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Internship Opportunities

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center  - - Summer 2017 Internship

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in Urbana provides toxicology educational programs, consulting services, review of case data as an alternative to traditional animal research, and a 24-hour veterinary diagnostic and treatment hotline.  Summer internships are available for ANSC students with interest in veterinary toxicology and animal welfare.  Interns may assist with the following types of projects:

·        Research for pending publications

·        Research for public-facing plant database

·        Marketing and development projects

This is a full-time position, with a commitment of ~400 hours (4 credits of ANSC 398) for the summer.  The successful intern candidate(s) will start training on May 15.

Interested students should submit a resume and a letter detailing specific interests in veterinary toxicology and animal welfare to Samantha Wright, Veterinary Assistant/Team Leader, at before April 15.


Champaign County Humane Society (CCHS) Internships

For more information and the application for the internships at CCHS in the following areas: a) animal care, b) animal behavior, c) the laboratory/medical program, d) adoptions, and e) surgery assistance, click here.


Various Companion Animal Internships

Note: The following internships have applications collected through one website (please fill out one application per semester indicating all internships you are interested in). Emails will be sent to all ANSC students when applications are available each semester.

The Dog Den, Champaign, IL

The Dog Den is a dog daycare and boarding facility in downtown Champaign. Interns will be supervising play groups and engage dogs in different activities, while reinforcing basic obedience throughout the day. Interns will assist in all aspects of kennel duties (feeding, cleaning, laundry). 

Availability: M-F working 6-9 hours a week either 8am-11am or 3pm-6pm. Student schedules and testing will be accomodated. 

Salary: Volunteer     Housing: Housing for students is not available.


Deadline for Spring Internship: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Fetch! Pet Care, Champaign, IL

Fetch! Pet Care is a professional dog walking and pet sitting company that provides service to Champaign-Urbana, Savoy, and Mahomet Proper.

Several internships are available and will consist primarily of supervising and engaging in the interaction and socialization of large and small dog playgroups, working alongside our Playgroup Coordinator, preparing and cleaning the dog yard, and working within the office to understand the concepts and practices of small business ownership and management with a focused concentration on pet care.

Availability: M-F, approximately 5-10 hours per week while working from 11am-2pm.  

***There may also be an opportunity to work with a local trainer on weekday evenings and weekends as well (not confirmed as of yet, and times not yet determined). These opportunities may not be available until several months into the internship.

Salary: Volunteer     Housing: Housing for students is not available.


Deadline for Spring Internship: No Spring Internship this year. Check back for summer internships.

CARE Center, Urbana, IL

See for an overview of the organization.  The CARE Center does not receive or adopt out animals; rather, our focus is on preventing relinquishment and keeping pets in their homes.  The Helping Paw Fund helps East Central Illinois pet owners pay for medical or behavioral care for their companion animals during times of financial instability.  We are an all-volunteer organization without a physical office.

Internship Overview:

The intern will work independently - providing his/her own workspace, computer and phone - to assist in managing, promoting, and raising funds for the CARE Center’s Helping Paw Fund.  Training will be provided.  The intern will discuss progress with the supervisor at least once a week via e-mail or telephone, and meet in person with the supervisor at least once every three weeks.


  • Excellent human interaction skills (verbal and written)
  • Ability to work independently with little supervision
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Access to a phone to make and receive phone calls
  • Access to a computer with Excel and Internet
  • Experience with Facebook preferred
  • Willingness to travel in the Champaign-Urbana area (public transportation available)

Specific activities:

