The volunteer opportunity of a lifetime! SIGN ME UP!

Are you passionate about the wild world and the animals that live in it? If this is a true statement for you then volunteering for the DFW Wildlife Coalition is the perfect opportunity to give back to the wild world and the community in which you live! I have been volunteering for civic, environmental and non-profit organizations for 35 years. All of the projects I’ve been associated with have been rewarding but none of them as much so as the time I spend answering calls for the DFW Wildlife Coalition Hotline.

Calls can come from all over the U.S. Some calls are from home-owners with wildlife conflict resolution needs, others from children who find us on the internet and are frantic to find a wildlife rehabilitator to help them save an animal that has been injured or abandoned. To save the life of one animal is well worth the time spent on the hotline. Imagine for a minute that you are the person responsible for saving the life of a Red-tailed hawk, a fawn, a baby owl or an infant opossum! There is no way to measure the personal gratification that you will experience as a DFW Wildlife Coalition volunteer.

Read below for comments from current DFW Wildlife Coalition volunteers . . .

One of my most memorable calls was from a frantic caller who had just discovered an owl whose talons were caught in a swimming pool vacuum. The owl was completed submerged and at the mercy of the constantly moving vacuum. Because I was able to keep the caller calm and advise her about how to safely remove the animal from the vacuum, that owl was able to recover from its underwater ordeal. Another very memorable call was from a home-owner deep in the heart of Dallas. He discovered a fawn wandering the urban streets of Dallas. Because of the DFW Wildlife Coalition, that fawn was rehabilitated and now lives in the woods of Texas. Whether it’s a baby bunny or a fawn, each time you are able to help meet the needs of a wild animal you are making a difference for the world in which we all live.

DFW Wildlife Coalition training will provide you with all the tools you need to effectively handle wildlife conflict and emergency calls. North Texas is fortunate to have a community of wildlife rehabilitators who are knowledgeable and devoted to the rehabilitation and release of wildlife species. Picture yourself as one of those people devoted to making a difference in the lives of wild animals who are so challenged to make “a living” amidst suburban sprawl. And, you can make a huge difference for wild animals if you join the DFW Wildlife Coalition team!

- Michele Dudas
Lead Naturalist/Live Animal Manager
Heard Natural Science Museum
DFW Wildlife Coalition Volunteer since 2005!

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One of the things I enjoy about working the Wildlife Hotline once a week is the opportunity to open someone’s eyes to the benefits of a particular animal.  I recently had a call from a man who was adamant that he wanted someone to remove an opossum that had become trapped between two high fences in his back yard. His voice rose with anxiety as he said, “I have an eighteen month old child here and I am worried about the child getting hurt or exposed to disease.”  Ah, I thought, a perfect opportunity to explain all the wonderful attributes of my favorite wild animal!  I told him that opossums are harmless creatures with few natural defenses other than baring their teeth or playing dead.  They are omnivorous and therefore extremely beneficial to the garden.  They are not a rabies vector species.  And they are interesting to watch as they make their lumbering way across the yard on a moonlit night.  I told him how to rig up a slanting board so that the opossum could climb out of its trap and be on its way.  After all this, the caller said something like, “wow, I’m glad to know this.  I had no idea.”  That made my day.

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Helen Mar Parkin
DFW Wildlife Coalition Volunteer since 2005

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As a Master Naturalist and an animal lover, I have enjoyed especially the opportunity to educate the public about one of our most interesting and important natural resources—our native wildlife.  Each Hotline shift is unique, bringing its own surprises and challenges, but I never fail to be grateful at the end of my service day for the opportunity to play a small part in making the Metroplex a better place for both people and their wild neighbors.

- Beverly Guthrie

North Texas Master Naturalist
Member of Audubon Dallas
Proud Hotline volunteer
since 2003

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I can't tell you how good it feels when you know you've made a difference for an injured Black-Crowned Night Heron or an orphan baby squirrel.  You might have had a crummy day up until then but when you stop and think that you helped save the life of a fellow creature - it makes it all worthwhile.

- Sandy Schriever
Master Naturalist
Member of Audubon
DFW Wildlife Coalition Volunteer since 2005

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I always wanted to be really involved in the process of helping wildlife. I knew for any of us to survive, we must learn to co-exist with our wild neighbors. I wanted to help reverse, somehow, even in a small way, the adverse impact we humans have made on wildlife and their habitats. I wasn't going to be satisfied with just donations to wildlife causes or letters to my Congressman, either. Was there somewhere, a real hands-on, grass-roots way to make a real difference?

I also knew I needed the satisfaction of seeing the end product of my labors, not leaving the conclusion to some administrator or politician. What I really wished I could do were the things I saw on National Geographic or Wild Kingdom; cleaning birds devastated by an oil slick, helping a stranded whale off a beach, raising endangered species, so their numbers would grow and not meet some seemingly eminent demise.

But things like that were too far away, and financially out of my reach.

Or so I thought . . .

I had no idea that the wildlife hotline telephone slot I had just volunteered for would provide all the answers to my quest. I initially thought I might answer some relatively routine questions with responses I pulled from a book, and go on to the next caller. The reality is that I have had a direct impact on hundreds, even thousands, of animals and people in just the first year. 

Both the animals and the people that called, truly, had nowhere else to turn. I was usually the fifth, eighth, or even the tenth call they had made. For many of the animals, this was their last and only chance. These animals were orphaned, injured, lost; certainly cold, hungry and tired. Victims of car collisions, fallen trees, misaimed tillers, and sometimes errant pets or people. Not in some remote place out of my reach, but right in my own backyard.

Will it be appreciated? (Have you ever not eaten for two days?) Is it necessary? (Have you ever fallen out of a tree?). Is it doable? (As easy as answering your phone). Is it satisfying? (Putting nature back together one piece at a time). Will you make a difference? (I know a lot of small animals who think the hotline does).
 
For all that is wild,

- Mark Branning
DFW Wildlife Coalition Volunteer since 2006

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Requirements to be a DFW Wildlife Coalition Volunteer

  • Eighteen years of age
  • Have telephone service and Internet access
  • Desire to learn about Texas native wildlife
  • Commit two hours a week to answer the hotline, hours of operation 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Attend Volunteer Orientation and monthly training sessions