FAQ’s about Volunteering

Volunteers promoting the Volunteer Program at Member Day

Volunteers promoting the Volunteer Program at Member Day

Q. Where is Save the Chimps located?

A. Save the Chimps is located in Fort Pierce, Florida . Fort Pierce is on the Atlantic coast about one hour north of West Palm Beach.

Q. Is Save the Chimps open to the public?

A. No. True sanctuaries that are accredited by GFAS and members of NAPSA have restrictions on public access. We have promised the chimps a peaceful retirement and freedom from exploitation of any kind, including public exhibition. We do have two Member Days per year in which donors at the $50 level and above may sign up to receive a guided tour of the sanctuary. We also have one invitation-only on-site event per year for members of our Caregiver Society. For more information on our giving levels and benefits please visit Donate.

Q. I will be visiting your area soon. Can I come by for an afternoon for a tour or to volunteer?

A. Save the Chimps is closed to the public except for Member Days, our annual Caregiver Society event, or tours by invitation only. Individuals who wish to volunteer should visit our volunteer page for more information on our volunteer program and its requirements.

Q. Is Save the Chimps run by volunteers?

A. No. The staff at Save the Chimps is made up of over 50 paid employees.

Q. Is there an age requirement to volunteer?

A. The age requirement to volunteer onsite at the Sanctuary is 18 years old. However, children and students can participate in offsite volunteering such as classroom projects, tabling at events, presentations, and fundraising drives.

Q. May I bring my child?

A. No. Children may not accompany adults while they are volunteering.

Q. May I bring my pet?

A. No, we cannot accommodate pets.

Q. What are the closest airports for me to fly in to when I travel to Save the Chimps?

A. Based on proximity to the Sanctuary they are:
Melbourne Airport
Palm Beach International Airport
Orlando International Airport

Q. I am in town visiting. Can I volunteer for a few hours?

A. All volunteers must go through Safety Orientation prior to beginning their volunteer experience. If you would like to volunteer for a few hours, please submit your completed application, along with your travel dates. We will do our best to arrange a Safety Orientation session for you so you are able to volunteer.

Q. A group of us would like to come out to volunteer for one day. Is that possible?

A. Yes! We welcome short-term volunteer groups. Please email volunteer@savethechimps.org with dates you would be available along with the number of volunteers we may expect.

Q. Do I need a car or is there public transportation?

A. The Sanctuary is rurally located and there is no public transportation to the Sanctuary. We strongly urge you to rent a car; however, if you do not drive you may seek the services of Uber.

Q. Do you provide onsite accommodations?

A. We do not offer onsite accommodations, however, we have partnered with:
Holiday Inn Express and the Vero Beach Hotel & Spa and they offer special rates if you mention that you are going to volunteer at Save the Chimps.

Q. I have worked with primates in the past. May I provide direct care to the chimps?

A. We do not allow volunteers to provide direct care to the chimpanzees, including feeding and administering medications. We require a minimum of 200 volunteer hours to be considered for cleaning enclosures, assisting with laundry, checking locks, and other forms of indirect care performed inside chimpanzee buildings.

Q. Will I have any physical contact with the chimpanzees?

A. We have a strict “No Touch” policy at the Sanctuary. Staff and volunteers are not permitted to touch a chimpanzee or let a chimpanzee touch them without the use of a secondary device such as a “tickle stick” or back scratcher. Anyone who touches or allows a chimpanzee to touch them will have their volunteer experience terminated.

Q. Will I be feeding the chimpanzees?

A. No. Only trained Save the Chimps staff are allowed to feed the chimpanzees.

Q. May I bring the chimpanzees food or toys?

A. Yes, we welcome donated items for the chimpanzees! Please follow the link to our Wish List. We accept a wide assortment of items including food, toys, laundry detergent, and even lawn equipment to help maintain the chimpanzees’ beautiful island homes! You can donate either new or gently used items.

Q. I have to do Community Service hours. Can I volunteer at the Sanctuary?

A. Yes, we do accept volunteers who require Community Service hours. We will even provide you with documentation that confirms the number of hours you have logged.

Q. What are the steps to becoming a volunteer?

A. Please review the following checklist to confirm you are ready to volunteer at Save the Chimps.

   Complete and submit your volunteer application
   Once you hear back from Save the Chimps, coordinate a date/time for your Safety Orientation
   Provide a copy of your negative TB test taken within one year
   Make sure you are a current member of Save the Chimps 

Q. What more should I know before I come out to volunteer?

A. Depending on the type of volunteer work you will be doing, you may want to wear comfortable clothes, close-toed shoes, a hat, and sunscreen.

If you will be at the Sanctuary throughout the day, you may want to bring your own lunch.

There are limited food options near the Sanctuary.

Before you begin your volunteer experience, we encourage you to browse through our website and familiarize yourself with our chimpanzee residents, our mission, and our organizational values.

Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer for Save the Chimps. Your compassion, time, and dedication will help enrich the lives of our beloved chimpanzee residents. Bring your smile, enthusiasm, and love for the chimps – and prepare for a rewarding experience!

More Questions?

For more general questions about chimpanzees and Save the Chimps, visit Sanctuary FAQ’s.

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Please email your completed application to volunteer@savethechimps.org or mail to: 

Save the Chimps
Attn: Monica Naranjo
PO Box 12220
Fort Pierce, FL, 34979