Check out the volunteer positions descriptions (below) and think about what you can do to assist us.
We do need more than just hands on care.
Many administrative and fundraising positions available.
Drivers also for supplies and animal pickups and releases.
Skilled handypersons who can help with building and maintenance, etc.
Offer to do only what you are capable of doing and no more.
Without your assistance, we cannot continue to provide highly trained
care for native wildlife so we thank you for your consideration.
If you're interested in helping us by making a commitment to become a volunteer, please download a Volunteer Application and return it to us:
Click HERE for a volunteer application in PDF format
Click HERE for a volunteer application in MSWord format
Click on any of the volunteer opportunity job descriptions to read more about these positions.
Position Description: Duties may include: cleaning cages (indoors and out), laundry, dishes, preparing food, assisting with medical care, preparing and setting up cages for habitat enrichment, sweeping, mopping, admitting animals (clerical), building, painting and special cleaning projects. In the spring and summer, duties may include hand-feeding young mammals and nestling songbirds. Experienced volunteers may be given the opportunity to learn advanced animal handling and medical skills, including gavage feeding, administering oral medication, and giving subcutaneous injections of fluids. Preparation for release or transfers may be included. Meticulous recordkeeping is a necessary part of these duties.
Special Training or Requirements: NWH Basic Skills Workshop; NWH Wildlife Ethics Workshop. Proof of current tetanus vaccination and those who wish to work with rabies vector species (RVS) e.g. raccoons, bats, skunks, foxes must have proof of rabies pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreEP) vaccination or proof of an adequate titre. Those who do not have rabies PreEP vaccinations or proof of an adequate titre are not permitted to handle or work with RVS species.
Duties may include: hand-feeding nestling and juvenile songbirds, cleaning cages
(inside and outside), keeping birds clean, preparing baby bird diets, monitoring
the health of the birds, keeping all nesting materials clean
and setting up habitat enrichment in enclosures. Recordkeeping is a critical
part of this work.
Special Training or Requirements: NWH Bird Nursery Skills Workshop; NWH Wildlife Ethics Workshop; Proof of current tetanus vaccination.
The work may involve bottle feeding orphaned baby wildlife and ensuring the medical needs of the animals are met, just as they would be here. Once they are weaned and self-feeding it may involve providing food and ensuring habitat enrichment for them in pre-release cages to acclimate them to the outdoors. This phase of rehabilitation is not as labour intensive as caring for neonates and involves a very strict hands-off approach to ensure successful release and to maintain the wild nature of these animals. These positions have equal amounts of recordkeeping and cleaning. Animal contact varies depending on the age of the animal. Volunteers must be able to work independently but must adhere to the centre guidelines, policies, and procedures at all times. All foster care homes operate as an extension of NWH.
All volunteers who are
accepted are subject to premise inspection by Niagara Wildlife Haven Foster Care
Coordinators or management and staff, prior to animals being received from us
for foster care and periodically during the fostering period. They must
provide, at their own cost, proper caging, housing for younger pre-weaned
animals, or older pre-release age wildlife, and supplies as well as formula and
food as required. Whenever possible NWH will assist but is not obligated to do
so. Those accepted for foster care, must submit a legal and binding foster care
agreement application to NWH, which is then registered with the Ministry of
Natural Resources. A diagram of the applicants facilities must also be provided
at the time of application.
Areas that are not
part of one’s household living quarters must be set aside and used for
rehabilitation in order to foster. Outside areas where wildlife is being housed,
must be kept separate from any domestic animals. NOTE: Federal law prohibits
fostering off-site for species covered under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act under
our legal permit conditions through Canadian Wildlife Service.
Position Description: Duties may include: Cleaning soiled cages, scrubbing litter pans; changing bedding, and doing laundry and dishes to prepare kennels for incoming wildlife. This job may require repetitious bending and lifting, and volunteers are exposed to various cleaning agents. This position requires a tolerance for occasionally loud noises. Volunteers must be comfortable using hoses and scrubbing brushes and for outside kennels, using a pressure washer. Cleaning a kennel may require: scooping feces; scrubbing each kennel with detergent; bleaching, rinsing, and disinfecting kennels. Occasionally you may be assisting with the cleaning and disinfection of feeding dishes, some laundry; and sweeping and mopping. This position has minimal animal contact. It may involve stocking the carts and shelves with supplies; and general cleaning in the centre and yard. Volunteers must be able to work independently and be receptive to feedback from management and others. Volunteers must be able to carry and lift a minimum of 50 pounds.
