Volunteer at the Wildlife Center
Thank you so much for your interest in volunteering! Due to the latest CDC regulations for social distancing, we are unable to accept any new volunteers at this time. When we resume volunteer recruitment, a link to view Volunteer Information Sessions online will be available on this page; please check back soon for updates. In the meantime, we are always accepting new foster parents on the domestic side of our work! Learn more about our foster program here.
We are so grateful for your patience and understanding through these challenging times!
- Requirements & Guidelines
- Important Notes
- Volunteer Positions
- How to Volunteer
- Frequently Asked Questions
Requirements & Guidelines to Become a Volunteer
- Due to the amount of training we require for most of our volunteer positions, we ask for a 6 month commitment for 2-3 hours each week. Volunteers come in for a regularly scheduled recurring shift on the same day and time each week.
- Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older, with the exception of our Orphaned Bird Care Program in which 13- to 17-year-olds may volunteer by themselves.
- Volunteers must be able to read and comprehend detailed policy and protocol information as well as being able to remember and follow shelter rules.
- Volunteers must be able to understand and fulfill all responsibilities of their role independently. If an individual cannot volunteer on your own, we may require that someone comes to assist.
- Volunteers must be able to physically fulfill the duties of their volunteer role. Most volunteer roles require volunteers to: be able to stand, and/or walk for up to 3 hours; be able to lift and carry up to 20 lbs. Some positions are more physical than others and require being able to lift 40 lbs.
- Volunteers must be able to have regular access to the internet and an email account.
- Costs & Supplies – all volunteers need to purchase a volunteer t-shirt and name badge for total cost of $10+tax.
Important Notes about Volunteering
- We do not offer court-ordered community service. Please contact the Volunteer Center of Greater Milwaukee, 414-344-3933, to see which organizations do offer court-ordered community service.
- We do not offer group volunteer opportunities for school groups. If a school group is interested in doing a service project, please follow this link for options, www.wihumane.org/for-kids/kids-can-help.
- Due to limited resources and the required training for each volunteer position, we are not able to offer short-term volunteer experiences.
Below are the positions we will be in need of at the Milwaukee Campus when our online volunteer training becomes available. You will learn more about them during your Volunteer Information Session.
- WIngs Bird Collision Monitor (seasonal) - age 18 and up
- Wildlife Telephone and Admissions Counselor (annual and/or seasonal) - age 18 and up
- Wildlife Animal Care Volunteer (annual and/or seasonal) - age 18 and up
- Wildlife Transport Volunteer - age 18 and up
- Wildlife Rescue Volunteer - age 18 and up
- Wildlife Artisan Volunteer - age 18 and up
- Build a Better Birdhouse Volunteer - age 18 and up
How to Become a Volunteer
Step 1: Watch the Volunteer Information Session video when it becomes available. The link will be provided here. The Volunteer Information Session video will give you the opportunity to hear about our organization, our volunteer program and expectations, and what our current needs are.
Step 2: Once you have watched the Volunteer Information Session video, contact our volunteer coordinator for the list of current volunteer opportunities and the volunteer application. Contact information will be provided at the end of the video.
Step 3: Apply! Once we have received and reviewed your volunteer application, we contact you to schedule a Meet & Greet. The Meet & Greet will be a one on one meeting or in small groups with the department that you have expressed an interest to volunteer with. At the Meet & Greet you will get a tour of the shelter, we will schedule further training and select your volunteer shift. We will also take payment for your volunteer t-shirt and name badge.Back To Top
Frequently Asked Questions
I am under 13 years of age and I am very mature, do you make any exceptions to your minimum age?
For the safety of our volunteers and animals, we do require that all volunteers be at least 13 years of age to volunteer. We have many other ways for youth to support the animals and learn about animal welfare. Please click here to get ideas on how to make toys for the animals, hold your own fundraiser or collect items from our “wish list” from the surrounding community to support the animals.
We also have special youth programs available at our sites for all ages of students. These programs are geared towards youth with a love of animals and a yearning to learn more about how to help the world become a more humane place. This is a wonderful way to become involved and learn more about animal welfare. To learn more about these programs, please click here.
Youth can also consider having a parent apply to be a foster volunteer. Although the primary volunteer must be 18 years of age, the entire family can participate in the fostering experience.
Will I have training before I start to volunteer?
Yes. Each role has training sessions that cover all aspects of the volunteer role. Training is done with both staff and volunteer mentors. The time it takes to complete training varies, based on volunteer availability, training schedules and the specific training needs of the volunteer role.
I don’t have a computer or email; can I just fill out a paper application?
Due to the high volume of volunteer applicants we receive each year and the costs associated with paper applications, we are no longer able to process paper applications. The most cost-effective way for us to communicate with volunteer applicants and our current volunteers is with online services and email. For this reason, we have moved our application process online along with all of our volunteer scheduling.
Using email and online scheduling saves money on postage and printing costs, and helps to keep our program viable and efficient. Plus, the vast majority of communications between WHS and our volunteers is done via email. For this reason, we require that all volunteers have online access and a current email address
Can I be a part of the volunteer program if I have a criminal background?
WHS requires all persons applying to volunteer to state any past criminal record and reserves the right to conduct a background check on any volunteer. A criminal background does not necessarily immediately disqualify you from volunteering.
Volunteers are scheduled one shift per week, what if I am going on vacation?
We understand that life can be busy and have made our scheduling process as flexible as we are able. To make scheduling easy to manage, volunteers have a set schedule working the same shift time on the same day of the week. Volunteers manage their own schedules online and we allow for regular vacations and pre-arranged shift adjustments. When removing themselves from the schedule, volunteers are welcome to pick up a make-up shift, but it is not required.Back To Top