Each year, LTWC’s animal care team, along with seasonal volunteers, cares for hundreds of wild birds and animals. Animal care teams provide the needed medical care, sustenance, and enrichment/ skills to ensure a patient’s successful return to the wild.
Animal Care Volunteer Responsibilities
Wildlife rehabilitation is not glamorous. You will not always be doing hands-on animal work. Animal care shifts often include heavy cleaning, laundry, and food prep. And while the work is rewarding, it can also take an emotional toll.
Volunteers are trained in animal intake, care including food prep and feeding, safe handling protocols, and facility hygiene. Once the orientation is complete, volunteers will progress through different levels as advanced animal care and handling skills are gained. Animal care shifts are conducted under the supervision of our animal care and/ or operations teams.
The minimum commitment for new animal care volunteers is one four-hour shift per week from June through the end of our busy season, usually in late September. Please consider your schedule and other commitments before signing-up as a volunteer.
Volunteers are expected to attend their scheduled shifts; missing a shift is detrimental to the wild birds and animals in our care.
- Volunteers must be 18 years or older.
- Volunteers must attend the two-day volunteer orientation.
- Volunteers must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
- Volunteers must be able to follow detailed instructions and procedures, take direction, and work with a team.
- Volunteers must fill out, sign, and turn in all required documents as requested by LTWC.
- New volunteers must pay a one-time sign-up fee of $75.00 which includes training materials, LTWC logowear, and a LTWC Membership.
Health and Safety Considerations
The health and safety of our patients, staff, and volunteers is our top priority, though volunteering with wild birds and animals involves some inherent risks.
Volunteering at LTWC may require standing for long periods, walking, lifting, heavy cleaning, scrubbing, hosing, laundry, food prep, enclosure setup, repair and maintenance, repetitive motion, bending over, stepping on ladders, walking uneven terrain, and other physically demanding activities.
We do not recommend individuals with weakened immune systems volunteer as part of our animal care group.
Wild birds and animals can carry, contract, and spread various diseases, and though most diseases are species-specific, some may be transferred between species and to humans and/ or our pets. Following appropriate hand hygiene (washing hands before and after handling animals, eating, or using the bathroom) and safety protocols limits risk. Dedicate one pair of shoes for your volunteer work and consider changing out of your volunteer clothing before entering your home/ interacting with your pets.
Safety protocols must be followed at all times, including masking and physical distancing if required by LTWC or public health officials.
Volunteers are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19.
Volunteers are required to wear long-sleeved shirts, gloves, and closed-toe shoes at all times. Volunteers often get very dirty, consider wearing clothing you do not care about.
Animal Care Volunteer Application
Animal care volunteers are accepted and trained once a year in anticipation of the busy summer season. Volunteer sign-ups are announced via LTWC website, email and social media platforms.
If you have any questions please do not call the center; contact the volunteer organizer directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.