Volunteer with Project Wildlife

Thank you for your interest in volunteering! The goal of Project Wildlife’s rehabilitation efforts is to restore our sick, injured and orphaned wild patients to full health so that they may be released safely back into their natural habitats. With over 10,000 animals cared for annually, volunteers play a crucial role in these efforts year-round, seven days a week!

Project Wildlife is very much at the whim of Mother Nature, so we time our recruitment period around the wildlife baby season, typically April through September. During this time we are caring for our highest volume of wildlife patients, some days up to 400 patients at a time, and have 150+ skilled volunteers assisting in our Care Center located in San Diego and providing the necessary medical care needed. To ensure our volunteers receive all necessary training prior to this busy time, we schedule our recruitment period around this baby season and open recruitment again in the Fall of each year.

If you have extensive experience in the field of wildlife rehabilitation, please contact volinfo@sdhumane.org.

Project Wildlife Volunteer Opportunities:

All volunteers with the Project Wildlife program begin as Care Center Animal Assistants. Animal Assistants each contribute 200 hours a year or more, accumulated on a weekly basis, interacting with medical staff and members of the public in the following ways:

  • Caring for resident patients at our Care Center at our Sherman Street location in San Diego. Animals cared for at this location are primarily a variety of small to medium-sized bird species.
  • Greet and assist the public with receiving new patients.
  • Assist with everyday tasks such as hand-feedings, sanitizing enclosures and cleaning routines such as dishes, laundry and stocking supplies.
  • Be prepared to get dirty, follow staff instruction for safe and effective animal care, and have fun!
  • Care Center Animal Assistants who complete a minimum of 48 hours within the first 4 months of service (one weekly recurring shift) may qualify for our advanced Project Wildlife volunteer positions such as Satellite Care teams, Satellite Care Support teams and our Education team.

*Please note that volunteer opportunities with Project Wildlife require a minimum commitment of one year. Due to the amount of time and resources that we invest in our volunteers, we are unable to offer one-time or short-term community service projects with the Project Wildlife program. Thank you!

Requirements to Volunteer with the Project Wildlife Program:

  • Must be at least 17 years of age.
  • Animal Assistants must commit to one set Care Center shift per week, with a minimum commitment of one year. Shift lengths vary seasonally between 3 and 4 hours, with three shifts daily.
  • Completion of training series and submission of all paperwork prior to hands-on volunteer service with animal patients.
  • Ability to stand for extended periods of time and complete a variety of physically demanding tasks in a fast-paced environment.
  • Due to risk of exposure to zoonotic diseases, if you are pregnant or have a compromised immune system, please contact volinfo prior to completing your application.

How to Become a Volunteer:

  1. Complete our online interest form during our next recruitment period in the Fall 2017.
  2. The Volunteer Coordinator will invite you to attend the Project Wildlife Volunteer Info Session. This session will go over the basics of the program and help you decide if Project Wildlife is the right volunteer program for you.
  3. After the Info Session, those interested in volunteering with Project Wildlife will be invited to complete our online application and working interview.
  4. Based upon information provided during the interview process, the Volunteer Coordinator will select those whose skills, experience and availability best meet the needs of Project Wildlife as Care Center Animal Assistants. Those selected for the Project Wildlife program will be emailed an offer to get started with the training process. If this program is not right for you, the Volunteer Engagement team will provide you with other opportunities to get involved with the Humane Society or other Animal Welfare Organizations in San Diego.
  5. Once accepted into the program as a Care Center Animal Assistant, you will complete a fun and thorough training series. This includes both online and hands-on instruction.
  6. After your training is complete, you will schedule your weekly recurring shift at the Project Wildlife Care Center and begin your volunteer role as an Animal Assistant!


  • Visit our Amazon wishlist to support Project Wildlife directly from your own home! All items will be shipped straight to Project Wildlife.
  • Make a donation to support the Project Wildlife program which will support saving wildlife and educating the public about how they can protect native animal species in our communities. Your generosity not only improves the quality of life for animals, but also improves life for people who enjoy the beauty and diversity of our natural world.
  • Save the date! Attend our Project Wildlife Baby Shower on Saturday, March 4, 2017 from 10:00 to 2:00 PM at our Sherman Street location in San Diego. This event is the only time of the year the community can come in for a behind the scenes look at the Care Center!