Wolf Hollow Background Information
Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center was founded in 1983, and is a non-profit organization licensed by Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to carry out wildlife rehabilitation.
The rehab. center is located on 40 acres in the middle of San Juan Island in northwest Washington. It is in a rural setting, approximately 4 miles from the small town of Friday Harbor. San Juan is linked to other islands in the archipelago and to the mainland by ferry and air services. A small staff is responsible for day-to-day running of the center.
Wolf Hollow currently cares for ~500 animals each year. Most of these animals come from the San Juan Islands and adjacent parts of mainland Washington State.
Please note that, despite the name, Wolf Hollow does not rehabilitate wolves or other large carnivores.
Wolf Hollow Internships
The closing date for applications for 2020 internships was Feb 14th. If you are interested in applying for 2021, please visit this web site again in Nov 2020 for updated information. We will not accept applications before that time.
An internship at Wolf Hollow provides the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with many different wildlife species and to learn skills such as handling techniques, diets, food preparation and feeding methods and to assist experienced rehabilitation staff with treatments. Our internships are intended to provide on-the-job training in basic rehabilitation skills, not to teach advanced veterinary theory or techniques. Our rehab. staff work closely with local vets, but we do not have a vet on staff.
We hope a working internship will help interns to examine wildlife career opportunities. In return, we expect to work with enthusiastic, mature, hard working people who will become an integral part of the working team at Wolf Hollow during their internship. Most of our interns come from biology, wildlife management, veterinary medicine, veterinary technician or environmental education fields, but we will consider interns from any background. We believe that a strong interest in wildlife, enthusiasm and willingness to learn are more important than academic qualifications.
About Our Program
Seasons at Wolf Hollow
Although we care for injured animals throughout the year, our busiest time is “Baby Season”, which usually begins in about May and runs through October. This is the period when we receive considerable numbers of orphaned and separated young wild creatures in addition to a steady stream of injured animals. Interns who come to Wolf Hollow during different parts of this season will gain different types of experience. It can be highly variable from year to year.
Length of Internships
Internships at Wolf Hollow are for a period of approximately 8-9 weeks each, during the May to October period. The timing of internships is staggered and each begins and ends on specific dates to ensure that we have adequate coverage at all times throughout the season. We ask applicants to provide their dates of availability so we know which of the 8 internship positions they can be considered for.
Working hours at Wolf Hollow are variable. The actual working day ranges from approximately 9 am-5 pm in winter to 7 am-10 pm (worked in shifts) in summer. Shifts and schedules are worked out to take into account the animal care requirements and the number of trained people available at any particular time. We rely heavily on interns and volunteers to help care for the large volume of animals we receive during the busy summer months. We work long hours and take turns covering different shifts and doing midnight or other night feeds.
We respond to emergency calls 24 hours a day, so a staff member is always on duty during the day and on call during the night. Once they have learned the basic skills, interns are expected to carry out routine animals care tasks by themselves during evening shifts and night feeds. Whenever possible, schedules are arranged to provide each intern with 2 days off each week.
Our on-site housing for interns is a double-wide mobile home, which provides accommodation for up to 5 interns at one time. The housing consists of 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a living room, a kitchen and laundry facilities. As this is a wildlife facility, pets are not allowed. We can’t provide accommodation for guests.
Wolf Hollow is located in a rural area, 4 miles from the small town of Friday Harbor. There is no public transportation system on the San Juan Islands, so we suggest that interns bring a car if possible (we do provide bicycles for our interns to use). This allows them to travel to town for supplies and to explore the islands on days off. It is also essential for interns to have a current drivers license for work purposes, as they will be required to collect animals from the airport or ferry when these have been transported from other parts of our service area.
Health and Insurance
All applicants must answer the questions concerning health on the application form, and those who are selected for our internships must provide proof of an up-to-date tetanus vaccination. While at work, all interns will be covered by Washington State Labor and Industries insurance.
Some colleges and universities allow summer internships to count towards course credits, but each has slightly different requirements. 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.
These are working internship where you will learn most through actual hands-on experience, but we feel it is important that interns put this rehabilitation knowledge into context by learning a little about the ecology of the San Juan Islands and threats to wildlife in the area. We will therefore provide information on other organizations or individuals who are working in associated fields within the local area.
Wolf Hollow is a non-profit organization, with a limited budget, so our internships are unpaid positions, but on-site accommodation is provided.
What to Expect
Working With Wildlife
We want the animals we care for to have the best possible chance of survival when we release them back into their natural habitat, so we want to KEEP THEM WILD. This means that some behavior that is suitable when caring for domestic animals is inappropriate when dealing with wildlife. During our rehab work, we aim to minimize human contact. This includes limiting handling of the animals and avoiding unnecessary talking near our wild patients.
Not A Veterinary Internship
Our internships are intended to provide an introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation, not to provide training in Veterinary Medicine. Interns have the opportunity to observe or assist with examinations and treatments from time to time, but many of our patients are orphaned or separated youngsters and the focus of the internship is animal husbandry, supportive care and preparation for release back into the wild. Interns learn handling, food preparation, feeding techniques and housing requirements for the wide range of species we treat, including songbirds, water birds, raptors, raccoons, deer and seals.
While interns gain a lot of hands-on experience working directly with the animals, a large part of the work is indirectly related to animal care. Food preparation, cleaning, laundry and facilities maintenance are just as important for the well-being of the animals in our care and are essential to the smooth running of the facility. It is important for interns to realize before they come to Wolf Hollow that, while they may have a special area of interest, they will still be expected to carry out a whole range of other tasks and work with all the species in our care.
Physically and Emotionally Demanding
Working in a Wildlife Rehab. Center, particularly during the busiest part of the season, can be very physically demanding. Our staff and interns work long hours and are on their feet most of the time. They work indoors and outdoors in all weather and walk considerable distances to and from our woodland enclosures on our 40 acre site. Interns must be able to lift and carry food buckets, bags and other items weighing up to 50 pounds. This work can also be emotionally challenging as interns work with sick and injured animals, some of which may die or have to be euthanized.
Our goal is to treat all injured or orphaned animals that are brought to us and release them back into the wild. Unfortunately this is not always possible. Animals are brought to us that are too sick or badly injured to be treated and released. In these cases euthanasia is an alternative that is considered. Such a decision would be made, and the animal euthanized by the rehab staff, however, this is a situation you will come across if you work at Wolf Hollow, so it is something you should come to terms with. Some people find this policy distasteful, but we consider euthanasia to be one of the alternatives available for us to use to relieve pain and suffering in sick or injured animals.
In addition to working with animals, we also spend a lot of time interacting with the public. Interns are expected to answer phone calls and interact with people who bring animals to the center, in a friendly and professional manner.