Register for WREN classes today!
Note: Class sizes are limited to 20 students. We are offering two classes this season, but space is limited, and interest is high.
It is not the "ordinary" person who has the courage to put themselves in harm's way to aid a wild animal in distress. Are you familiar with Aesop's fable
of The Lion and the Mouse? Can you imagine yourself walking up to a Lion and asking for its paw, asking it to trust you while you inflicted pain so that it would eventually feel better? You're not alone.
Most rehabilitators got their start when they found a tiny squirrel or baby bunny on the ground and had the desire to nurture it back to health. There is no one characteristic that defines a good wildlife rehabilitator. We all have different skills, strengths, experiences, and weaknesses. The best rehabilitator is someone who is kind, patient, willing to learn from others' experiences, willing to admit shortcomings, and is not afraid of hard, really hard, work.
There are many ways to learn about wildlife rehabilitation. In our eyes, all of them are excellent resources, as it is our firm belief here at NBRR/WCCR that any skilled person who has spent even one season working with wildlife probably has something valuable to share. We hope that each prospective student keeps that in mind when considering NBRR/WCCR a final destination. There is no destination in this field; there is only a never-ending journey.
The staff at NBRR/WCCR has spent many years in this industry and we have made it our mission to understand how rehabilitation works, what its strengths are, and where opportunities for growth and improvement can be found. What we have discovered, over and over again, was that with very little exception, most rehabilitators want to learn more, and are unable to find the one place to make that happen. We have also discovered that "that one place" does not exist, and frankly, to ever make the assumption that everything could be taught in one place is not realistic. It was at that point that we got to work!
Developing a baseline where everyone could start became our true goal. We hope to be a launching pad for prospective wildlife rehabilitators, so that they may start working in the field quickly with more than just very basic information and experience.
The average tenure of a wildlife rehabilitator is about 2 years. As we have spoken with both current and former rehabilitator, we have come to understand that this is largely due to burnout resulting from the frustrations of failure. At NBRR/WCCR, we will combat that issue by linking you to an entire network of people whom you will not only know personally, but who have agreed to work as Mentors for NBRR/WCCR and to be available to answer questions at any time.
As we grow and develop, we anticipate many changes. Northeast Texas is only one of many places in the United States, and across the world that has a shortage of wildlife rehabilitators. If you believe that you are ready to launch into the most exciting and rewarding thing you may EVER do in your life, then...
COME GET WILD WITH US!
New classes starting soon!
Notice: Class sizes are limited to 20 students. We are offering two classes this season, but space is limited, and interest is high. Register today!
Are you the representative of an existing facility interested in/want to know more about implementing the WREN project? Click HERE!
This course is comprised of 50 hours of instruction, divided into three components. To receive your certification from NBRR/WCCR, you will be required to complete:
- 30 hours of classroom work
- 12 hours of lab time
- 8 hours of hands on shadowing at a working wildlife center or similar facility
Upon successful completion of our basics program, you will be assigned to a mentor with whom you will work for a total of 50 hours. To receive your own state permit, you will be required to work for a total of two years with NBRR/WCCR and/or your mentor. During that two year period, you may apply for your sub-permit under NBRR/WCCR.
Our mentor program exists for several reasons. First, you will quickly gain the years of experience your mentor already possesses. Second, it is our goal to head off burn out that often occurs in the first two years of wildlife rehabilitation due to life altering mistakes with animals in care and frustrations from lack of support from a knowledgeable resource. Third, many states require you to submit letters of recommendation from established rehabbers who are familiar with your work in order to obtain your own permit.
By pairing you with an experienced rehabilitator, you are becoming part of a symbiotic relationship aimed at giving your mentor the ability to take in larger numbers of animals annually with your assistance, and ensuring that you have the guidance you need working side by side with your mentor to ensure a pleasurable and successful experience rehabilitating wildlife.
If you are local, you will meet your mentor before leaving the ranch. If you are not, NBRR/WCCR will act as your liaison, introducing you to your new mentor via phone or e-mail. The staff at Crosstimbers will also act as liaison with the state's wildlife rehabilitation permitting office, and your county's game warden to ensure the receipt of your sub-permit after the completion of the basics course.
Currently, NBRR/WCCR is only offering the wildlife rehabilitation basics courses.
NBRR/WCCR is currently offering our wildlife rehabilitation basics program at the BETA price of $350. Students are expected to purchase their own books and supplies at this price. The regular price is $500, and that includes books. To be invited to participate in the advance course, you must successfully complete the basics course. This course is the prerequisite required for all other courses offered by NBRR/WCCR.
Advanced course students are those interested in high volume rehabilitation, or those interested in working with more dangerous species. For those interested in working with squirrels, rabbits, and opossums, the basics course will give you a great starting point to be highly successful with these species. At any time should you decide to learn more, your basics course fee will be credited towards your advanced class tuition
All classes must be paid in advance, but NBRR/WCCR is happy to make financial arrangements if necessary. Additionally, scholarships will be awarded annually. Scholarships require application, and approval by the scholarship committee. We encourage all students to apply.
