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Become a Volunteer at Cottontail Cottage

Volunteers who would like to work hands-on with wildlife must be able to consistently volunteer for a minimum of three 1-2 hour morning or evening shifts per week. The animals we work with are often injured and scared, we handle them minimally so they are not stressed unnecessarily. In order to gain an understanding of how we operate and the confidence to independently handle wildlife you need to do so on a consistent basis. Prospective volunteers should understand that wildlife are different from domesticated pets, they often do not enjoy being cuddled or played with. Our mission in wildlife rehabilitation is to raise wildlife to be independent so they can be released into the wild, not habituate them to humans or make them into pets. Volunteers who would like to do hands-on work with wildlife should plan to take the NY State Wildlife Rehabbers exam and consider getting both your rabies and tetanus vaccines as wildlife can bite and scratch when in distress. 

All prospective volunteers must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Be at least 16 years old (all hands-on opportunities are 18+)

  • Up to date on tetanus shots

  • Volunteers should be able to commit to at least two, 2 hour shifts per week for a minimum of six months.

  • Complete a video training course.

  • Live within commuting distance of Rye Brook, NY. 

All prospective Volunteers should understand that:

  • Volunteers work with injured wildlife and should be prepared to occasionally see injuries and death. 

  • All volunteers who want to work with animals are expected take part in cleaning during every shift. 

  • Volunteers are not allowed to take photo, video or post online without express permission. 

  • All volunteers are required to complete a minimum of 12 cleaning shifts before being eligible to bottle feed.

  • Volunteers must understand that we do not attempt to tame, pickup, cuddle, or habituate wildlife to humans. 

  • Volunteers should understand they will likely be bitten and/or scratched at some point. 

  • The purpose of our facility is to rescue, rehabilitate and release wildlife back into the wild. 

Which mornings are you available?
Which evenings are you available?
What volunteer opportunities are you intersted in?

Thanks for applying to volunteer with us! We'll get back to you soon.

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