Skunks are legendary for their powerful predator-deterrent, horrible-smelling spray. These animals have adapted very well to urban areas and frequently live under sheds and in crawl spaces, much to the annoyance of the homeowner. Unfortunately, it is illegal to relocate these beautiful creatures to a more “wild” area and learning how to co-exist is the best solution. Orphaned babies can be brought to Project Wildlife but nuisance adults should be handled with a phone call to Wildlife Extraction.

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Project Wildlife has a world of opportunity waiting for you! Volunteers play a crucial role in providing education and animal care for the more than ten thousand annual patients and twenty thousand members of the public. Whether you like to share your passion for wildlife conservation with the public, help public rescuers find their way, assist with special events, or help out in a more behind-the-scenes capacity in our triage center, we are sure to find the perfect niche to utilize your talents and time to enhance our work. Peruse the options below and discover the perfect opportunity for you to get involved.

NOTE: We currently do not have volunteer opportunities for teens under 16 years of age. All volunteers must reside in San Diego County and meet the requirements of CA Fish and Game to volunteer with wildlife. Also, please note that our volunteer opportunities are primarily long-term. We invest a great deal of resources into our volunteer program and do not offer one-time/short-term community service projects. All volunteers must be willing to make a minimum commitment of 100 hours within their first 6 months. Women who are pregnant or those with compromised immune systems are not permitted to volunteer where contact with animals is likely to occur. Thank you!

Thanks to the overwhelming support of the community, we are not accepting applications at this time. The training process has begun for new volunteers in anticipation of another busy baby season. Please check back mid-summer for updates on volunteer opportunities!

Hotline Volunteers

If you enjoy helping wildlife in crisis from the comfort of our office or your home, then working as a Hotline Operator is the way to go. A five-hour shift once a week and access to a computer during your shift is required. Manage phone calls from the public, direct people how to safely rescue an animal, provide general wildlife fact knowledge, and coordinate transporters as needed. No animal contact is made in this position.

Event and Fundraising Volunteers

A limited number of volunteer positions are available each year in the Project Wildlife administrative office for event planning and fundraising positions. All of the options require the ability to use a computer and verbally articulate the Project Wildlife mission to members and donors. No animal contact is made in this position.

Education Volunteers

If you enjoy helping people learn wildlife and conservation, this volunteer opportunity is for you. Education Volunteers are well trained in animal information, conservation, and interpretive strategies. You will also learn how to work with our live Animal Ambassadors. Once trained and assessed, Education Volunteers engage the audience with the wonders of native San Diego wildlife at events and programs throughout the county.

Triage Center Animal Assistant

Nearly all volunteers begin as Animal Assistants, completing a fun and thorough training checklist. Animal Assistants contribute 200 hours a year or more, interacting with medical staff and members of the public, and caring for resident patients at the Triage Center in Linda Vista (or in Carlsbad during the summer months). Greet and assist the public with a new patient intake, learn about injuries and illnesses affecting local wildlife and how to treat them, and assist with everyday tasks such as hand-feeding baby songbirds, sanitizing enclosures and performing diagnostic testing. After basic training is completed, volunteers have the option of taking advanced training courses and applying to be Satellite Care Team members. Long-term patients reside in Satellite Care volunteers' personal homes or yards for rehabilitation treatments.

Volunteer Testimony

"I originally joined Project Wildlife in the pursuit of animal handling experience. Thanks to the friendly and knowledgeable staff, not only did I get that experience, but I got the unique opportunity to work with some very amazing animals. The hands-on training process allows you to fulfill your desire to help animals, while never leaving your own comfort zone. Joining up with Project Wildlife is not only one of the best, but also one of the most rewarding decisions I’ve made."
-David Shields

Triage Center

Wildlife Triage Center
887 1/2 Sherman Street
San Diego, CA 92110
Directions & Map
Open 7 days a week
(except Thanksgiving, Christmas, & New Year's Day)
Staff/Volunteer hours: 8:30a.m. - 5:00p.m.
Drop-off area is open 24/7.

North County Wildlife Triage Center
County of San Diego, Department of Animal Services
2481 Palomar Airport Road
Carlsbad, CA 92011
Directions & Map
Open Tuesdays through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
(April through the first Saturday in September only.)

Outside of San Diego County?
If you are outside of our geographical area, please visit the emergency page of Wildlife International or contact your local Department of Animal Control or state Fish and Game office.

Media Resources

Resources for the media to learn more about the good work Project Wildlife provides San Diego County.



Wish List

Wish List

A donation from our wish list is a great way to support our efforts and help San Diego wildlife.