Volunteer Program

If you are a college-enrolled student, please click here for information on our Internship Program.

Volunteer applications will be accepted year-round.  New volunteers will be recruited from the applicant pool as needs arise.  Black Pine is blessed with many very dedicated, long-time volunteers, so it may be weeks or even months before new volunteers are added to the roster.  When a gap comes up and new volunteers are needed to help fill schedules, Black Pine's personnel will review applications and begin calling to find suitable candidates.

Civic or other groups wishing to provide a one-time volunteer "project" day may call (260) 636-7383 to inquire about needs and scheduling.

We highly recommend a personal visit to the sanctuary before applying to volunteer. Black Pine's volunteer program is, in many ways, much different from volunteering at a zoo or animal shelter, and our staff will be happy to discuss details with you in person.

Volunteering is fun!

In order to become a productive and efficient member of the staff and to enjoy the true rewards of volunteering, we require a commitment toaregular volunteer work schedule.  Our experiences have shown that those willing to be on site consistently, at least once each month (once each week or more frequently is even better) are able to truly contribute without a great deal of supervision.  The volunteers at Black Pine are an integral part of the operation and they perform many important tasks.  The training time required for animal husbandry is extensive, so a long-term commitment is requested for those wishing to help take care of animals.  Other opportunities include housekeeping, dietary preparation, grounds keeping, maintenance, guest services, fundraising events, and more!

The following is a list of examples of volunteer opportunities at Black Pine:

Animal Husbandry: Activities such as cleaning cages, preparing diets for animals, cleaning food pans, making animal enrichment items, assisting with veterinary needs, running errands, etc.

Tour Guide: To lead tours through the sanctuary providing background information on each area; Enrich visitors experience by giving them opportunities to see and learn about animals by using objects such as skeletons, feathers, pelts, etc.

Dietician: To prepare healthy diets for the animals.

Front Gate Attendant: Process admissions, membership fees, and animal adoption programs; handle tour appointments and greeting the public; operate cash register, credit card processing terminal; restock and price merchandise on the gift shop cart

Maintenance: To help with routine maintenance of buildings, grounds, and equipment, and various other projects.

More opportunities may also available!  Call (260) 636-7383 to inquire.

Are you still interested in volunteering? If what you read above sounds like a good fit for you, then you are invited to complete and submit the application below.  Thanks for your support of Black Pine's mission!


Fill out my online form.

Current Needs

Field Trip tour guides, weekdays between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. during April, May, early June, September & October.  Must be at least 18 years old.  Experience working with or teaching children helpful.  Must be able to speak clearly and concisely to large groups.  Must be a proven leader, willing to shadow, as well as read to learn educational program goals and objectives, as well as tour content.  Must be safety conscientious.  Minimum of two hours per tour.  Tours can consist of up to 75 people per group.

Sanctuary tour guides, weekends from 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  Must be 18 years of age or older, willing to study and learn animal facts and stories, and able to speak well in front of large groups.

Grazing animal caregivers weekdays, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. year-round.  Must be at least 16 years of age.  Able to work alone once trained.  Safety conscientious, previous experience with farm animals helpful.  Can be labor-intensive.  Minimum two hours per work shift.  Opportunity to advance to larger and more exotic animal husbandry care.

Reptile caregivers weekdays 8:00 a.m. and 3 p.m. year-round.  Must be at least 16 years of age.  Able to work alone once trained.  Safety conscientious, healthy respect, but not fearful of snakes; great attention to detail and housekeeping; Minimum of two hours per work shift.  Opportunity to advance to larger and more exotic animal husbandry care.

Food runners Mondays and Wednesdays only.  Requires someone with a valid driver's license, available from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., willing and able to drive over-sized pickup truck to pick up donated feed.  Must have good driving skills and be able to lift up to 50 pounds to help load/unload goods.

Special Event help, to run errands, seek donations, and help man events (concessions, food service, silent auction(s), bonfires, set-up, tear-down, etc.)