Welcome to WILDSIDE!

WILDSIDE Rehabilitation and Education Center is a non-profit organization devoted  to the rehabilitation and release of sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. We are one of the largest wildlife rehabilitation centers in Michigan, each year treating approximately 800-1300 animals, representing over 50 different wildlife species.

We also provide outreach programs for audiences of all ages regarding native Michigan wildlife, rehabilitation, humane solutions to human-wildlife conflicts, and how the public can help Michigan’s wildlife.

Volunteer at WILDSIDE

Volunteers are a valuable resource at WILDSIDE, and play an integral role in accomplishing our mission.  We rely on volunteers to help provide quality care to hundreds of wild birds and mammals each year at our facility in Eaton Rapids.

Most of our volunteers work directly with the wild animals, while others provide invaluable assistance with many other essential tasks. Below are the volunteer positions we have available.

Animal Care Volunteers

Animal care volunteers are responsible for feeding, cleaning, and general care of the wildlife admitted to WILDSIDE. Specific duties include food preparation, hand feeding baby wildlife, cleaning cages, maintaining a clean clinic environment, cleaning and refreshing food and water in outdoor enclosures, and other duties as specified by supervisors. 

We require that animal care volunteers commit to a minimum

 one year and at least one shift per week, 3-5 hours.

Mammal Volunteers

Baby squirrels are the first babies to arrive at WILDSIDE in the spring. We receive hundreds of fox squirrels, opossums, bunnies, woodchucks and about 20 other species.  Volunteers help syringe feed, clean cages, prepare meals, and assist with habitat enrichment, laundry, dishes and clinic upkeep.  

Songbird Volunteers

Hundreds of baby songbirds are displaced from their nests or separated from their parents every spring and summer. Songbird Volunteers hand-feed babies, clean cages, prepare meals, and assist with habitat enrichment, laundry, dishes and clinic upkeep. WILDSIDE sees about thirty species of birds every year. This is a great opportunity for an aspiring or seasoned birder! 

Waterfowl Volunteers 

WILDSIDE receives orphaned baby geese, ducks, loons and swans of all types as well as injured adults. The center handles specialized care cases which require daily treatment and medication until stable enough to be transferred to a state licensed rehabilitator that specializes in waterfowl with large ponds and wetlands.  Until that time volunteers help clean cages and prepare meals several times daily. This is a fun job that includes bath-tub time and refilling pools daily.

Raptor Volunteers 

WILDSIDE receives 50 plus raptors a year representing 15 species of hawks, owls, osprey, vultures and eagles.  Daily duties include food preparation, hand feeding baby raptors, cleaning cages and flight pens, cleaning and refreshing food and water in outdoor enclosures, and other duties as specified by supervisors.

Other Special Volunteers:

Maintenance Volunteers

Opportunities include handy work, lawn care, landscaping, and general maintenance activities.

Environmental Education Volunteers

Opportunities include preparing educational materials, handling educational animals, speaking to the public about the Center and the animals in its care, interacting with educational program audiences and creating new community outreach programs.

Fundraising Volunteers

Opportunities include participation in event/campaign planning and execution, publicity and community/donor relations activities.

Other Volunteers

The Center’s Manager and Executive Director can always use a personal helper for an hour, a day or any amount of time to run errands, stock supplies and other related tasks. In addition, the Center occasionally needs the help of folks with special skills, like plumbers, electricians or carpenters.

All WILDSIDE volunteers must have a:

  • Commitment to at least one 3 – 5 hours shift per week
  • Reliable mode of transportation; there is no public transportation near WILDSIDE
  • Appreciation of all wild animals
  • Clear understanding of WILDSIDE’s mission
  • Willingness to get your hands dirty
  • Patience and ability to communicate and work with others
  • Reliable and punctual

Animal care volunteers need to be reliable in their commitment. We expect animal care volunteers to show up on their shift as scheduled. Your presence is crucial in making sure the wildlife get proper care. If your schedule is unpredictable or if you have situations that may cause you to be frequently absent, please consider volunteering in a different capacity at WILDSIDE.

Applicants must be over the age of 18 to work with rabies vector animals. We can accept those under 18 on a case-by-case basis.

Interested? Email Louise at LSagaert@aol.com or call: 517-663-6153

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. sarah teramino
    Jun 06, 2012 @ 00:38:39

    today we droped a injured gosling and a worker…(darlien) was amazingly nice im 13 and she let me go in and see the baby animals and this summer i get to work it was amazing


  2. Ashley Ball
    Sep 22, 2014 @ 18:32:25

    I am very interested in volunteering on a weekly basis. I live just outside of Eaton Rapids, so it is not a long drive for me. I am well over 18. I have a lot of experience with injured and orphaned animals, am not afraid of cleaning up yucky messes, and am not afraid of any kind of animal, from rodents to snakes and everything in between. Please contact me via email if you could use another volunteer. Thanks for all of the great work you do!


  3. wildsidemi
    Jun 08, 2015 @ 16:02:08

    Hi April- Yes we are, email me at LSagaert@aol.com



  4. escalerb
    Jun 26, 2015 @ 10:16:02

    Hello, would love to volunteer. Love all animals and can commit to 3-5 hours per week. Thank you for all you do.


  5. Micheala Hillman
    Jul 09, 2015 @ 15:54:29

    I would love to volunteer here, I work second shift Monday-Friday and some Saturdays so if possible I would be able to volunteer once a week on Sundays, if not early mornings would work well too. I want to get my foot in the door with wildlife rehabilitation and find out what degrees I would need to work in wildlife rehabilitation.
    Thank you!


  6. Sean Sweeney
    Nov 22, 2015 @ 18:50:06

    I am very interested in volunteering. I love animals and have extensive experience outside. Would love to learn more about everything you do.


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