BECOME A VOLUNTEER
Volunteers are at the heart of RVWS. With almost 100 volunteers serving in various roles at various times of the year, we are always looking for enthusiastic, dedicated volunteers to join our team.
Wildlife Rehabilitation Intern*
Volunteer as a full-time wildlife rehabilitation intern for three to seven months, between April and November. Interns learn the fundamentals of wildlife rehabilitation and advanced skills under supervision. For more details and application instructions, see the intern description.
Animal Care Assistant*
Volunteer to care for orphaned wildlife at the Sanctuary and help with other supportive duties such as laundry, dishwashing and cage cleaning. Animal care assistants must commit to a regular shift of four hours per week for four months, between May and October. To apply, complete the online animal care application form.
Volunteer to care for orphaned wildlife in your home, as we do in the centre. Depending on the age of the animal, the commitment varies from 4 to 10 weeks, with 3 to 6 formula feedings per day depending on your availability. Animals must be housed in a warm, quiet room not used by the household and away from pets. Most of the animal care occurs between April and October. RVWS provides training and ongoing support, and some caging. Fosters must cover the cost of formula and food, and be at least 19 years of age. To apply, complete the online foster application form.
Volunteer to release rehabilitated animals back to the wild on your property:
Soft-release caregivers provide daily feedings, then sporadic feedings after release. Release usually occurs in June and September. RVWS provides training and ongoing support, as well as caging. Volunteers provide solid foods (e.g., rodent block, fruit and vegetables). Release sites for squirrels include quiet rural or suburban areas, hardwood or pine forests, native squirrels in the area, and a deciduous tree in your backyard (without existing squirrel nests) where we can place the squirrel’s nesting box
Hard-release sites for other mammals, such as raccoons and skunks, normally include rural areas with mixed forest and a water source.
To apply, complete the online release application form.
Other Volunteer Positions
Other volunteer opportunities at RVWS include:
To apply, complete the online general application form.
*Rabies Vaccine Information
If you would like to work with raccoons, skunks or foxes, you need to have a rabies pre-exposure vaccine. The rabies pre-exposure vaccine is a series of three injections given in your arm (much like a flu vaccine) over the course of one month. You can obtain a prescription and injections from your family doctor, and order the vaccine from any pharmacy. Most health plans cover the vaccinations. If you don’t have a health plan, the total cost is about $700. To check if your health plan covers the vaccine, you will need the following Drug Identification Numbers:
If you have had the rabies vaccine in the past, you need to provide proof of your titre levels (blood test for levels of antibodies) every two years, which you can also request from your family doctor.
If you do not have your rabies vaccine, there are plenty of other species to work with!