Critter Rescue

British Columbia, Canada



The Experience

Grab the opportunity of a lifetime to rehabilitate and rescue many different species of wildlife, from the smallest squirrels to larger wildlife including deer and black bears located near the wildernesses of the Canadian and U.S.A border.

Wake up early in the morning to the sound of the many different wild guests that you will have to rehabilitate and hopefully release all while living on site of the project! This great volunteer project is located less than 2 hours from Vancouver, world’s best livable city. The work with the wildlife on the centre is physically demanding and it is by no means an ‘easy holiday option’! The minimum duration of stay is 8 weeks with a maximum duration of 12 weeks. This gives the animals a chance to get to know and trust you, and it requires a little time to learn their routine. They are exclusively a North American Native Mammal Rehab Center and focus on mainly on smaller mammals like raccoons, skunks, otters and other animals like coyotes and black bears.


This Is Why

  • Help, rescue and rehabilitate Native North American wildlife
  • Located less than 2 hours from Vancouver, the number one voted city in the world!
  • Several Ski areas located in the area!
  • Enjoy the surrounding nature and country side.

Project Details
  • Key Start Dates
    Year Round (however try to book early in advance to be assured of a volunteer placement)
  • Pacakge Price

    08 weeks: $1,195 US
    10 weeks: $1,395 US
    12 weeks: $1,495 US
  • Volunteer duration
    8 - 12 weeks(longer durations avialable on request).
  • Average Work hours
    5 days per week, minimum 8 hours per day (between April and September, participants may be asked to be available 7 days a week for feedings every 2 hours). Any trips should be done before or after your volunteering progam. Keep in mind that to volunteer at a wildlife rehab project is like living on a farm, your animals need to be fed every day even on your days off!
  • Number of Volunteers
    around 10 - 26 volunteers live on site(same gender accommodation).
  • Volunteer accommodation
  • Housing Type
    Shared trailer on the project
  • Internet Access
  • Who Are They Looking For?
    Love of the outdoors and a passion for wildlife is a priority. You should not be fussy, picky or hypersensitive about cleaning as this is one of the main chores.  We will not tolerate smoking, alcohol or the use of drugs. Please remember that you are a guest, therefore, respecting the rules is essential.

Fast Facts: Canada

Where? North America, Canada

Country Size: 9,984,670 km2
3,854,085 sq mi

Population density? 3.41/km2
8.3/sq mi

Country Famous for? Bears, Root Beer, Rocky Mountains, Skiing, Niagara waterfalls, Pacific rainforest, friendly people

When to visit: All year round, skiing and dog sledding in winter and hiking and wildlife viewing in summer

  • What's Included
    • Placement
      Wild life rehabilitation centre – Critter Rescue
    • Airport Pickup + Two way Transfer

      We will be waiting for you at the airport and transfer directly you to your accommodation at the project. Transfer back to airport at the end of your stay also included. 
    • Accommodation
      A Shared room in a trailer/cabin for the entire placement duration at volunteer project
    • Meals
      3 basic meals a day included (no catering available for vegetarians). Meals are donated by local businesses and super markets.
    • Pick up & drop off
      An employee of the volunteer project will pick you up from the nearest bus station. On your way back they will drop you off at the nearest bus station.
    • Mail-holding service
      You can use FRONTEERINGS office as a reliable address to have your mail delivered
    • Ongoing service
      If there are any problems with your volunteer project we are always there to help you and mediate between yourself and the organization.
    • Tours
      Through FRONTEERING you have the possibility to book tours in Canada after you have finished your volunteer project.
    • 24/7 Emergency contact
      If there are any problems during your stay in Vancouver you can reach us 24/7 to assist you.

    What's not included: Flights, Insurance

    Package Price:
    08 weeks: $1,195 US
    10 weeks: $1,395 US
    12 weeks: $1,495 US

    Volunteers and Interns are the backbone of the organization. It is these individuals, who give freely of their time, that make caring for all the animals possible. The wildlife shelter is run by a dedicated group of volunteers.
    • Feed and care for the animals
    • Build and maintain animal enclosures
    • Assist with capture and release
    • Educate the public

    Working at a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center can be very intense at times because of the hours we sometimes have to keep. There may be evening feedings.  Volunteers will be expected to be involved in all aspects of the shelter. Your job will include feeding, food preparation, cleaning, laundry, administering treatment, participating in building projects, painting, etc...


    Animal rescue and rehabilitation is fundamental to the continued conservation and protection of Canada’s diverse native animal species. You will be involved with the daily preparation to feed the animals, which includes sorting through donated produce and cutting up meat & fish
    cleanig up food dishes/buckets and kitchen. You will also be involved with the daily cleaning of enclosures (which includes animals with diarrhea and other unpleasant substances)
    You will also Participate in general maintenance of facilities, such as cleaning and painting and office related tasks such us record keeping. your general daily work hours: between 9am – 5pm hours, but on some days there could be some evening work hours.