  • Assist in managing the Helping Paw Fund (HPF)
    • Follow up with HPF clients
      • Contact clients by phone, e-mail or postal mail
      • Enter follow-up data into Excel spreadsheet
      • Coordinate receipt of testimonials and photos from clients
    • As scheduling allows, attend HPF client appointments at veterinary clinics with the supervisor or another board member
  • Assist in promoting the HPF
    • Help manage the Facebook page, posting testimonials and photos from clients with permission and sharing pet care tips from reputable sources
    • Make connections with local social service agencies, informing them of the HPF and inviting them to refer their clients
  • Assist in raising funds for the HPF (may include some or all of the following)
    • Help set up Ebay sales
    • Help with any fundraising events
    • Lead campus fundraising efforts
    • Opportunity to suggest and develop other fudraising avenues
  • If time allows and there is interest, create a budget worksheet for pet owners (food, vaccines, flea preventative, etc.) using what is learned during the internship and independent research such as talking with veterinarians at the College of Veterinary Medicine and private practice veterinarians.
  • Record experiences and independent research in the form of a journal, including difficulties and successes as well as how the work performed benefits CARE Center. 

Availability:  Interns will work a minimum of 50 hours over the semester for one hour of ANSC 398 credit.  Exact work requirements will be discussed with your supervisor and class schedules will be accommodated.

Salary: Volunteer     Housing: Housing for students is not available.


Deadline for Spring Internship: Friday, November 17th, 2017

All About Animals Pet Clinic, Mahomet, IL

This position is responsible for providing care to all of the boarding animals. This includes walking, feeding, providing water and enrichment, cleaning up after, and medicating (if necessary) all pets. This person will ensure the boarding facilities are clean, well maintained, and that all pet needs are tended to. This person will also bathe boarding dogs, fulfill additional services requested by boarding pet owners, and assist in supervising doggy daycare.

The Companion Caretaker is also responsible for the supervision, control, and management of Doggy Playcare dogs and ensuring the safety of the playgroup.  The Canine Caregiver may also be assigned the care of other animals boarding at the facility.  Additionally, the intern is responsible for the maintenance and cleaning of the playrooms as well as other areas of the facility as assigned.  Interns will also conduct outside research to learn more about best practices in managing boarding and doggy daycare businesses, as well as research into dog behavior and appropriate social play in dogs to help guide their interactions with playcare dogs.  This research will also aid the intern in adding to employee manuals for the facility for future use.

Availability:  Interns will be expected to work 8-12 hours per week for at least 10 weeks and class schedules will be accommodated.  Students with availability during holidays and breaks is appreciated, and students willing to work these times will be considered first.

Salary: Volunteer     Housing: Housing for students is not available.


Deadline for Spring Internship: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Jodie Vee’s Fun Dog Training, Champaign, IL

Jodie Vee’s Fun Dog Training classes focus on being fair, kind, and consistent in order to clearly communicate expectations to our companion animals, using humane, gentle, and positive techniques.

Internship responsibilities include assisting with introductory training classes - Basic Canine Companion Training and Introduction to Puppy Manners, as well as Level 2 courses that build on puppy manners. OR, another opportunity exists in helping the one-of-a-kind day training experience L.E.A.D. the Pack Day Academy which is NOT a doggy daycare, but instead, those that attend are privileged to small group instruction (5 dogs or less) for mental enrichment and physical fun! The Day Academy runs Monday through Thursday from 8:30am until 4:30pm. 

Availability:  Several part-time (10-20 hours per week) positions are available; weekday evening classes run Monday through Thursday, as does the Day Academiy, while Saturday and Sunday offer day class opportunities.

Salary: Volunteer     Housing: Housing for students is not available.


Deadline for Spring Internship: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Pupcakes Dog Training, Urbana, IL

Pupcakes Training offers a variety of courses for pet owners. Student interns will be allowed to observe and assist during these classes and other opportunities. Pupcakes Training focuses on puppy, advanced/competition obedience, agility, Canine Good Citizen, trick dog, therapy, and service dog training.  In addition, they also focus on addressing specific behavior problems.  Student interns are also allowed to join the lead trainer on pet therapy visits and to help run agility UKC or CPE trials once per month.  To learn more about Pupcakes Training, please visit their website at 

Availability:  Students schedules will be accommodated as much as possible, but students will need to work around arranged class schedules with internship supervisor. Students will be required to complete at least 50 hours to earn the minimal 1 credit hour for ANSC 398. 

Salary: Volunteer     Housing: Housing for students is not available.