Dates Available: Busiest times are April 1st to September 31st. The mornings are usually very busy and fast paced. During the off-season (October through March) hours are reduced and will be once a week or bi-weekly depending on animals in care.
Shifts: Shifts are based on needs and admission load. We try to schedule them the same every day, seven days per week. Morning Shift would be from: 8am - 12:30pm, Afternoon Shift: 12:15pm - 5:15pm. Volunteers would be scheduled for the same shift each week.
Location: Niagara Wildlife Haven (on-site)
Training Required: All volunteers must attend a volunteer orientation before starting their positions. The orientation covers each of the volunteer positions at NWH in detail, and explains the overall objectives of NWH as an organization. NWH trains all volunteers, no previous experience is necessary. Orientation sessions are approximately 4 hrs; additional special training sessions specific to certain volunteer positions are set up at time of acceptance interviews. Other additional training may be offered, but is not mandatory.
Position Description: This position is a supervisory position, and has minimal animal contact. It does involve travel to foster care givers’ homes to monitor animal care, health, handling practices, and recordkeeping. Coordinators must have excellent people skills and be able to work independently. Duties include: providing support for the foster care givers as well as providing them with any resource or reference materials they require; maintaining the database of all available registered foster care givers; arranging for placement of animals into off-site care in foster homes after they have been admitted, screened, and evaluated here at the centre; and working to arrange and coordinate releases when the rehabilitation process is complete. This position does involve a basic level of knowledge of animal care and handling procedures. Additional training will be provided. A background in wildlife rehabilitation and care would be an asset.
During the year NWH will be out in the community at fairs, festivals and
schools, reaching out to the public to tell them more about NWH and the
important work we do for native wildlife, and to answer questions about wildlife
issues in our community. Educating and encouraging the public to live in harmony
with native wildlife is the most important work we do. Solving wildlife
conflicts humanely is another key focus. Community Outreach Volunteers answer
questions, hand out NWH information materials, share and publicize upcoming NWH
events, and encourage people to support NWH and our mission encouraging and
fostering an understanding of wildlife in Niagara.
As the Coordinator,
you would maintain a database of volunteers and assist us in booking
presentations within the community to various schools and other community
groups. Scheduling volunteers to assist is part of the job description.
Excellent letter writing skills as well as an understanding of programming for
various age groups is an asset to this position. Familiarity with Microsoft
Office applications is required as is access to high speed internet.
Special Training or Requirements: Outreach Training is required for volunteers who are interested in this position. Additional training may be offered, but is not mandatory. A familiarity with all our training programs would be an asset. We recommend the individual participates in the NWH Bird Nursery Skills Workshop or NWH Basic Skills Workshop; and NWH Wildlife Ethics Workshop. Proof of current tetanus vaccination. Must have good computer skills and access to high speed internet. Should be familiar with Microsoft Office programs and Power Point as well as use of data projectors and some experience in managing volunteers and animal care. All volunteers for this position must go through a police background check.
Position Description: It is important to remember that NWH receives no government funding for the wildlife rehabilitation services we provide and is dependent on compassionate donations from the public. Without the necessary funds to pay for animal care, NWH would have to close. This position requires energetic and enthusiastic, people-oriented event planners to help us create and plan fundraisers to generate financial support for the organization’s operating needs and for its future.
Some possibilities are a ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ Walkathon, where people can bring their pets to walk and collect pledges for NWH as well as enjoy animal-friendly vendors and activities. We need people to help organize volunteers and plan and set up events of this nature that can help us meet our yearly operating expenses. Other fundraising opportunities may include an annual dinner/dance, assisting or guiding others with yard sales or other smaller fundraisers.
The Fundraising and Events Coordinator would be someone who believes in what we do, supports our mission and goals, and who firmly believes that wild animals are an intrinsic part of our world. Proven skills in grant writing and requesting donations from foundations would be an asset. Recognizing all donors is a critical component and would be part of the duties as would tracking donors in a database.
