whooper swan
Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation

Two day Course - 22 CVE credits


Course practical session 

Want to be notified of upcoming Courses?

Be the first to hear the next course date announcement - join our mailing list

Due to the unprecidented demand for Wildlife Courses we are delighted to announce that we will be running them as demand dictates. We have provided Wildlife Courses since 2011 and they have grown rapidly in popularity - a great sign for our wildlife!

This training course concentrates on the theory and practice of wildlife rehabilitation and in order to provide the optimum learning opportunity the course is limited to an intimate group of twenty attendees. With this small group size our instructors are able to tailor their teaching to the level of knowledge you already have. This course is therefore open to anyone - regardless of your wildlife experience.

This course - 'Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation' is a comprehensive introduction to this profession. You will learn about: the legal and ethical issues regarding wildlife rehabilitation in Ireland; safe rescue and handling techniques of wild animals; how to perform a physical examination; first aid and common ailments encountered; what to feed wildlife and how to house them; zoonotic diseases; and release considerations.
The highlight for most attendees- the practical sessions!!, include: capture and handling; physical examinations; injections; tube feeding; bandaging; and what you'll need in your 'Wildlife Rescue Kit!

This two day course has been accredited by the Veterinary Council of Ireland for
22 CVE credits




Programme - Day 1


Registration & Coffee


Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland
What is rehabiliation
Capture & transport
Handling & restraint
Clinical examination

12.00 Lunch
13.00 Skills and practical sessions;
Capture and restraint
Physical examination
15.00 Coffee
15.20 - 17.30 Skills and practical sessions;
Injections in birds and mammals
Round up, discussion & feedback


Programme - Day 2


Registration & Coffee


Initial treatment
Fluid therapy
Feeding & nutrition
Common conditions
Post release monitoring

12.00 Lunch
13.00 Skills and practical sessions;
Gavage / tube feeding
Avian wing stabilisation
15.00 Coffee
15.20 - 17.30 Skills and practical sessions;
Wildlife rescue kit




  • Joanne Hedley

min standards


Joanna qualified from Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies in 2003 and spent time in mixed, small animal, exotic and wildlife practice before undertaking a residency in Exotic Animal and Wildlife medicine back at R(D)SVS where she obtained her RCVS Diploma in Zoological Medicine.
She is currently a RCVS specialist in Zoological and Wildlife medicine and European specialist in herpetological medicine. She joined the Royal Veterinary College in 2014 as Lecturer in Exotic Species and Small Mammal Medicine and Surgery. She is based at the Royal Veterinary College in Camden, where she leads the exotics clinical service and is developing student teaching of exotic species.


  • Kieran Corry

min standards

Kieran’s wildlife interest started at the age of 4 when he asked for a bird guide and a pair of binoculars for Christmas. As a profession he initially intended to become a marine mammal vet and did an externship with Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in the USA which included a capture and health assessment of wild bottlenose dolphins.

After realising that marine mammal veterinary meant either research or working at sea world, Kieran quickly changed his mind about this career idea.


After graduating with first class honours from University College Dublin in 2005 he worked in a busy large and small animal practice in County Tyrone. During breaks from working in practice, Kieran did voluntary work with Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education, and Safety in Peru, and Pilpintuwasi Wildlife Rescue - a wildlife rescue and temporary custody center located on 20 hectares of land 20 minutes outside Iquitos, the largest city in the Peruvian Amazon. Pilpintuwasi is dedicated to protecting animals affected by the poaching and trafficking industry which thrives in Iquitos.

To pursue this interest in the small animal field, particularly orthopeadic and soft tissue surgery, he moved to Birmingham to work in a progressive small animal practice where he expanded his skills. After moving back to Ireland in 2010, Kieran wanted to work in a practice that offered the highest standard of equipment and an ethos for veterinary care that matched his own. To this end, he now commutes from Tyrone to work in Clontarf Veterinary Hospital in Dublin.

On return to practice he took on any wildlife cases that came his way and rehabilitated them himself but was limited due to lack of proper facilities until he met Dan Donoher from Kildare Animal Foundation (KAF). Kieran is now able to concentrate on the veterinary treatment of Irish wildlife and leave KAF and Hedgehog Rescue Dublin to do the rehabilitation.
His main wildlife workload involves surgical and medical treatment of traumatic injuries caused by humans. He doesn’t profess to be an expert in wildlife medicine but sees a higher case load than most vets by default due to his interest in this area.






