Volunteer - Frequently Asked Questions...


"I want to help, but I have no experience with wildlife. How can I learn?"

Volunteers constantly share new information and experiences with each other.  Our Bird-Buddy and Bunny Buddy Programs pair volunteers with an experienced rehabilitator where they receive one-on-one training and support.  We encourage a good support system among all volunteers and teach everyone to help each other out like an extended family.

"What expenses are involved?"

Expenses vary.  There is an initial $20 fee for new volunteers which covers the cost of your "set-up kit" and there are additional out-of-pocket expenses involved when you actively rehabilitate wildlife.  Equipment such as aquariums, cages and heating pads may be required.  Some species need specific foods such as mealworms for insectivores and the specialized high protein diet for a growing hummingbird. 

However, once you become a member, we provide you with as many supplies as possible.  Our fundraising projects, some of our grant money and even a portion of your membership fees all go toward buying feed, formula, supplies and medication.  The more fundraising money, the more supplies we're able to provide to active rehabilitators.

"But how do I know if I will like working with wildlife?"

Read through our website.  You can read about the different species we work with and how different situations are handled.  When you finish, you'll have a general feeling for how wildlife rehabilitation works and what East Valley Wildlife is all about.

"I have cats/dogs as pets. Can I still care for and raise orphaned wildlife?"

Most of our volunteers have cats, dogs and other pets, too.  They are successful wildlife rehabilitators because they use common sense and have a spare room or area that they can use to separate the wildlife
from pets.

"I work outside of my home can I still raise baby birds?"

In most cases this is not possible. Baby songbirds need to be fed every 15-60 minutes throughout the day, depending on age and species. Doves and pigeons, however, only have to be fed 3-4 times a day, and precocial birds like ducklings and quail are self-feeding from the time they hatch. Many volunteers who hold down jobs find that "less time consuming species" or older birds fit nicely into their schedule or they help with rescue, transporting, education or fundraising projects.

"How often do you have to feed baby birds?"

It takes dedication to care for baby songbirds, as they do have to be fed often throughout the day (and more frequently when they are little). They grow very quickly, however and some birds are starting to fly at 2 weeks old! Baby birds do not have to be fed during the night. In the wild, the parent birds feed from dawn until dusk and then everyone beds down for the night. You can, too.

"My child is 12 years old. Can children become volunteers?"

In order to work with migratory wildlife, a volunteer must be at least 18 and have a wildlife permit or work under the supervision of a volunteer who holds one. Some of our volunteers have kids that are also interested in working with animals and are able to help in various ways.  Since we also handle many domestic and non-protected species, children are able to learn about caring for these types of animals.  Many younger volunteers work with domestic ducks and ducklings because waterfowl are fairly self-sufficient and do not need constant care. Again, the parent must have an interest in becoming a volunteer and be in charge of the rehabilitation.

"What is a typical wildlife rehabilitator like?"

There is no typical profile for a wildlife rehabilitator. They come in all shapes and sizes and range in age from great-grandparents to kids who are able to help their parents with rehab chores.  Economic backgrounds and careers are also widely varied. Our organization has volunteers who are airline pilots, teachers, veterinarians, vet technicians, nurses, doctors, computer engineers, salepersons, real estate agents, construction workers, homemakers, pharmacists, herpetologists, teacher's aides and travel agents just to name a few. Everyone shares an interest in doing something to help an animal in need.

"I do love wildlife, but really don't think I can help out right now. What else can I do to support wildlife rehabilitors?"

Your donation of any amount helps us a great deal. Perhaps at a later time you'll be able to help a little--or at lot!



EVW Contact Contact East Valley Wildlife at 480-814-9339 or EastValleywildlife@gmail.com  or facebook
East Valley Wildlife encourages all volunteers, regardless of level of experience to join continuing education classes to gain a better understanding of the needs of wildlife in urban areas.

 Licensing and Permits

Most wildlife we deal with is classified as migratory.  So working with this type of wildlife requires part of our volunteers to be licensed or working under a licensed volunteer. 
Some wildlife educators also require a special education permit per animal in order to show the animal at educational forums.

Several rescue organizations and government entities provide education events, seminars and continuing education credits for the general public and rescue organizations.




Last updated November 1, 2022
November 14, 2015