Environmental Jobs | Volunteer


Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre Internship Program 2019

Position: Wildlife Caretaker Intern
Type: weekly stipend + shared accom. (see below)
Length: three to nine months (see below)
Organization: Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre 
Napanee, near Kingston and Belleville, Ontario


Spring and Summer are the busiest seasons for wildlife rehabilitation centers, including Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre (SPWC). During these months, we admit over 4000 wild mammals, birds and reptiles. The primary role of a wildlife centre intern is to help care for these animals, many of whom are orphans. The internship is intense, physically demanding, fast-paced and repetitive, giving interns the opportunity to learn about all aspects of wildlife rehabilitation.

Interns gain valuable practical experience, while helping SPWC’s wildlife patients and working with professional staff and volunteers. Some of the skills learned include; individual species identification, natural history, proper husbandry and enrichment techniques, animal handling, tube feeding of mammals and birds, medication administration, and various other procedures. Our internships are intended to provide on-the-job training in basic rehab skills, not to teach advanced veterinary theory or techniques.

We hope a working internship will help participants to examine wildlife career opportunities. In return, we expect to work with enthusiastic, mature, hard working people who will become an integral part of the working staff at SPWC during their internship. Interns may come from biology, wildlife management, veterinary medicine, veterinary technician or environmental education fields, but we will consider interns from any background. We believe that a strong interest in wildlife, work ethic and willingness to learn are more important than academic qualifications. We are offering a stipend of $100/week for the successful applicant.

We are located on a hobby farm in a rural area, with no public transportation. However, there are plenty of provincial parks and beautiful areas to explore all around us. Kingston and Belleville are within a half hour drive. Napanee has several restaurants a small movie theater and a limited shopping experience.

Abilities and Experience Required

  • Ability to speak read and write the English language fluently.
  • Ability to work independently and as a team member.
  • Ability to perform tedious tasks for long periods of time, without complaining.
  • Ability to be resourceful, and flexible.
  • Ability to do rigorous outdoor work in all types of weather.
  • Ability to perform physically demanding tasks, such as cleaning, lifting (up to 40 pounds), climbing ladders, etc.
  • Ability to work quickly and efficiently while precisely following directions and procedures.
  • Ability to work long hours and function on very little sleep, without complaining!
  • Ability to get along with others in a group-housing situation.

Other Requirements

  • Rabies and Tetanus vaccine, proof will be required upon acceptance to the program.
  • Must be 18 years of age or older to apply.


  • Shared bedrooms (3-6 interns per room), in a house on-site.
  • Cooking, bathroom, laundry facilities are shared with the Centre’s director.
  • You are responsible for your own food and beverages.
  • House cleaning duties are shared evenly between interns.
  • You will also be sharing living space with several dogs and cats

Dates Available

We accept interns all year round!

Application Deadline for 2019 Spring/Summer Rotations

Send application, references, and resume by March 1, 2019.

*This is a popular program sending your application early is helpful*

Applications for Fall & Winter Internships can be sent anytime

Email application and resume to: 

Length of Internship

Three to nine months duration. You will be working four days per week in the busy seasons and five days in the Winter (slower) season. Days off are not always consecutive. On your days on you will be responsible for all patients who require overnight feeding and late night admissions.

What Have Previous Interns said about their experience?

“During the summer of 2007, I was fortunate to be offered one of the four intern positions available at Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre for my second co-op work term. It gave me an amazing opportunity to work directly with animals and to witness first hand many of the characteristics and habits of species studied in biology programs. It afforded me the unique opportunity to literally try my hand at a unique type of work that I would otherwise have never tried.” — Nikki Reshke, Biology Student from Ottawa University Co-Op Program

“ I have had the chance to witness many veterinary procedures on all sorts of species from Great Horned Owls and Cooper’s hawks to White Tail Deer and Painted Turtles. The internship gives you the chance to become involved with the medical side of rehabilitation also, and allows you to input your own opinions into the well-being of the animals you are caring for.” — Laura Smith- BSc Animal Science: Behaviour and Welfare student from Plymouth University in Great Britain.

“I enjoyed my time as an intern at Sandy Pines… The hours were long and the work was tiring, but it was worth it for everything that I learned. Watching Sue and Leah at work and learning from them was a great experience. They both know so much and are such great teachers. Doing necropsies with Sue was always a highlight to my day because she explained what we saw in detail and speculated as to why the animal died and made us think. I learned how to properly evaluate an animal’s condition, medicate it if necessary, feed it (including hand feeding and tube feeding), and make up an appropriate cage simulating its’ natural environment. Living with Sue and the other interns was an enjoyable experience. The meals were always great, as we took turns cooking! We got to enjoy T.V. shows together and discuss interesting cases that came in that day.” — Steph Morgan, BSc Wildlife Biology Major, Honours, student from the University of Guelph

“I can most definitely say that this has been one of the most rewarding and challenging experiences in my life. It will be a summer that I will always remember and I have a lot of people to thank for that.” — Lauren Ricer- Pre-Vet Program at Guelph University

“My last day at the centre, the hawk was released and it could not have been more perfect timing. When you see an animal recover from injury, it is difficult to express into words how amazing it feels to watch an animal bounce back from injury, then improve more every day and then are able to be released. There could not be a better feeling in this world.” — Heidi Kulla, Completed 3 month Internship 2010

We have been running this program successfully for 12 years, giving 75 interns a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

SPWC Internship Program Application


Please include a picture of yourself (we interview a lot of applicants this helps us put a face to the name)




Postal Code:

Phone number:

Email Address:

Skype User ID (needed for on-line interviews):

Best method and time to reach you:

Do you have a valid driver’s license?

What is your highest level of completed education?

Why does this internship appeal to you?

Have you completed any other internships?

Do you consider yourself a high energy person? Please give an example.

Are you able to organize your work so that you are able to work efficiently?

Can you perform simple math calculations without a calculator?

Have you lived in shared housing before?

Are you comfortable sharing cleaning and dinner duties with the other interns and the Director?

What career are you pursuing?

Do you have any previous wildlife rehabilitation, and or veterinary related experience?

List the skills you would bring that would be an asset to SPWC during your internship (you may want to use a separate page):

Internships run for a minimum of 3 months, and maximum 9 months, how long would your ideal internship last, and during which months would you like to complete it?

Would you be willing to pay for and receive rabies vaccine? (Keep in mind a set of rabies vaccines may cost up to $600 if you are not covered under any particular health insurance.)

Is your tetanus vaccine current?

Include 2 reference letters (make sure contact information is provided for both): One personal (i.e. long-term family friend, previous co-worker, and coach) and one school/work related. As well as your CV.

Please indicate you saw this posting at jobs.rcen.ca.

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Work with animals / caring for animals

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Current status: Open/apply now.   Date posted: Dec 9 2018    ID: 49615