VOLUNTEERING FOR WILD CARE

Wild Care is an organization for the rehabilitation of sick, injured or orphaned wild birds, reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals (we do not work with rabies vector species). The state requires us to take any wild animals brought to us but provides us with no money for their care. Through donations and grants, we are able to maintain a small staff of about 8 people, only 2 of whom are full time, as well as some seasonal assistants (also part time). With that, we typically care for about 2000 animals per year. To accomplish this, we rely heavily upon a robust crew of dedicated volunteers (over 100). Without them, we would be forced to turn away animals.  We’d simply have no choice.

That being said, there are also very clear regulations regarding wild animal care. It’s our #1 goal to return wild animals to the wild, and to provide appropriate care, it’s important to have to have as little direct contact with these animals as possible.  As a result, with few exceptions (noted below), most of our volunteers do not have direct contact with animals. 


All volunteer programs, except Events, required training which we provide. For Events, we provide clear instructions and preparation for each event.

Clinic Program – 18+

*Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning! This is our single most needed area of volunteer help.

Details: Every animal we have needs food dishes, linens, habitats, and crates cleaned and disinfected every single day.  Imagine that multiplied for the 30 or so animals we have in the winter, to over 200 in the summer.  We could not do our life saving work without our Clinic Volunteers.

When it comes to cleaning, it’s all hands on deck.  Our staff does a lot of this, but a ton more is needed to allow licensed staff the time needed to provide the direct animal care that needs licensing (exams, bandage and splint changes, medications, etc.). We run a constant schedule of in-clinic volunteers in 3-hour shifts whenever we are open.  Our in-clinic volunteers are absolutely critical to allowing us to serve more animals, by cleaning/disinfecting laundry, dishes, crates, habitats, floors and aviaries. Other tasks may include setting up habitats, grocery shopping, preparing food dishes, and occasionally helping with animal restraint.

Volunteers should be prepared to get dirty in this department. You should be able to handle stairs with laundry, too. Keep in mind that our ICU Clinic is where animals are admitted and examined. You will have opportunities to see the animals that are being cared for. We know this job is tough. We will try to educate you as much as you wish about the animals we work with when time allows.

Season: Wild Care’s Intensive Care In-Clinic Program goes year-round, 365 days per year.
Commitment: We require a commitment to a three-hour shift, one day per week, for a minimum of six months. Note that some folks do this in the summer only, where we know you are not going to be on for 6 months, but hope you would be interested in returning the following season.

Baby Bird Program – 16+*

Details: Our baby bird volunteers help raise fledgling-age songbirds in three-hour shifts between 6am and 6pm every day. The birds must all be hand-fed appropriate food (as directed by staff), such as worms, fruit, veggies, and/or seed. We ask our volunteers to communicate with staff if any questions or concerns arise with the birds, or if something exciting occurs, such as a bird that’s starting to self-feed!!

Note: This job also includes some cleaning and disinfecting of cages and dishes, and moving laundry to the laundry bins in the clinic. Dishes to are to be cleaned at either the sink in the baby bird room (in the barn), or at the outdoor sink. Volunteers should be prepared to get dirty in this department.

*Baby Bird Program Volunteers aged 16 and 17 years of age, must come to their shift with a guardian/partner aged 18 years or older.

Season: The Baby Bird Program typically runs from late May through late August, sometimes early September.
Commitment: We require a commitment to a three-hour shift, one day per week, for a minimum of ten weeks.

Rescue/Transport Program – 18+

Details: When calls come in for wildlife in distress that the caller cannot capture and/or transport, we rely upon our rescue team to go retrieve these animals. Wild Care requires volunteers to be “on call,” which means fairly available during business hours. We will try and work within the volunteer’s schedule, and call on days and times when they are typically available. An accelerated response time contributes to a higher chance of survival for wildlife in need of immediate rescue. Rescue volunteers should have a reliable means of transportation and a somewhat flexible schedule. Volunteers should be prepared to get dirty in this department. Appropriate training will be provided.

