Gain Hands-On Volunteer Experience
The following opportunities are available for veterinarians, technicians and students. For more information, please contact the program or center directly.
HSVMA Rural Area Veterinary Services (HSVMA-RAVS)
HSVMA-RAVS is a non-profit veterinary outreach program combining community service and veterinary education to bring free veterinary services to under-served rural communities where poverty and geographic isolation make regular veterinary care inaccessible.
In 2010, the program's seven staff members and more than 400 volunteers provided veterinary care for animals in over 40 communities where no other animal services exist, including communities on Native American reservations throughout the United States, remote villages in Latin America and around the world. Each year, HSVMA-RAVS provides over $1.3 million in free veterinary services to upwards of 8,000 animals, all at no cost to the clients or communities we serve. In addition the program provides valuable training and experience for hundreds of future veterinary professionals that goes far beyond anything they could learn in a classroom alone.
The success of the program depends on the generosity of volunteers who support this important work. You can help us continue by volunteering your time today.
Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch
Though its residents include a camel, a kangaroo, ostriches and chimpanzees, the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, isn’t a zoo. Operated in partnership with The Fund for Animals, the ranch is a place of refuge where abused, neglected or unwanted animals live in peace without the stress of daily visitors—because in the words of founder Cleveland Amory,“animals are to be looked after, not looked at.”
Created in 1979 as a sanctuary for 577 Grand Canyon National Park burros slated to be shot, the ranch is now home to more than 1,300 animals. Iguanas, ostriches, bobcats, bison, cows and pigs are among the many wild, exotic and domestic species that have found safe harbor at Black Beauty. In 2009, the ranch also became the site of the Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center, where cutting-edge methods of care and rehabilitation are used to help rescued horses find forever homes.
Fund for Animals Wildlife Center
In the high desert town of Ramona, Calif., the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center—operated by The HSUS in partnership with The Fund Animals—is always open for business. No matter the hour, center staff offer immediate help to injured or orphaned wild creatures, rehabilitating about 400 animals every year. Coyotes, bobcats, cougars, hawks, owls and eagles are the most frequent patients, receiving expert care until they can be returned to their natural habitats.
Nearly 50 animals rescued from the exotic pet trade and cruelty cases have also found permanent homes at the center. Samson the lion, Hannah the pygmy hippo and Sheeba the cougar once suffered in the hands of private owners. At the center, they’re given appropriate care and treated like the wild animals they should be.
The 1,120-acre Duchess Sanctuary, south of Eugene, Oregon, was established in 2008 as a safe haven for 200 abused or abandoned horses. The first residents were mares and their offspring saved from Canadian farms that collect urine from pregnant horses to sell to pharmaceutical companies for estrogen replacement drugs. Many of the elderly mares had spent six months of the year for decades confined in dark stalls, hooked up to urine collection devices and unable to turn around. Their foals were taken away at 3 months of age, some destined to join the urine-production line, and others sent to slaughter.
At the Duchess Sanctuary, these animals have left misery behind and now spend their days grazing, napping and running across green pastures, joined by rescued wild mustangs and horses saved from slaughter. Native wildlife shares the habitat, including California quail, turkey, coyote, black bear, black tail deer and rare Columbian white tail deer.
Cape Wildlife Center
Since 1995, the Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Mass., has provided care 365 days a year for the area’s unique wildlife community. Veterinarians, licensed wildlife rehabilitators, volunteers and student externs work to heal their patients and restore them to the wild. In 2007-2008, the center cared for 3,552 animals and up to 135 speciesfrom bats to bobcats, foxes to fishers, otters to owls, raccoons to rabbits. The center is located along an important migratory route, and songbirds, raptors, waterfowl and other feathered species make up more than half of each year’s intake numbers.
Operated in partnership with The Fund for Animals, the Cape Wildlife Center is an integral part of the community, advising people on humane solutions to human-wildlife conflictswhile pushing for public policies that benefit wild animals and their habitats. The center’s outstanding externship program draws undergraduate, veterinary and veterinary technician students from across the U.S. and abroad.
4011 Main Street
South Florida Wildlife Center
You’re as likely to see an alligator as a squirrel at the South Florida Wildlife Center in Broward County, Fla. The Fort Lauderdale facility rescues up to 14,000 animals a year, most of whom are native species, such as alligators, egrets, opossums, pelicans, turtles and otters. Sixty staff members and 600 volunteers rescue and rehabilitate injured, abused and orphaned creatures until they can be returned to the wild.
The center also takes in several thousand exotic animals each year—including pet pythons let loose in swamps and parrots who have escaped captivity. While some exotics can survive in Florida’s climate, they can threaten indigenous species. For these victims of the exotic pet trade, the center provides shelter and adoption services, finding good homes for animals who would otherwise have nowhere to go.