Volunteering at the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center can be fun and rewarding.
WANT TO JOIN OUR NEXT CLASS? Great!! We look forward to meeting you soon! Click on the button below to sign up for the class.
Please note you must be 18+ years of age or have parental/guardian approval form completed if between the ages of 16-18. We are keeping attendance at no more than 20 per class, and sign-up will be on a first come first serve. If a class has reached maximum capacity before you have signed up, we'll notify you by email.
Doors will open for sign-in 30 minutes prior to start time, and the class will run roughly 2 hours. When you arrive you will receive a folder with an application and training packet for your orientation. The orientation fee is $25, and is payable by either cash or check. Please wear a mask, even when you are outside the building, and maintain at least 6 feet between you during sign-in. If you plan on bringing a friend, PLEASE make sure they fill out the registration form as well!
Again, thank you so much! We look forward to meeting you!
Here are a few things to consider before getting involved with wildlife rehabilitation at the center:
It is not a petting zoo We care for animals who will hopefully be returned to the wild. Their survival depends upon them not becoming imprinted on humans.
It is not glamorous There is a variety of work to be done at the center. Most of the work requires us to roll up our sleeves and get dirty. Typical work involves cleaning cages, washing dishes, doing endless laundry and cleaning more cages. There are also other volunteer opportunities such as: volunteering at events, stuffing envelopes, data entry, etc.
It is time consuming A minimum of 4-5 consecutive hours per week is asked of each volunteer.
It is emotional We work towards the rehabilitation and release of an injured creature who, despite our efforts, may not survive. But despite all this...
It is rewarding In return, you may get to watch a sick or injured animal recover its health. You may get to hold open the cage door as a rehabilitated bird is released into the wild. Or you may nurture an orphaned baby who may mature and raise its own family in the wild.
Learning The center teaches wildlife rehabilitation and animal husbandry. Volunteers may learn everything from the math of calculating calories for proper animal feeding to the biology of animal diseases and anatomy. Volunteers will also learn about the natural history of the animals native to Orange County and the geography of migration that brings animal visitors from as far away as Canada and Chile.
Skills Responsibility is emphasized in the program; our responsibility as citizens to care for the environment and the volunteers' individual responsibility to arrive on time, follow rules, ask questions and work hard. Volunteers will enjoy working in small groups with experienced staff while learning to handle and care for wild animals. Proper sanitation techniques and the reasons for them will also be taught. Time management, adaptability and working calmly under stress are all part of the daily environment at our busy, ever-changing facility.
* Providing your email address allows us to notify you about special events, urgent animal needs and more.