Volunteering at EFBC/FCC
Visitors to EFBC/FCC are interested in cat species, habits, their plight in the wild today, personal quirks of individual cats, and more. The visitors often remark on how clean the grounds are, how happy the cats look, and how it doesn't smell as bad as they expected. What they don't know is that the same people answering their questions also assist in caring for the cats, and that they can work here too - no experience is necessary! We will train you in everything you need to know.
The EFBC/FCC has a general manager and paid keepers in charge of the compound's and feline resident's upkeep. Their assistants are volunteer docents, who get to participate in every aspect of the cat's care. Our motto is "If you enjoy hard work for no pay, we've got a job for you!" But that's not entirely true - we (the volunteers) get paid in the form of whisker collections, occasional furry hugs, close-up photos, and tiger ruffles (their friendly noise). Where else can you find whiskers the thickness of weed-whip wire? Where else can you have your hairdo rearranged by a nuzzling bobcat? Where else can you earn the friendship of some the earth's most beautiful creatures, especially for someone with no background experience? Here at EFBC/FCC!
The day begins at 8 am, cleaning cages and checking on the cat's health. From 10 am - 4 pm, the volunteers assist visitors on the compound answering questions, and help in preparing the cat's dinner. In the afternoon, up to 150 pounds of raw meat is delivered to the cats, and dishes are washed. In the summer, the day may not end until 6 pm. Don't come here expecting to play with cats - you need to be willling to work hard, and follow directions well. There's only a few cats we go in with, and you have to work your way up to that privilege. Our training program will be described to you your first working day, and you can begin studying our docent handbook in preparation for your "red badge" test.
EFBC's docent zoo keeper program will train you in all areas of husbandry, nutrition and feeding, behavioral observation, and enrichment care of our felines, as well as visitor interaction including providing educational tours. As your experience and knowledge progresses, additional training in juvenile and neonate care is provided, as well as opportunities to work with our verterinarians. Each docent progresses at their own rate which can depend on how much time you spend here, prior experience, level of confidence, and your personal goals. All areas of your training will be under the guidance of our trained staff and other docents who have completed various levels of our training program.
Your first day, just show up a few minutes before 8 am (any day except Wednesday) and park in the employee lot. Wait for another staff member and tell them it's your first day; do not enter the center unattended. Bring food and drinks for the day, a refrigerator and microwave are available. No skimpy attire. It's a busy day, but well worth the effort. If this sounds like your idea of fun, call (661) 256-3793 or come visit us at EFBC/FCC!
Our keepers and volunteers can join our American Association of Zookeepers (AAZK) chapter. AAZK holds separate fundraisers, such as a bake sale at Twilight Tours and selling handmade pawprint necklaces in the gift shop. The EFBC AAZK chapter then donates back to EFBC in the form of much needed supplies, replacing pond filters, keeper supplies, and sponsoring events. In 2010 our chapter made a year-end donation of $2,000.00 to EFBC and $1,000.00 to the Amur Leopard Conservation Fund, to support preservation efforts in the wild.
Other Volunteer Activities- we've had information booths at many places - Palmdale Festival, Poppy Festival, farmer's markets, the WCN Expo.
October 2011 Staff/Volunteer Meeting Picture
EFBC's Feline Conservation Center has limited availability for qualified interns. The internship is a minimum 12 week program; however, longer durations can be considered.
EFBC is a nonprofit organization and offers no stipend to interns. On site housing can be provided for two interns at a time, at a rate of $55 per week each. On site housing is available on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you prefer to arrange outside housing, EFBC will attempt to put you in contact with other interns wishing to do the same and who are interested in sharing expenses with roommates
The issuance of college credits is dependant on your university
Cover letter: include your career goals and how this program will assist you in achieving those goals, requested duration and an estimate of arrival/departure dates, and if you require on-site housing
Complete CV including GPA and prior work history
Submit via email, fax, or mail to:
Sandy Masek, Director
EFBC's Feline Conservation Center
3718 60th St West
Rosamond CA 93560