Home > How You Can Help > Volunteer


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

Ways to Volunteer

Sleeping squirrels
Photo by Elizabeth Kricfalusi

Animal Care Volunteers


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. Animal Care volunteers are required to commit to at least one four-hour shift per week, for a minimum of three months.

Our volunteer shift times are offered seven days a week:

April-September (busy season)

8:00 – 12:00, 12:00 – 4:00, 4:00 – 8:00

October – March

9:00 – 1:00 and 1:00 – 5:00


Interested in what it’s like to volunteer with wildlife? Take a look at this video that gives an insight into a typical day for a volunteer here at the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley.


Transport Team Volunteers

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.  The Humane Society of Silicon Valley offers an after-hours drop off for us. These animals need to be transported to our Center the next day, 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.


Examining injured Brandt’s Cormorant
Photo by Elizabeth Kricfalusi

Requirements for becoming an Animal Care Volunteer:

  • You are at least 16 years old.
  • You attend one Orientation and one Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation class.
  • 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.

Application Process:

Complete the online volunteer registration application. Due to the volume of applications received, you may not hear from us immediately. Our next Orientation will be held in February of 2018 due to the slow season beginning in the fall. You will be put on a waiting list in the order that you register and will be contacted once orientations begin again. If you have any questions about our Animal Care Volunteer Program, please contact our Volunteer Manager at 408-929-9453 ext. 306.

Other Ways to Volunteer

Community Outreach Volunteer

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.

Office Support Volunteers

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 Volunteers

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 trackssummer2016-largewith 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.

Newsletter Volunteers 

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

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.

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



Application Process for Volunteer Opportunities Other than Animal Care:

If you are at least 16 years old, and can commit to volunteer for at least three months, please complete the online volunteer registration application. All volunteer positions require an Orientation. Due to the volume of applications received, you may not hear from us immediately. When there is room in an Orientation, we will contact you. If you have any questions about our  Volunteer Program, please contact our Volunteer Manager at 408-929-9453 ext. 306.


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
Twitter Facebook Instagram

© 2016 Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley
Privacy Policy
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