Special Training or Other Required: Must have own transportation to and from events and the centre. All volunteers for this position must go through a police background check.
Position Description: Many sick and injured animals never make it to NWH because no one can transport them. This position would involve coordinating and maintaining a database of volunteer drivers who would be on call and if available, would step in and provide transportation for orphaned or injured wildlife from various locations to the wildlife centre.
Some trips may involve travelling to SPCA’s or vet clinics within (and on occasionoutside) Niagara or to other wildlife rehabilitation facilities for transferring animals. Volunteers use their own vehicle and gas for these transports. As the coordinator, you would oversee and ensure that Transport and Release Team volunteers are dependable, have reliable transportation, and are sensitive to animals’ stress levels during transport. Team members keep materials in their own vehicles to use for these animals.
On occasion, supplies may need to be picked up and/or delivered to and from the centre, and volunteers may be requested to assist with these.
Recordkeeping is required and your duties would be to locate a volunteer to do the transport or release as needed when we notify you. Primarily you would work from home coordinating the volunteers and may need to work from the centre during busy times to coordinate the locations for the release of individual animals. Some familiarity with reading topographical maps or using Internet mapping would be an asset for releases and to help coordinate pickups.
Position Description: Many sick and injured animals never make it to NWH because no one can transport them. This position would involve being on call and if available, able to provide transportation for orphaned or injured wildlife from various locations in Niagara to the wildlife centre. Some trips may involve travelling to SPCA’s or vet clinics outside Niagara or to other wildlife rehabilitation facilities for transferring animals. Volunteers use their own vehicle and gas for these transports.
Duties include: providing for the wildlife’s safety at all times during the transport; using the correct transport carriers and equipment; monitoring behaviour and condition of the animals if required during transport; and ensuring the paperwork of each animal is correct and accompanies the wild animal. Transport Team Members must have their own insured vehicle and a valid Ontario driver's license. Some trips may involve transporting sick or injured animals to and from the veterinary clinic for treatment and may involve waiting for a procedure to be completed, then returning the animal immediately after. Most pick-ups involve contained animals, but some animal handling may be involved. On occasion, supplies may need to be picked up and/or delivered and volunteers may be requested to assist with these.
Special Training Required: Transport Team Training (2 hours) Wildlife Ethics Workshop (3 hours) **Must have a valid Ontario driver\'s license with no major or repeated minor traffic offenses as well as providing proof of current insurance coverage. A police background check is also required.
Position Description: When sick and injured animals have completed the rehabilitation process, the end goal is to release them back to their wild habitats as close to their point of origin as possible and within guidelines as outlined in the Conditions for Authorization (provincial) or federal Canadian Wildlife Service permit regulations. You would help locate suitable habitat within those areas and then transport these animals for release at the appropriate time. This position would involve being on call and if available, able to provide transportation for healthy, rehabilitated wildlife to various locations in Niagara from the wildlife centre or from a registered foster care giver. Volunteers use their own vehicle and gas for these transports.
Duties include: providing for the wildlife’s safety at all times during the transport; using the correct transport carriers and equipment; monitoring behaviour and condition of the animals if required, during transport; Members must have their own insured vehicle and a valid Ontario driver's license. On occasion, supplies may need to be picked up and/or delivered and volunteers may be requested to assist with these.
Special Training Required: Transport Team and Release Team Training (2 hours) Wildlife Ethics Workshop (3 hours) **Must have a valid Ontario driver\'s license with no major or repeated minor traffic offenses as well as providing proof of current insurance coverage and a police background check.
Duties include minor painting, building and maintaining caging units inside and
outside, general privacy landscaping and drainage around pens, and maintenance
of wildlife facilities, minor plumbing, and electrical work. Tasks involve
learning about the caging needs of Ontario wildlife as well as construction
skills pertaining to building den boxes and nesting boxes for various species.
This position may involve coordinating youth groups off-site or on-site to
assist in cage construction and other projects. Some projects may be constructed on your own premises. It helps
if you have a small workshop you can utilize.
Position Description: Front Ofice/Lobby Assistants may perform a variety of tasks that range from answering questions from the public and referring them to educational information available on the website, as well as assist staff as necessary with a variety of projects. They may assist with the receiving of orphaned, or injured animals, and help to maintain the appearance of the receiving area for wildlife. Volunteers must have excellent customer service skills, be able to multi-task and have the ability to work with our wildlife tracking software after being trained. This position has high public contact and limited animal contact.
Duties include but are not
limited to: answering questions from the public; organizing paperwork for each
animal; assisting the public with wildlife conflicts and determining if the wild
animals are in need of intervention; ensuring the organization of the receiving
area; assisting with dishes and scrubbing kennels, food bowls, or litter pans as
needed; and assisting with laundry as necessary.
Special Training Required: Wildlife Ethics Workshop (3 hours) **Must have a valid Ontario driver\'s license with no major or repeated minor traffic offenses as well as providing proof of current insurance coverage and a police background check.
Office Assistants help with an
assortment of office projects including copying, filing, mailings, data entry
and maintaining packets to be mailed. This position may involve public contact,
and has little to no animal contact. Volunteers also assist with promotions
directed at increasing donations and awareness of wildlife issues in Niagara.
You would work closely with the Coordinators for Event Planning and Fundraising
as well as the executive director. Duties may include: copying documents and
making/maintaining various packets to be mailed; filing documents; assisting
with data entry; helping prepare for special events by helping with special
mailings and email distribution; and special projects as assigned.
Volunteers in this
position must have an exceptionally good working knowledge of Microsoft Office
applications including Excel, Access, Outlook and Publisher and be proficient
with email usage. If working off-site, they are required to have reliable high
speed internet access. Good writing skills including proper punctuation and
grammar are critical.
Position Description: For those who aren’t able to make a longer term commitment to one of the other positions, but would like to assist wherever they are needed, as their time and schedule permits. These positions may involve assisting with one or two events yearly – every hour of volunteer time donated is greatly needed and appreciated.
Training Required: All volunteers must attend a four hour volunteer orientation before starting their positions. The orientation covers each of the volunteer positions at NWH in detail, and explains the overall objectives of NWH as an organization. Training sessions are 1-4 hours, set up at time of your acceptance interview. Additional training may be offered, but is not mandatory.
Volunteering is a wonderful way to learn, meet new friends who share your interests, have fun and feel good about giving to your community.
Although we do not have regular volunteer positions at NWH for people under 18 years old there are many ways younger people and groups of people of any age can help NWH help wildlife.
For example, you can hold a food and supplies drive at your school, in your neighbourhood or any community location. This is one way you can help with our ongoing needs to provide for the wild animals in our wildlife rehabilitation center. (See our Wish List) on our website for a list of items we really need. There are lots of things you can do in your daily life to help wildlife as well. Ideas like planting native plants to provide food and homes for wildlife and ensuring that your cats and dogs are spayed and neutered and live inside as part of your family.
Holding yard sales and donating a portion of the proceeds to NWH and other smaller events to help raise funds for direct animal care are other ways you can help.
Scout groups and other groups are invited to hold a building session and help us by making den boxes and nest boxes for our wildlife in their outdoor (and indoor) pre-release conditioning cages. We are always in need of those.
If you would like to learn more about NWH please visit our website at www.niagarawildilfehaven.org. Because our goal is to preserve and respect the wild nature of the animals in our care we do not offer tours during the busy rehabilitation season. We do have an open house over the Christmas holidays and we invite you to come tour the facility then and learn more about the work we do.
Occasionally, we may have on-site projects at NWH that a group of young people (ages 10 and up) with the supervision of adults can help us complete. If you have a group and want to suggest a project (such as nest box building), an adult should call us at 905/735-9556.
The NWH wishlist
A multitude of equipment and supplies are needed to properly shelter and provide exemplary care for injured or orphaned wildlife. This page, which is available on our website at www.niagarawildlifehaven.org highlights our “Wish List,” a roster of items we are hoping to have donated. Each item donated saves our organization much needed financial resources that can be used for medications and specialized formulas.
Our greatest need however, is financial donations. Without them, we cannot purchase the specialized formulas needed for baby mammals, nor pay for veterinary costs, medications etc. They are the largest part of our yearly budget.
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