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Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship

Job description: Wildlife Rehabilitation Intern 

The Wildlife Center of Virginia (WCV) is a non-profit, professionally staffed, fully equipped 5,700 square foot teaching and referral hospital for native wildlife located in Waynesboro, Virginia. Our mission and passion is to teach the world to care about and to care for wildlife and the environment. Founded in 1982, WCV has provided care for more than 70,000 sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals representing more than 250 species. Our goal is to release patients back into their natural habitats. WCV admits 2,500 to 3,000 patients annually; at any time there may be from 80 to 250 animals on the premises.

WCV is one of the leading teaching hospitals in the country and has trained students from around the world in wildlife medicine and rehabilitation. Our Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship is a one-year advanced training program in wildlife rehabilitation beginning February 15, 2019 and running through February 14, 2020. The Wildlife Rehabilitation Intern is directly supervised by the Center’s two certified wildlife rehabilitators.

Through this training program, the intern will:

·        Gain intensive, hands-on training and experience in the field of wildlife rehabilitation, focusing on animal nutrition, husbandry, feeding techniques, capture and restraint methods, release criteria, captive animal behaviors, and natural history.
·        Learn medical skills from staff veterinarians, such as bandaging, medical math, fluid therapy, zoonotic diseases, and other subjects pertinent to wildlife rehabilitation.
·        Develop leadership and mentorship qualities by training and supervising new rehabilitation externs, animal care volunteers, and community service volunteers. 
·        Receive public relations training in wildlife hotline management and interactive public education.
·        Have the opportunity to sit for the IWRC’s Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator (CWR) certification exam.


I. Provide excellent rehabilitative care to all animals at the facility.
A.  Daily cleaning and feeding of all animals housed at the facility.
B.  Assist with evaluating patients for release. Monitor patients’ health, attitude, appetite, etc., and maintain written records of each animal’s progress. Report evaluations to wildlife rehabilitators and veterinarians and participate in daily clinical rounds with veterinary staff to discuss medical cases.
C.  Exercise all flighted patients daily and record progress in patient record.
D.  Assist with restraint, examination, diagnostic procedures and treatment of animals, as needed.
E.  Admit patients and complete associated paperwork. May also examine and initiate first aid to patients or new arrivals in the absence of the veterinarian or technician, within constraints of training and experience.
F.   Must be able to handle emotional aspects of euthanasia.
G.  Maintain high standards of cleanliness in hospital, kitchen, and animal housing areas.

II. Training
A.  With other staff, lead orientation sessions, develop training plans, and train and mentor rehabilitation externs and animal care volunteers.
B.  Assist with teaching rehabilitation/caretaking protocols to veterinary and veterinary technician students.

III. House Leader for Wildlife Center student house
A.  Check-in new rehabilitation externs and coordinate room assignment with the diagnostic intern.
B.  Conduct a walkthrough with rehabilitation externs prior to check-out.
C.  Assign chores to new rehabilitation externs, and ensure all chores are successfully completed weekly.
D.  Report any housing concerns to the Hospital Manager.
E.  Arrange transport for rehabilitation externs flying into Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport or Charlottesville–Albemarle Airport between 9 am and 5 pm.
IV. Other duties
A.  Act as primary on-call for the after-hours phone one or two nights per week, as needed.
B.  Daily and seasonal maintenance of cages, grounds, perches, etc. Recognize and correct any maintenance or safety hazards when possible. Report other problems to veterinary staff or office manager.
C.  Research a topic related to wildlife rehabilitation and present information to staff. Written papers may be submitted for publication in a wildlife rehabilitation journal. 
D.  Other duties, responsibilities, and special projects, as requested.
·        Must have at least one year of prior wildlife handling experience.
  • Must have pre-exposure rabies vaccination or a valid titer within two years of start date.
  • Must have a valid driver’s license.
  • Associates or Bachelor’s degree preferred.
  • Intern will be scheduled to work five days a week with two consecutive days off during the week. A typical day consists of working at least 10 hours. Weekend and holiday work is required.  
  • Demonstrated ability to handle diverse and competing tasks independently, efficiently, and accurately; flexibility is a must. 
  • Must be even-tempered and diplomatic.
  • Demonstrated reliability and dependability.
  • Ability to organize, set goals, and meet deadlines; attention to detail.
  • Team player with strong interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Professional appearance and demeanor; ability to interact and communicate with the public, law enforcement, veterinarians and others.
  • Ability to lift/carry equipment and animals up to 50 pounds.

  • This is an unpaid training internship. Intern will receive a stipend of $800.00 per month before taxes in financial aid for living expenses.
  • WCV will provide free housing at the Center’s student house in Waynesboro [shared room with diagnostic intern, with shared housekeeping responsibilities among all students living in house]. 
  • WCV will provide vehicles for work-related trips.
  • WCV will reimburse the IWRC’s Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator (CWR) test fee if a passing score is obtained.

Please email cover letter, résumé, and three references to-

Kelsey Pleasants, CWR
Wildlife Rehabilitator

The Wildlife Center of Virginia is an equal opportunity employer.