Mote's Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Hospital and Dolphin & Whale Hospital provide state of the art critical care and chronic care for several species of stranded sea turtles and dolphins. The primary mission of the Hospitals is to rehabilitate these animals and return them to the wild, at the same time gaining information that will expand knowledge of the biology, disease processes, and veterinary care of these animals.

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Interested in Volunteering with the Dolphin and Whale Hospital?
Realize the good you can do by simply giving your time. You can be a part of something meaningful and help support one of the world's most important marine research organizations by becoming a Volunteer at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.

To volunteer with Mote’s Dolphin and Whale Hospital

  • You must be at least 18 years old, in good physical health, and able to swim.  
  • You must also complete the Animal Handler Training Class that we offer.  The next class has not been scheduled as our Dolphin and Whale Hospital is currently undergoing construction and updates.  The class is usually held on a Saturday or Sunday from 8am till noon.
    The 4-hour course covers the basics needed to assist in care and handling of the critical care animals in our hospital.  Topics include an orientation to the program, basic anatomy, care and safe handling of the animals, as well as documentations and paperwork. 
  • Volunteers work 4-hour shifts on an on-call basis in the hospital and perform various duties and chores depending on the number of animals we have and how sick they are.  

"On-call" means that your help is only needed when we have a rehab dolphin; however, the class is required before you can volunteer with us.  Training is hands on when we get a rehab dolphin.  You must sign up for your own shift (4 hours each, around the clock.)  Sign up for as many  four hour shifts as you are able.  We ask our volunteers to commit to doing at least two shifts per month, with at least one predawn or after dark shift.

  • The fee for the class is $75 (and a donation of blue Dawn Ultra and one new or lightly used beach or bath towel). The fee includes our handbook, t-shirt and class materials.  

If you meet the requirements and are interested in signing up, please contact Mote’s Dolphin and Whale Volunteer Coordinator, Lisa Kinsella at lisak@mote.org  

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