Interested in volunteering with us?

We are always looking for dedicated people to join our volunteer team! Volunteers are an integral part of our team to ensure the animals are happy and healthy. Some people may think that volunteering with us is all about getting to meet and play with exotic animals, but it’s actually a lot of hard work! Your main job will include scrubbing and disinfecting cages, cleaning poop, and other tasks necessary for the animals’ care. If you think you’re ready and willing to help us maintain our high standard of care for the animals, read the following information and apply to become a part of our volunteer team.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to volunteer to you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 17 years of age
  • Be fluent in English and eligible to volunteer in Canada
  • Able commit to a regular volunteering schedule for at least 6 months
  • Complete an orientation before your first volunteer shift
  • Be able to navigate our facilities safely and adhere to strict protocols and instructions
  • Follow us on Facebook to keep track of related news and events

Orientation Session

Before anyone is allowed to start volunteering, they must attend an orientation. This will be a 1-2 hour information session and a walk-through of our facilities. The orientation will cover:

  • What our organization does, the services we provide, and our goals
  • General rules and safety information
  • Disinfection and infection control protocols
  • Our range of animals

Volunteer Shifts

Volunteers can be on site between 8:00 am – 3:00 pm each day. You will start by reporting to the zookeeping staff on site to be given instruction on what needs to be done. A typical shift will include tasks such as cleaning, providing feed and water, and occasionally special activities like:

  • Animal handling
  • Information seminars
  • Training sessions
  • Enrichment making

Being a Committed Volunteer

The key to a successful volunteer program is commitment and consistency. Keep in mind taking on volunteers requires us to invest time training you to complete important animal care tasks. Therefore, we ask that you commit to some kind of consistent shift – one shift a week is what most of our volunteers do.

What we absolutely do not tolerate are people who come in once in a blue moon only to see and play with our newest animal. If you just want to play with exotic animals once in a while without properly contributing, volunteering is not for you; please visit our services page and book us.

Regular volunteers in good standing with us are also more than welcome to attend outreach bookings with us after they have completed a basic animal handling training session. Our summer calendar is especially filled with fun outdoor fairs, festivals, trade shows, and events!

Other Ways to Volunteer

Unable to commit to a regular shift or help out with labour intensive tasks? We would love to hear about any special skills you have that could help us out. All of the following can be done instead of or in conjunction with regular volunteer animal care duties:

  • Do you have experience in fundraising, or writing grant proposals, or otherwise finding funding for new organizations?
  • Do you have experience in marketing, or have ideas for how to promote our organization and spread the word about us?
  • Do you have graphic design skills and would like to design new brochures and posters and other promotional materials?
  • Are you a good writer and would like to help contribute to our newsletter, manage our mailing lists, and contribute content to our social media pages on a regular basis?
  • Do you have trade skills (i.e. carpentry, plumbing, welding, etc) and have ideas for building or upgrading existing enclosures?
  • Are you a web designer or savvy in WordPress and can help put up or update new pages and content on our website?

Whatever your skills, education, or talents, our organization is so mufti-faceted that many people have kindly volunteered their skills towards various areas of our company to help us grow.


Application Form

For those looking to volunteer in a capacity other than animal care, please email us at volunteer@handsonexotics.com to discuss what can be done for our organization before filling out the volunteer application form.