Interested in volunteering at the Wildlife Center of Virginia?
The Wildlife Center cannot fulfill its mission without the help of many dedicated volunteers. Volunteers play a vital role in assisting the patients as well as sharing the Center’s message.
Volunteers serve in many different ways depending on their 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. Online applications are provided when there are available positions in a particular area.
Animal care volunteers work closely with the rehabilitation staff as they perform daily tasks including meal preparation and daily feeding/watering; monitoring progress of patients; recording weights and food intake; cage set-up and maintaining proper environment; daily exercise of raptor patients; assisting staff with capture and restraint of patients; hand-feeding orphaned birds; cleaning, hosing, and scrubbing pens of all animals housed in indoor and outdoor enclosures; and general cleaning including sweeping/mopping floors, washing dishes, disinfecting counters/sinks. Pre-exposure rabies vaccination is required to work with all juvenile and adult mammals. Responsibilities increase with experience and demonstrated commitment.
Requirements: Animal care volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and able to commit to a minimum of one shift per week for either six months or one year. Shifts run from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., seven days per week. Space is limited to one volunteer per shift.
Availability and application: The rehabilitation department currently has a limited number of open volunteer positions. Please complete the Animal Care Volunteer application for consideration.
Outreach docents assist the staff with educating the public about the Center’s mission and the importance of protecting wildlife and the environment. Our outreach programs promote positive attitudes toward wildlife and emphasize how the personal choices we make affect the health of the environment.
Outreach volunteers assist with leading on-site programs, including tours, hikes, and open houses for a variety of groups including adults, families, school children, scouts, and clubs.
Requirements: Docents must be at least 18 years of age. Docents must be comfortable with speaking in public and able to hike a mile-long trail. There are no set shift requirements; on-site school field trips are usually scheduled for weekday mornings during the spring and fall; open house tours are scheduled on weekend afternoons seasonally.
Availability and application: The outreach department currently has a limited number of open volunteer positions. Please complete the Outreach Docent Volunteer application for consideration.
Treatment team volunteers will have the opportunity to work hands-on with the patients at the Wildlife Center by assisting the veterinary staff with daily medical and diagnostic procedures. Tasks may include patient capture and restraint, weighing, administering medications, positioning patients for radiographs, and some laboratory work. No prior veterinary or animal handling experience is needed; the veterinary staff will provide all the necessary training and supervision. The first day will be spent in an orientation and observing patient care. Pre-exposure rabies vaccination is required to work with all juvenile and adult mammals. Responsibilities increase with experience and demonstrated commitment.
Requirements: Treatment team volunteers must be must be at least 18 years of age and able to commit to a minimum of one three-hour shift per month for one year. The morning treatment team shift is from 9 am-12 pm, the afternoon shift is from 3 pm-6 pm. Afternoon shifts are not available during the winter months. Space is limited to two volunteers per shift.
Availability and application: There are no treatment team positions available at this time.
Transport and Rescue
The Wildlife Center receives many calls from members of the public who want to help rescue wildlife, but are unable to transport and/or capture the animal. Volunteer transporters provide a vital, life-saving service to both the Wildlife Center and the community by facilitating the rescue/transport of wild animals.
Transport/rescue volunteers may choose to assist with wildlife capture and transport, or may choose to simply provide transport only for an already-captured animal.
If a citizen calls and needs transporting assistance, a Center front-desk coordinator will determine the best course of action for the animal in need. If rescue/transport is needed, the front-desk coordinator will give the rescuer names and phone numbers for three to six volunteer transporters. The citizen rescuer contacts these transporters to see who is available to transport the animal to the Wildlife Center (or another designated closer permitted rehabilitator). Transporters are always free to tell a caller that they are unavailable, knowing that the caller has been given other transporter numbers.
Requirements: Transporters must have a valid driver’s license and be willing to drive contained, injured or orphaned wild animals to/from the Center in their own vehicle. Transporters must agree to follow the recommended guidelines provided by the Wildlife Center of Virginia.
Availability and application: Transporters from all over the state of Virginia are always needed, but especially so in the following areas:
Franklin County (Rocky Mount)
Prince William County (Woodbridge)
Washington County (Abingdon)
Westmoreland County (Warsaw, Montross)*
Wythe County (Wytheville)
*Strong need for volunteers in this area.
Please click here to fill out an application.
Once we receive your application, the front-desk staff will email applicants with additional information. Unless otherwise specified, applicants will be added to the active referral list immediately. New transport volunteers may receive calls from the public for transport assistance right away, or it may be several months until the first call.
Thanks for your interest in volunteering with the Wildlife Center of Virginia!