As development encroaches on wildlife habitat, PAWS' nationally recognized wildlife rehabilitation center rehabilitates sick, injured and orphaned animals and educates people about peaceful co-existence with wildlife. It is our goal to return wild animals back to the wild where they belong. We believe that wild animals are best served by being allowed to live undisturbed in their natural environment. No animals are permanently kept in captivity at PAWS.
Spring and summer are the busiest seasons for wildlife rehabilitation centers, including PAWS. During these months, we often receive 30 to 40 animals per day (between 2,500 - 3,000 wild animals each year). The primary role of a wildlife rehabilitation intern is to help care for these animals, many of whom are orphans. The internship is intense, physically demanding, fast-paced and repetitive, giving interns the opportunity to learn about many aspects of wildlife rehabilitation.
Interns gain valuable practical experience, while helping PAWS' wildlife patients and working with professional staff and highly trained volunteers. Some of the skills learned include individual species identification and natural history, proper husbandry techniques, animal handling, tube-feeding of mammals and birds, medication administration, lab work, and various other procedures. Interns will receive daily one-on-one training and are required to attend an orientation and two in-depth training classes. Interns will also have the opportunity to work on an individual or group project.
- Cleaning tasks: cage cleaning, laundry, washing dishes, sweeping and mopping floors, grounds-keeping.
- Answering phones and admitting new animals.
- Setting up and maintaining animal enclosures by referring to the natural history of the individual species.
- Preparing food (includes preparing dead prey for carnivores and raptors).
- Animal care: handling and restraint, hand-feeding and tube-feeding of birds and mammals and assisting with the releases of rehabilitated wildlife.
- Medical care: administering daily medications, performing lab work, assisting staff with animal intake and physical examinations.
- Other tasks as required.
Applicants must be current college students, recent graduates or career changers, possess a strong interest in wildlife rehabilitation and be able to:
- Read, write and speak English fluently
- Work independently and as a part of a team
- Perform tedious tasks for long periods of time
- Do rigorous outdoor work in all types of weather
- Perform physically demanding tasks and lift up to 40 lbs
- Work quickly and efficiently while precisely following instructions and protocol
- Internships are available April 1st-October 31st and successful candidates must commit to a minimum of 12 consecutive weeks.
- Interns work 40+ hours per week including weekend and holiday work*
- Interns are UNPAID
- Housing and transportation assistance is NOT provided
*Limited part-time internships are available. Please indicate your preference for full or part time in your application.
If you are interested in applying for an internship in the Wildlife Center, please see the Application Process.
E-mail Caitlin Soden, Wildlife Volunteer Program Manager.