Volunteer with us! 

Your role as a Busch Wildlife Sanctuary Volunteer is vital to the success of the organization’s programs in education, rehabilitation, and conservation.  You will interact with an incredibly diverse range of animals and people, whether at the Sanctuary or out in the community. You will learn the fundamentals of working at a sanctuary and further develop your knowledge of a diverse range of animals and the laws we abide by to protect Florida’s resources, habitats, and inhabitants.

The purpose of the volunteer program is to offer a wide variety of opportunities to interested people and to provide useful and meaningful service. This will assist Sanctuary staff in furthering the goals of The Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, and provide support that would otherwise be impossible due to budget limitations. Not only will you be helping Florida’s wildlife, you’ll enjoy meeting new friends who share similar environmental concerns and gain personal satisfaction that comes from preserving Florida’s native animals.

Email any questions you may have to:

Michelle Kim, Volunteer Coordinator

volunteers@buschwildlife.org or call (561) 575-3399 

NEW VOLUNTEERS: PLEASE SCROLL AND FILL OUT THE FORM IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO APPLY.  VOLUNTEERS ARE SUBJECT TO A ONE TIME $35 FEE.

NEW INTERNS: PLEASE FILL OUT THE INTERNSHIP APPLICATION. INTERNSHIPS ARE SUBJECT TO A ONE TIME $35 FEE. 

Volunteer Requirements

  • Volunteers must be 15 years or older (see our Jr Naturalist Program for students ages 9 to 14).

  • All volunteers must attend Volunteer Orientation before the can start volunteering.

  • Volunteers must fill out, sign, and turn in all required documents.

  • Volunteers must commit to one 3 to 4 hour long shift for a 3 month commitment.

(We hope you will continue to volunteer past this minimum commitment as our experienced volunteers are our most valuable resource!)

  • Volunteers must wear a Busch Wildlife Sanctuary volunteer shirt, radio, comfortable (non-revealing) pants/shorts, and closed toed shoes when conducting volunteer activities. Safety equipment must be worn in designated enclosures.  (i.e. safety glasses, gloves, or hardhat)

  • Volunteers are requested to join the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary as a paid member and purchase their own volunteer shirts. Upon starting volunteers are required to pay a onetime, non-refundable due of $35. You cannot start volunteering until dues are paid.

  • Volunteers should be prepared to have fun, get dirty, follow instructions for safe and effective animal care, and learn a lot.

 

We always ask potential volunteers to seriously evaluate their schedule and other commitments before they join our volunteer team, because our Sanctuary is volunteer driven and our patients and residents depend on volunteers for their food, caging, and medical needs. Volunteers are expected to attend their shift every week, and missing a scheduled shift can impact our patients’ well-being. 

 Busch Wildlife Sanctuary is an equal opportunity organization and will not allow discrimination based upon age, ethnicity, ancestry, gender, national origin, disability, race, size, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, or any other status prohibited by applicable law.

Volunteer Opportunities

Animal Care Sanctuary 

Assist with the daily feeding, cleaning, and enrichment for the Sanctuary's animals. Volunteers do an abundance of household type chores including washing dishes, sweeping, mopping, and laundry. Expect to work outside in hot days, lift heavy objects and get dirty. Not a position for the squeamish. Volunteers in Animal Care will have to do their fair share of dirty work, for example, cage cleaning and food preparation, before they will be given the opportunity to work with the Sanctuary’s animals. 

Shifts:  Monday through Saturday 8:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 5:00pm, 

Sunday 8:00am to 12:00pm

Animal Care Hospital

Volunteers do an abundance of household type chores including washing dishes, sweeping, mopping, and laundry. In addition to daily chores, volunteers that are consistent are given the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to enable them to feed baby birds and mammals. They assist with the care of our injured and orphaned wildlife by helping with diet preparation, general clean-up, and cleaning cages.

Volunteers should keep in mind that our goal is always to rehabilitate and release whenever possible. These animals are not pets and must be cared for accordingly. Minimal contact is essential to help ensure they remain wild.

Shifts: Monday through Saturday: 8:00am to 5:00pm and Sunday: 8:00am to 5:00pm

Education

They assist with education department with programs, lectures, and tours. These volunteers are expected to learn information and background of Florida wildlife and habitats. Experienced volunteers can be trained in animal handling procedures. They interact with the public throughout the sanctuary, interpreting exhibits and educating the public. 

Shifts:  Monday through Saturday 8:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 5:00pm

Welcome Center

Must be at least 16 years old. Volunteers in this position are the first impression of BWS. They are expected to greet guests, provide information and answer questions to enhance visitor’s experiences. Knowledge of cash registers, marketing and sales are a plus. This volunteer must be honest, outgoing, reliable, friendly, and can work well with others. Expect to stock merchandise along with working the register.

Shift: Monday through Saturday Morning: 10:00am – 1:00pm and Afternoon: 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Rescue and Release

Must me at least 18 years of age. This is an on-call position where Rescue Volunteers respond to reports of sick, injured, or orphaned animals when they can. Participants are added to a group chat and respond to reports according to their experience, comfort level, and availability. This requires the volunteer to be available to drive and pick up or drop off injured animals. Volunteers receive training regarding animal handling procedures and protocols and are never expected to conduct any response efforts they are not trained for or comfortable with. Transporters will be using their own vehicle and must have a valid driver’s license, car insurance, and be willing to drive contained, injured or orphaned wild animals to/from BWS.

Landscaping

Volunteers who help in this department often do a great deal of physical work and spend most of their time outdoors. They should possess knowledge of native and exotic plants, landscaping and gardening. Help keep our grounds tended by performing various grounds-keeping activities such as trimming, pruning, mulching, raking, and weeding.

Shifts: Monday through Saturday 8:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 5:00pm

Online Application