Frequently Asked Questions  

Course Grant  


Be the first to hear the next course date announcement - join our mailing list


FEES for the two day course:



Veterinary Surgeons (MVB) if claiming CVE credits

€ tbc

Registered Veterinary Nurses if claiming CVE credits

€ tbc

General Public and anyone NOT claiming CVE credits

€ tbc

Fee includes:
lunch (vegetarian soup & sandwiches)
morning and afternoon tea, coffee and biscuits breaks
delegate pack - magazines, brochures and wildlife information
WRI Certificate of participation

This course has been accredited by the Veterinary Council of Ireland
for 22 CVE credits




Q - How often do you run these courses
A - As demand dictates but roughly every 2-3 months. We announce dates in our e-newsletter as and when they are confirmed.

Q - Why is it more expensive for vets and nurses than general public
A - Though we have issues with the price of CPD for the veterinary profession, we have to face the fact that they have to pay one CPD provider or another, and we can't afford not to charge similar fees to the other CPD providers.

Q - Why is it more expensive for vets than for nurses
A - Vets are paid more than nurses!

Q - I'm a vet but don't need CPD, do I still have to pay the vet fee
A - No. Anyone not claiming CPD can register under the general public category

Q - How do I get notified of upcoming Courses?
A - Click HERE to join our mailing list and be the first to hear date announcements for future courses

Q - Can I get a refund if I can't attend after booking
A - Click HERE for Cancellation Policy

Q - Can I reserve a place on the next Course?
A - Sorry no. You can't know if you'll be able to attend until you know the date so I'm afraid it's first-come-first-served.

Q - How do I use the online registration system
A - When a course is open for registration, there will be a sentence saying: 'Click HERE to register', at the top of the page. Clicking on it brings you automatically to the online system - if you're having problems, click the HELP button below for instructions




If the fees are preventing your attendance you can contact us to discuss grant assistance

We have been asked by potential donors how to obtain the greatest good for wildlife from financial donations.   Our belief at WRI is that educating people about the importance and practice of wildlife care has the greatest long term good.

If you would like to donate specifically to the Wildlife Course Grant Fund to help subsidise our Wildlife Courses for those of limited means, please click on the DONATE button below.


Many thanks to those of you that have already donated



Back to Top



Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation

The Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation Course is an intensive and wonderfully engaging two day course that is geared towards wildlife rehabilitators, vets, students and wildlife enthusiasts. It is run by Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland (WRI); a not for profit organisation which exists to promote awareness of wildlife and wildlife rehabilitation in Ireland.

Tina lecture Tina lecture2

Irish wildlife is constantly facing challenges and WRI aims to provide useful information to the general public in order to improve animal welfare in Ireland. Unfortunately there is a lack of national capacity with regards to managing and protecting wildlife in Ireland and this science-based course is a step in the right direction in terms of equipping participants with both theoretical and practical knowledge on wildlife rescue and care.

hedgehog fluids swan fluids

Caring for wildlife differs greatly to caring for domestic animals and during the course you will be taught how to deal with mammals and birds of all sizes and behaviour. It is run by experienced and enthusiastic professionals who teach in an easy going, anecdotal way. Their ardent passion for wildlife comes through strongly in their lectures which makes learning even more fulfilling and enjoyable.

gavage injections

Due to the small number of participants on the course, interaction with wildlife professionals and enthusiasts is part of the whole experience of the Course. Thus it not only provides you with invaluable knowledge but it also enables you to network with people within the wildlife sector which can lead to exciting opportunities in the future.

Injections2 Tina Injections

The Course is carefully designed to cater for people of varying abilities and experience; it is both introductory yet keeps you on your toes. The course instructors are there to assist you with any trouble you may have with the course content. Upon entering the lecture room, you are given an introduction to a collection of excellent books - everything you need to know about rehabilitating wildlife. These books can be used in the open book examination that takes place at the end of the two days. The exam allows you to demonstrate what you have learned whilst simultaneously reinforcing your understanding through the process of revision. The course instructors are on hand to help you with any questions that you may have.

bandaging deer bandage

This accredited (Veterinary Council of Ireland) Course is scheduled multiple times throughout the year and takes place in Ashbourne, Co. Meath. Only 20 people are enrolled for each course so make sure you book early. The applied nature of this Course makes it completely unique and will enhance credibility.

wing wrap wing wrap2

If you want to make a difference and help promote standardisation of wildlife care in Ireland then it is an invaluable course to attend. If you are studying veterinary, the course will broaden your understanding of all animals; not just companion and farm animals. By the end of the two days, you will feel well-equipped and confident in knowing that you are carrying out wildlife rehabilitation procedures in the safest, most humane way possible.


