Wildlife conservation and community volunteer projects and internships worldwide

Wildlife Rescue & Rehab Volunteer Project, Canada

4 weeks-3 Months from

minimum age

  • Get hands-on experience working with rescued wildlife, including moose, bears, raccoons and otters
  • Help to conserve and protect native mammal species
  • Be part of the journey of an orphaned animal – from eyes closed to being released back into the wild
  • Explore an incredible and unique ecosystems in Ontario

Useful things to consider when applying

Working at a Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre can be very intense at times because of the hours we sometimes have to keep. With any luck, you will be working an eight-hour day, but at times it can be up to 12 hours, depending on the number of admissions and their problems.


baby coyoteWhen to Come

Volunteers are needed all year round, with animals arriving at the centre all the time!

Spring and Summer (May-August) is the busiest time of year for intakes of orphaned and injured wildlife. The work is mostly hands-on and involves very long hours.

You will be working primarily with baby raccoons (kits) for five (5) days a week, on either morning or evening shifts. This requires learning tube feeding, syringe and bottle feeding, and how to administer fluid therapy. You may also be required to assist in the squirrel nursery on a daily basis when needed.

Depending on what other animal species are in our rehabilitation facilities at the time, you may also be assigned to feed and care for porcupines, fawns, beavers, otters, moose calves, etc., every day. Volunteers who are assigned to these other animal species are responsible for their care seven (7) days a week – even on their days off. It’s very busy and exhausting, but rewarding – and you will learn a great deal about rehabilitating wildlife.

Late summer is less demanding because most animals are no longer being bottle-fed and are in outdoor pre-release enclosures to “wild up” for release. Late-summer volunteers will be required to help with the clean-up and shutting down of rooms that were used during the busier spring months, while also caring for animals.

Fall (September and October) workdays vary depending on how many baby squirrels are in care. Volunteers may still do shift work, which is usually 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. near the end of the season. They will also assist in feeding and rehabilitating animals that are in care. Volunteers will help to clean rooms that were used during the spring and summer, as well.

Winter (November to April) workdays are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Mornings are spent feeding and cleaning all of the animals that reside at the facility. Volunteers will care for rehabilitating animals that are overwintering with us or any other injured animals in our care. Afternoons are spent cleaning and organising.

Weather in Ontario

Our summer months (June to October) can be humid so it often feels warmer than the temperature.  There is a brief season of biting flies (black flies) in our springtime and our summer can be filled with mosquitoes mostly at dawn and dusk.  We recommend you bring bug spray appropriate to the time of year and a bug jacket. Our winter months (December to April) can feel much colder due to the wind chill.  Average temperatures and weather patterns are found at The Weather Channel.

baby bird rehabilitationWhy is this Sanctuary Needed in Ontario?

Most people in Ontario live near wildlife. In rural areas, it is common to see deer and moose tracks and small mammals. Larger cities are populated with squirrels, chipmunks, and raccoons. Imagine the life-threatening impacts on these animals when they are injured or orphaned, or when their ability to live in the wild is weakened or compromised. At this sanctuary, the team are skilled at providing shelter and care to animals who need our help.

We receive animals that have been orphaned, shot by hunters, hit by vehicles, trapped, starved, injured by predators, suffer from mange (and other diseases/conditions), and were compromised by well-meaning humans. On arrival, each animal is immediately assessed, and a plan of care specific to its situation and species is put into play. First aid, species-specific formula and/or food, vaccinations, and size-appropriate (indoor and outdoor) enclosures are all requirements for successful rehabilitation.

Many orphans who arrive at the Sanctuary have been away from their mothers and are incredibly emaciated. Subsequently, their internal health has become compromised, and their organs may be shutting down. Therefore, during intake, getting nutrients back into their bodies must be done carefully to avoid what is known as “refeeding syndrome” – when food is introduced too quickly after a period of malnourishment, leading to complications and even death of the animal.

Sadly, despite our best efforts, there are occasions when recovery is not possible. It is paramount to all of us here that wildlife does not suffer needlessly, and we treat each animal with the dignity and respect it rightfully deserves.

Wildlife Rescue & Rehab Volunteer Project, Canada