Deadline for Spring Internship: Friday, November 17th, 2017

Animal Protective League Spay/Neuter Clinic, Springfield, IL

The Animal Protective League operates an animal shelter and spay/neuter clinic in Springfield, Illinois. Interns will have an opportunity to work in both areas during a 10-week internship, starting the second week of June and ending the second week of August. Interns will assist in both the daily operation of a high-quality, high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter clinic dedicated to ending pet overpopulation, and in the veterinarian’s office of a limited-admission shelter that accepts sick and injured animals.

Internship responsibilities will include: making surgical packs; doing laundry; cleaning kennels; drawing blood; restraining animals; assisting with surgical preparation, the operating room, and the recovery area; and providing daily care to shelter animals. Interns available to work weekends may also work in a fast-paced low-cost vaccine clinic that serves the public. Interns will be required to write an article for the APL newsletter about their experiences.

Availability: Two part-time positions (25-35 hours per week) for 10 weeks, Monday-Friday daytime hours, and occasional Saturdays.

Salary: Volunteer      Housing: Housing for students is not available.

Application:       Deadline for Summer Internship: See back later for Summer 2018 internships

Naperville Humane Society, Naperville, IL

Internship responsibilities include assistance with implementation of the Animals and Us summer day camp for children. Interns will assist with daily preparations, supervise children, lead camp activities, and develop and present humane education programs. Students will have the opportunity to participate in other aspects of the humane society, such as animal care, adoptions, and observation of dog temperament testing.

Availability: One part-time (20 to 30 hours per week), 10-week position; Internships start the second week of June and end the second week of August. The hours vary from 8:30am to 12:30pm, 8:30am-2:30pm, and 8:30am-10:30am (hours are dependent on the week and what camp is active) Monday through Friday.

Salary: Volunteer     Housing: Housing for students is not available.

Application:       Deadline for Summer Internship: See back later for Summer 2018 internships

DuPage County Animal Care & Control, DuPage, IL

Interns will have the opportunity to work in an open admission animal control facility.  Internship responsibilities include: Shelter animal care (kennel sanitation, feeding, grooming, training), adoption counseling, promotion of adoption animals, and assisting with humane education activities and special events.

Objectives and Activities

The main objective of the summer internship is to expose interns to all aspects of an animal control facility.  Interns will learn some of the main duties and responsibilities of the different departments, and get to perform basic tasks.  Interns will also help to facilitate humane education activities and assist with shelter special events and off-site adoption events.  Interns will work eleven 40-hour weeks.  Following is a list of the major activities and the percentage of time that will be spent on each.

Specific activities:

  • Kennel duties (40%) – cleaning cages, feeding animals, washing dishes/ litter pans, laundry, performing health checks of all animals, participating in temperament testing, assist with shelter animal training & enrichment programs.
  • Humane education/special events duties (20%) – assist in planning and implementing humane education and summer camp activities, create lesson plans and activities, lead educational activities, arts & crafts and games, assist with special event coordination, participate in off-site events promoting the shelter and adoptable pets.
  • Marketing assistance/promote DCACC adoptable animals (15%) – photograph adoption animals and post to DCACC website, Petfinder and Adopt-a-Pet.  Write brief descriptions for adoption animals.  Take amateur videos promoting adoption animals and DCACC activities.  Assist with media write-ups and photo shoots.  Help develop marketing and promotional materials as needed.
  • Office duties (15%) – answer phones, file rabies certificates and paperwork on shelter animals, show animals to perspective adopters and counsel adopters on specific animals and their care/needs, and general assistance with customers.
  • Assist Veterinary Technician (5%) – assist Vet Tech with intakes, health checks, vaccines, cytology, data collection and microchipping.
  • Assist Animal Control Officers (5%) – assist ACO’s with bite report follow-up, filing.  Assist ACO’s in the field as needed.

Availability: Internship will start in May and end in August

40 hours per week for 11 weeks - includes some weekends/evenings/holidays

Salary: $10/hour      Housing: Housing for students is not available.       

