Become a Volunteer

Membership required – Only $25

From direct animal care (including home care) to fundraising and communications, there are five ways in which volunteers help make our mission possible. We appreciate your consideration of sharing your passion and skills with our incredible team and look forward to meeting you.  Start your journey today and become a member!

Animal Care

Baby Bird Nursery

May 1-August 15, Annually. Care and feeding of rescued baby birds at our center. 4 hour shifts, 7AM-7PM. A trained and experienced Shift Leader is in charge of the Nursery for each shift, and works with the volunteers. Volunteers choose their schedule.

Requirements: Training class, age 18 and up. Youth aged 16-17 can volunteer with parent approval and training class. Youth 12-15 when accompanied by an adult and BBN manager approval, both youth and adult require training class.

Home Rehabbing

Year round. SWR is licensed under the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and US Fish and Wildlife Services to treat orphaned and injured wildlife for release back to the wild.  Species specific training is provided by experienced SWR rehabbers, with ongoing mentorship and support.  We work with songbirds, water birds, game birds, raptors, squirrels, baby skunks, rabbits and hares, opossums, raccoons, fawns, bobcats, coyotes and foxes.

An Associate Rehabber position is also available, for the rehabber who can’t rehab in their own home.  The Associate Rehabber will partner with an experienced home rehabber, and meets the same Home Rehabber requirements. 

Requirements: 18 and up. 4 hours of training, mentoring by experienced rehabber, minimal annual training requirement of 4 hours.

Animal Transport

Transport:  SWR accepts calls daily from 8AM-6PM, and takes in wildlife found on the western slope of El Dorado County.  A volunteer is often needed to take possession of the orphaned or injured wildlife and to transport it to the center or to an experienced in-home rehabber.  

Requirements: 18 and up. One training class in Transporting and safety regulations when dealing with wildlife.  Protective gloves, carriers, nets, (some supplied by SWR), a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance.

Build Rescue Cages

Help build flight and release cages for final testing before an animal is returned to the wild.  Dependant on the bird species, some flight cages may be able to be located on the property of a member who is not a rehabber.

Join Us and Become a Trained Wildlife Volunteer!

SWR offers a variety of training classes to ensure the safety of both volunteers and the wildlife we serve.

Our Calendar of Wildlife Rescue Classes offers training for specific breeds of Animal Care, Home Rehabbing, and the safe Transportation of rescued animals, as well as general Volunteer Orientation.

Due to the directives from both the State of California and El Dorado County, our Center remains closed to the public, and up-coming classes scheduled in March and through April 11, 2020 are cancelled. For those who are seriously interested in transporting, please call Barbara at 530-621-2650 and leave your name, phone number and email. Transporting injured and orphaned wildlife into care is lifesaving, and we are working on a means to get this class information distributed and getting transporters on board, while observing the guidelines within these directives. We will continue to take wildlife into care in our home settings. Please stay well.

Class Schedule

Other Volunteer Opportunities

Educational Programs

(Ages 18+) 
Assist in building and/or participating in exhibits and presentations throughout the county. A great way to begin working with animals.


Help plan, set up and staff events, or work with our Grants Committee to help secure new funding for capital equipment and long-term needs.


Help Produce: Press Releases Newsletters | Web and Social Updates | Marketing Campaigns/Collateral Materials Photography/Video Events, activities, education, training


Board Member or Office Holder Volunteer Coordinator | Hotline Volunteer (Vital for our 24/7 availability) | Wildlife Center Office (gen office duties) | Membership Mailings (database management & digital delivery)