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Become a Rehabber with TWRC!

Rehabilitating wildlife can be an extremely rewarding experience. Some people do this year round and others only occasionally. Most species require a prospective rehabber to obtain special permits to be able to rehabilitate birds, mammals or reptiles. For example, protected songbirds require both state and federal permits while protected mammals and reptiles require only state permits. Endangered species require a higher level of state and federal permits. Some non-protected species require no permits at all. Experienced TWRC rehabbers can help you determine what you need should you be interested in rehabbing an animal or bird.

Volunteers interested in animal rehabilitation can work as a sub-permitted rehabilitator under the mentorship of a permitted rehabilitator. Becoming a permitted wildlife rehabilitator generally takes from 1.5 to 2 years.

Wildlife rehabilitators with TWRC are uniquely supported in a number of ways:

  • Discounts on rehab supplies
  • Assistance with caging needs and cage set-up/enrichment
  • Rehabilitation 101 classes for each species
  • Advance notice of other educational opportunities
  • Personal mentorship by experienced rehabilitators specializing in that species in which you are interested.
  • Assistance with getting sub-permitted or obtaining your own rehabilitation permit for a home facility.
  • Free veterinarian assistance for animals in rehabilitation.
  • Free medication for rehab animals and access to x-ray equipment.

In order to become a home-based rehabber with TWRC, you must be at least 21 years of age and meet the following requirements:

1) Volunteer at our center for a minimum of 20 hours (hours must be earned within the 6-month period immediately preceding being sub-permitted and/or receiving animals). There are several volunteer opportunities to choose from and each has their own orientation and fee. To learn about the opportunities we offer, visit our volunteer page. Once you have chosen the opportunity you would like to participate in, you can RSVP for an Orientation on that program’s page. Our on-site animal care programs are seasonal and are only available at certain times of the year. If you have questions regarding a volunteer opportunity, please contact the appropriate coordinator listed on the page of the opportunity you are interested in. Please note: Time spent in orientations or feeding training classes are not included in the 20 hour minimum.

2) Become a member of TWRC ($35 membership fee per year). Please Note: Your membership is included in your orientation fee if you chose to volunteer in the center (“Center Volunteer” on the volunteer page) rather than the animal care programs. Center volunteers, however, do not get hands-on experience with rehab animals, while volunteers in our Baby Bird, Baby Squirrel and On-Site Care Programs do.

3) Contact TWRC’s Rehab Coordinator at when volunteer hours are complete and you have paid your membership to get sub-permitted and paired with a mentor.

TWRC holds free 101 classes (home-based rehab) in the early spring for many of the species that need rehabilitators including Squirrels, Rabbits, Doves, Ducks, Opossums, Raccoons, Songbirds, Screech Owls and Turtles.

These classes cover topics such as cost, time commitment and supplies required when rehabbing that species. Their purpose is to give you an idea if rehabbing is a good fit for your budget and lifestyle. There is a wide range of commitment levels, depending upon the species, and TWRC can help you find the perfect match for your busy life. You are not required to attend these classes to become a rehabber, but they are recommended. Please visit our calendar page and select “101 Classes” under the “Categories” pull down menu to view class times and dates.

TWRC hosts the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council’s Basic Skills seminar each year. This is a 2-day, hands-on training seminar certified through IWRC where Rehabilitators receive formal training to become wildlife rehabilitators. Please check their courses page to see when the next class is (typically in January or early February).

If you have additional questions please contact TWRC’s Rehab Coordinator at For specific questions about the center volunteer or animal care programs, please contact the coordinator of the program you are interested in participating in (found on the page for that volunteer opportunity).

Become a Rehabilitator