Interested in becoming an Intern in 2014?

Read Intern Rima's account of her experience!

Northwest Wildlife Rehabilitation is offering Wildlife Care Internship positions between April and October of each year. These are unpaid internships, however housing is provided. The start dates of each position are staggered so that full coverage is provided for wildlife care during our busiest time of the year. There will be some overlap between each position.

Interns will be involved in all aspects of wildlife rehabilitation from admission to release. This includes: basic rehabilitation skills, cage cleaning, food preparation, animal handling, and daily cleaning and sanitation of the center. Candidates will earn valuable hands-on experience in working with wildlife.

Ideal candidates will be mature, honest, enthusiastic to learn, have a good work ethic and a strong desire to work with animals and people. They must be at least 18 years old.  Interns could be college students, graduates, veterinary assistants, vet technicians, or someone else who really wants to learn about wildlife care. No experience is required, but candidates should be able to lift at least 35 pounds. This program is not for college credit.

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Our Program


All internships, as mentioned above, will occur from April to October. This is our very busy 'Baby Season.' During this time we receive an increased number of young orphaned wild animals in addition to our usual number of injured animals. One of the primary jobs of our interns will be the feeding of baby mammals and birds. The orphans we receive include raccoons, striped skunks, squirrels, a variety of birds, and opossums--just to name a few.


The primary responsibilities of the interns will be: food preparation and feeding, performing intake exams on wildlife, cage cleaning and sanitation, laundry, facility cleaning and sanitation, and administration of medications (under staff supervision).

Length of Internship

Internships will last for 8 to 12 weeks. The start date of each internship is staggered so that there will be some overlap between them. What this means is that there will be more than one intern working at the center at the same time. The first two weeks of the internship will be on a trial basis to assure that this is the right fit for both the intern and our organization. At the fourth week mark, there will be an evaluation to determine if more advanced techniques should be taught. If deemed appropriate, the intern will learn additional rehabilitation skills including, but not limited to, dosage calculations and injections.


The clinic hours vary based on the season. During the busy baby season the hours are typically from 8:00am to 8:00pm. Interns will work for eight-hour periods with some occasional night feedings. Interns are assured at least two days off every week.


Accomodations on site at the center will be provided at no cost to the interns. Accomodations consist of an intern dormitory-style bedroom (which may house up to four interns) and access to the center's kitchen and laundry facilities.


As mentioned under 'Accommodations', housing will be provided, but this is an unpaid internship. Interns will be responsible for their own travel, food and personal costs.

Intern   Intern

Program Policies

At Northwest Wildlife Rehabilitation we strongly believe in keeping wildlife 'wild'. Our ultimate goal is to release physically and behaviorally healthy animals back into the wild. It is very important that interns understand that this is not a job where you get to "cuddle cute wildlife". A minimum of contact with the animals is important in order to reduce their stress and prevent them from becoming habituated and imprinted with humans.


We recognize that some injuries and conditions are such that the animal will not be able to be returned to the wild. In those cases, we practice euthanasia as a way to release the animal from pain. Interns would not perform the euthanasia, but would be present when it occurs. This is something interns must be open to accept. Euthanizing an animal remains a challenge for each rehabilitator.

Background Information

Northwest Wildlife Rehabilitation is a non-profit organization which was established in 2000. We are located in Washington State's beautiful Whatcom County, just 12 miles east on Mount Baker Highway from Bellingham. We receive over 3500 calls annually and admitted over 900 animals in 2008, but expect those numbers will increase in coming years. We work closely with local humane societies, veterinarians, law enforcement personnel, and other wildlife rehabilitation centers throughout Washington State.


If you feel that this internship would be a good fit for you, please print the following application, complete the required fields and essay and mail it to our Internship Coordinator.

Internship Applications due March 1st.