Volunteer

Mission: Wolf is operated by volunteers who live and work together, with the common goal of caring for and improving the lives of our resident wolves. This unified purpose has unintentionally formed a cooperative community of people who are here to provide experiential education that encourages respect for animals, sustainable ways of living, and environmental stewardship. Our goal as teachers is to inspire all visitors, regardless of their age and background.

Mission: Wolf is very isolated, and your success here will depend largely on your ability to live and work in a diverse group of humans. Living here means being a student and a teacher every day. We strive for a healthy, open environment that empowers our volunteers and promotes personal growth.

 
There is very little direct contact with wolves. Mission: Wolf strives to offer the wolves a peaceful life with limited human interaction. Some of our wolves are social, but do not expect to interact with them often.

Expectations

  • We expect volunteers to be hard-working, highly self-motivated in initiating and following through on projects, and adaptable to change.
  • Volunteers will live outside with limited facilities. We use solar panels for electricity and a solar-pump for our well water. We have very limited electricity and water available for personal use, especially on cloudy days. Staff members shower once a week or less, and wash clothes infrequently. We cannot offer shower or laundry facilities to short-term volunteers.
  • Most volunteers live in tents. The tipis on property are generally reserved for long-term core staff, but a tipi will sometimes become available as time goes on and staff members leave.
  • Volunteers are expected to be engaged and active in daily life at the refuge, which can necessitate distance from internet and phone access. Mission: Wolf is not completely out of touch; we have a phone with long distance and limited international calling, wireless internet, and a few community laptops available for our support staff. The weather can affect our phone and internet connections, so volunteers should not expect communication to be totally reliable.
  • We expect every volunteer to fully participate in community responsibilities, chores, daily work, and educational tours for visitors.
  • We expect volunteers to be sensitive to the needs of the humans and animals in our community.
  • We expect conflict to be resolved early by direct communication between involved parties.
  • We expect every volunteer to help create an inclusive community where all volunteers can feel comfortable, welcome, and physically and emotionally safe.
  • We do not tolerate violence, discrimination, aggression, passive aggression, and defensiveness in any interactions.
  • Language and actions rooted in racism, sexism, homophobia, ageism, transphobia, ableism or prejudice based on ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, gender presentation, language ability, sexual orientation, asylum status, or religious affiliation are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

Responsibilities

No two days are the same at Mission: Wolf. Staff members need to be flexible, self-motivated, energetic, adaptable, and passionate about the work that we do. Our responsibilities include, but are certainly not limited to:

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Photo by Elisa Behzadi

  • Community chores: Daily and weekly chores include washing dishes, taking out the trash/recycling/compost, sweeping paths, shoveling snow, and much more. Duties are spread between all staff and every community member contributes to maintaining and improving our living and cooking quarters.
  • Cleaning: We deep clean all community spaces, work spaces, and vehicles once a week. We also expect every volunteer to tidy up after themselves immediately after every project and task (including cooking meals), keeping the entire sanctuary clean and organized.
  • Tours: We provide all visitors and groups with a thorough educational tour of the facility. We interact with visiting groups of youth and adults daily. A stay at Mission: Wolf is not an escape from working with people.
  • Water for the wolves: When our pipes freeze during the colder months, we haul water to the wolf enclosures and greenhouses in five-gallon buckets. A full load of water weighs over 60 pounds (27 kilograms).
  • Processing meat: Food for our wolves comes in the form of donated horses and other livestock that have died naturally, or that are very ill and need to be put down. Multiple times a week, we process deceased livestock to feed to the wolves.
  • Feeding days: We feed our wolves every Wednesday and Saturday, hauling large buckets of raw meat and throwing it to all of the animals.
  • Working with people: Our primary work is not with wolves, but with humans. The wolves attract a wide variety of people and personalities. You will be expected to integrate into a diverse community of volunteers who share a kitchen and bathroom. Every day, we interact with and lead work projects for visitors who come to the sanctuary.
  • Self-starting and completing projects: Mission: Wolf has an informal, unstructured work environment. You will be expected to oversee and complete projects independently. Everybody needs to be flexible and help with all aspects of our operations. In a single day, you might be expected to cut meat, help with data entry in the office, haul water and firewood, plant seedlings, cook dinner, and greet visitors. Much of the work we do involves heavy lifting and hauling.
  • Long work days and living on-site: Volunteers live and work in the same place, which means that we are on call 24/7 for any animal emergencies that may arise.

Who We Are Looking For

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Staff members prepare feed for our wolves. Photo by Laura McGehee.

  • People who demonstrate competence and experience in one or more of the following areas: animal care, experiential education, non-profit management, general tool use and maintenance (especially automotive, carpentry, and welding), or sustainable systems
  • Well-rounded people who can excel in a variety of situations
  • Leaders who know the limits of their own knowledge and are willing to learn
  • Highly self-motivated project starters and finishers
  • Clear and direct communicators
  • Open-minded, accepting, and adaptable community members
  • Individuals who are prepared to commit long, full, hard-working days to caring for these animals and supporting the refuge
 
Still Interested?
Check out our long-term staff page for staff opportunities and our short-term volunteer page for shorter commitments.