Volunteers in training learn to safely handle wild animals.  .

THE CHALLENGES:  Helping wildlife in the field can be exciting and rewarding...it can also be frustrating and challenging.  Each case is slightly different and, though training will prepare you for many situations, it cannot prepare you for all.  Experience is the best teacher, along with the animals themselves.  Some of the challenges include:  finding the actual location, finding the actual animal in need, and determining species.  Patience is the most useful characteristic for volunteers, along with ability to improvise.

THE REWARDS:   Keeping a wild family together by reuniting babies with parents, and saving the lives of injured, orphaned or sick animals by getting them to rehabilitators produces a feeling of great satisfaction.  Volunteers will experience it each time they build an artificial nest and witness parents resume care of their young in the wild.




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Help a local participating animal shelter by performing wildlife field response.  Dates and locations of training are posted periodically here.   
Download the volunteer brochure from the home page to learn more.

The Volunteer Response/Rescue
Program trains shelter volunteers, interns and staff in humane wildlife response.  The first portion of training is two 7-hour days of classroom instruction.  The classroom instruction consists of familiarization with local and federal laws, safety, species identification, recognition of emergencies, recognition of orphans, first aid, renesting techniques, behavior, capture and handling techniques, and transportation of wild animals.  The second portion of training involves a 4-hour visit to a wildlife rehabilitation center for familiarization with native species and hands-on handling. The third portion of training involves a 4-hour shift spent with an animal control officer answering calls from the participating shelter.

The volunteer will then work through the shelter of their choice, serving as a Wildlife Aid Brigade-trained resource for that shelter.  The volunteer will be provided with support the first few days of field response, after which they will coordinate their work schedule in accordance with the shelter's needs.

This program is a good choice for college students wishing to earn intern credit, and students from the University of Maryland regularly participate.

Volunteers and staff  completing all components will receive a certificate of completion from the Maryland Wildlife Rehabilitators Association.
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