Jade Dillon MA


Back to Top



Accommodation options  

The Wildlife Course is held in Ashbourne Community School, at the address below:

Ashbourne Community School
1 Deerpark,
Co. Meath

Click HERE for map and details


Driving directions:

From Dublin Airport:
From the airport follow signs for the M1 (Southbound) and the M50 (Southbound). Merge onto the M1 and stay in the left hand lane. After approximately 2km, take the slip road for the M50 (Southbound).
Stay on the motorway for 2 junctions, following signs for the N2, Ashbourne & Derry. Once you are on the N2/M2, after approximately 14km you will come to another roundabout, take the 3rd exit and drive all the way through Ashbourne village until you reach a cross roads with traffic lights and a campus petrol station on the left. Turn left there, then first right, then drive round to the left and you'll see the school.

From the M1 (Drogheda South junction):
Take the Drogheda / Duleek exit off the motorway and go through the toll booth on the slip road. At the roundabout at the top of the slip road take the 2nd exit signposted for Duleek. At the next roundabout take the 3rd exit towards Duleek / Ashbourne.
Go under the motorway and take the 2nd exit at the next roundabout, again signposted for Duleek / Ashbourne. Continue for 16km until you reach the junction with the N2. Turn left towards Ashbourne and travel along the N2 for approximately 8km until you reach a roundabout. Then follow the directions above (but taking the 2nd exit off the roundabout)

Public Transport directions:

From Dublin airport:
Bus number 109A click HERE for timetable

Taxi from Dublin airport roughly €48 (each way)

From Dublin city:
Bus number 103 click HERE for timetable



Price Range

Distance from Ashbourne Community School


32.8 km

Slane Farm Hostel
Harlinstown House
Co. Meath
Tel: 041 9884985 / 041 9824390

€ €

1.5 km

Baltrasna Lodge
Co Meath
Tel: 01 8350446

€ €

3 km

The Residents Hotel
Bridge Street
Co Meath
Tel: 01 8359300

€ €

4.6 km

Ashbourne House Hotel
Main Street
Co Meath
Tel: 01 835 8400
Email :

€ €

6 km

The Pillo Hotel
The Rath
County Meath
Tel: 01 835 0800
Email :

Delegates can also choose accomodation through HotelsCombined who scan and compare discounted rates from thousands of major travel sites.




Comments from some delegates who have attended our Courses:


2016 Courses

Jan 16   Feb 16   Mar 16   Oct 16
Nov 16            

November 2016

Course practical session

“Excellent course – Do it!”

“I learnt a lot in 2 days highly recommend”

“Amazing course, great fun!. Highly recommend”

“Great course, lots of hands on and knowledgeable people”

“Very informative, well taught and lots of fun!”

“Best course I have ever done”

Course practical session

“Gives you a real insight into the life of a rescuer”

“Gives you a feel of what to expect in this area of work. One of my best experiences. Boost confidence a lot!”

“If I could do the course over I would, so fun, learnt so much, and everyone is so down to earth. 10/10”

Course practical session

Course practical session

Course practical session Course practical session


October 2016 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

Course practical session



Course practical session

“A must do, if you have an interest in rehabilitation”

“Very informative and very enjoyable”

“Excellent introduction to wildlife rescue and rehab”

“Really enjoyed the course and meeting the tutors, can’t wait for the next one”

“Excellent course with plenty of info and hands on work”

“The best CPD course for vet Nurses interested in helping wildlife patients”

“Excellent course, hopefully I can use my new knowledge to make a difference to injured wildlife in Ireland”

“Take it!. Learn how you can help wild animals”

“A brilliant weekend with lifesaving skills learned”

“A fun interactive and informative weekend well spent!”

“An enjoyable and worthwhile course which I would recommend highly for anyone who cares about wildlife”

“Experience and knowledge gained in two days will greatly help you as a rehabilitator”

“Really enjoyable and very interesting”

Course practical session

Course practical session

Course practical session Course practical session


March 2016 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

Course practical session


Course practical session

"A really informative and enjoyable course, full of likeminded people and led by persons with true passion, experience and knowledge"

"Superb course well worth every penny. Recommend it to anyone"

"Was a brilliant introduction to wildlife nursing. I highly recommend this course to anyone who would like to be involved in wildlife rescue and rehab"

"A must for anyone already helping wildlife or wanting to get involved"


"Fantastic opportunity to develop wildlife care skills in a supportive and safe environment. Would recommend to anybody in the animal industry or any animal enthusiasts"

"Excellent a must for those entering rehab or vet nursing"

"Great experience especially coming from Leitrim and enjoying every minute of learning new skills and info"

"Enthusiastic kind helpful staff. Very hands on"

Course practical session

Course practical session

Course practical session Course practical session


Feb 2016 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

Course practical session

Course practical session

"I found this course extremely useful and think that everyone should do it!"