For students who need to make up missed classes, please contact the center directly.
Due to our tremendous need for new rehabilitators, NBRR/WCCR will continue to offer the Wildlife Basics Course at the reduced BETA pricing of $350. The only difference between the BETA classes and the regularly priced classes is that NBRR/WCCR will not be providing books for students. Students will be responsible for purchasing their own books, however, books are not required for the course, and can be purchased as needed.
The Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch
11606 County Road 2312 Terrell, Texas 75160
What past students are saying:
"This is a wonderful class. It is a perfect balance of information and fun. Unsure what to expect going in, I was a little nervous that I wouldn't have enough basic knowledge to start with, as I am still pretty new at this. I was immediately put at ease with a first class that covered many of the basics I did already know, plus a little bit I didn't.
The following classes gave me more of the 'meat and potatoes' I wanted, without being too technical, or intimidating at all. Everything is presented in a simple manner, easy to understand, but with a huge amount of vital information. It's perfect for anyone wanting to rehabilitate wildlife, whether brand new to it or having had some experience already.
I definitely have gotten what I wanted out of the class. Material is presented in an informal, conversational style, so I felt free to ask questions and clarify when necessary. It's also presented with two instructors, which I find rewarding, as I get to benefit from both individual's experience and personality. They each bring a vital perspective to the table and compliment each other nicely. It's also been a unique opportunity for me to get to know other
rehabilitators and have a network on which to rely.
I really can't express how impressed I have been with this class...It is EXACTLY what I've been hoping for to help me in both my knowledge and confidence in that knowledge! Even a little bit of hands on experience!"
~ Liz Moss
Wildlife Rehabilitation Basics Graduate
"Though I've been rehabbing for over a year, I found myself soaking up all the new information that was presented with great excitement. Taking the class probably put me ahead in experience at least two or three years!
Information was researched and thorough with different approaches given for many situations. We worked with live animals at a real wildlife sanctuary and now belong to a truly exceptional network of rehabbers and new friends. Rabbits and bats and possums oh yes! "
~ Kay Singleton
Wildlife Rehabilitation Basics Graduate
"I have really enjoyed this fast-paced class on wildlife rehab!! It is well-rounded and addresses many issues facing rehabilitators. Val does a marvelous job representing the wildlife's needs.
This class closes many gaps from the multiple disciplines I have learned over the past year. I highly recommend the class to all wildlife lovers!!!"
~ Karen Schoeve, Elm
Fork Chapter Master Naturalist 2008
DFW Wildlife Coalition Hotline Volunteer
"This is truly a chance in a lifetime opportunity for me. I have been in the Animal Services field for 10 years and what I know about wildlife is soooooo basic. I know baby ducks need their mother to survive or they have to go to rehab, I know that injured raccoons can be rather grouchy and hard to deal with but, all I know to do is euthanize them or send them to rehab.
Baby rabbits are the hardest animals to keep alive and they really do not do well without mom. This is my opportunity to know more about the animals that we spend a lot of time dealing with. When to say leave it alone and it will be just fine and when we actually need a helping hand from the people that help to make our lives so much easier.
And the baby season!!!!! I need to be more efficient in the baby season. (and lean on the handy dandy rehabber less) I am very excited that we have this amazing chance to learn more and understand the undeniable reality of having wild neighbors and how to help others to know the benefit of coexisting with them. How to humanely exclude wildlife from your attic, flower beds, or under your house and teach people the ill effects of getting rid all the predatory animals that are so important the our eco system.
I love what I do and this is my chosen field, I do not aspire to be a wildlife rehabber, my job keeps me more than busy enough. But, even as long as I've been doing this job I still need to keep learning and growing to improve my level of understanding. My aim, my goal in this endeavor is to learn how to make sure I know all I can about the animals that come in and out of my life every day. They leave an indelible mark in my life and I hope I can do the same for them (In a positive way)."
~ Christine Mitchell
Animal Services Sr Officer
City of Plano
"I feel like I've already learned 5 year's worth (or more) of information from the experiences of Val and others and the great information that they have stacked up
over many years. I'm learning important species specific information in a straight forward and simple format, I'm getting connections and contacts for supplies, information and a strong network.
I finally feel, for the first time in my life, that even though I never made my little girl dreams come true- that I'm going to finally
make those dreams after all- just a little differently than I had imagined (and even better than I imagined). Now when I tell my son you can be anything you want to
be and do anything you want to do- he'll know it's true because his mom's doing it. (And sometimes the path you map out for yourself and never get to - is just
because that path wasn't good enough :)
This class is going to enable me to help so many animals and get them back home where they belong so Texas can stay
beautiful and full of life for my grand children's children."
DFW Wildlife Coalition Hotline Volunteer
Wildlife Rehabilitation Basics Student
"I have worked in the veterinary field for 13 years now and have dealt with wildlife throughout those years. I have learned so much more than I ever expected
taking these classes!
It has been professional and very educational. It has been a great experience and I look forward to continuing to work with NBRR/WCCR and continuing to learn from all of the great people there!"
~ Katie Winn
Wildlife Rehabilitation Basics Student