Application:        Deadline for Summer Internship: See back later for Summer 2018 internships

Paws Giving Independence, Peoria, IL

Interns will learn about what it is like to run a non-profit and train service dogs. Interns will help with training classes, fundraising, vet issues, and demonstrations while working with trainers, foster homes, and veterinarians. Hours will vary throughout the week. 

More information on Paws Giving Independence:

Availability: One part-time position available. Most activities are after 3pm and on Weekends. Internship starts in May and lasts 10 weeks (exact dates to be arranged with Paws Giving Independence Directors). 

Salary: Volunteer      Housing: Housing for students is not available.       

Application:        Deadline for Summer Internship: See back later for Summer 2018 internships

Safe Humane Chicago, Chicago, IL

Interns will work as volunteers with Safe Humane staff, contractors, volunteers and Court Case Dogs primarily to engage as many youth and corporate volunteers in our programming as possible, connecting people to the Court Case Dogs as well as other shelter dogs who are housed at Chicago Animal Care and Control, and to provide documentation that can be used to improve those programs and to fund them.  They will help plan, promote, implement and evaluate events. We invite a PowerPoint presentation to the Board about their internship and observations about Safe Humane programming.


The main objectives of the summer internships are to expose interns to Safe Humane messages and programming that focuses on education, advocacy and second chances for people and animals in under-resourced communities, particularly the Court Case Dogs; to support volunteers (who are more numerous in the summer months) in getting connected with us and the animals we work with; and to ensure we have effective, successful events with clear goals and metrics that document their success and what could be done to improve or change them.

Requirements and Qualifications
  • Skilled at and interested in working with both people and animals
  • Able to work independently within a team structure
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Good writing skills
  • Graphic design skills a plus
  • Proficient in Word and Excel
  • Access to a phone to make and receive phone calls and texts
  • Willingness to be fingerprinted for becoming a volunteer at Chicago Animal Care & Control
  • Tetanus shot within last five years

Availability: Interns will work a minimum of 30 hours per week for the number of weeks they are available from May through August, to be worked out with individual interns.  Weekend and evening work will be needed.

Salary: Volunteer      Housing: Housing for students is not available.       

Application:        Deadline for Summer Internship: See back later for Summer 2018 internships

PAWS Chicago: PAWS for Life, Chicago, IL

PAWS for Life works on the ground in under-served communities of Chicago to remove barriers to access pet wellness resources, with a focus on spay/neuter. This datadriven program directly reaches the most under-served areas of the city through door-to-door outreach and building positive relationships with pet owners. Using these strategies, PAWS for Life is making strides towards a no-kill Chicago, keeping pets in their homes, reducing overpopulation, and empowering pet owners with the resources and information they need to make the healthiest decisions for their pets.

PAWS for Life aims to address pet wellness resource inequities in under-served areas of Chicago. Some neighborhoods simply lack access to resources such as veterinarians and pet supply stores, although by law under-served pet owners are held to the same standards as those in well-resourced communities.

Although the program’s goals are to extend services to pets, it’s really about creating meaningful helping relationships with community members in order to best assist them.

  • The backbone of the program is strategic door-to-door community outreach methods. We go block-by-block, meeting people where they are at (geographically and otherwise), reaching clients who most likely would have never reached out to us.
  • Our program works WITH clients, having the agency take on the responsibility of making sure clients receive much-needed resources, instead of creating policies and criteria that would create barriers to accessing resources.
  • The program is entirely data-driven, researching which areas of the community are in the most need, collecting data in the field, and analyzing data to inform service provision.
  • Case management and analytic skills are used and developed in this work. No two client and pet issues are the same, and we work hard to find individual, creative solutions that are realistic for our clients and their pets.
  • Students would experience both office and field work, completely supervised by an MSW.
  • This is a new program that the organization is very excited about. There is a cultural shift happening at PAWS to create open, non-judgmental lines of communication with pet owners. The work being done by this program is spearheading this change. Students would have the opportunity to see advocacy at work internally within an organization.

