Volunteering at Sarvey Wildlife Care Center: Our volunteers are extremely important to us. As a non profit organization, we could not do this without the support of our volunteer staff. During the peak season (May to September), we need 80 to 100 volunteers a week to keep up with the work and patient load. We depend on donations and therefore have only a small paid staff. Wildlife rehabilitation is not funded by the state or federal government. Therefore, your donations and volunteer time are critical to our success.
Step 1: Please read this page for critical information about our volunteer opportunities.
Step 2: If after reading this information below, you think you would be a good fit to our volunteer base, please send us an email and we will add you to our schedule for training.
Commitment: Volunteers are asked to commit to a weekly schedule. We are here 7 days a week, select the day and time that works best for you.
Please note effective January 2015, we only have volunteer opportunities available on Mondays and Wednesdays. All other volunteer shifts are currently full. Feel free to be wait listed for openings on your preferred days/time.
We ask you to choose a 4 hour time slot: 8:00 am - Noon 10am - 2:00 pm Noon - 4:00 pm
During the spring and summer months, our operating hours are longer and there will be additional shifts after 4:00pm at that time.
We will train you to do a variety of tasks. Volunteers are responsible for many things that are critical to assisting in our rehabilitation efforts. Everyday assistance is needed with cleaning and sanitizing enclosures and other areas, and feeding our resident animals and patients. Volunteers with physical challenges are welcome to volunteer with tasks that are appropriate. Volunteers with special skills like carpentry or gardening are invited to work on existing and special projects. No matter your skill or physical level, there is always something to be done. Because of the training required, we ask volunteers to commit to a minimum of 6 months, but it is our hope you will love it as much as we do and stay season to season!
Seasonal Volunteer: For people who are only available for a few months, such as summer break, this is a good option. We ask you to commit to a weekly shift to help fill the expanded need for people during our busiest baby season months. We welcome those volunteers to return annually.
Minimum Age: Our minimum age for volunteers is 14 and ALL volunteers under the age of 16 MUST volunteer with a parent or legal guardian. Any volunteer under the age of 18, must have parental consent to volunteer.
Skills: You do not need experience with animals. You will be trained to care for the animals. You must be able to work with all types of people and maintain a professional demeanor at all times. You must be able to follow directions, and take correction as needed. These things are critical to your safety and the well being of our animal patients.
Our mission is to rehabilitate wild animals, so they may be released back into their natural habitats. Some volunteers come and expect to "interact" with the animals but, this is not allowed. We do whatever we can to limit our interactions with the patients at the center. For their safety, it is best to keep wild animals, wild. We follow strict guidelines established by the state and federal government which regulate the work we do.
During the summer months, Sarvey sees over 60% of its patients. These days are long and very busy, and volunteers are usually trained to do a specific job or area. Volunteer participation during these months is essential to our animals’ survival and well-being.
Winter months are much slower, and volunteers will often be asked to do a variety of duties, including cleaning inside and outside, prep for the next baby season, sanitization and repair of cages and facilities. This is a good time to learn and develop your skills in animal care.
Taking care of wild creatures is not risk free. We will train you in safe handling of the animals and equipment, but you must also be able to use good judgment every moment you are at Sarvey. All of our patients are wild, not tame, and the goal is to keep them that way.
Community Service Volunteer:
For volunteers who need community service for school, please understand that we still need a minimum 6 month commitment of time. This would equate to roughly 100 volunteer hours. If you only need 25 to 40 hours for school, we will only sign off after completion of 100 hours. It is best to plan ahead and do these hours over summer when our need for volunteers is high and the work is varied. The effort involved in training you is time consuming for our staff. We cannot spend precious staff hours training you to volunteer for only 8 to 30 hours, even if that is all your school requires. We cannot accommodate requests for "Senior Projects".
Any volunteers that need to fulfill court referral hours, please contact Suzanne directly. Please note: Due to state and federal regulations governing our facility, we cannot accept all court referrals. Due to the additional paperwork and tracking requirements for these volunteer hours, any court ordered community service applicants will need to submit a processing fee of $25.