Thank you for signing up to volunteer with Georgia Wildlife Network. After you complete the form below, You should receive an e-mail within SEVEN DAYS with a link to join our Slack (free for you) "workspace".
What to Expect: You may be sent requests weekly or once a year depending on the need in your area. Wildlife emergencies are not predictable. But we do take most of our calls from urbanized areas and during the months of March through October. Most of the transports are at least an hour long while some involve multiple volunteers to complete a transport that takes several hours. We won't transport an animal until we have received permission from a rehabilitator or veterinary clinic to receive the animal. Volunteers do not keep the animals overnight, except for very rare circumstances. Volunteers will also not typically handle, feed, or offer fluids during transports, except for special cases. We will post transport requests on the Slack app ONLY. Please stay signed into the app if you want to receive requests. You can easily turn off notifications as needed or leave a group thread/request.
Once you sign up on Slack, you will be added to groups called "private channels" representing wildlife rehabilitators, centers, & veterinary clinics or teaching hospitals within a 60 to 90 mile radius from you. You are also automatically added to the public "general" channel where we will also make announcements regarding updates, troubleshooting issues, educational opportunities, and more there. When you set up your profile, please use the following for your "Display Name."
Your first name followed by your last name - VT
Example: Sally Smith - VT
This distinguishes you as a volunteer transporter.
If you do not use your first and last name and use your e-mail instead, this will delay us in adding you to the appropriate channels. If you use something other than your complete name and e-mail that you used to fill out this form, then you won't be added to any channels as we won't know who you are.
Once a request is made, you can respond to the original request comment/thread. The first to respond that is the closest and available reasonably soon is usually chosen to carry out the transport. We will update the transport request once it is filled or if it is canceled. Please check for this in the original post and/or comments, if you are responding within 15 minutes or more of when the original request was made. Some requests are filled within a few minutes or less.
Typically, the transports involve picking up an already contained, orphaned mammal, injured or orphaned bird, or injured reptile or amphibian and transporting them to the nearest permitted rehabilitator or a specific veterinary clinic that triages wildlife. Sometimes a transport may require capturing a raptor, waterfowl, turtle, or fawn. We do not expect anyone to do anything that they are not comfortable with and risk injuries. Your safety is always the first priority! So as far as your involvement, it is up to you! We always try to re-nest and reunite any young wildlife, if possible. We also encourage the finder to transport, if they are able. This is always the fastest route, and we want to create a sense of shared responsibility of caring for OUR native wildlife. We also abide by state and federal regulations that relate to wildlife rehabilitation and transportation of wildlife.
We will be offering free training online and in person in 2022, but you do not need training to get started. We will provide instructions per case. Most of what you learn will be hands-on. We do request not placing the box or container in direct sunlight or directly near an AC/ heat vent, no loud music or sounds, and no smoking please. Heating or warming instructions will be provided as needed per individual case. Volunteers are not allowed to open the container or handle the rescued animal for their safety and for yours except in rare cases. No pictures of the animal during the transport unless instructed to by GWN or the wildlife rehabber or veterinary clinic personnel making the transport request. We request that you do not bring your domestic companions (dogs, cats, etc.) along during the transport.
If you are interested in capturing: We can recommend gloves and capture equipment. The best thing to use is a cardboard box or Rubbermaid container with proper holes for ventilation and a secure lid. We want to provide just enough room for the animal to lie down or to be in a nesting or sitting position. The less room they have to move, the safer it is for them. We do not prefer kennels or dog and cat crates for birds that have their flight feathers as they can damage them through the openings. And we try to get the finder to provide the container first if that is a possibility.
We work with a network of state and federally permitted rehabbers and use Animal Help Now to find the nearest rehabber or vet clinic if we do not have a resource in a particular area. Animal Help Now has a free phone app to find the nearest assistance based on one’s location. We highly recommend using their app and recommend you passing this information on to anyone that could benefit from this resource. Sharing this resource with others will help many animals by speeding up the rescue process!
If you need assistance with a wildlife emergency, message Heather or Micki directly on Slack or on our Facebook page. If the animal is injured or truly orphaned and contained, you will need a wildlife rehabilitator or veterinary clinic that can triage wildlife. We use and recommend Animal Help Now over any other directory. They have the most up-to-date and comprehensive listing available all based on your location.
Please do not hesitate to ask any questions via GeorgiaWildlifeNetwork@gmail.com (NON-EMERGENCY ONLY). If you are ready to sign up, you can complete our form here. If you do not receive a confirmation, please e-mail us.
Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram.
Thank you for joining our team!
Heather Thomas & Micki Soresi