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PAWS Chicago: PAWS for Life and Community Cats Internship

Chicago, IL
Companion Animal

The Community Outreach Department is focused in under-served communities of Chicago to remove barriers to access pet wellness resources, with a focus on spay/neuter. Our data driven programs directly reach the most under-served areas of the city through door-to-door outreach and building positive relationships with pet owners and feral cat caretakers. Using these strategies, Community Outreach is making strides towards a no-kill Chicago, keeping pets in their homes, reducing overpopulation, and empowering pet owners and cat caretakers with the resources and information they need to make the healthiest decisions for their pets.

The internship is structured to offer interns the opportunity to:

  • Learn strategies to address pet wellness resource inequities in under-served areas as opposed to creating policies and criteria that would create barriers to accessing resources.
  • Learn appropriate verbal and non-verbal communication skills to help encourage positive interactions with a variety of people and situations
  • Learn the basics of assessing pet needs in the household, including food, vet resources and behavior while assisting clients to receive these resources.




  • Willingness to learn about different cultures, neighborhoods, and backgrounds
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, often changing environment, often performing office and field work in the same day
  • Capacity to work independently once trained in a task (field work will always be done in pairs or groups, however)
  • Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
  • Assisting Intake Staff by drawing vaccines; restraining pets; combo testing; woods lamp; behavior assessment
  • Gus Bus (mobile spay/neuter clinic): Community interaction, pet recovery, responsibilities as needed
  • Assisting Vet or Staff with Community Medicine (assessing pets medical/behavioral needs at a community location or in their homes).
  • Transport companion animals and feral cats to and from home to the medical center or Gus Bus for services.
  • Talking with clients regarding vet services, spay/neuter, behavior issues, and post-operative instructions.
  • Managing feral cats in traps (TNRs)
  • Community outreach in under-served neighborhoods, including door-to-door canvassing
  • Assisting with TNR trap rental
  • On-site rescue and TNR in the field
  • Assisting at the Pet Food Pantry (PFP): loading/unloading food and other donations; organizing donations and handing them out to clients;
  • Cleaning dishes, cages, crates, vehicles, traps, laundry and other items related to the care of companion animals and feral cats as needed and requested
  • Admin: Scheduling appointments, intakes, data-entry, client phone calls, counseling, and database management

Interns will work 15 hours per week for the number of weeks they are available from May to August. Community Outreach works 7 days a week including evenings and weekends. Some evening and weekend work is required. Schedules and work accommodations will be discussed individually. Interns will spend about half of their time in the office and half their time working in the community.

Please email the contact listed with an updated resume, and an email stating your interest and work availability.

ANSC 398 Faculty Supervisor