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, providing the necessary medical care needed.

To ensure our volunteers receive all necessary training prior to this busy time, we schedule our main recruitment period each Fall and hold additional mini recruitment sessions throughout the year.

Project Wildlife Volunteer Opportunities:

All volunteers with the Project Wildlife program begin as a Wildlife Transporter, Care Center Foundation Assistant or Care Center Animal Assistant. Animals cared for at this location are primarily a variety of small to medium-sized bird species. Each volunteer will contribute 200 hours a year or more, accumulated on a weekly basis, interacting with staff and members of the public in the following ways:

If you have extensive experience in the field of wildlife rehabilitation, please contact [email protected].

  • Foundation Assistants
    • Assist with everyday Care Center tasks including sanitizing animal enclosures and cleaning routines including dishes, laundry and stocking supplies.
    • Complete daily wildlife diet preparation duties and ensure all areas are clean and organized.
    • Be prepared to get dirty, follow staff instruction for safe and effective animal care and have fun!
    • Foundation Assistants have the opportunity to Step Up into a Care Center Animal Assistant role after one wildlife baby season.
  • Care Center Animal Assistants
    • Volunteers with previous experience in wildlife rehabilitation or a veterinary hospital setting can begin in this role.
    • Care for resident patients at our Care Center.
    • Greet and assist the public with receiving new patients.
    • Be prepared to get dirty, follow staff instruction for safe and effective animal care and have fun!
    • Care Center Animal Assistants may qualify for our advanced Step Up Project Wildlife volunteer positions such as Baby Room team, Satellite Care teams, Satellite Care Support teams and our Education team.
  • Wildlife Transporters
    • Volunteers will transport animals from our SDHS campuses, vet hospitals, lifeguard stations along beach’s and public parks, other animal shelters or private residences and bring them to the Project Wildlife Care Center in San Diego using their own vehicle on a weekly or biweekly schedule.
    • Wildlife Transporters may also volunteer in the Care Center as a Foundation Assistant or Animal Assistant depending on previous experience.

Requirements to Volunteer with the Project Wildlife Program:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Volunteers must commit to one set Care Center shift per week, with a minimum commitment of one year. Shift lengths vary seasonally between 2 and 3 hours, with shifts offered daily.
  • Completion of recruitment process and training series with submission of all paperwork prior to volunteer service in the Care Center.
  • Ability to stand for extended periods of time (up to 3 hours) and complete a variety of physically demanding tasks in a fast-paced environment.

*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!

*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.     Sign up for a Volunteer Info Session! Fall 2017 Info Session dates are posted below. At this session you will learn more about our organization, the Project Wildlife volunteer program and current opportunities to help you decide if Project Wildlife is the right volunteer program for you.

2.     The Volunteer Coordinator will send a confirmation for the Project Wildlife Volunteer Info Session the week of the session.

3.     After the Info Session, those interested in volunteering with Project Wildlife will be invited to complete our online application and working interview at the Project Wildlife Care Center.

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 Foundation Assistants or 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 Foundation Assistant or 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, we will schedule your weekly recurring shift at the Project Wildlife Care Center and you will begin your volunteer role!


October 11 from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. | 100 seats | FULL 10/10/2017

November 18 from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. | 100 seats | FULL 10/19/2017

December 13 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. | 100 seats | Openings available



  • 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.
  • Follow us on Facebook  and spread the message to your community. We often post education information related to domestic and wild animals which you can share with your friends and family!