Availability: Schedules are flexible and students can choose days that work for them. Students will spend about half of their time in the office and half their time working in the community. Schedules and work accommodations will be discussed individually

Salary: Volunteer      Housing: Housing for students is not available.       

Application:        Deadline for Summer Internship: See back later for Summer 2018 internships

PAWS Chicago: Community Cats Program, Chicago, IL  

PAWS Chicago is looking for an energetic, organized cat person with a passion to change the lives of urban cats.  The Community Cats intern will have a direct and active role in expanding public awareness, promoting community engagement, and assisting volunteers and the public with trap-neuter-return. The ideal candidate will be proactive and work independently while prioritizing, staying organized, and maintaining attention to detail.  Qualified candidates will also have excellent people, phone and creative thinking skills and will be proficient in Microsoft Office.  A weekly commitment of 8 hours per week, for 3-4 months, is preferred.

About the agency: PAWS Chicago is the largest No Kill humane organization in the Midwest and a national model in high-quality animal sheltering. Through long-term, sustainable programs and practices, PAWS works to permanently reduce the overpopulation of homeless pets in Chicago while leading a grassroots effort to provide resources and education programs to the most under-served communities of the city, supporting pet owners and their families.

Job responsibilities: Duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Phone calls, counseling, and database management
  • Managing feral cats in traps (TNRs) our spay/neuter clinic
  • Community outreach in under-served neighborhoods, including some door-to-door
  • Assisting with TNR workshops and the trap rental and pet food pantry programs
  • On-site rescue and TNR in the field, transporting cats to and from our clinic

Availability: Schedules are flexible and students can choose days that work for them. Students will spend about half of their time in the office and half their time working in the community. Schedules and work accommodations will be discussed individually

Salary: Volunteer      Housing: Housing for students is not available.       

Application:        Deadline for Summer Internship: See back later for Summer 2018 internships

Internships with Humane Societies, Animal Shelters, and National Animal Welfare Organizations

PAWS Chicago, Chicago, IL

PAWS Chicago is a state of the art shelter facility in Lincoln Park in the city of Chicago.  This organization is dedicated to ending pet homelessness through their adoption program, special events, spay/neutering efforts, and other programs.  PAWS Chicago offers a variety of different internship opportunities for students.  Please check out their website to learn more about PAWS Chicago:

Availability:  Internship availability, times, and dates are varied depending on the internship program.  This will be decided by your internship supervisor at the organizations.  

Salary: Volunteer, unpaid    Housing:  Housing is not provided

Application: To find out more about the different internship opportunities, as well as how to apply please visit their website at: 

Various ASPCA Internships, New York City, NY and Washington, D.C.

Departments of the ASPCA offering internships valuable to animal sciences students include:  ASPCA Animal Hospital (AAH), Adoption Center, Field Investigations & Response (FIR), Community Outreach, and Government Relations (perfect for those considering law school)

Program Objectives:
  • Increase awareness and promote the values and mission of the ASPCA
  • Develop and improve individual marketability
  • Provide networking opportunities and expose individuals to career options within animal welfare and infrastructure teams
  • Hone professional skills required for job placement
  • Develop life-long animal welfare advocates and professionals

Availability:  Students should be available for 10-16 weeks (20-40hrs/week) of work between May 15th and August 30th

Salary: Volunteer, unpaid         Housing: Housing for students is not available.

Application: Applications for summer internhips are due in the spring.  Please check the ASPCA website for more information, including application due dates and availability.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Kanab, Utah

For students who may want to work in the field of animal welfare or animal sheltering, what better way than to do what you love while gaining hands-on experience? Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, located in beautiful southern Utah, is a largest companion animal sanctuary in the nation with around 1,700 animals at any given time including dogs, cats, parrots, rabbits, horses, pigs, and goats.  

Explore the sanctuary here:

Best Friends Offers 5-week and 4-month Animal Care Internship Programs:

  • 5-week General Animal Care Internship – Interns in this program spend one week in each of five animal areas: Dogtown, Cat World, Horses/Pigs, Parrots & Rabbits. Participating in the daily routine of the sanctuary gives interns an excellent opportunity to learn about animal care, socialization of animals, animal behavior and animal rescue.
  • 4-month Species Specific Animal Care Internship (offered in dogs, cats, and parrots only) - There are specific learning objectives and a syllabus outlining tasks and competencies for each of the animal areas. Interns will be involved in all aspects of the day to day activities and overall operations of their animal area.

