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Three Ring Ranch loves our volunteers! Have you ever wanted to work with exotic animals? Care for native and endangered species in a sanctuary setting? Like all kinds of critters? (bison, zebra, flamingos, ostrich, chinchillas, owls, monkeys and the list goes on)

If you are 17 or older then read on......this may be just the place for you.

We are a very tiny facility (five acres) and all our staff are volunteer. I (Executive Director) am here full-time and have a group of dedicated volunteers who come daily (some, several times a week) as keepers. Keepers are people who are trained to feed and care for the animals. There are 0 paid positions and we do not have housing.

Volunteers come up for several months to learn each of the critters before they are able to feed alone and become a Keeper because there are so many different species and it takes quite a while to become skilled at safely caring for them all. Our feeding rounds begin at 8:00 am sharp for Keepers (7:30 if you are trained on monkeys) and last ~3 hours (until about 11 am). The afternoon rounds begin at 3:30 pm and last about 1.5 hours.

Some volunteers choose not to become Keepers but to come up less often, such as for "project days" on an animal's enclosure or to help with the day-to-day handyman or landscaping-type jobs that always need doing. We have regular volunteers who are not Animal Keepers who come when they can and do a wide variety of facility care in and around the animals' habitats. These "Irregulars" are still vital to maintaining the sanctuary.

You must be physically fit to be a Keeper or Irregular: this is not for anyone with major mobility limitations or at risk of injury due to a current health condition. It also requires quick thinking and ability to follow detailed directions. These abilities are required to keep you, the other volunteers and the animals safe.

The animal feed comes in 50-pound bags which you do need to be able to move alone. Most of the time there is someone around who is able to help lift and haul but you may get asked to do it with another keeper. Yes, you will get dirty! Be assured that you will never be asked to do something that you are uncomfortable with or to do anything that you feel is unsafe.

At first, there is a huge amount of information to process but over time it will all become familiar. There is a lot of learning to do (which is fun!) but you will have to focus and pay attention. We know it feels like your brain will explode (and we don't want that to happen) so we take it slow. Everyone learns at their own pace, but most everyone initially needs a minimum of 3 days a week to train. We also have to know that you will be staying in Kona for 90 days or more to devote the time to training you. If you will only be in town for a shorter period, we can try to welcome you as an short-timer "if" we have a project you can join in on.

From a practical perspective, you really need to live in or near Kona to be a volunteer, as it just does not work to drive over from Hilo or Kau.

Unfortunately, all volunteers must be at least 17 years old for liability reasons. Also, we do not have residential lodging for volunteers other than those in our international, pre-vet or vet summer programs. (See the EDUCATION page for more details on those programs.)

Many volunteers are working at regular jobs and come volunteer during spare time just to enjoy the animals or to get this type of work experience on a resume for a later date. For some, it is just a chance to spend a few hours on a regular basis with animals in a place where their health and well-being come first. Couples are great volunteer teams! We do love our regular staff who are retired and have that extra time on their hands.

If you are still intertested in becoming one of our volunteers then to send an email with your contact info and we can set up a time for a chat.

Ann Goody

No animal experience necessary!