Below are some of the more commonly asked questions when considering an internship at Critter Care. Please take the time to read those listed here and should you have any further questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to contact our office via e-mail to answer them. We look forward to you working with our team and growing in appreciation of our wonderful wildlife.
Q: What should I bring with me?
A: You should pack for Critter Care like you would for any trip. Bring toiletries and clothes for both warmer and colder weather (like jeans, shorts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, a rain jacket, and a good pair of runners or sneakers). Keep in mind that you will be getting pretty dirty, but you can also bring some clothes for going out on your days off. Also bring an alarmclock, especially if you come during baby season. Towels are provided and there will be opportunities to buy toiletries should you run out. There are also laundry facilities onsite.
Q: What is the area like?
A: Critter Care, located in Langley, is surrounded by the Campbell Valley Regional Park and farmland. By car, it is about twenty minutes from the city centre and ten minutes from the Canadian/American border. Langley itself has restaurants, movie theatres, shopping malls, and grocery stores.
Q: What kind of weather should I expect?
A: Expect all kinds of weather – though the one thing that you can count on is rain! It rains a lot in the Lower Mainland, especially in the spring and fall. In general, summer temperatures reach more than 25 °C (77 °F) and winter temperatures go lower than -5 °C (23 °F). Critter Care usually receives at least six inches of snow in the winter too.
Q: How much money will I need?
A: How much money you will need depends on how much you want to spend, of course, and how long you are staying. If you leave Critter Care on your days off, you will spend more money on things like transportation and eating out. Also, if you want to buy foods like meat, candy, and chips for yourself, you will need more money than if you only eat food provided by Critter Care. You should for sure have a minium of $75.00 Cdn. put aside for any possible need to go to a medical clinic. Even though you have medical insurance these clinics do charge a fee to see a doctor. You should then be able to claim this amount from your insurance company on your return home.
Q: How long can I stay for?
A: Interns are encouraged to come for at least a two month stay. That way, you will be able to wean any babies that you raise during baby season (April to August). We do accept interns for six months or longer should you wish to engage in such a program. Interns interested in pursuing tenures of six months or longer will be given special consideration toward working in Bear Rehab though other criteria do apply!
Q: Do I need any vaccinations against diseases?
A: It is advisable to have an up-to-date tetanus shot.
Q: Do I need any special qualifications?
A: You do not need to have any special qualifications per se, just a love of animals and a willingness to work really, really hard.
Q: How many interns work at Critter Care?
A: During the summer, Critter Care has around 10 to 14 interns. During the winter, there are usually 6 to 8 interns at a time.
Q: Will I need a car?
A: You do not need a car, but having one is definitely an asset.
Q: What are the accommodations like?
A: There are two cabins located near the main house which can house up to six interns. Inside are two or three sets of bunk beds, a table and chairs, a closet, and a number of dressers and a television. In the basement of the main house, there are two more sets of bunk beds, as well as shelves, table, chairs, and a television. The bathroom and kitchen that all the interns share is located in the main house. There is free wireless Internet (unsecured) on the property. All of Critter Care runs on a well, so it is important to be water-conscious.
Q: Do interns socialize outside of work?
A: Interns are welcome to socialize outside of work. Getting along with each other makes work easier!
Q: How many days off a week are interns provided with? Can the days off be together?
A: Interns are given two days off each week. Days off cannot be together.
Q: What will my schedule be like?
A: You will be working five days a week throughout your stay. In the summer, your day may start at 6:00 AM and end at 11:30 PM (basically your schedule is determined by your babies’ feedings). Note that you will be feeding your babies on your days off. During the winter, your hours are typically 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Q: Can I leave the property on my days off?
A: You are welcome to leave the property on your days off, just make sure that you notify staff of where you are going and for how long.
Q: Does Critter Care provide interns with any food?
A: Critter Care provides interns with the basics – bread, butter, milk, yogurt, soup, cereal, etc. Any “luxuries” like steak, chocolate, or ice cream must be purchased by the interns themselves.
Q: What type of training will be provided and when?
A: Training for interns is provided “on-the-job”. You will learn how to feed, monitor, and clean up after the animals from staff members. Meetings will be held regularly with all of the interns to make sure that everyone is following procedures correctly and thoroughly.
Q: Will I be able to work with a veterinarian?
A: There is no veterinarian onsite, however, you will likely be given an opportunity to accompany a staff member to the vet with an animal.
Q: Will I be involved with educational work?
A: School and senior groups are invited to Critter Care for educational presentations. You will likely be asked to attend, usually to show and talk about an animal. Let the staff know if you have a background in education and wish to be further involved in these presentations.
Q: Will I be involved with releases?
A: If you are present when releases are taking place, then you will probably have a chance to go along with a staff member.
Q: Will I get to participate in enrichment?
A: You are welcome to help enrich the lives of the animals in your care – to stimulate their behaviour and development in a positive way.
Q: Can I go sightseeing during my stay?
A: You are welcome to sightsee before or after your stay at Critter Care. You will be too busy to leave Critter Care for extended periods of time! Remember – the animals depend on you to be there to feed and clean up after them.