Animal care assistants play a vital role in helping to give wildlife a second chance at life in the wild. Volunteers feed and care for orphaned wildlife at the sanctuary and help with other supportive duties such as laundry, dishwashing and cage cleaning. As a position that is vital to the highest quality of animal care, volunteers must commit to a regular, weekly four-hour shift for a minimum of four months between April and October.


  • prepare formula and food
  • formula-feed animals
  • provide fresh food and water
  • clean indoor cages and outdoor enclosures
  • wash dishes and laundry
  • sweep and mop floors
  • take out garbage
  • help with grounds maintenance
  • contribute to wildlife enclosure enrichment
  • help with wildlife releases


  • transportation to RVWS (no public transit available)
  • 16 years of age or older
  • up-to-date tetanus vaccination
  • up-to-date rabies vaccination* if working with rabies-vector species (raccoons, skunks, foxes, bats)
  • mature, hardworking, reliable and conscientious
  • able to work under pressure in a fast-paced environment
  • able to perform physically demanding tasks, such as heavy lifting
  • able to work as a member of a team as well as independently with little supervision once trained
  • able to work outdoors in all kinds of weather

Time Commitment

Most of the animal care occurs between April and October. Volunteers must commit to a regular four-hour weekly shift for a minimum of four months between April and October (shifts are 8:00 am to 12:00 pm, 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm, and 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm).

Training Provided

  • general orientation session
  • animal care training session
  • ongoing support and hands-on animal care training
  • advanced training skills as requested

* Rabies Vaccine Information

If you would like to work with raccoons, skunks, foxes or bats, you need to have a rabies pre-exposure vaccine. The vaccine consists of a series of three injections given in your arm (much like a flu vaccine) over the course of three weeks. You can obtain a prescription and injections from your family doctor, and order the vaccine from any pharmacy. Most health plans cover the costs of the vaccinations. If you don’t have a health plan, the total cost is about $700. There are two manufacturers of the vaccine. To check if your health plan covers the vaccine, you will need the following Drug Identification Numbers:

  • RabAvert – DIN 02267667
  • Imovax – DIN 01908286

If you have had the rabies vaccine in the past, you need to provide proof of your titre levels (blood test for levels of antibodies) every two years, which you can also request from your family doctor.

If you do not have your rabies vaccine, there are plenty of other species to work with!