• 33 people are interested

Resident Wildlife Rehab Interns

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ORGANIZATION: Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center

  • 33 people are interested
Eagle Release

APPLY FOR OUR 12-Week INTERNSHIPS- Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring
A Resident Internship at Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center is an intensive learning opportunity for students interested in wildlife. The program provides the student with hands on experience working with many wildlife species, primarily raptors, and to learn skills such as handling techniques, dietary needs, food preparation and feeding methods and to assist an experienced wildlife rehabilitator with treatment procedures. Basic triage skills will include physical exam, bandaging and fluid and nutritional therapy of wildlife patients. Participation in the care of wildlife newborns ranging from small to large mammals and birds is anticipated. Interns will be expected to assist in the daily functions of the rehab facility which may include administrative duties such as record keeping, admittance procedures, and answering the telephone.

This internship is intended to provide on-the-job training in basic wildlife rehabilitation skills, not to teach advanced veterinary techniques. However, interns will be given the opportunity to work closely with the veterinarians who provide care to Hoo Haven patients. Experiences may include observing or assisting in the areas of radiology, laboratory, pharmacology, anesthesia, and surgery.

Emphasis is placed on the intern gaining an understanding of the entire wildlife rehabilitation process from admittance through release, including the veterinarian’s role in that process.

Finally, Interns will have the opportunity to assist with Hoo Haven’s wildlife education programs. This may include the on and off-site Raptor Ambassador Programs and adult continuing education courses at local community colleges.



Minimum of 18 years old and a high school graduate. Students with a college degree or working towards a degree is preferred, but students with a sincere interest in veterinary medicine, environmental studies, biology, ornithology, wildlife sciences, conservation, or related field may use this experience as a 'transition’ period to decide if the profession is a good fit for them.

*Some interns may receive college credit for their internship while others may complete an internship for the experience alone. Students are responsible to communicating course requirements with the facility Director so proper documentation is given. Please indicate on the application form if you wish to complete the internship for course credits, so that we can discuss this further with those who are selected for the positions.

We require Interns to be reliable, enthusiastic, motivated individuals who can work well independently and as part of a team. Work at the facility occurs both indoors and outdoors ~ in all types of weather. You must be able to lift at least 50 pounds. Your own transportation is necessary to and from the facility and veterinary offices in nearby Rockford.

A minimum 12 week commitment, except where otherwise noted, is expected.

Those who are selected for our internships must provide proof of an up-to-date tetanus vaccination. Due to the wildlife species in our care, all volunteers and interns are recommended to have rabies pre-exposure vaccination.

Hoo Haven is an alcohol and drug-free workplace.


12 weeks during the months of June, July and August (if space available, may be considered for other months within the year)

Start and finish dates are flexible. Please indicate your preferred length of internship and a range of potential start dates.


50 hrs per week. Includes early mornings, evenings and weekends.


Educational Advancement (Hard Skills)

  • Species identification and biological knowledge
  • Assist with animal husbandry skills (diet, housing) and disease control
  • Handling and restraint of various species of wildlife for exams, treatment, rehabilitation, and release
  • Observing or assisting with wildlife veterinary medicine such as radiology, laboratory, surgical procedures and anesthesia
  • Newborn/Orphan nursery care
  • Communicate with the veterinary clinics regarding wildlife concerns and transfers of animals to the centre
  • Public relations - addressing incoming wildlife calls and concerns
  • Administrative duties such as record keeping and reporting

Personal Growth (Soft Skills)

  • Communication & interpersonal skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Self-discipline, maturity, initiative and confidence
  • Demonstrate ability to work independently and as a team
  • Develop critical thinking skills (analysis, problem solving, decision-making)
  • Develop strong networking/mentoring relationships
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Develop strong work ethic

Housing and Meals:
On-site housing available including laundry facilities. Recent addition of a dormitory-style suite with 2 bedrooms, kitchenette, common living room, and bathrooms. Home-cooked meals with the Herdklotz family are provided and encouraged.


Hoo Haven is a non-profit organization, with a very limited budget. Therefore, our internships are unpaid volunteer positions providing practical work experience and training in wildlife rehabilitation. See Benefits

Application Procedure:

Serious applicants only! Please visit www.hoohaven.org for information and to download the application form or contact Karen Herdklotz directly Karen@hoohaven.org. Complete applications include a current resume, and 2 professional references (letters of recommendation). Applications must include the range of weeks for which you are available and preferred duration. Candidates will be contacted for an in-person interview conducted on-site at Hoo Haven (no exceptions); travel costs associated with the in-person interview are the interviewee's responsibility.


Applications accepted year-round, but recommended as early in the year as possible. Watch the website www.hoohaven.org or Facebook page Hoo Haven Events for deadlines.

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About Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center


10823 Cleveland Road, Durand, IL 61024, US

Mission Statement

Hoo Haven, Inc. is dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of injured and orphaned North American wildlife and community education about the preservation of wildlife and their natural habitats.


"Hoo" Haven is very excited over all the volunteers who have responded to our "Volunteer Match" post. If you love animals, are eager to help and enjoy giving back, you need to call "Hoo" Haven. We need volunteers every day of the week, 365 days of the year. All have to be fed, taken care of and given what is needed to get better for release. Join the "Hoo" Haven Team! After nearly 35 years of wildlife rehabilitation experience, Hoo Haven is the area’s most reputable and qualified wildlife rehabilitation/education facility. Hoo Haven spans over 20 acres with specialized animal enclosures, Aquatic Recovery Center, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service "Regional Eagle Recovery Center" (since 2005.) Each year, Hoo Haven receives over 2000 referral calls and admits between 400-800 birds and mammals to the facility for treatment. Happily, most are successfully released to the wild as healthy animals. Small mammals (squirrels, rabbits), large mammals (deer, fox, coyotes, opossums, raccoons, woodchucks), and raptors are the most frequently seen patients at Hoo Haven. Our Ambassador programs feature unreleasable birds of prey, pelicans, and other animals to teach about wildlife/human conflicts, the effect of human carelessness with urban sprawl and ways to deal with injured, ill, or orphaned wildlife. Many of these programs are geared toward families and also elementary students as "in-school field trips." Hoo Haven has gone "Green" with both solar and wind power. There is plenty of opportunity to learn more about this power and to educate the community about it as well.


Education & Literacy
Animals, Education & Literacy, Environment


We'll work with your schedule.


10823 Cleveland RoadDurand, IL 61024



  • Animal Care / Handling
  • Veterinary
  • Public Speaking
  • Critical Thinking
  • Multi-Tasking
  • Environmental Education


  • Teens


  • Driver's License Needed
  • Background Check
  • Must be at least 18
  • Orientation or Training
  • 50 hours a week for a minimum of 12 weeks

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