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Volunteers are the backbone of our organization. From animal care to data entry, volunteers keep the Wildlife Center and our animals alive! Whatever volunteer opportunity you choose, your contribution of time makes a BIG difference and helps give wildlife a second chance. The Wildlife Center is a great place for people who are passionate about wildlife conservation, and for those interested in gaining experience toward an animal-related career. Even if you’re not working directly with the animals, watching as they are returned back to the wild is a powerful and extremely satisfying experience. In a variety of ways, volunteers help care for roughly 5,000 sick, injured and orphaned animals that come through our Center each year. Most animals arrive during April through September, the “baby season.” Over 150 volunteers are needed to help with the enormous task of caring for them. During the remainder of the year, we continue to rehabilitate animals that are sick, injured or orphaned.

Volunteer Cleaning Magpie

How do I Volunteer?

Requirements for becoming a WCSV volunteer:

  • You are at least 16 years old.
  • You attend one Orientation and one Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation class (for animal care volunteers)
  • You work within the Center’s guidelines.
  • You volunteer at least four (4) hours per week for at least three (3) months (Note: We are not able to offer community service credit for animal care.)
  • You begin with the knowledge that WCSV is a wildlife hospital, with the goal of successfully releasing our wild patients.
  • You should be willing to work hard, have fun and learn a lot!

Training you can expect:

  • Orientation
  • Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation: Basics of wildlife rehabilitation including health and safety
  • Other classes throughout the year on specific topics including animal care, diseases and species identification.

Examining injured Brandt’s Cormorant

Photo by Elizabeth Kricfalusi

Get started:




How You Can Help

Sleeping squirrels

Photo by Elizabeth Kricfalusi

Animal Care

In-Center Care

The Wildlife Center is a medical facility and our animal care volunteers are crucial in meeting the needs of the wildlife in temporary residence. Birds and mammals must be fed, medicated and kept in clean surroundings. Volunteers must be willing to do laundry, dishes and a variety of other cleaning jobs. At our busiest, we have 3, 4-hour shifts per day and volunteers sign up for at least one shift per week and make a commitment to remain for at least 3 months.

Home Care (A commitment of 3 months of In-Center Care and staff approval is required.)

Do you have room in your home to care for injured and orphaned birds and mammals until they are ready for release? If your living situation and lifestyle allow you to join our home care team, we need you! Different species require different time commitments and housing requirements. You provide the food and some supplies and we provide the training. A truly rewarding experience!

Scouts troop visit

Photo by Jen Constantin

Community Outreach

One of the most important missions of WCSV is to inform and educate the public about wildlife issues and how people can co-exist with the wildlife around them. Do you enjoy talking to and sharing information with small to large groups? Join the team and visit community groups, outreach programs and local festivals in an effort to encourage people to live harmoniously with wildlife. Training provided—all you need is enthusiasm. For more information on outreach volunteer opportunities, contact our Volunteer Manager: jcoats@wcsv.org

Office Support

We often need help in the office with data entry, mailings, filing and other general office duties. Do you have administrative skills you’d enjoy putting to work for a great cause?

Fundraising/Silent Auction Committee

Help us with fundraising events that encourage the community to support WCSV. We are always looking for outgoing, talented and personable people to join our Silent Auction Committee and help with garnering items for the fundraising auction from local businesses and friends. We are also looking for grant writers to help us write compelling applications for sponsorship. For more information on fundraising volunteer opportunities, contact our Development Manager hcormier@wcsv.org

Professional Services

Lend your professional skills or the skills of your firm to one of our events or projects! From legal advice and accounting oversight to catering, we can put your skills to great use!

Jewels in Flight 2008

Photo by Dave Constantin


Share your writing talents. We are looking for volunteers who can provide articles for our Tracks newsletter.

Transport Team

Volunteers with a valid California Driver’s license and a vehicle large enough to hold 1-2 large animal carriers are needed to transport animals. Transportation could be to a vet appointment, or assisting with a pick-up of an injured or orphaned animal.

In addition, The Humane Society of Silicon Valley receives injured, orphaned or trapped animals each day. These animals need to be transported to our Center so that we can provide the medical, rehabilitation and release services that they require. Volunteers sign up to be on-call (mornings and early afternoons) to transport the wildlife from the Humane Society to our Center.

Gardening, Center Maintenance and Repairs

If you prefer the outdoors, we have many new aviaries and enclosures to build as well as existing structures that are in need of repair. If you have a penchant for gardening, we can always use help beautifying our outdoor area.

Wintern Program

We will accept applications for the Winter 2016 Internship Program from August 1st through September 12th :

WCSV’s Wintern Program is a great opportunity to gain skills and knowledge in the treatment of sick and injured wildlife found in the Silicon Valley. WCSV is recruiting 8-10 new interns who will work 12 hours per week from October 1, 2016, through January 29, 2017.

Click here to view a flyer with more information.

The purpose of this internship is to assist with animal husbandry tasks, help oversee the release of patients that arrived to our hospital in the spring, as well as gain hands-on experience caring for critical juvenile and adult patients that are suffering debilitating injuries and illnesses. In addition, you will assist staff with winter projects: hospital organization, class write-ups, teaching classes, enclosure cleaning and enrichment and preparing for the 2017 busy season. Though the internship is unpaid the experience is priceless.


This is an unpaid internship with a minimum commitment of 12 hours per week from October 1, 2016, through January 29, 2017. Please, no phone calls regarding the status of your application. Deadline for receipt of your resume & cover letter: Monday, September 12, 2016 by 5 p.m.

First Step: Send a resume and cover letter to Volunteer Manager Jeniffer Coats: jcoats@wcsv.org

OR mail your cover letter and resume to 3027 Penitencia Creek Road, San Jose, CA 95132

Second Step: WCSV will contact you for an interview.

Third Step: Once you are accepted, WCSV will contact you and sign you up for two (2) required training classes: Orientation and Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation.

Final Step: After you have successfully completed the required training classes, we will add you to the schedule.

Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley
3027 Penitencia Creek Road
San Jose, CA 95132
1-408-929-9453 (929-WILD)

Hours: 9 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week
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© 2016 Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley
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WCSV is a leased facility of the Santa Clara County Parks & Recreation Department,
funded in part by support from the City of San Jose, the City of Milpitas, the City of Sunnyvale and Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority