***COVID-19 Update: We have reduced the number of volunteers allowed in the facility at one time as a precaution against Covid-19. If you are interested in becoming a new volunteer, please fill out the application. We are still holding orientations but our spots are limited in an effort to keep everyone safe. Thank you for your interest and we hope to be able to see you soon!
Volunteers at Gold Country Wildlife Rescue are the pillars of our organization. We could not accomplish our mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured and orphaned wildlife without their hard work and dedication. The devotion and enthusiasm of GCWR volunteers is truly an inspiration and is vital to keeping our doors open to animals in need.
Wildlife rehabilitation has a wide variety of opportunities available to meet whatever interest you might have as a volunteer. Keep in mind, some of this work is HARD work! Please look through the list below to determine what volunteering sector might interest you.
Administrative Support/Front Desk Volunteer
Record keeping, event assistance (including events – sponsor outreach, arranging logistics for events, event prep, working during events, etc.), public relations, front desk/animal intake coverage, computer work, mailings and more. You may be working with the administrative staff, board members, and the education and event committees. Main duties are greeting the public/rescuers and handling animal intakes.
Facility Maintanence and Special Projects
As our organization grows so do our facilities and that means more work to keep it looking tip top and in the best condition possible for the animals as well as our staff and volunteers. Facility Maintenance includes a number of special projects, routine chores and seasonal projects. This work may include (but are not limited to): weed eating, weeding, mowing, barn and cage maintenance, cage building/moving, fencing, enclosure design and development, building repair (roofing, electrical, plumbing, etc.), building, cleaning, drain maintenance, etc. If you have experience and skills in the maintenance and handyman side of things we definitely would like to have your help.
Animal Care Support (ACS)
1. Wildlife Kitchen: with all of the animals we care for you can imagine that the kitchen is the heart of much of what we do. Here you will learn to manage all the many different types of dietary needs our patients have. This includes food prep and cleaning. It should be noted that many of the animals have either a total or partial raw meat diet and you will need to be comfortable handling raw meat which can often include deceased mice, birds, fish and live worms.
2. Animal Enclosure Housekeeping: With all of the animals we care for constant cleaning is a must. This work may include laundry, washing dishes, helping prep new bedding, cleaning cages, cleaning floors, cleaning feeding and medical tools, trash removal, cleaning of the administrative areas, and more. If you enjoy housekeeping and organization, we would LOVE to utilize your expertise!
Do you enjoy talking with the public and helping our community learn how to help and live peacefully with our wild neighbors? This is the perfect job for you. Maintaining professionalism, patience and open communication, our liaisons answer the phones, help deploy our rescuers, tell the community what to do if they find an animal, and help people learn how to manage issues with natural predators in the area (like skunks, raccoons, fox, coyote, etc.) that they may be coming in contact with due to their chickens, outdoor pet food, or more. Gold Country Wildlife Rescue gets over 12,000 phone calls each year. As a wildlife liaison you can volunteer anywhere, even your home. You will receive notifications of incoming phone messages and call people with wildlife issues with help for them. We will provide training, information and backup resources for you to be able to give answers to the public.
Our patients can’t drive themselves and much of the time we need to move them from their rescue location to the Wildlife Intake Center (WIC) or vet. Additionally, we need to move animals between the WIC and the Vet, the WIC and outside rehab locations, and between the WIC and outside partners who may specialize in specific species. Donating your time to help transport all these little guys is not only rewarding but also an integral part of their successful care. Note – this is not considered an animal handling position as the animals are always crated appropriately for transport, but all transporters must be 18 years of age or older.
Initial Administrative Fee: $50/person fee (includes 1 shirt, 1 name badge, administrative /liability insurance, initial and ongoing training).
After the first year: $25/person (includes annual shirt, administrative/liability insurance, and ongoing training).
Weekly Commitment: Varies depending on volunteer position.
Individuals who are unable to commit to the minimum monthly/hourly requirement are not eligible to participate in GCWR’s Volunteer Program.
Animal Care Support Volunteers: GCWR requires a minimum of 4 hours a week of commitment from our volunteers for 48 weeks out of a 12 month (52-week period). After 12 months has been completed, you are encouraged to re-commit on a month-to-month or annual basis.
Transport, Facility Maintenance, and Special Project Volunteers: GCWR requires availability for 12-16 hours a month for these volunteers. These types of volunteers are on an as needed basis and will be contacted when transport, maintenance, or specific skill set is needed.
We request that prior to applying to volunteer, you strongly consider your ability to follow through with our weekly hour commitment. Our staff and animals depend on volunteers! It takes significant time and energy to provide proper training for volunteers. If a volunteer is unable to keep their required commitment, or exceeds our 3 strikes and you’re out policy, the volunteer may be asked to leave GCWR’s program.
Our state and federal Fish and Wildlife permits limit the use of minors as volunteers within the Wildlife Intake Center. Currently, all GCWR volunteers must be at least 18 years of age in order to have direct contact with animals.
Volunteer applicants are required to complete the following 3-step application process in order to be reviewed for volunteer consideration:
Step 1: Download and Review Documents and Waivers Step 2: Complete Application Form Step 3: Volunteer Application Fee