"Incredible to interact with mammals and birds of all kinds. Expanded my knowledge aon wildlife and gave me the ability to care for all animals"

"Brilliant course for anyone interested in helping wildlife"

"Excellent introduction to care of wildlife"

"Great selection of animals for hands on experience"

"Amazing course, would highly recommend"

Course practical session

Course practical session

Course practical session Course practical session


Jan 2016 - Ashbourne, Co Meath


Course practical session

“Excellent course”

“I would recommend this course for anyone who wants to know more about how to get involved with wildlife in Ireland”

“An essential basic for the beginner”

“Get your wildside out and help out the wild”

“I really enjoyed it. I learned loads. I feel much more confident in rescuing wildlife”

“Great course. Long days but worth it”

“Fantastic insight - inspirational”

“Best weekend course”

Course practical session

Course practical session

Course practical session Course practical session


Back to Top



2015 Courses

Jan 15   Mar 15   May 15   Nov Ashbourne 15
Nov Monaghan 15   Nov Killester 15        

2015 - Killester College, Co Dublin

Course practical session

Great course which covers a lot in a short space of time. Very beneficial for all”

“Very good course, so interesting and fun!”

“Excellent course, would really recommend”

“Extremely well run and practical”

“Great day. All the knowledge is there to take on board”

“Absolutely excellent and very relevant”

“Amazing course!!”

“Worth the smell!”

“If you love animal, do this course”

Course practical session

Loved it! Great experience and very fun!”

“Amazing value for money, so enjoyable”

"Really interesting, loved the practical side”

“Brilliant course, very educational and provides great skill development.”

Course practical session Course practical session


Nov 2015 - Monaghan Institute, Co Monaghan

Course practical session

“Overall brilliant course, very enjoyable”

“Brilliant course would recommend to others. Thank-you”

“Very good work that is being done”

“Fascinating, interesting and very useful for anything animal related”

Course practical session

Course practical session

Course practical session Course practical session


Back to Top


Nov 2015 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

Course practical session

Course practical session

“Fantastic. Tutors had a great knowledge and personal stories helped in explaining scenarios”

“I learnt a lot from my two days and the hands on experience meant I would feel confident applying techniques learned in future”

“A must do for anyone involved in animal care”

“Excellent 2 days!”

 “Great to be in the company of so many enthusiastic, well motivated people!”

“Everything you need to help an animal!”

“Really enjoyed this course. Run very well and professionally. Would recommend”

“Absolutely fabulous, lots of useful information. Highly recommend!”

“Excellent, well taught course. Very enjoyable days”

 “Great way to show dignity to animals after human carelessness”

“Very informative and practical course. Very well run”

Course practical session

Course practical session

Course practical session Course practical session


May 2015 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

Course practical session

 “Helped me re evaluate/learn new things. Good to meet people to network.”

“Lots of information but very clear and concise. Appropriate lectures and excellent practical experience.”

“Practical work was very valuable. Theory and presentation very well delivered.”

“Really enjoyed the whole course. Excellent 2 days with lots of useful information”

“I felt that all situations that may be relevant to me as a beginner were well covered. Instruction was informative, practical well delivered.”

“Excellent course, best wildlife course I’ve done, days good length.”

“Very in depth and covered a big range.”

Course practical session

Course practical session

Course practical session Course practical session


Back to Top


March 2015 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

Course practical session

“Excellent and engaging, I will carry what I have learnt in to everything I do in the future”

“Great tutors – great course”

“Brilliant, enjoyable course to do”

“Very informative and great way of networking”

“Great course! Have learned a lot and feel more comfortable dealing with wildlife cases now”

“Great course, learned loads, well worth it!”

“Go Rehab!”

“We all have a responsibility to protect the natural world. Please do this course it’s amazing!!”

Course practical session

Course practical session

Course practical session Course practical session


January 2015 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

Course practical session

“This course is a must for all wildlife rehabilitators and veterinary professionals with an interest in wildlife. Excellently presented and thoroughly enjoyable.”

“A must for all with injured wildlife at their door”

“Well organised, complete and useful course for everyone that wants to work with wildlife”

“Very interesting for all animal welfares in Ireland”

“A very enjoyable, informative weekend”

Course practical session

Course practical session

Course practical session Course practical session


Back to Top




Wildlife Courses

IWRC logo


Join our Mailing List

mailing list icon


Wildlife Crime Info



mailing list icon