Swanson Wildlife Health Center

The Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Health Center, located a few miles from the Cornell University Hospital for Animals (CUHA), provides state-of-the-art medical and surgical care for ill or injured wildlife native to the northeastern United States, and works with a network of Wildlife Rehabilitators in the area. Over 900 birds, small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians are treated each year by the staff at the Wildlife Health Center.  The primary mission of the center is to provide the highest quality medical care to these animals with the goal of releasing them back to the wild.

Student opportunities to work with native wildlife
Under veterinary supervision, undergraduate and veterinary student volunteers are able to gain experience in safe and efficient restraint of patients, preparation of appropriate diets and enclosures, and administration of medical treatments.  Students also have the opportunity to learn more advanced techniques and observe procedures.  Students enrolled in accredited AVMA Veterinary Technology programs in New York State may apply for a Veterinary Technician Preceptorship Program to be completed at the WHC, under the supervision of two highly experienced veterinary technicians.

How to volunteer:
All Cornell veterinary students are eligible to volunteer at the WHC after completing a brief orientation session!  Vet students should keep an eye out for a listserv email from the Volunteer Coordinators about the next training session.  Cornell undergraduate students are also eligible to volunteer, provided they are up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations.  Undergraduate students should contact Pilar Thompson by email at pav37@cornell.edu for more information.

Employment at the WHC:
The WHC employs 8-10 veterinary student Technicians during the academic year.  Student Technicians are responsible for overseeing volunteer activities and taking on-call overnight shifts, where they communicate with the public, respond to emergency phone-calls about found wildlife, and serve as primary clinician for intake, triage, and treatment of incoming patients.

Make a donation to the WHC through Cornell’s system, by clicking here. Every dollar helps!

Watch some videos of our past patients here:

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