If you'd like to give us a hand, check out the categories below to see what kind of help we need, and then fill out the volunteer application!
**Please note ** that the application is a fillable Microsoft Excel file; however, your signature is still required. You may digitally sign the application if you are familiar with how to do that. Otherwise, you will need to print the document, sign it and either mail it to me (address available on request) or scan/email it back to me at the email address using the mail icon (found at the top right corner of this page).
Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age. Children younger than 18 may volunteer only for Class B and only when a parent or legal guardian is present and a release of liability is signed. Children under 18 cannot handle/touch any of the turtles under any circumstances.
Class A: Transporters - these are the folks that help get injured turtles to us. We're located in the Jackson area. Unfortunately, turtles are injured all around the state. Our Rescue is run by myself and my husband, and we both also work full-time. So, it can be difficult for us to personally reach every turtle that needs our help. Transporters are probably the most important volunteers we have. Untold numbers of turtles would die without the help of these generous people who give of their time to help a turtle in need.
Class B: Facility Workers/Office Help/Educators - Occasionally we will have a work day at our facility or a project we need assistance with. Jobs could include cleaning out pens, feeding turtles, building structures, or even office-type jobs like sending out mass letters or packages, applying for grants, or fundraising. Educators are responsible for providing presentations to schools or groups, or representing CMTR at public events such as expos, adoption events, and community events.
Class C: Triage - These are the volunteers who can take in a turtle for us and provide immediate first aid, and perhaps house the turtle for a few days until it can get to us. Much like the Transporters, these volunteers can mean the difference between life and death for an injured or sick turtle. Triage volunteers that aren't already familiar with turtle first aid will need training that we will provide. A detailed manual will also be provided Class D: In-Home Fosters - These are the volunteers who can take one or more turtles and assist with rehabilitation until that turtle can be released or rehomed. Fosters are responsible for providing housing, enclosures, lights, etc. We will provide food and vet care. (If you are interested in fostering, you will also need to fill out a foster application.) Prior turtle ownership is a plus, but we can provide "on the job training" for those with no prior experience with turtles. Fosters of native Mississippi species must either be included as sub-permittees on our Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit or hold one of the following Mississippi hunting licenses: Resident Sportsman's License, Resident All Game Hunting and Freshwater Fishing License, Small Game Hunting and Freshwater Fishing License, or a Non-Resident All Game Hunting License. *Our Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit is renewed annually. If you do not have one of the hunting licenses mentioned above and don't wish to obtain one, your foster application will be held until we submit sub-permittee names to the MS Department of Wildlife in December and you will be able to foster for us during the following calendar year.
**Please note ** that the application is a fillable Microsoft Word file; however, your signature is still required. You may digitally sign the application if you are familiar with how to do that. Otherwise, you will need to print the document, sign it and either mail it to me (address available on request) or scan/email it back to me at the email address using the mail icon (found at the top right corner of this page).
Hatchling Turtle Foster Program for Educators
We regularly take in female turtles that lay eggs while in rehab. We also always check recently-deceased females and extract any eggs she might be carrying. These eggs are then incubated by us, and if all goes well, baby turtles are hatched in 2 to 3 months. The hatchlings then remain in care over winter and are released the following summer. This year, we’ve decided to try a hatchling turtle foster program for educators. For those educators interested in having educational turtles in their classrooms, but don’t have space or resources needed at home to care for a turtle year-round, this is could be an excellent option. The educator will care for the hatchling(s) through the school year and return them when school wraps up next summer. We will then do health checks, give the turtles outdoor housing at our facility, and will then release them once we’re sure they’re ready to go.
If you are an educator and are interested in this pilot program, please click the button below which will bring up a document with the full description of the program as well as our rules/guidelines. At the bottom of the document is the application for the program. Please complete and sign that application and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail at Central MS Turtle Rescue, P.O. Box 1374, Florence, MS 39073. We will let you know as soon as possible if your application is approved. Approved applications will be granted foster turtles to care for on a first-come, first-served basis. Final approval and the transfer of turtles to you to foster will also depend on completion of attachments mentioned in the document.