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Orphan Rearing & Fostering

 Two-day Course - 22 CVE credits


**New Course**

Orphan Rearing & Fostering


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We are excited to bring you our brand-new course for 2020 – “Orphan Rearing & Fostering”.

On this two day course we will focus on the rearing and fostering of orphaned Irish birds and mammals. Over the two days you will learn about appropriate housing, feeding techniques, recommended food and equipment for the short term, the dos and don’ts of orphan rearing & fostering, as well as rehabilitation licences, and examples of forms that will make your record keeping run more smoothly.

We will also have practical sessions which will include identifying the young of different species, intake procedures, handling advice, clinical exam and crop feeding, content of a “foster kit”, and lots of interaction with our experienced WRI team and RSPCA Instructor.

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

Participants must have completed the
WRI Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation course
before signing up






Programme Day 1


Registration & Coffee


Introduction to wildlife rehabilitation Ireland
Principles of rehabilitation
H&S - vaccinations
Do's and don'ts, Social media
Housing & Equipment
First aid
Intake & Identification
Record keeping
Handling & restraint
Clinical examination
Fluid therapy
Nutrition & Feeding techniques

12.00 Lunch
13.00 Skills and practical sessions;
Intake and clinical examination
Identifying the young of different species
15.00 Coffee
15.20 - 17.30 Skills and practical sessions;
Fluid administration in birds and mammals

Programme Day 2


Registration & Coffee


Orphans - Baby Mammals
Feeding techniques
Species specific rearing for mammals
Species specific rearing for specialist species; badgers, pine martens, otters, deer, seals
Species specific rearing for birds
Species specific rearing for specialist species; raptors
Baby bird housing, Nutritional considerations
Hygiene, Enrichment, Release
Next steps

12.00 Lunch
13.00 Skills and practical sessions;
Handling & feeding techniques
Gavage / tube feeding
15.00 Coffee
15.20 - 17.30 Skills and practical sessions;
Enrichment suggestions
Content of a “foster kit”
Interactive multiple choice quiz



Wendy Burrows

Wendy has been a Wildlife Supervisor at Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre and Cattery in Nantwich, UK for the past 14 years. Stapeley Grange is one of four RSPCA wildlife centres based in England that supports the rehabilitation of sick, injured, orphaned and confiscated wildlife.

Wendy oversees the daily operations within the wildlife centre and is one of 13 hands-on wildlife staff who all have different areas of expertise and work closely together.
Her education in Reaseheath College gave her training in; Principles of Biology, Habitat Management, Animal Health & Disease, Animal Welfare and Animal Behaviour.
Wendy supports and delivers in house and off-site lectures on wildlife issues; contributes to the formulation and continued improvement of rehabilitation protocols including those on the hand rearing of native wildlife; and is responsible for identifying suitable release sites for Stapeley Grange’s wildlife casualties. Wendy's other qualifications include: Oiled bird response, biosecurity training, species identification, and she is trained to perform euthanasia when necessary.
For Wendy, releasing rehabilitated animals is one of the most rewarding parts of the job.


Dan Donoher

Dan Donoher

Dan has worked at Kildare Animal Foundation for the past 17 years. Ten years ago he founded a Wildlife Unit there and has been managing it ever since. The role involves hands on wildlife rehabilitation on a daily basis, managing volunteer wildlife rehabbers at the shelter and the daily management of more than 80 volunteer wildlife responders.


Every year, more than 1,500 orphaned, injured or sick wild birds and mammal come through the KAF gates from all across Ireland. There they receive the care they need to be released back into the wild.
Dan has created and run numerous wildlife education courses down the years, some for interested members of the public, others for wildlife responders, rehabbers and others whose work involves caring for wildlife. He writes a weekly wildlife newspaper column and regularly contributes to radio and TV programmes to spread awareness about the need for wildlife protection and rehabilitation. Dan set up a nationwide Wildlife Helpline in 2017. It provides members of the public with a chance to report and get help and advice for wildlife in need.
Dan is also an advanced oiled wildlife responder and has recently returned from Belgium where he upgraded his skills in this specialist area. While continuing his work at KAF, Dan was recently appointed Rehabilitation and Outreach Manager for Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland.





Frequently Asked Questions  
Course Grant  


FEES for the two day course:

Anyone NOT claiming CVE credits

€190 (170 GBP)

Registered Veterinary Nurses if claiming CVE credits

€280 (250 GBP)

Veterinary Surgeons (MVB) if claiming CVE credits

€500 (450 GBP)

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. 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.

Difficulty Registering?




Course Grant

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.



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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 visit Bus Éireann's website

Taxi from Dublin airport visit Dublin airport's website

From Dublin city:
Bus number 103 visit Bus Éireann's website



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 Course:

2020 Course


Course practical session

Course practical session

“Should be compulsory for vets and nurses, to aid us in the treatment of our much-neglected native wildlife”

“So educational and inspiring!”

“Knowing what you can do and being happy with that”

“Interesting talks, variety of topics, learned lots of small new things as well as the big picture – get involved!”

“Anyone interested in helping wildlife would really benefit from meeting likeminded people and share knowledge and mentors”

“It’s always nice to refresh skills and knowledge no matter how long you’ve been in rehab”


“Brilliant course with amazing people with a wealth of knowledge”

Course practical session

Course practical session

Course practical session Course practical session


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