The programs are open to individuals ages 20 and older, who wish to pursue a career in an animal-related field.

Please visit the following page to learn more about the internships including tasks involved, housing, start dates, etc.:

Applicants will be selected based on their application responses to questions, references and their involvement in local animal shelter or welfare issues.


  • 5-week General Animal Care Internship: Sessions begin year around with eight various start dates, which are listed on the internships webpage. There is no deadline to submit applications, but please note that summer sessions for the 5-week internship usually fill up one year in advance.
  • 4-month Species Specific Internship: Sessions begin year around with six various start dates available throughout the year. Please see the dates listed on the Best Friends Animal Society Internships webpage.

Salary: Volunteer (unpaid)                        Housing: Not provided  

Animal care interns may apply for scholarships to assist with housing and travel if there is a genuine financial need.

Application: For more information on these internships, including session start dates and where to apply, please visit the following website:



Puppy Mills Campaign, Humane Society of the United States, Gaithersburg, MD

The Humane Society of the United States is offering an internship within their Campaigns Department specifically focused on the issue of puppy mills across the country.  

Interns will be able to gain a deeper understanding of the puppy mill industry and how it interscts with the issues of animal health, animal shelters, responsible breeding practices, pet overpopulation, the broader pet industry, and animal protection legislation.  Interns will gain valuable knowledge and experience through research and outreach relating to puppy mill issues.  

Interns can expect to learn more about the organization as a whole, understand the issues surrounding puppy mills at a national level, and receive the opportunity to gain valuable networking opportunities in the animal welfare field.

Availability:  The internship time committment is generally 30 hours per week for 10-12 weeks.  

Salary: Volunteer, but a commuting stipend is provided corresponding to number of days worked ($50/week maximum).   

Housing: No housing is available, but the HSUS works to connect interns beforehand and provide information to make housing arrangements easier.  Most interns come from out of state, so finding a roommate is an easy and frequent option for interns.

Application: To find out more about available internships, including how to apply, please visit the following website:

Wildlife and Exotic Animal Sanctuaries

Wild Horse Sanctuary, Shingletown, California

Internship responsibilities include assisting with daily horse care, feeding and ranch operations, assisting with weekend trail rides, greeting visitors and offering information about the Sanctuary, and participating in wild horse identification projects. Additional projects are available and will be tailored according to student interests and the needs of the Sanctuary.


Multiple full-time (10-week) summer positions; Internships start in May and last 10 weeks (exact dates to be arranged with the Sanctuary Director).


Housing is provided. Housing AND meals at camp, during weekend trail rides, is provided, and meals when at camp are provided at Wild Horse Sanctuary.    


Applications for summer internships due in February.  Applications can be downloaded/completed at the following website:  

Various Internships, Chimp Haven, Keithville, LA

Chimp Haven serves as the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary.  This organization provides sanctuary for chimpanzees previously used in biomedical research.  Various internships are available in the animal care and behavior (general behavior and environmental enrichment) departments.

Availability: Full time, 20-40 hours per week (depending on the internship), available time frames throughout the year.  Please request a time frame in your cover letter.  Minimum 6-8 week committment depending on the internship.

Salary: Volunteer     

Housing: Housing may be available.

Application: To find out more about available internships, including how to apply, please visit the following website (internships are found at the bottom of the page):

Animal Care Intern, Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, Murchison, TX

The Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, which is a world-renowned animal sanctuary that is home to more than 1,000 domestic and exotic animals, many of whom have been rescued from near-death situations such as slaughterhouses, biomedical research laboratories, and trophy hunting ranches, seeks Animal Care Interns to help care for a variety of species. Five types of internships are available: Equine, Exotic, Facility, Primate, and Vet Tech.

