Frequently Asked Questions

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Why should you get involved?

On the mid-north coast of New South Wales in the local government areas of Port Macquarie-Hastings, Kempsey and MidCoast, thousands of native animals come into strife each year for a variety of reasons.

They need human help. We have a very caring community who want to help these animals but don’t know what to do for them. F.A.W.N.A. (NSW) Inc. (For Australian Wildlife Needing Aid) is a network of volunteers, trained and willing to help these animals.

Joining a group like FAWNA gives you the training and the confidence to learn the tried and true ways to rescue, rehabilitate and release injured, orphaned and disadvantaged native animals.

Membership of a group like FAWNA is a great way to give back to your community and meet like-minded people who care about the plight of the individual animal, so often harmed by man’s interference in some way.

Loss of habitat, motor vehicles, harm from domestic pets, fences, or pollution is just a few of the many causes why fauna needs our help.

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What kind of volunteers are we looking for?

Volunteers who want to care for wildlife must be prepared to attend training days and be able to understand the differences between caring for native animals that are destined to be released back to the wild, and care of domestic animals.

Volunteers must be 18 years of age or over and be caring and nurturing.

We need help with all the activities listed below:

  • FAWNA operates a 24 hour 7 day a week rescue phone line that is switched to a volunteer’s home for each duty period and we always have vacant roster slots that need filling
  • Rescuing and/or transporting native fauna
  • Raising orphaned birds and animals, so that they can be released
  • Providing care and rehabilitation for injured animals
  • Raising funds
  • Training new volunteers
  • Education and publicity
  • Administration (for example, treasury, secretarial duties, website management and data entry)
  • Handy people who can help with sewing, building aviaries and cages and other equipment needed for rescuing and caring for wildlife are most welcome.
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Do you need experience?

You don’t need the experience to join.

Volunteers who want to work with animals will need to undertake rescue and rehabilitation training (which we arrange), so that you know how to handle and care for wildlife.

New members may be paired with more experienced carers, who will provide supervision and guidance.

To protect the welfare of injured wildlife, we have strict standards and rules which must be followed, but nobody will be required to take on animals or duties that they are uncomfortable with.

Health and Safety are important issues. Volunteers do not work with dangerous animals (such as snakes) unless they want to. Those that do wish to must complete the appropriate course before they will be allowed to work with venomous or dangerous animals and special restrictions apply for working with raptors (birds of prey) and flying-foxes and bats.

This benefits the carers as well as the wildlife we care for.

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Is there disabled access?

All of the rehabilitation work we do is from our own homes.

The premises FAWNA uses for training courses are suitable for access by people with disabilities.

While people with disabilities are encouraged to volunteer, we must point out that if a person’s disability has the potential to put the welfare of themselves, or the animal at risk, restrictions may apply in regard to rescue and rehabilitation activities.

Many rescue situations may require the rescuer to be fit and agile! Workplace Health and Safety considerations are paramount.

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What area is served?

FAWNA covers the mid-north coast of New South Wales in the local government areas of Port Macquarie-Hastings, Kempsey & MidCoast.

Our volunteers cover from Stuarts Point in the north through to Seal Rocks in the south and from the mid-north coastline in the east through to Barrington Tops, Mount Seaview and the Comara Range in the west.

The postcodes we cover include 2312, 2322, 2420-2431, 2439-2446.

We co-operate with other licensed groups that adjoin our boundaries and always put the welfare of the animal first over boundary considerations.

A full map of our boundary area can be found on our About Us page.

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What are the hours of operation?

FAWNA provides a wildlife rescue service to the community 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. However, individual carers can indicate their availability.

People who work may only be available in the evenings or on weekends, while others may have different preferences.

When a call comes into the rescue hotline, we check who lives nearby, who is available at the time, and who has the appropriate training for that type of animal.

We try to assign different volunteers so that the workload is shared. The busiest rescue time is spring and early summer, but rescue calls come in every month of the year.

If a call comes to the rescue line during the evening we may ask the caller if they are prepared to hold the animal overnight in a dark, quiet and warm environment.

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Is there anything else I should know?

Yes, wildlife rehabilitation is a government licensed activity, and all carers must work within the regulations and FAWNA’s Policy and Procedures.

Mostly these relate to providing a humane and reasonable level of care – which we will show you how to do.

If you do have pets, these must be kept away from wildlife in care.

You may not keep any rescued wildlife as pets under any circumstance – our goal is to get wildlife back into the wild as soon as it is fit and ready, and to deal humanely with those that can not be rehabilitated.

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