Volunteers play a critical role at the South Florida Wildlife Center by expanding our ability to rescue and rehabilitate injured and orphaned wildlife. In 2017, our volunteers donated over 11,000 hours of service and helped us care for more than 12,000 animals.
Our animal care volunteers assist with the care of our injured and orphaned wildlife by helping with diet preparation, dishes, general clean-up, and cleaning cages; reliable volunteers with at least 50 hours of service are able to work more directly with the animals, under staff supervision.
Benefits of volunteering
Volunteers learn about various animal species and their care and habitats, and gain exposure to the operations of a wildlife center.
Becoming a volunteer
- Adult volunteers (18+) make a 3-hour minimum weekly commitment. You may, of course, volunteer for more than one shift!
- Student volunteers (ages 16 and 17) must complete 40 hours within 3 months with consistent 3-hour weekly shifts. Paperwork for school will not be signed until completion of 40 hours.
Those under 16 are not eligible to volunteer on SFWC property.
Students ages 16 and 17:
- Must attend orientation with a parent or guardian.
- Are allowed to volunteer unaccompanied by a parent/legal guardian and may not leave the property during the shift.
- Are required to complete at least 40 hours in three (3) months.
- Will get school paperwork signed upon completion of 40 hours.
- Must have a parent or guardian call the center to report any absences or missed shifts.
- Have limited interaction with animals until contributing at least 40 hours.
- Volunteers must meet the requirements outlined in the Essential Capabilities document, which outlines the physical, mental and emotional capabilities required of all volunteers.
- We do not accept any court-ordered community service.
- All volunteers must successfully complete a criminal background check.
Process of applying:
- Carefully review the information above before applying.
- If you would like to proceed, please fill out the volunteer application (click Apply Now above). Note: You'll be asked to upload your completed Essential Capabilities document when you apply.
- After review of your application, you will be invited to attend an orientation. If, after the orientation, we mutually determine this opportunity is a good fit, you will be asked to authorize a background check.
- At the end of your orientation session, if you are ready to proceed in the volunteering process, there will be a $40 non-refundable fee that covers training/educational resources and one volunteer t-shirt.
- Before becoming an official volunteer, you will be asked to sign a volunteer agreement and a waiver and release of liability.