Complete animal intake and documenting information
Feeding animals from infant to adult
Maintain health and feeding records for rehab animals
Clean and disinfect cages, bowls and buckets
Clean indoor and outside enclosures and occasionally assist in the maintenance or repair
Participate in keeping volunteer common rooms clean and tidy
Transfer / release animals into the wild
Other duties as assigned from time to time
What you need to know before you apply…
Full-time Wildlife Animal Care roles are unpaid volunteer positions
Shared accommodations are provided at no cost
We can support school placements in order to gain work experience or help satisfy requirements for a course of study
Internships are offered as a volunteer position and are unpaid
Rabies vaccines are mandatory if volunteering between April through to October and highly recommended from November through to March.Proof of inoculation is required before arriving at Aspen
Prior to submitting an application, please check with your Doctor for availability and cost of Rabies vaccines.In the Province of Ontario, the cost is approx. $600 and is not covered by health care plans
Tetanus is highly recommended
We require 4 consecutive weeks of volunteer service.During the months of May and June, we ask for a minimum of 8 consecutive weeks of service as these are our busiest months with the rehabilitation of orphaned animals.If you are on a school internship, we recommend 8 consecutive weeks in order to achieve your learning objectives.
Maintaining the cleanliness of the facility is important work too and tasks will be assigned each day.
Spring and Summer (May -August) - is our busiest time of year with the intake of orphaned and injured wildlife. This is the most hands-on work with long hours. Volunteers are required to work everyday feeding orphaned wildlife. The main species you work with are baby raccoons which you will be doing 5 days a week on either am or pm shift. You will learn tube feeding, syringe and bottle feeding and fluid therapy. You could be required to help in the squirrel nursery daily (if needed). Depending upon what other animal species we have in our rehab facilities at the time, you will also be assigned anything from porcupines, fawns, beavers, otters, moose calves, etc., to feed and care for every day. Volunteers who are assigned to these other animal species are responsible for their care 7 days a week – even on their days off. It’s busy, exhausting, but rewarding and you learn a lot about rehabbing wildlife. Late summer is less busy as most animals are no longer being bottle fed and are in outdoor enclosures wilding up for release. Late summer volunteers will be required to help with clean up and shut down of rooms that were used during the busier spring months while also caring for animals.
Fall (Sept- Oct) – Workdays vary depending on how many baby squirrels are in care. Volunteers could still be on shift work with it changing to a 8am-4pm shift near the end of the season. Volunteers will help in feeding the permanent animals as well as any rehab animals that are in care. Volunteers will also be helping with clean up of rooms that were used during the busy spring and summer months.
Winter (Nov- April)- Work days are from 8am to 4 pm. Mornings are spent feeding and cleaning all the animals that reside in the facility. Volunteers will help feeding the permanent animals as well as any rehab animals that are in care. Afternoons are spent cleaning and organizing.
Our full-time Wildlife Animal Care Assistant volunteers must be a minimum of 18 years of age
Each volunteer will receive a Welcome Package upon their arrival.Within the package you will find documents to review and sign prior to your first day of volunteer work
Liability waivers including injury and zoonotic diseases
Legal rights managing the use of any personal photographs of our animals
Review and acceptance of our Policy and Procedures
Volunteers are responsible for transportation costs to and from the Sanctuary as well as all food expenses during their stay.A shared kitchen is located in our common room for preparing your own meals (microwave, hot plates, fridge/freezer) and relaxing with other volunteers
Free shared rustic accommodations with 1 or 2 bunk beds per room are provided. A $250 CDN reservation fee is payable within 7 days following acceptance of your placement. This is a refundable fee contingent upon completion of your full term. You are responsible to bring your own bed sheets (twin size) and towel. We do supply pillows and comforters
Washroom facilities are shared and may be co-ed depending on the volunteers at the time
Laundry facilities are available on site at no cost and laundry detergent is provided
The water is well water and is potable
There are Internet restrictions due to our remote location.
More information to help you make your decision...
Do I need a Visa to volunteer in Canada?
Each country’s requirement may be different. We suggest you contact the Canadian Embassy in your country and make enquiries to ensure you receive the appropriate permission and supporting documents. Additional information can also be found on the Government of Canada web site.
Reminder, we are a non-profit charity and as a volunteer you will not be receiving any financial compensation. Therefore, for the purpose of your Visa to Canada, we are not considered an ‘employer’.
Can I drive directly to Aspen Valley?
Our address is 1116 Crawford Street, Rosseau, Ontario.
We have on-site parking available at no cost.
A staff member or volunteer will greet you once you arrive at the sanctuary. Please advise us in advance of your arrival time.
How do I get to Aspen Valley using public transportation?
You are responsible to make your own travel arrangements.
We prefer you arrive on a weekday, if possible. If your flight to Toronto arrives in the afternoon, please book a hotel and arrange to take the bus the following day.
Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) is the nearest airport. Aspen Valley is a 3hr bus ride from the airport. A staff member or volunteer will greet you from the bus stop in Parry Sound or Huntsville and drive you to the sanctuary (30 minutes away). Just advise us of which location and the bus arrival time a minimum of 1 week prior to your arrival.
There are 2 bus options from Toronto:
northernairport.com leaves from the airport
Departs at 2 pm and 6:30 pm, 7 days per week (if you are unable to make the 2pm bus, please schedule your bus trip the following day).
Arrives in Huntsville only
Cost is $95.00 one way or $169.20 round trip
ontarionorthland.com leaves from downtown Toronto main bus terminal
Shuttle service from the airport to downtown Toronto runs regularly throughout the day and the cost is just under $30.00 one way
Departs for Huntsville at 9:15am. Cost is $48.15 one way
Departs for Parry Sound at 11:00am. Cost is $52.40 one way
Note: all schedules and costs are subject to change therefore please check websites when booking your travel
What is the Sanctuary like?
Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is 460 acres of natural habitat. In a small section there are buildings and enclosures used to rehabilitate rescued wildlife until their release. There is an office, storage facilities and accommodations for our volunteers. In addition, there are several enclosures used to provide a permanent home for those native species unable to survive in the wild due to human interference.
There are hiking trails on the property.
You may encounter native wildlife such as black bears, coyotes, deer etc.
We are in a remote area. The village of Rosseau is 6km away. There is a library, coffee shop, and a general store. The closest towns are Parry Sound (40km) and Huntsville (33km).
What’s the weather like in Rosseau, Ontario?
Our summer months can be humid so it often feels warmer than the temperature
Our winter months can feel much colder due to the wind chill