Interns have the opportunity to gain valuable hands-on animal care experience, knowledge about a variety of species, and exposure to the operations of an animal care center.

Availability: 40 hours per week for 12 weeks between May 27th and August 16th

Salary: Volunteer      Housing: Free housing is available for students.

Application: To find out more about this internship, including how to apply, please visit the following website:

Wolf Park, Battle Ground, IN

Wolf Park is a sanctuary for wolves in Battle Ground, IN.  Wolf Park hosts many educational events at its facility, raises and socializes wolf puppies for its park, and conducts research into wolf behavior.  Interns have an opportunity to gain experience in fields related to captive animal management and wildlife biology, while supporting the daily operations of a non-profit organization. Students will gain experience in the behavioral training, wolf puppy socializing, and research.

Availability: Interns will work for 2-3 months (preference for those who can stay 3 months)

Salary: Unpaid     Housing: Housing onsite is available to interns

Application: Summer internships fill up extremely fast and are competitive.  Students interested in interning at Wolf Park in the summer of 2015 should apply and submit an application by the summer of 2014.  More information regarding the internship, as well as how to apply, can be found at the following website:

Exotic Feline Rescue Center, Center Point, IN

Students will learn firsthand the many aspects of exotic animal care.  Internships are individualized for each student.  All interns will be involved in food preparation, feeding, cleaning, maintenance of the enclosures and grounds, construction and veterinary care. All interns will be trained and involved in Public Education including greeting tourists at the gate, daily public tours and other educational programs

Availability:  Students will be expected to complete a 3-8 week stay at the sanctuary.

Salary:  Unpaid, volunteer   Housing:  Housing is not provided for students, but EFRC staff will help you find appropriate housing nearby.

Application: For more information on this internship, as well as how to apply, please visit the following website:

American Bear Association, Orr, MN

The American Bear Association maintains the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary in Orr, MN.  Every summer, wild bears and a variety of other native species travel to and stay in the sanctuary’s boundaries.  Visitors visit the sanctuary to observe and learn more about bear behavior. 

Interns will help to educate the public during open hours.  This includes, but is not limited to, greeting visitors, pointing out and explaining bear activity, giving interpretive talks on bear ecology and behavior, and answering visitors’ questions about bears.  Other tasks during the day will include preparing bear food mixes, helping to put out food, assisting with general cleanup chores, including scooping of bear scat, participating in habitat improvement projects, and maintaining records on bear activity.

Availability:  Internships are completed over the summer. Interns will work 9-10 hours per day, completed in 2 shifts.   

Salary:  This position is unpaid, but food and housing is provided.

Housing:  Food and housing is provided.

Application:  For more information on this internship program, as well as how to apply, please visit their website at:

National Tiger Sanctuary, Saddlebrooke, MO

The National Tiger Sanctuary offers several internship opportunities for students interested in working with exotic animals.  Interns help to care for the animals, monitor their health and behavior, and can eventually help lead tours of the sanctuary for visitors.  

Many of the current employees working at the sanctuary were once interns.  This is a great way to get your foot in the door working with exotic animals.  

You can find out more about the sanctuary by visting their website: 

Availability: Interns are required to commit at least 12 weeks to the program.  Actual times for the internship will be determined by your internship supervisor at the sanctuary. 

Salary: Unpaid, volunteer

Housing: No housing is available, but the sanctuary works with interns to help them find housing together and may offer some financial assistance for housing if needed.  

Application: To find out more about available internships, including how to apply, please visit the following website:

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, Albion, IN

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary offers two unpaid internship programs.  The Exotic Animal Care Internship program enables students to gain a broad husbandry experience caring for up to 50 different species of animals.  The Primates (& More) program is focused primarily on the care of resident small and large primates, primate enrichment, behaviors, and may include husbandry for other species as well.

Students who have completed a Black Pine internship have gone on to secure paid positions at veterinary clinics and hospitals, animal shelters, research firms, and at some of the nation's finest zoological institutions

Availability:  Applications are accepted year round and availability is offered on a case-by-case basis.

