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San Luis Obispo Day Crew Volunteers

Day Crew Volunteers

Crew volunteers directly impact our mission by assessing and rescuing injured marine mammals and providing care for the patients at our triage facility. The day crew volunteers are responsible for fielding calls from the public about ill or injured marine mammals, assessing stranded animals, and rescuing the animal as directed. Additionally, these volunteers are responsible for basic triage care of patients on site, cleaning pens, maintaining clean equipment and facility and preparing patient charts. 

A crew volunteer must be dedicated, a team player, alert, and physically capable. These volunteers are expected to join one-day crew (crews are offered each day, 7 days a week) for a 6-hour shift, and commit to coming for the full shift each week for at least 6 months. Shifts generally run from 7:30am-1:30pm, and 1:30pm-7:30pm. Day crew volunteers report directly to their crew supervisor(s). Shift times will vary throughout the year depending on the number and species of animals on site, and daylight hours. This is an incredible opportunity to help save patients’ lives in a fun environment with a close team.

Specific duties

  • Taking stranded animal calls
  • Assessing a reported animal
  • Rescuing the animal if determined necessary and cleared through the central dispatch office
  • Engaging with and educating the public on the beach 
  • Transporting the animal to the satellite facility
  • Preparing feeds as prescribed by Veterinary Staff
  • Washing dishes and cleaning the Fish Kitchen
  • Feeding patients
  • Observing unusual patient behavior
  • Updating patient charts
  • Cleaning pens and equipment
  • Laundry and maintaining a clean site. 
  • Drawing up and administering basic medication (additional training required if interested)

Volunteer Characteristics

  • Must be alert and physically capable to work with fast, wild animals
  • Able to walk long distances and carry heavy equipment on sand and difficult terrain
  • Comfortable engaging with the public on the beach during rescues
  • Be a team player and work with volunteers of all ages and backgrounds
  • Willing to get dirty and pitch in wherever needed


  • Sign up on the SLO Volunteer Interest List
  • Submit a volunteer application
  • Complete the prospective volunteer screening process, including an interview, background check and motor vehicle check
  • Attend the New Volunteer Onboarding Training (Orientation, Basic Animal Husbandry and Basic Rescue Workshop)
  • Commit a minimum of 1 full shift each week for a minimum of 6 months with an attendance rate of at least 80%
  • Have reliable transportation to the facility
  • Complete ICS 100 (external training offered through FEMA)
  • Must be 21 or older, have reliable transportation, and be a safe driver with a cleared a Motor Vehicle Report to drive on rescues, releases or transports


  • Communicate with your crew supervisor in a timely manner if you are unable to attend a crew shift
  • Use proper cleaning etiquette to reduce the probability of disease transmission
  • Minimize handling and time spent around the patients

Become a Volunteer!

The first step to become a volunteer at San Luis Obispo Operations is to sign up on the volunteer interest list.

Click here to return to the main SLO volunteer page and sign up on the volunteer interest list.

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