Volunteering at The Wildcat Sanctuary
Thank you for your interest in volunteering your time to help the wild cat residents of The Wildcat Sanctuary! Our volunteer opportunities are as unique as the work we do. Depending on your skills and interest, there are several ways you can contribute your time. Read our volunteer team descriptions below and feel free to contact us with any questions. All interested volunteers must be at least 18 years old and are subject to approval.
Specialty Volunteer Opportunities
Skilled volunteers are needed for on-going and project-based needs.
If you have a special skill that would help our operations, please feel free to send an email to [email protected]
For those who are interested in making an investment of their time and talent, please consider the following volunteer opportunities:
- Carpentry: Seeking skilled carpenters to build large-scale perch systems, catwalks, and bed boxes for our wildcat residents. The ability to follow building plans, use power tools, and follow all safety protocol is imperative.
- Welders: Experienced welders are needed to help make several different components to habitats and transport crates. Work can be completed on-site in our outdoor workshop with our MIG welder. If you have the capacity to complete work in a home workshop, we can also discuss that possibility.
We have openings for various days of the week (once a month commitment) late April/May thru September
Forty acres is a lot to maintain! Volunteers help in a BIG way by mowing and weed whipping our Sanctuary property from late April/May thru September. We will work together to establish a once-a-month schedule that works for you. The grass grows every day of the week!
Lawn maintenance will be performed in “human” areas (around the offices and near the front gate), as well as in and around habitat areas with staff supervision (cats will NEVER be present). Volunteers will be using push mowers (no riding mowers) as well as gas & electric weed whippers.
Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older, physically able to bend over repeatedly, work outside with minimal shade for much of the day, and manage typical lawn care equipment.
This position is limited to 1 -2 volunteers each day. The time commitment for the Mowing Team is one regular assigned day each month from mid-late April thru September (6 shifts total). One excused absence per season is allowed.
If you’re interested in joining our Volunteer Mowing Team, please fill out the application HERE!
Animal Care Center Clean Team
We have openings on the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Saturdays of the month.
We want our Animal Care Center to be a clean, welcoming area for our Staff, Volunteers and Donors to work in and enjoy. Our Office Cleaning Team Volunteers help keep our Animal Care Center looking purrfect by cleaning the kitchen, bathrooms, floors and emptying the trash. There may occasionally be other cleaning projects required throughout the year as well.
Volunteers will also help with the Animal Care Center resident Cats by, cleaning & refreshing the catio, washing the cat beds and blankets as needed, and changing out the cat toys.
This position is limited to 2-3 Volunteers each shift. The time commitment for the ACC Clean Team is one Saturday each month year-round. Volunteers will be assigned either the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Saturday of the month as their regular schedule (two excused absences per year are allowed). Shifts would run from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. with a 30-minute lunch break.
Volunteers must be 18 years or older, have a high standard for cleanliness, attention to detail, ability to follow instructions, time-management skills, and physical stamina.
Office Cleaning Team Orientation & Safety Training is required. Approved Volunteers will receive full details when we get closer to the date.
If you’re interested in joining our Volunteer Office Cleaning Team, please complete an application found HERE!
We have openings on each day of the week except Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Caring for all our cats is a huge responsibility, and our Caretakers and Interns work very hard to ensure that each cat is given the best personalized care possible. Daily prepping of food creates a meowtain of dishes and laundry to be done each day. To help allow our staff to spend more quality time caring for our cats, TWS volunteers can help with general chores like washing dishes, doing laundry, and keeping the food prep room clean and sanitized.
This is a year-round position requiring a commitment of one scheduled day per month. Once the day of the week is established, Volunteers will be assigned either the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th established day of the month as their regular schedule. (2 excused absences are allowed). The shift would run from 9:30-3:00 with a 30-minute lunch break.
New Volunteers will spend a six-month trial period helping our Caretakers and Interns by doing chores in the Prep Room. After successful completion of a six-month trial period, Volunteers may be eligible to help with social enrichment activities with a select group of cats.
Volunteers must be 18 years or older. Volunteers must be able to stand continuously for several hours, be comfortable bending, reaching, stooping, lifting up to 20 pounds, etc.
Chores Team Orientation & Safety Training is required. Approved Volunteers will receive full details when we get closer to their start date. If you’re interested in joining our Volunteer Chores Team, please complete an application found HERE.
Crew Day Teams – 2023 season
Sorry Crew Days are now full for the 2023 season!
Please email [email protected] with any questions or to be added to a waiting list.
Help us build habitats for rescued captive wild cats! Crew Days are one-time, on-site volunteer opportunities for groups of 6 – 8 friends, family, or co-workers.
One group member must serve as the “Crew Day Organizer” and is responsible for all communication with TWS and their group of volunteers for one day of service. All participants must be 18 years or older, attend Safety Training at 9:30 am, and sign a liability release. A full description of what to expect and what to bring can be found at Crew Day Volunteer Info Sheet.
On-site Crew Day work is hard work and not for the faint of heart. Volunteers must be physically able to work outside in all weather conditions, climb ladders up to 12 feet high, and lift up to 50 pounds repeatedly throughout the day. This should not be considered light-duty work. By the end of the day, you’ll be tired, sweaty, and dirty. It’s a grrrrreat work out!
Scheduling is available on Saturdays and select Fridays from May thru October on a first come, first serve basis. If you’d like to volunteer as a Crew Day Organizer, please email [email protected] to request discuss details and scheduling.
Garden Team – Full
Sorry the Garden Team is now full for the 2023 season.
We have large, beautiful perennial gardens at our Sanctuary, and they’re kept up all summer long thanks to our hard‑working Garden Team Volunteers!
Garden Volunteers help weed and maintain five gardens at our Sanctuary in Sandstone, MN. Volunteers must be able to lift up to 20 pounds, bend over repeatedly, and work outside with minimal shade for the majority of the day. Garden Team volunteers typically do not add more plant to our gardens but work hard to maintain what we already have in place.
Available positions for the Garden Team are limited to 3 volunteers each Saturday. The time commitment for the Garden Team is one Saturday each month from May through October (6 shifts total). Volunteers will be assigned either the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or 4th Saturday of the month as their regular schedule.
Garden Team Orientation & Safety Training (required) is on Saturday, April 29th. Approved Volunteers will receive full details when we get closer to the date.
If you are interested in joining our Volunteer Garden Team, please fill out the application HERE!
Outreach Team Volunteer
Sorry the Outreach Team is now full for the 2023 season.
Do you excel at customer service? Do you have experience working a registration table or selling merchandise? Do you like talking about CATS?? Consider joining the Volunteer Outreach Team!
This volunteer team hosts outreach booths throughout the year at select community events currently located in Sandstone or the Twin Cities. Volunteer Team members, receive periodic emails with dates & details of upcoming outreach booths that TWS is sponsoring.
Responsibilities include selling merchandise at events, gathering emails for our free weekly E-news, and answering questions about the cats and our mission.
Outreach Booths happen throughout the year and the schedule is dependent on the number of opportunities that are available. In a typical year, TWS sponsors approximately 4 Outreach booths, including the Cat Video Festival, Quarry Days, VegFest, and Pine City Pride Festival.
Previous nonprofit experience is preferred, but not required. If you are interested in joining our Outreach Volunteer Team, please complete an application found HERE
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors supports the work of The Wildcat Sanctuary and provides mission-based leadership and strategic governance. We are looking for business professionals and expertise to help guide and grow our organization. Being a board member is a rewarding commitment that benefits captive wild cats in Minnesota and beyond. You can learn more here: https://www.wildcatsanctuary.org/board-member-position-description/