When Nancy and Kent Smith rescued their first exotic animal, they planted the seed of the sanctuary’s advocacy. The support of generous sponsors and selfless volunteers helped Shy Wolf thrive to rescue many more animals in the decades since.
While donations help in securing resources, it is truly our volunteers that mobilize Shy Wolf’s operation. We are eternally grateful for the number of people who share our vision to provide a sanctuary for all. Our volunteers clock an average of 21,000 donated hours annually. Individuals and groups of volunteers provide the necessary boost needed to accomplish great things, whether it’s evacuating for the wildfires or maintaining the current facility.
Everyone who has gone through the volunteer program can attest that the experience is very rewarding. Our volunteers help in enclosure cleaning and maintenance, animal feeding, administrative tasks, guest services, event planning and organizing, and educational outings in the community. Opportunities exist to help remotely as well as at the sanctuary and within the community. Shifts depend on the tasks performed.
We recognize that not all people have the time and resources to commit to the required training and weekly volunteer schedule. Throughout the year, Shy Wolf Sanctuary welcomes groups of corporate volunteers to help with demolition projects, removal of overgrown vegetation, building raised platform beds, repairs to benches and boardwalks, as well as general maintenance of the property. Typically, the projects are customized for groups of five-to-20 volunteers and can be completed in two-to-three hours. When corporate or organizational volunteer groups donate their time and talent, they help reduce overall maintenance expenses for growing non-profit organizations like Shy Wolf Sanctuary.
“These kinds of maintenance projects don’t get the same exposure as the dramatic stories of animal rescue we often share, but they have a meaningful impact for the 65+ animals that call Shy Wolf Sanctuary home. Our animals can sense the support and compassion that volunteers bring to special projects at the Sanctuary,” said Deanna Deppen, Executive Director of Shy Wolf Sanctuary Education & Experience Center.
Among those who held a Volunteer Day at the Sanctuary is Cogent Bank. “As one of the few remaining community banks in Southwest Florida, our team takes great pride in working together on projects like this. It makes us stronger as a team and stronger as a community. We are excited to help raise awareness about Shy Wolf Sanctuary and its important mission,” said Brandon Box, EVP, Market President of Cogent Bank.
While the group carries out their day project, Shy Wolf guides share more about the animals and the Sanctuary’s mission. This can be a fun and meaningful way to foster strong camaraderie among co-workers, friends, and family. By sharing a common goal of helping secure a safe place for animals and contributing to the attainment of Shy Wolf’s mission, your group will forever share a memorable experience that will strengthen your bond.
For inquiries and more information, contact our volunteer coordinator.