Season: Wild Care’s Rescue/Transport Program is year-round, 365 days per year.
Commitment: We require a relatively flexible schedule, or clear times of availability, and a year-round or seasonal commitment to be a part of our rescue team.

Events Volunteer – 18+

Details: In addition to animal care, Wild Care seeks to both educate and fundraise out in the community with a variety of events. Events volunteers help us with those events. Specific event tasks may include: selling merchandise and tickets, managing raffles and auctions, doing family crafts projects with kids, setting up and cleaning up at events, etc.  Event volunteers should be comfortable interacting with the public.

Season: Wild Care puts on or participates in events throughout the year.
Commitment: This position is often on an as-needed basis, with some months being busier than others.

Fundraising Volunteer – 18+

Details: Fundraising volunteers play a critical role at Wild Care, helping our Executive Director with planning, coordinating and executing fundraisers. Tasks may include brainstorming fundraising ideas, donor solicitation, assisting with appeals, grants and other fundraising methods. Fundraising volunteers should be outgoing and good with public relations.

Season: Wild Care’s Fundraising Program is year-round, 365 days per year.
Commitment: We require a commitment of six months being on call for fundraising help. There is a monthly or bi-monthly evening Fundraising Committee Meeting that occurs on a schedule that will be provided. This position is often on an as-needed basis, with some months being busier than others. Workload is self-directed.

Administration Volunteer – 18+

Details: A variety of other tasks, from thank you notes to donors, to data entry and website work are handled by volunteers. 

Season: Year-round.
Commitment:  Workload is self-directed.  You will be trained for the tasks assigned to you, and we ask that once trained, that you stay on for a minimum of 6 months.

Front Desk/Reception Program – 18+

Details: Due to the sensitivity and difficulty of this position, it is filled from within Wild Care, from volunteers in other positions that we know, because in this position volunteers are representing us. This position is new with the opening of the new building is June of 2024.  Front desk folks will intake injured animals that show up at the facility, and handle incoming phone calls by dividing them into those that must go to a rehabber or staff immediately, those which can be answered using a provided informational binder, and those that messages can be taken for. 

Season: Shifts will generally be 4 hours, from 9-1 and 1-5, year round, 365 days per year.
Commitment: Because this will require extensive training, we ask for a minimum commitment to one shift per week, for 6 months or more.

Squirrel feeding Program – 18+

Details: Due to the sensitivity and difficulty of this position, it is filled from within Wild Care, from volunteers in other positions that we know, because baby squirrels that are fed incorrectly are prone to aspiration and other illnesses. This position involves nursing and toileting baby squirrels.

Season: This need can come anywhere from April to October but is generally more often needed in June to August, and sometimes September.  Note, we do not activate this crew of volunteers unless needed—where staff must have additional help in order to meet the needs of all the patients at Wild Care.
Commitment: When this group is activated, we seek assistance as per need, rather than a set schedule.  Scheduling will be done by phone, text or email, as it arises.

To apply for a role as a Wild Care Volunteer, please fill out the application:  

Note: we are experiencing rare occasions when this application is not received by us. If you do not hear back within one week please send a follow up email to: [email protected].

If you find an animal in
distress, please call us at:

508-240-2255

Our helpline and our facility
are open EVERY DAY from
9:00 am – 5:00 pm.
We are located at the
Orleans rotary (on the Eastham side).

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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

15 June, 2024
Wildlife Baby Shower 2024!
EVENT DETAILS
05 April, 2024
Wild Night Out
EVENT DETAILS
28 February, 2024
Wildlife Winter/Spring Talk Series 
EVENT DETAILS

DID YOU KNOW??

Wild Care has a state-of-the-art seabird therapy pool, which allows seabirds and waterfowl to exercise on running water. This will help our bird friends recover more quickly so they can get back to their watery habitats!