Get Involved


Whether it is an internship, volunteering, an in-kind donation, or cash donation, RWS is thankful for your support.


The Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary internship program is an eight-week, paid position. These internships are an incredible introduction to animal care and nonprofit work: our interns are key members of our summer team, participating in critical elements of the Sanctuary’s work. We seek dedicated individuals who are passionate about wildlife, comfortable with animals, and ready to work hard for a good cause. About this position:

  • There are three internships available for summer 2019. Internships are 5 days a week, 8-hour days, for 8 weeks. Compensation is $10/hour, with maximum pay of $3,200 for the 8 week time period. The first is May 17-July 12. The second is June 6-August 1. The third internship runs from June 21-August 16.
  • Applicants must be 18 years or older.
  • Applicants must have health insurance and be up-to-date on the tetanus vaccination.
  • Applicants must complete the rabies vaccination sequence prior to the start of the internship. Scholarships available to cover the cost of this critical vaccination.
  • Must have your own car for transporting animals to the sanctuary.
  • Must have proof of up-to-date tetanus shot.
  • We provide housing on a first come, first serve basis as well as $10/hour.

Daily tasks include:

  • Hand feedings of baby mammals and birds
  • Food preparation and distribution
  • Cleaning: cages, dishes, laundry, mopping floors, etc.
  • Patient intake and answering the phone

If interested, please send resume and cover letter (focusing on any experience and/or passion for wildlife/nature you have) to by February 12, 2019.

"My internship at Rockfish Sanctuary was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. As an animal lover, it was wonderful to work in an environment where everyone shared the same passion. The opportunities for learning were endless and I feel as though I have left the sanctuary with a much better understanding of wildlife. The hands-on environment the sanctuary provided allowed me to work intimately with each animal which I really enjoyed. The love and nurture that Nathou has taught me to provide to all living creatures, is the most fulfilling thing I could have asked for."

Kasey Windnagel, University of Virginia

"When people ask me if I enjoyed my internship, my response is: What could be more fun than hanging out with baby animals all day?!” The work was messy and demanding, but when a baby wren hops up on your shoe and looks up at you peeping, it’s impossible to stay frustrated at it for being so needy. It was an amazing experience to watch the birds outgrow their nests, learn to fly, eat on their own, and eventually be released back into the wild. No matter how exhausted I felt at the end of the day, I would still leave Rockfish smiling because it was the most rewarding work I’ve ever experienced."

Molly Waldron, Hendrix College

"I learned so much at the Rockfish Sanctuary. I worked with many species of birds and small mammals, and even some turtles. My favorite part of the summer was when I was able to release an animal that had come into the Sanctuary when I was working. Seeing the process from start to finish was so gratifying. What a great experience!"

Marina Childs, Virginia Tech

My summer at Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary was incredible. I have had experience working with animals in a variety of settings, but this experience was by far the best. Whether I was feeding baby opossums, releasing wood ducks into the wild, or even doing work that was not as fun (such as doing the laundry or cleaning enclosures), I enjoyed it all! If you are interested in wildlife rehabilitation or just love wildlife and animals, you should definitely consider working at Rockfish! While this internship is not meant for playing with or petting these wild animals, it is extremely rewarding and it is incredible to see the transformation of the animals that come through the sanctuary. Working with all the amazing people at Rockfish was a bonus, especially Nathou and Jessie. They are such kind and compassionate people and taught me so much about how to care for wildlife.

Perri Sheinbaum, Oberlin College


A PhD Candidate in literature. A photographer. A landscaper. What do these diverse people have in common? All of them volunteer their time and expertise for Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary. Without their incredible generosity–and that of dozens of others–Rockfish would be unable to function.

Here are some of the things that volunteers do at the Sanctuary:

  • Build enclosures
  • Feed baby animals
  • Transport animals to and from the Sanctuary
  • Go shopping for the Sanctuary’s food needs
  • Fund raise
  • Design educational presentations
  • Provide marketing expertise
  • And so much more!

Our volunteers are the reason we can offer quality educational programming and animal care in our area. If you choose to join us, we can promise a deeply rewarding experience. We’d love to find out how we can make the most of your skills and contributions, and how you would best fit with Rockfish’s needs. Please call (434-263-4954) or e-mail ( to find out how you can help!


Please visit our donation page. Thank you!


There are lots of ways that you can help the Sanctuary’s work, even if you don’t have the money to donate today, or the time to be a volunteer or an intern. Here are a few things that keep us going!

Serve as a Board Member

Interested in guiding RWS further by being on our board?

Email your resume to

Donate Supplies

Our animals always need supplies to keep them healthy, fed, and warm. We need:

  • LOTS of paper towels & plain Kleenex
  • Animal transporters
  • Bales of hay
  • Blue pads (aka, “pee pee” pads, available at pet stores and other retailers)
  • Gas cards for transporters
  • Handwarmers to provide warmth to animals in transport
  • Gift cards to grocery stores for fresh veggies and fruits for RWS patients
  • Gift cards to area pet stores and wild bird seed suppliers
  • Gift cards to Southern States

Shop or Donate an Item at the Greene House Antique Shops

The Sanctuary’s super volunteer, Candace Goodyear, has created a special space at the Greene House Antique Shopsin Ruckersville to help support the sanctuary. You can help the Sanctuary by buying an item or donating one to the Rockfish shop. All proceeds benefit the Sanctuary!


Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary is a 501(c)3 organization.