Wildlife Care Academy Course Catalog

C Credits
H Hours in Classroom
L Hours in Laboratory
Pre Prerequisite 

Course Categories
REHAB – Wildlife Rehabilitation
VM – Veterinary Medicine
MGT – Non-profit Management

REHAB Course Descriptions

REHAB 101: Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation
Interested in helping wildlife, but not sure where to start? Join us for an introduction to ways in which you can help wild animals. Learn how to determine if a baby animal is really an orphan, what to do if an animal is injured, and where to get the right wildlife advice. Discover ways to get involved, including how to become a permitted wildlife rehabilitator in Virginia. Discussion will also include wildlife laws, the rehabilitator’s code of ethics, and considerations on becoming a wildlife rehabilitator. While the specific laws and wildlife examples will be from Virginia, the information is applicable to anyone interested in wildlife! (2H, 2C)

REHAB 105: Wildlife Capture, Restraint, Handling & Transport
Whether you are interested in becoming a permitted wildlife rehabilitator, or you simply want to safely assist any injured wildlife that you encounter, this class is essential! Learn tried and true capture, restraint, and handling techniques used to effectively work with wildlife. This class will include photos and videos of appropriate methods used to capture and restrain commonly encountered species in wildlife rehabilitation. Discussion will include the importance of learning and developing skills to ensure the well-being of both you and the animal. We’ll also cover indispensable transporting tips to keep you protected and the animal as secure and stress-free as possible. (2H, 2C)

REHAB 203: Wildlife Rehabilitation Fundamentals
Interested in rehabilitating wildlife? Discussion will include an examination of the Virginia permitting process, with a focus on helping the new rehabilitator decide which species he/she would like to and can rehabilitate. The class will also include the who, what, when, where, and why of setting up a home rehabilitation room/facility, and will include information on stocking the appropriate equipment and supplies. The importance of natural history will be emphasized, and attendees will learn how to develop an animal nutrition plan. Finally, the class will examine the rehabilitation processes of an infant mammal and nestling songbird, from birth to release. Our case-study approach makes learning about wildlife rehabilitation fun and practical for the beginner! (Pre: REHAB 101). (2H, 2C)

MGT Course Descriptions

MGT 104: Basic Elements of a Strategic Plan – What does success look like?
If you don’t know where you are going, you will never be able to determine how best to get there. For any wildlife care organization or other nonprofit, a strategic plan is the foundation of success. An organization that cannot articulate why it exists, what it aspires to do, and how it intends to do it will never be able to organize and effectively utilize its resources (human and financial), nor will it be able to attract the support it needs to succeed. This course examines the basic elements of a complete strategic plan: mission (why your organization exists), goals (the major things you intend to accomplish), objectives (how you intend to achieve your goals), tasks (who is going to be responsible for each job), and budget (how much will it cost to succeed). (2H, 2C)

MGT 111: Excellent Animal Care Organizations Depend On PEOPLE!
When asked, many people who work with wildlife or other animals will readily confess that they like animals better than they like people. But, while this may be a good foundation for the actual hands-on care of wildlife, it may be a strong impediment to organizational success. Few wildlife care organizations succeed if they are only composed of “animal people”; animals don’t write checks, don’t make laws, and don’t volunteer to get your work done. Human relationships are often the most critical factor in determining whether or not an organization will be successful. Internal conflict, the inability to win public support, and the failure to prioritize human resources are among the most common reasons that animal care organizations fail. This course will examine how a wildlife care organization can maintain a focus on wildlife, without losing sight of the fact people are essential for the organization to succeed. Balance is the key … (2H, 2C)

MGT 204: Fundraising for Wildlife Care – “Nobody gives you money because you need it!”
The most common complaint heard from animal care organizations is that they lack the resources—the money—to provide care for wildlife as they would like to do. However, when you ask how much is needed and what they are doing to get it, few organizations have an actual budget of fixed expenses, let alone a coherent fundraising program to solicit support from those able to provide it. This class will explore the process of successful fundraising, including building your case for support, effectively telling your story, identifying potential support, and building and maintaining a relationship with donors in which both the organization and the donor are fulfilled. (2H, 2C)

MGT 207: Volunteers Don’t Do It For Free! – Volunteerism is an Exchange of Value!
Volunteers are NOT slave labor, and cannot be treated as such. When someone volunteers for an organization, especially wildlife care programs, they expect to receive something in return … just not money. Volunteer compensation may include the opportunity to learn and do new things, to contribute to the community, to make a real difference for wildlife, or to use specific skill and education to advance a personal mission. In addition, all volunteers deserve to earn and be given respect, courtesy, an enjoyable work environment, and the opportunity to grow and advance in their positions. This course will provide a look at volunteerism from the volunteers’ point of view and will provide many tangible and practical ideas for recruiting, cultivating and retaining an effective volunteer work force. (2H, 2C)

Check our online class calendar for upcoming classes! 

Have an additional idea for classes? Contact us at academy@wildlifecenter.org