  • Requirements, Guidelines & Policies
    • Required to commit to a minimum of 8 weeks (longer durations required to take care of the bears and only on request)
    • Must complete 2-4 days of training and shadow a senior volunteer before starting independent shifts
    • NO SMOKING is allowed on the property.
    • Strong work ethics are required: reliable, responsible, honest, good sense of humour, dependable, physically and mentally fit.
    • Age: 18+
    • No animal allergies
    • The care of animals must be secured around the clock and work may include night shifts Free Time: Can be arranged according to your needs
    • Volunteers can request more than their usual two seperate days off a week (days off are not consecutive). However they are not garuanteed and this would be done to accommodate for an important occassion (such as family visiting).
    • Extreme Weather (heat & cold), dirt and living in a remote area must be something you can handle.
    • A love for animals and some general experience of caring for an animal is a must!
    • Must read and agree to abide by guidelines and ethics
    • Proof of current tetanus shot & medical insurance; Good physical stamina and health
    • Good communication skills and the ability to work alone
    • Fluent knowledge of the English
    • Patient and comfortable around mammals
    • A valid driver’s license would be an asset, but is not required
  • Volunteer Benefits
    • A unique opportunity to work closely with wildlife and participate in offering them a chance of survival.
    • Expand knowledge and skills in animal care
    • Increase knowledge of local wildlife species, ecology, and urban wildlife management.
    • Accommodation included in the placement including the use of internet.
  • Fast Facts
    • Project location
      Western Canada, 1.5 hour from Vancouver
    • Area Famous For
      Bears, Mountains, Skiing, Coastal Mountains, Pacific rainforest, friendly people
    • When to visit
      All year round, skiing and dog sledding in winter and hiking and wildlife viewing in summer
    • Wildlife viewing
      Good: in the nearby surroundings: bald eagles, seals, Black bears, killer whales, coyotes, deer, skunks, raccoons, etc
  • Itinerary & Details
    Day 1 - Arrive in Vancouver;
    You will arrive in Vancouver city of the 2010 winter Olympics, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your project.
    For 8-12 weeks - Help, rescue and rehabilitate orphaned and injured animals!
    For the coming 2-3 months you will have a great time working directly with many different kind of animals while be surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges and nature!
    Your last day - you will transfer back to airport to take a flight back home. Of course it is possible to extend your stay in Canada and travel around or visit Vancouver; we can help you with trips and/or accommodation you would like to arrange.
  • Accommodation

    You will have shared basic accommodation with bedding provided and a place to store your clothes. There is a large common area with a TV in the house. You are expected to keep the cabin/trailer clean at all times. There is only one shared washroom in the triage centre (hospital building) with a shower and 1 toilet facility in our education building for interns. Showers can only be taken once every two days to save water and money (they are reliant on donations so reducing costs is important)

    Things to bring from home

    • Clothes for cold temperatures as well as for summer for warm temperatures. Make these clothes are allowed to get dirty. Make sure to bring gloves, a toque and warm socks with you.
    • Comfortable walking shoes are essential, and you should also pack a raincoat and some sun block
    • Linen and towels will be provided.



    You will need to prepare your own meals. The project receives food to allow for vegan/vegetarian diets. They also receive enough meat for volunteers to eat (As long as the animals have enough before you take it).  The food provided comes from donations so you may want to consider buying and cooking your own food, if not then you will eat what everyone else eats. If you require additional food outside of the meal times, you will need to provide this yourself. You will be required to wash and dry dishes, this is not considered part of your work day. Snacks & soda drinks are provided on occasion but not a staple.


    The accommodation is conveniently located on the project site close to all the animals 25 minutes by car from the closest town. Please note that the closest ski areas are not closer than an hour drive and there is no public transit available.

The idea of going to Canada, to improve my English, meet new people and have a new life experience was born a long time ago. Through "FRONTEERING" I made the decision to volunteer in a completely new field which gave me much more than just that. I also had the opportunity to work with a lot of beautiful animals, do a good thing for nature and get a taste of another job than what I did at home.
After my four weeks in Vancouver, I finally arrived at the volunteer project. The baby-season was going on in its full strength and everybody was very busy. The days were usually long and we got new animals coming in every day.
Even though everybody was very nice to me, I felt very awkward during my first days. All the people had so much to do, but I was wandering around asking questions and trying to see and to learn as much as possible. At least doing laundry, cleaning the house, preparing the food plates, shoveling gravel and doing some painting gave me the possibility to make myself helpful during the first days. But then a group of raccoon-babies found next to their dead mother came in, and I got my first three very wild babies
After hundreds of scratches on my arms and a lot of time trying to get them used to me and to the bottle, these little guys started gaining weight and doing better each day. As exhausting as this time was for me, it was as much a reward that they gave back to me, just being the raccoons that they are.
Because they were such a small group and they probably had to stay over the winter, they were the ones we put together with Miss Kitty, the residential raccoon mum. It was another big step on their way back to the wild.
But this year was not to be a good year for the whole raccoon population. The parvo-virus was going around and killing raccoons in just a couple of days. As much as we tried to keep everything clean and free of flies, there was no way to keep the virus out of the facility and I finally lost two of my babies. It was very hard to lose these little guys after such a long time, and after I put so much energy and time in to save them. But It was a hard time for everybody and we tried to keep each other going. There were the ones we saved and the new animals who needed our attention.
I also had the great chance to raise five little chipmunks. Even they were only in care for a few week, I grew up to be a proud (raccoon- and) chipmunk-father.
My stay at the volunteer project was an amazing experience and I didn`t want to miss a single day. The people were just great and we had so much fun! Of course there were times I was stressed, tired, dirty and almost burnt out but as soon as you look at your beautiful animals, you forget about all of this and you know that you`re doing the right thing.
I finally want thank everybody at "FRONTEERING" to arrange this great experience and at the volunteer project which made my whole stay to such an amazing time!
Simon From Switzerland


My time at the Critter Rescue project was a great volunteer abroad experience! The animals were great and I got to work with so many different species! Also the we all lived to together as one big volunteer group family playing frisbee on the big field after work is a great ending to everyone’s hard working day. But also the area is wonderful, at the edge of a national park we are basically surrounded by nature.

Lukas From Switzerland


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