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Wildlife Rehabilitation Course

Two day course - 22 CVE credits!!


IWRC eagle

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Due to the unprecidented demand for the IWRC’s Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation Course we are delighted to announce that we will be running it as demand dictates. The International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council have kindly facilitated this by training an Irish Instructor to deliver the Course. This will be the fourth consecutive year that we have offered this Course and it has only grown in popularity - a great sign for our wildlife!

This training course is a specialist course concentrating 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 delegates.

The IWRC are the leading developers of professional training for wildlife care providers in North America and internationally.   This course is an opportunity to sample the quality of rehabilitation training opportunities that are provided by the IWRC.   The IWRC offers both classroom and online based training in aspects such as wildlife nutrition, parasitology, pain management and basic wildlife rehabilitation. 

IWRC flyer photos


The Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation Course is a comprehensive introductory course in wildlife rehabilitation.  Lecture topics include: introduction to wildlife rehabilitation; anatomy and physiology; calculating fluid requirements; handling and physical restraint; thermoregulation; stress; basic shock cycle; initial care and physical examination; nutrition and associated diseases; standards for housing; zoonoses; euthanasia criteria and release criteria.
Practical topics include: gavage; physical restraint; injections; physical examinations; weighing and limb immobilisation.   

arrow Click HERE to download Wildlife Course flyer


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




Programme Day 1  (8.30 am - 5.30 pm)


Pre Course homework; unit conversions, fluid therapy, rehab protocol








Registration & coffee
What is Wildlife Rehabilitation?
Intake & Admission
Capture & Restraint – safe handling is crucial
Stress – a very important issue, what it does and how we can mitigate it
Physical Exam – gathering information can be critical in your treatment plan
Fluid Therapy part 1
Skills and practical sessions;
Capture and restraint
Physical examination
Injections in birds and mammals

Round up, discussion & feedback

Programme Day 2   (8.30 am - 5.30 pm)


Registration & coffee
Fluid Therapy part 2
Thermoregulatory Medical Problems
Head & Spinal Trauma Wound Management
Nutrition – taking the guess work out of your nutrition planning
Release Criteria
Skills and practical sessions;
Avian wing wraps
Wildlife first aid and rescue kit

IWRC multiple choice examination


  • Tina Swindle

Tina Swindle is an RCVS Qualified Veterinary Nurse. She holds a Certificate in advanced radiography from Cambridge Vet School, and has been Head Nurse and Clinical Manager in domestic and wildlife hospitals for over 15years.

Tina was born in Ireland but travelled to the UK to run her own veterinary referral animal physiotherapy clinic under the umbrella of the UK Medivet Veterinary Group.

Tina's personnel and animal management skills and her passionate interest in wildlife made her a natural staff choice for Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital in the UK. Starting as Head Nurse for 4 years, her communication, administrative and teaching skills led her to the position of Clinical Manager for another 8 years. During this time Tina instigated and ran the UK's first in-house wildlife care NVQ course. She achieved an internal verifier qualification for the NVQ programme

Tina’s enthusiasm, empathy and eagerness to share her wildlife rehabilitation knowledge, combined with the intimate size of the group, accounts for the popularity of this IWRC Course.




Frequently Asked Questions

Course Grant  

Want to attend?

Click HERE to join our mailing list and be the first to hear the next date announcement!


FEES for the two day course:



Veterinary Surgeons (MVB) if claiming CVE credits


Registered Veterinary Nurses if claiming CVE credits


General Public and anyone NOT claiming CVE credits


Fee includes:
lunch (vegetarian soup & sandwiches), morning and afternoon biscuits at coffee breaks
delegate pack - magazines, brochures and wildlife information
pre course homework and study guide
WRI Certificate of participation
IWRC Certificate of achievement if you pass the homework and exam!,
Minimum Standards of Wildlife Rehabilitation online pdf handbook
the IWRC Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation Manual

min standards


IWRC manual

This conference 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 few 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



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Certificate in Wildlife Rehabilitation

The International Wildlife Rehabilitation’s Basic 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; Tina Swindle is the instructor for the duration of the course. Tina is a RCVS qualified veterinary nurse and has been head nurse and clinical manager in domestic and wildlife hospitals for over 15 years. Tina teaches in an easy going, anecdotal way and makes scientific elements of the course easy to grasp. Her ardent passion for wildlife comes through strongly in her 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 IWRC 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 a course handbook which thoroughly outlines everything you need to know about rehabilitating wildlife. This handbook is 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.

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This accredited (Veterinary Council of Ireland) Course is scheduled multiple times throughout the year and takes place in the Pillo Hotel in Ashbourne, Co. Meath. Only 10 people are enrolled for each session and there is a waiting list so in order to ensure a place on this Course make sure you book well in advance. The applied nature of this Course makes it completely unique and will enhance credibility.

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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


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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 delegates who have attended some of the Courses

January 2016 - Ashbourne  

November 2015 - Killester College  

November 2015 - Monaghan Institute  

November 2015 - Ashbourne  

May 2015 - Ashbourne  

March 2015 - Ashbourne  

January 2015 - Ashbourne  

Jan 2016 - Ashbourne, Co Meath


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“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”

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Nov 2015 - Killester College, Co Dublin

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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.”

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Nov 2015 - Monaghan Institute, Co Monaghan

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“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”

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Nov 2015 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

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“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”

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May 2015 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

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 “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.”

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March 2015 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

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“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!!”

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January 2015 - Ashbourne, Co Meath

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“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”

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