Job Responsibilities and Duties

Animal Care: 
  • Provide excellent rehabilitative care to all animals at the Sanctuary.
  • Perform daily cleaning and feeding of all animals housed at the Sanctuary, including our rehabilitation patients and our education ambassador animals. We have two indoor nurseries and over fifty outdoor enclosures, so we are quite busy during baby season!
  • Monitor each animal’s health, attitude, weight, appetite, etc., and maintain written records of each animal’s progress.
  • Assist with restraint, examination, diagnostic procedures and treatment of animals, as needed.
  • Admit patients and complete associated records. Examine and initiate first aid to patients and new arrivals.
  • Arrange transport of incoming animals to the Sanctuary and the transport of severely injured animals to the Wildlife Center of Virginia.
  • Maintain high standards of cleanliness in our nurseries, kitchen, laundry room, and outdoor enclosures.
  • Prepare specialized meals for a variety of species, including making “bird batter” for feeding baby birds; baby birds are fed every thirty minutes, sunrise to sunset!
  • Assist with observations of patients to provide information for release considerations.
  • Set a positive example of clear communication and good attitude for interns, volunteers, and the general public.
  • Train, supervise, and mentor seasonal rehabilitation staff, interns, and animal care volunteers.
  • Answer the phone and respond to rehabilitation-related questions from the public.
  • Assist in collecting of photographs of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds for the website, Facebook, Instagram, newsletter, and presentations.
  • Assist with outreach programs, as needed.
  • Enter patients into WILD-ONe, our online patient database, and disposition patients from WILD-ONe as appropriate.
  • Assist with data collection, as needed.
  • Help with fundraising events, such as Wild About Art, when possible.
  • Other duties, responsibilities, and special projects, as requested. 
What We’re Looking For 
  • Time-efficiency. Our days are extremely busy from sunrise to sunset. In order to feed, clean, and take care of all of our patients, it’s important that our rehabilitators move quickly without sacrificing thoroughness or their attention to detail.
  • Accountability. Our wildlife rehabilitators often work long hours by themselves, so it’s important that they can work independently while maintaining our high standards for animal care.
  • An appreciation for teamwork. Our team is small, with just four staff rehabilitators and three summer interns. While many of the day-to-day tasks are done individually, maintaining a good attitude and a commitment to a positive team dynamic is important at RWS.
  • Enthusiasm! Our wildlife rehabilitators must be able to take on the more physically and emotionally challenging aspects of the job, whether it’s cleaning out and scrubbing enclosures in the hot sun, dealing with a stressful phone call from the public, or making the difficult decision to euthanize a patient. Our ideal employee should always be looking for their next task to take on. A good attitude can go a long way in achieving our mission of rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing as many patients as we can.
  • Inclusiveness. RWS is a workplace that is accepting of all sexual orientations, gender identities, racial and ethnic identities, religious ideologies, and other historically marginalized identities. We expect our employees to share these same values of inclusiveness to ensure that our workplace and wildlife rehabilitation as a field are warm and welcoming to all.    
  • Applicants must be 18 years or older.
  • Applicants must be up to date on the tetanus vaccination.
  • Applicants must complete the rabies vaccination sequence prior to the start of the position. Funding is available for this important vaccination if your health insurance will not cover it.
  • Applicants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including a booster shot, and be willing to wear a mask when required.
  • Applicants must obtain a Category IV Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit from the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. This requires completing six hours of approved continuing education related to wildlife rehabilitation.
  • As housing is not provided for this position, applicants must secure their own housing
  • Applicants must have access to a car for transporting animals (and themselves) to the Sanctuary.
  • Applicants should be able to lift 50 pounds and be enthusiastic about working long days in challenging outdoor conditions. Wildlife rehabilitation can be a dirty job!
  • Applicants must be willing to work five days a week including at least one weekend day. Shifts are generally either 7 AM to 3 PM or 11 AM to 7 PM March – October and 8 AM to 4 PM November – February. Some overnight feedings of neonatal mammals may also be required, as permitted.
  • Applicants should have prior wildlife rehabilitation experience.
  • Applicants should have a B.S. in a related field.

Compensation and Benefits

  • $15/hour for 40 hours/week with overtime pay available (1.5x hourly wage)
  • $300/month health insurance stipend
  • 80 hours/year paid vacation
  • 24 hours/year paid sick leave
  • 24 hours/year paid personal leave
  • Payment of Category IV Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit fee
  • Payment for participation in annual wildlife rehabilitation conference and other relevant continuing education opportunities
To Apply

Please submit a cover letter, resume, and contact information for three references to info@rockfishwildlifesanctuary.org by January 31, 2022.