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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.

For more information and details on our different volunteer opportunities please visit our website at

If you have questions about your application, please DO NOT CALL the Volunteer Coordinator. Our Sanctuary regularly experiences high volume of phone calls for sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife and must respond to each, if you have questions about volunteering please

EMAIL to reach the Volunteer Coordinator Liz Flagg.



Volunteer Requirements

·         All volunteers must be 15 years or older.

·         All applicants must go through an interview process and attend a New Volunteer Orientation prior to volunteering.

·         All volunteers must fill out, sign, and turn in all required documents.

·         All volunteers must commit to one 3-4hr. shift per week for a period of 3 months.

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

·         All volunteers must wear a Busch Wildlife Sanctuary volunteer shirt, 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)

·         Fees: $35 (onetime, non-refundable), includes one volunteer t-shirt.


We always ask potential volunteers to seriously evaluate their schedule and other commitments before they apply to our volunteer program. Our Sanctuary is volunteer-driven and our patients and residents depend on volunteers in addition to our staff for their food, enclosures, and medical needs. Volunteers are expected to attend their shift every week. Missing a scheduled shift can impact our patients’ well-being and interfere with the training process for the volunteer. We ask all applicants please give serious consideration to their availability prior to submitting an application. Thank you.

 After you fill out the application form, the next step in the onboarding process is to answer a “Tell me more” email.  Look for this in the next couple of weeks.  After that, you will be invited to attend a New Volunteer Orientation.


Due to the substantial interest in our volunteer program, please understand that the New Volunteer Orientations are not held on a regular basis (typically every 30-60 days). They are subject to the availability of shifts in each department and are scheduled when there are openings for new volunteers. 

 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. Deep cleaning enclosures and prepping diets also included. 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 that includes working in and around animal fecal matter and bodily fluids.

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

Sunday 8:00am to 12:00pm

Wildlife Rehabilitation Hospital

Assist with an abundance of household type chores including washing dishes, sweeping, mopping, and laundry. They also assist with the care of our injured and orphaned wildlife by helping with diet preparation, general clean-up, and deep cleaning enclosures. 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. Applicants 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 human contact is essential to help ensure they remain wild. Volunteers in our Hospital will have to do their fair share of dirty work that includes working in and around animal fecal matter and bodily fluids.

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


Assist the 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 on Florida Wildlife, conservation, and environmental stewardship. Bilingual in English & Spanish is a plus!

Shifts:  Monday through Saturday 9:00am to 1:00pm and 1:00pm to 5:00pm, Sundays for special events only.

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 helpful. This volunteer must be honest, outgoing, reliable, friendly, and can work well with others. Expect to stock merchandise and work the register. Bilingual in English & Spanish is a plus!

Shift: Monday through Saturday Morning: 10:00am – 1:00pm and Afternoon: 1:00pm – 4:30pm

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.


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

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