Volunteering with WRCNU

Benefits of Volunteering

Mikaela pointing out name on Volunteer Awards Plaques

Our center takes in just over 2,500 animals per year, comprised of over 100 different species.  Staff and volunteers work together to provide  comprehensive diagnoses and treatments for our patients.  Everyone works together to accommodate the  feeding, cleaning and medication requirements of each patient. 

What volunteering does for you:

Unique opportunity to work directly with wildlife and make a meaningful impact to their lives. 

Meet new people and make new friends. 

Strengthen your sense of community.

Gain first hand knowledge of environmental issues.

Learn new and practical skills.

Gain insight into a field of interest.

Strengthen and improve resumes for employment and scholarships 

Serious Commitment

Bottle feeding baby weasle

We always ask potential volunteers to seriously evaluate their schedules and other commitments before they join our volunteer team, because WRCNU is 98% volunteer driven and the animals depend on the volunteers for their food, caging and medical needs. 

Volunteers are expected to attend their scheduled shift every week, and missing a scheduled shift can impact our patients’ lives!

You can build your own schedule, but we do encourage all incoming volunteers to make a commitment to a regular volunteer shift.  

Working with animals is hard, dirty and exhausting.  We do not cuddle or play with the animals as this would be cruel to them.  Baby animals can imprint and this would cost them their freedom.  Adult animals know that humans are predators and they want to escape.

Volunteer Training

Suture training class

We are always striving to provide continued training to volunteers, however, please remember cleaning is a never ending task , it comprises about 80% of the duties here. 

Volunteers learn progressively advanced skills.  These skills include diets, caging requirements, identification, medical treatment and animal handling.  Volunteers must demonstrate mastery of skills in one level before progressing to the next level. 


Volunteers are encouraged to ask questions and observe procedures at any level in order to increase their training and experience.

In this field, you never stop training and learning.  The more you learn the more amazing this field is. 

Volunteer Requirements

Anthony signing up for hours

  • Volunteer Program is CLOSED with limited exceptions--Read more below under "Interested in Volunteering with WRCNU?"
  • All volunteers must attend a volunteer orientation.  There is a non-refundable $10 processing fee for adults or $5 for youth. (Students and Community Service volunteers please contact us for details as you will fall under a different program) 
  • Volunteers must commit to one 3-hour shift a week for a period of at least 4 months
  • Volunteers working "hands-on" with wildlife must be 18 years or older.  Youth opportunities are available in support areas.
  • Youth volunteers must be 13 years or older.

We hope you will continue to volunteer past this minimum commitment as our experienced volunteers are our most valuable resource!

Volunteers should be prepared to have fun, get dirty, follow instructions for safe and effective animal care, and LEARN A LOT! 

Health and Safety

Safety equipment: Gloves, eye protection and mask

Volunteering with wild animals involves some inherent health risks and WRCNU is extremely committed to minimizing or eliminating these risks. The health and safety of volunteers is our top priority.  It is recommended that people with compromised immune systems DO NOT volunteer in wildlife rehabilitation.

  • We recommend that anyone volunteering at WRCNU inform their regular doctor that they are working with wildlife.
  • Pregnant women are not allowed to volunteer with the animals at WRCNU.
  • Proper safety and hygiene precautions must be followed at all times.
  • Safety equipment is available and it is expected that volunteers use it. 
  • It is a safe practice to change out of your volunteer clothing and wash well before going into pet-occupied areas of your house or handling pets. 

Volunteers are required to have a current tetanus vaccine. 

Zoonotic Diseases

Washing hands

All animals can carry, contract and spread various diseases, and the wildlife we handle is no exception. Although many diseases are species-specific, some may be transferred between species and to us. Diseases we can contract from animals are called zoonotic diseases or zoonoses.

Zoonoses are a concern in wildlife rehabilitation, however proper hygiene (washing hands before and after handling animals, eating, or using the washroom) and proper safety techniques (wearing gloves or masks) greatly minimize risk.

Do You Need Community Service Hours?

School and Court Directed Hour Requirements

Community Service (CS):  

We will happily "scratch your back if you scratch ours!"  

Please understand that the availability of open positions for CS varies from week to week.  We have limited positions for CS Projects for School and/or to fulfill Court Directed hour requirements; please give us a call (801-814-7888) to understand the type of tasks you will be assigned and to setup your orientation for available positions.

Interested in Volunteering with WRCNU?

Please Read this BEFORE coming in to Sign up!

Volunteer Openings:  As of June, our Volunteer Program is CLOSED until further notice due to the very high volume of Animal Care during our busy Summer season--PLEASE keep checking for initial level openings sometime in late summer or early fall--SORRY!

Sept 12, 2019:  Due to the heaviest "Baby Season" ever, we do not anticipate our new Volunteer Training program to open before Mid October--sorry, but we do promise that if you remain interested that you will have plenty to do when our 2020 season comes around!

While you wait, please read the requirements listed below to ensure this is something you are truly interested in and are able to do.

