Are you a true animal lover at heart?? Do you love all species of animals, even the ones that might not be as cute and cuddly as others??
When you are driving do you notice every animal on the side of road to the point that it upsets you? Are you the person that all of your friends call when they find a bunny nest in their backyard?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, you might just be ONE OF US!
With the help of our vast network of rehabilitators, veterinarians, veterinary technicians, emergency medical technicians, and critical care rescue specialists, we successfully rescue, rehabilitate and re-release over 1000 native wild animals each year. When wildlife is found sick, injured, or orphaned throughout Missouri and Illinois, we are here to help- 24/7/365. Often, we are called as the last or only option that is willing to try to sustain these animal’s lives. We do not believe that some animals are too small or insignificant to justify heroic efforts to save them. To us, every life matters, no matter how large or small. Animal welfare is not a popularity contest or beauty pageant. When we say EVERY life matters – we mean it. From skunk to opossum, and mouse to snake, we do our best to give these animals the best possible chance in life whenever possible. In cases where the extension of life will only lead to immense suffering, we take comfort in knowing that we have the ability to offer a humane, peaceful end to that suffering. The work we do here is our gift back to Mother Nature, and a step toward making this world a place that we can be happy to live within. We feel enormously blessed every day just to be granted the opportunity to play a small part in these precious wild lives that so many people choose to view as worthless and expendable. If you are anything like US, we know that you will share these feelings. Volunteering your time with the Wildlife Hotline will not only be an opportunity that you will cherish, but it will become part of you in ways you cannot yet imagine. In the past you may have been called too sensitive, or crazy, or worse for daring to care about something that your own friends, family and neighbors refer to as filthy ‘nuisance’ animals, but you can officially put all of that in the past now.
You are one of us.
We are always in need of more volunteers, year round. Our busiest time of year is from March through August when baby bunnies, squirrels, raccoons, foxes, skunks, opossums, birds, owls, hawks, and many others arrive in need of help after being found all alone and orphaned in the world. We receive $0 in state or federal funding to help us provide the essential services we offer to the public. Because of this extremely limited funding, it is imperative that we keep our operational and administrative costs very low. The staff here at the Wildlife Hotline consists ENTIRELY of selflessly dedicated, tireless volunteers, with no salaries to cut into our meager private funding. This allows us to devote 100% of donations directly to our patient’s care.
We are in need of volunteers for the following positions:
- Hotline Core Group – Answering wildlife calls via our 24 hour hotline. This work can be done from the comfort of your home and is absolutely essential for the public to find help fast when an animal is in crisis. Hotline phone work is the best first step if you are interested in becoming a licensed rehabilitator on your own in the future. This is normally the first position that a new volunteer will have. You will learn A LOT in the Core Group. Every volunteer, new or not, is REQUIRED to help on the phones for 15 hours or more each week.
- HART Team – Hotline Animal Rescue Team: This work is done within your home area. Sick, injured and orphaned animals in need of rescue are called in to our hotline and the HART team is responsible for responding to these calls and rescuing animals in need, provide critical care, and transport to the closest licensed person or facility that is best suited for that particular species’ needs. We take your zip code and load it into our help locator here on the site. Then when we get a call where an animal has to be picked up or rescued, we search the locator for who might be close and able to help. If you are close by, we’ll call or text you to ask if you are available to help. HART staff must have a dog/cat crate, Pedialyte, towels or other linens, and heavy gloves. These supplies are not provided by the Wildlife Hotline. We will give you other supplies as you are involved in more rescues, but to start, you will be responsible for your supplies.
- ‘Foster’ Wild Mom – This position is responsible for providing in home care for animals that are orphaned and need bottle feedings, time and encouragement to develop into the wild monsters that they are meant to be. Some Wild Mom’s specialize in a particular species that they enjoy most, or are best suited to accommodate. Others accept many different types of species. This work requires at least two year’s (preferably 3) apprentice experience with a licensed rehabber and must be approved by MO Dept. of Conservation or IL Dept. of Natural Resources.
- Animal Care Assistants – This is a great position for someone who just wants to help out at someone else’s home or facility and not have to worry about working from their own home. Many times our ACA’s are also part of the Hotline Core Group, or HART Team in addition to being ACA’s. Job duties include assisting an existing WildMom with bottle feedings, cage cleaning, baby laundry and dishes, food prep, and working with the animals to encourage their wild instincts to develop. Being an ACA is very similar to the job functions of an Apprentice Wild Mom.
- Administrative Work – We are constantly in need of volunteers that can assist us in the vast amounts of administrative work that we have to stay on top of in addition to helping all of the animals too! We need people to help with fundraisers, event planning, securing donations via Craig’s List and online via email, recruiting new volunteers, developing educational programs for schools, record keeping, and grant writing. All of this work can be done from the comfort of your own home via the internet and telephone.
If any of these positions interest you, apply now! We hold training classes in the winter every year. However, we cannot host training sessions between March and September. Baby season is too busy at that point and it just cannot be done. Without this training you are still welcome to apply and at least allow us to add your name to our locator. If we need help near you, we will call you and walk you through picking up a sick, injured, or orphaned animal. We’ll go easy on you! It just depends on your level of comfort with the work, and how available you are when the phone rings.