Our center takes in just over 2500 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
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.
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.
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!
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.
Volunteers are required to have a current tetanus vaccine.
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.
Volunteer Openings: Our Volunteer Program is open for Spring 2018. After reading the information below, please feel free to call us to sign up for your Volunteer Orientation.
Community Service: we have limited positions for Community Service Projects for School and/or to fulfill court directed hour requirements; please read the information below and give us a call to setup your orientation for these positions.
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 calling to setup your orientation:
Our primary need is for long-term help/support and so we 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 jobs of laundry, dishes, garbage, floors, etc.
Bottom line, any and all help supports our ability to return human impacted wildlife back into the wild.
Service Projects: we also have limited service projects for school and scout requirements--when you call let us know of your needs so we can try and accommodate them.
Long-term help: (>4 months commitment @ least 3 hrs 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.
- A Volunteer Orientation is required in almost all cases, whether you are volunteering, community service or performing a service project--please provide this information when you call so we can adjust the presentation if needed.
- You must call or visit us no less than 24 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 tour of the facility will take place on your next scheduled day (1st day) of Volunteer/Community Service training.
- Fees: yes we do require a small administrative fee at the time of your orientation ($5 for ages 13 – 17; $10 for adults); The purpose of the fee 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).
- 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.
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 5:30- 6:00pm.
Summer schedule our hours begin at 10a and we may find ourselves working until 11pm or later.
To sign up for your orientation please call us at 801-814-7888 and please do not leave voice messages as we are often too busy to check and respond to them in a timely manner due to 100-150 incoming calls each day — Please just call until you get through.
Thank you and we hope to hear from you soon.
Please call us at 801-814-7888 to sign up for an orientation or learn more about volunteering.