However, we are still open for Community Service projects, limited School Intern opportunities, and college classes requiring volunteer hours.

Thank you,


We are always in need of dedicated help from the community to do the important work we do day-in-and-day-out.  

To ensure that you understand what our needs are, please read the following information before visiting to setup your orientation:

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: Due to too many individuals who sign up for our orientation and then FAIL to show, we have implemented the following policy to help open up available slots to those who truly wish to volunteer.

You must sign up IN-PERSON at the front desk. If we have a class opening you wish to attend, you must PREPAY your Orientation Admin Fee BEFORE we will place you on our class roster.

The Orientation Admin Fee is NONREFUNDABLE.

If you fail to show for the scheduled class or are more than 10 minutes late, you will be placed on a 6-month "hold list" before you can request another class.  After the waiting period, you may request a class slot in which case you will again be required to schedule in-person and pay another nonrefundable Orientation Admin Fee.

It is YOUR responsibility to know and remember the date and time of your assigned class, "forgetting your appointment" or "getting it wrong" are not acceptable excuses.  If you are not certain of the date/time please call and we will be happy to check for you.

We hope this Policy will open up more class slots to those truly desiring to join our team and will help to discourage those who are not serious about volunteering.

Exceptions to this Policy: Court appointed Community Service and School related Service Hours required by the court or for school credit.  People meeting these requirements are not required to pay an Admin Fee at this time, but you WILL still be held to the same requirements to show up on-time and should you fail you will be placed on the 6-month Hold List as stated above.

Thank You for your understanding.

Our primary need is for long-term help/support and so we typically ask for a commitment of at least four (4) months.  For those unable to give this commitment we do have “Support Jobs” that do not permit direct work with the animals, but are jobs we still badly need completed—support jobs allow our trained staff and trained volunteers to focus on getting the animals fed, cleaned and medicated without the added tasks of doing the necessary and unending tasks of laundry, dishes, garbage, floors, etc.  Bottom line, any and all help supports our ability to return human impacted wildlife back into the wild.

Long-term help: (>4 months commitment @ least one (1) 3 hr shift per week) allows for you, the volunteer, to actually get trained in certain animal related tasks and work your way into an area you are both able to do and comfortable with—you will start out on simple tasks such as diet/food preparation, food presentation, cage cleaning and will be schooled on the general rules of appropriate/inappropriate interaction with the animals you may work around/with.  Understand that everyone still retains responsibility for general housekeeping, cleaning up after your task(s) by doing dishes, emptying garbage, etc.

Volunteer Orientation:  

- A Volunteer Orientation is required in almost all cases, whether you are volunteering, community service or performing a service project--we may adjust the presentation based on your service goals.

- Volunteers must prepay their Admin fee IN-PERSON prior to being signed up for a class slot. 

- Community Service (Court or School) May call or visit us no less than 48 hours in advance of our orientation to reserve a seat (801-814-7888)--no walk-in's are allowed and if no one is signed up, orientations do not take place.

- Orientations are held at the Center:  1490 Park Blvd, Ogden, UT 84401; we are right next door to the George Eccles Dinosaur Park in the old Ogden Animal Shelter.

- Orientation day does NOT include a “tour”.  Once you have completed Orientation your training tour of the facility will take place on your next scheduled day (1st day) of Volunteer/Community Service training.  

- Our Junior Volunteer program starts at age 13, but based on available openings and proper supervision there are some opportunities for slightly younger individuals--call us to see if this can work for you.

- Fees:  yes we do require a small administrative fee which must be prepaid in order to schedule and reserve your class date ($5 for ages 13 – 17; $10 for adults).

The purpose of these fees is to help ensure you are serious about volunteering and because the administrative portion of setting up initial volunteers, doing background checks to ensure the safety of staff and volunteers, etc.  takes a lot of our time--we want people interested in helping and not those hoping for that "free tour" just to look at the animals.  

There are some exceptions to the fee policy based on school and court directed participation, so if this sounds like you then ask.  

For those giving at least 100 hours of volunteer time, you get more than the value of your fee back in the form of our unique and coveted WRCNU Volunteer T-Shirt (displayed in our lobby).

After your initial orientation training you will schedule your time with us based on available openings in our weekly schedules; we are open 7 days/week from 10am until we close. 

Closing times vary seasonally and the "season" is determined by animal intakes, but typically Winter months are between Oct - Mar, while Summer months are between May - Sep. 

Winter schedule typically begins at 10a and we try to leave between 5:00- 6:00pm.  

Summer schedule our hours begin at 10a and we typically close at 8p, but we may find ourselves working until 11pm or later.

Again, to sign up for your orientation you MUST do so in-person and Prepay your administration fee before you can schedule a class.

Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon.

volunteer@wrcnu.org--for other Volunteer Questions

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PLEASE: we WILL NOT sign you up for Orientations by email or by phone, you MUST sign up IN PERSON!

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah

1490 Park Boulevard, Ogden, UT 84401 USA

(801) 814-7888

Please call us at 801-814-7888 to sign up for an orientation or learn more about volunteering.