various volunteer opportunities to identify your interest, fill out the application below and email it to vetvolunteer@wildlifecenter.org with your area of interest and availability. Please understand that we receive a high volume of inquiries and we will respond as soon as possible.

Volunteer orientations take place throughout the year.  As vacancies occur, we contact applicants for a phone and/or in-person interview, and after that interview, we will schedule a volunteer orientation prior to your first shift.

Volunteers work with a team for scheduled shifts throughout the day that they set for themselves. Preferred shifts are in the morning from 8:00 am – 12:00 pm and in the evening from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. However, we understand that volunteers are donating their time to us, so shift times are flexible – whatever suits you best! We understand schedules change and appreciate the time you are willing to donate.

Prior animal handling experience is not required for volunteering.

Minimal Requirements

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must have health insurance
  • Must be up-to-date on tetanus vaccination
  • Purchase a volunteer shirt ($9 for short sleeve, $12 for long sleeve)
  • Ideally, commit to at least three months of volunteering, or a seasonal volunteer position (200 hrs per year). (This allows us to give you the best experience possible by providing you with an ample amount of training time!)
     

Hospital Volunteers

Hospital Volunteers assist staff and veterinarians with the care of wildlife patients. Hospital volunteers help with a variety of tasks including preparing meals, cleaning cages, washing dishes, cleaning floors, and disinfecting counters, among other tasks. Responsibilities increase with experience and demonstrated commitment. There are three types of volunteers in the Hospital:

  • Rehabilitation Team (mammals) – must be vaccinated against rabies
  • Rehabilitation Team (birds and/or reptiles) – no rabies vaccination required
  • Treatment Team – must be vaccinated against rabies
     

Rehabilitation Volunteers (mammals):

Pre-exposure rabies vaccination is required and a rabies titer check every two years is required.

Volunteers will work closely with the rehabilitation staff as they perform daily tasks, including but not limited to:

  • Meal preparation and daily feeding/watering
  • Cleaning, hosing, and scrubbing pens of all animals housed indoors and outdoors
  • Assist staff with capture and restraint of patients
  • Record weights and food intake
  • Cage set-up and maintaining proper environment
  • Monitor progress of patients
  • Help hand-feed orphaned mammals
  • Assist with maintaining a clean and organized facility
     

Rehabilitation Volunteers (birds and reptiles):

Volunteers will work closely with the rehabilitation staff as they perform daily tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Meal preparation and daily feeding/watering
  • Cleaning, hosing, and scrubbing enclosures of all animals housed indoors and outdoors
  • Assist staff with capture and restraint of patients
  • Record weights and food intake
  • Cage set-up and maintaining proper environment
  • Monitor progress of patients
  • Help hand-feed orphaned birds
  • Help in the daily exercise of raptors
  • Help with the care of our patient reptiles
  • Help with the care of our education reptiles
  • Assist with maintaining a clean and organized facility
     

Treatment Volunteers:

Pre-exposure rabies vaccination is required and a rabies titer check every two years is required. 

Volunteers will work closely with the veterinary staff as they perform daily tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Cleaning, hosing, and scrubbing enclosures of all animals housed indoors and outdoors
  • Assist staff with capture and restraint of patients
  • Assist veterinary staff with daily medical treatments and record-keeping 
  • Assist veterinary staff with medication and supplies inventory
  • Assist with maintaining a clean and organized facility
  • Performing basic diagnostic tests

 

Kitchen Volunteers

Kitchen volunteers assist staff in the preparation of meals and nutrition of patients. Daily tasks include, but not limited to:

  • Meal preparation for reptiles, mammals, and birds
  • Washing dishes, floors, and disinfecting counters
  • Help harvesting wild foods (browse, acorns, nuts, berries, etc.)
  • Keeping food inventory
  • Sorting and packing food
  • Picking up donated products
  • Assisting with maintaining a clean and organized facility
     

Administration Volunteers

Administration volunteers help with medical record-keeping and updating important information of our patients in a database. Daily tasks include:

  • Medical record-keeping
  • Organization of medical records and diagnostic tests
  • Organizing data for research projects
  • Help implement protocols and procedures
  • Assist staff with supply inventory
  • Copying, scanning, and organizing documents
  • Assist with maintaining a clean and organized facility
     

Carpentry Volunteers

Carpentry volunteers will help with maintenance and repair of facilities and enclosures, help build animal crates, boxes, enclosures, and perches, and help with special projects. Carpentry volunteers have the option of completing projects off-site. Tasks include, but are not limited to:

  • Assist with maintaining a clean and organized facility
  • Building wood boxes for squirrels, owls, woodpeckers, and other wildlife patients
  • Help with the repairs of the building and patient enclosures
  • Help in the repair and maintenance of roofs, floors, doors, plumbing, and others
  • Help in the build and design of new patient enclosures
  • Help to implement the preventive maintenance protocol for the hospital building and animal enclosures
  • Help with the removal of debris, leaves, and snow from roofs and floors
     

Ready to apply? Fill out this application and email to vetvolunteer@wildlifecenter.org

Learn more about our outreach and transport volunteer opportunities. 

Thanks for your interest in volunteering with the Wildlife Center of Virginia!