Volunteers are the backbone of our organization. It is these individuals, who give freely of their time, that make caring for all the animals possible. NLWS has only limited paid staff, and many aspects of the wildlife shelter are run by a dedicated group of volunteers.

Application Form

Points to consider before you fill out an application

Volunteer Levels

Work Bees:

Occasionally NLWS has work bees where we need extra hands to complete a task in a timely fashion.  Most of this is physical labour on a certain day.

  • Minimum 4 hours
  • No direct work with wildlife

Work Bee examples:  enclosure redesign,spring yard clean up, winter prep, den building etc.

Contact info@wildlifeshelter.com to be added to our e-mail list and be informed when such work bees take place. Please note that meals and board not provided.

Stage one:

Local or visiting  people that have time to give a few hours to our organization are a very welcome addition to tackle our daily tasks.  If you can spare a few hours, contact us and make arrangements for your contribution.

  • Minimum 4 hours
  • No direct work with wildlife
  • Tasks usually involve maintenance tasks such as washing feed dishes, raking empty enclosures, painting, yard work etc. In turn you give our animal care workers more time to do their animal related work and your help is greatly appreciate.
  • Meals and board not provided

Stage 2:

If you have some more time to give and are comfortable in being mostly in the observer position when it comes to wildlife care this will give you a great opportunity to work around wildlife and learn a lot.

  • Minimum commitment 8-12 weeks
  • Limited work with wildlife  ( usually restricted to small mammals and birds)
  • Care of domesticated animals such as guinea pigs and rabbits
  • Task involve maintenance tasks as in stage 1, feed preparation, some limited animal care

Stage 3:

Hands on wildlife care, feed prep and regular maintenance work

  • Minimum commitment 6 month
  • All tasks described in previous stages plus hands on wildlife care such as feeding wildlife and cleaning enclosures.
  • Possible participation in rescue/release missions close to the Shelter
  • Limited involvement in medical care
  • Participation in Fundraising/Education Events

Stage 4:

Hands on wildlife care, feed prep and regular maintenance work, including bear care

  • Minimum commitment 8-12 month
  • All tasks described in previous stages plus hands on wildlife care such as feeding wildlife and cleaning enclosures.
  • Participation in rescue/release missions close to the Shelter
  • Assisting with medical care
  • Assistance with Fundraising/Education Events
  • Record keeping


All positions for 2015 have been filled.

We are accepting applications for 2016 at this positions starting  in January/February, March and September.

Consider that working outside every day in every kind of weather can be extremely hard and it can make for a long day. Contact with animals is limited as we try not to habituate them to humans. This policy includes medical care, which is only given in limited amounts to prevent the animal from being habituated due to excessive handling.


  • Minimum 19 years of age
  • Must read and agree to abide by NLWS guidelines and ethics
  • Proof of current tetanus and hepatitis vaccination & medical insurance; Good physical stamina and health
  • Able to commit for the minimum time frame indicated above
  • Good communication skills and the ability to work alone as well as in a group
  • Fluid knowledge of the English language, including reading & writing is a must
  • Patient and comfortable around mammals and birds
  • A valid driver’s license would be an asset

Volunteers Will Be Required to:

  • build and maintain animals enclosures
  • feed and care for a wide variety of young animals ( bear care is generally reserved for staff and volunteers only assist when needed, but you can learn much by observing )
  • assist with capture and release

Training and Commitment:

For stages 2-4 must complete 2-4 days of training and shadow a senior volunteer or staff member before starting independent shifts

Has to show a clear understanding and management of easier tasks before being asked to participate in more complex tasks

Preference will be given to volunteers that can commit to 6-12 month to ensure the best possible care for our animals. We welcome students that want to combine their volunteer time with a research project. (please keep in mind when choosing a research project that those would have to accommodate our limited contact policy. For that reason most medical projects are not suitable unless you are researching parasites such as parasites through stool samples)


Volunteering at a wildlife shelter can be a daunting task and requires dedication, a love for animals and serious commitment.

Work includes but is not limited to:

  • Pick up of donated food (approximately 17 km one way)
  • Daily preparation of feed for the animals, which includes sorting through donated produce and cutting up meat & fish
  • Cutting up several buckets full, of fruits & vegetables for the daily feed, cleanup of feed dishes/buckets and kitchen (this is probably the task you do the most)
  • Daily cleaning of enclosures (which includes animals with diarrhea and other unpleasant substances)
  • Participation in general maintenance of facilities, such as cleaning and painting
  • Record keeping
  • Housekeeping (some help with dishes and keeping clean the general living areas is requested)
  • General daily work hours: between 4-8 hours, but on some days it can be up to 12 if we have emergencies
  • Baby season May to August may also require night feeding of young animals in need

Special Notes:

The care of animals must be secured around the clock and work may include night shifts

Free Time:

Can be arranged to according to your needs Free Time can include one or two days a week or a block of several days after a few weeks to allow for travel

Extreme Weather (heat & cold), dirt and living in a remote area must be something you can handle.

A love for animals and some general experience of caring for an animal is a must.


  • A unique opportunity to work close to wildlife and participate in offering them a chance of survival.
  • Working with us you will be given invaluable knowledge and skills in animal care
  • while increasing your knowledge of local wildlife species, ecology, and urban wildlife management.

Room and Board (3 to 12 month fulltime continues commitment):

You will be housed in our Volunteer Quarters, you have your own room with a desk, closet and bed. You share the bathroom and kitchen facilities with other volunteers.

NLWS provides basic staples for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as tea and coffee. You are responsible for purchasing special items (such as fruit and snacks) as well as juices,  pop and personal care items.

We highly recommend that volunteers plan for some personal means of transportation for at least some of the time they are here. The area is beautiful and invites exploration. Tips and suggestions of local attractions are available. No public transportation (except for Taxi services) is available in our area.  No motorizes transportation is provided by NLWS, though you might be able to catch a ride now and then on your days off.

Our buildings are “Smoke free”, but you are welcome to smoke in designated outside areas. A certain amount of participation in household chores is expected (doing dishes after a meal, keeping your room and bathroom clean etc.) you have access to towels and fresh bedding any time and have access to a washer & dryer for your laundry needs.