Salary: Volunteer, unpaid   Housing: Housing for students is not available.

Application: For more information on this internship, including how to apply, please visit the following website:

Pacific Primate Sanctuary, Maui, Hawaii

Pacific Primate Sanctuary is a wildlife conservation organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of threatened, endangered, and distressed primates. Since 1984, the Sanctuary has maintained a federally authorized facility for threatened New World monkeys, many of whom have been rescued from research laboratories and the illegal exotic pet trade.  They provide refuge and rehabilitation, creating naturalistic habitats where displaced primates can recover and form social groups.

Interns learn how to provide daily care, enrichment, and nurturing to approximately 50 monkeys, preparing food, cleaning enclosures, and maintaining the sanctuary facility. Interns then receive emergency care training, becoming proficient in capture, transfer, restraint and handling, and specialized individual care. They can then begin to acquire skills in colony management.  Interns will also receive specialized medical training: calculating drug dosages and administering medication, checking vital signs (temperature, respiratory, and pulse rate), providing subcutaneous fluid therapy and intensive care (heat, fluids, special diet, wound care, etc.). They play an intimate part in veterinary consults, treatment plans, and follow up.  Interns also participate in sanctuary management.

Availability:  Contact the sanctuary to learn more about availability, applications, and internship length/hours.   

Salary:  This position is unpaid.

Housing:  The sanctuary provides fully furnished and equipped Yurts (traditional round structures designed specifically for tropical living) with wireless Internet service. Utilities, paper goods, and cleaning supplies are also provided.  Food and other living expenses are paid by the intern.

Application:  For more information on this internship program, as well as how to apply, please visit their website at:

Zoo Internships

Brookfield Zoo/Chicago Zoological Society, Chicago, IL

The Chicago Zoological Society, which operates the Brookfield Zoo, has a long-standing Internship Program that has been recognized as one of the top programs for college students in the country. The program, established in 1975, was one of the first in the nation to allow students pursuing careers in animal care the opportunity to work side by side with professional zookeepers, learning the skills and techniques necessary to manage exotic zoo animals.

Zookeeper internships are available with a variety of animals: Large animals, Domestics, Small animals, Birds, Reptiles, Hoof Stock, Amphibians, Marine Animals, and Nutrition. Specific opportunities vary term to term. Please check their website often for available internships.

Other experiential learning opportunities are available in a variety of non-animal areas including: Marketing and Special Events, Education, Human Resources, Public Relations, Development, Horticulture, Environmental, and Conservation Biology.

Availability:  Students will be expected to complete a 12 week term (5 days/week, 40 hours/week).  Summer term runs from May-August.

Salary:  Unpaid, volunteer         Housing:  Housing is not provided

Application: Available positions and applications are open and due in February.  For more information on this internship program, please visit their website at:

Zoo Nutrition Internship with Brookfield Zoo/Chicago Zoological Society, Chicago, IL

The Chicago Zoological Society – Brookfield Zoo is seeking a bright, motivated, and engaging student to fill an internship position in the Zoo Nutrition Services department.  As a part of this internship, the intern will learn about comparative nutrition/biology, the logistics of feeding over 2500 animals, and experience behind-the-scenes insight into the care and husbandry of the animals.

The first two weeks of the internship is spent in the Commissary learning about how we prepare and deliver all the food around the zoo.  The remainder of the time will be spent with the nutritionist, shadowing her through her day and providing support for research and projects.


1.            Assist nutritionist with daily activities.  (25%)

2.            Maintain and update diet records.  (20%)

3.            Perform data entry.  (20%)

4.            Research and review literature.   (20%)   

5.            Complete animal observations.  (10%)

6.            Other related duties as assigned . (5%)


·  Minimum one year of college at an accredited institution, G.P.A. 2.7/4.0, majoring in animal science, nutrition, biology, food science or other relevant field.

· Minimum 18 years of age.

· Strong interpersonal communication and organizational skills.

· Computer proficiency required; Word and Excel knowledge highly preferred.

Availability:  Students will be expected to committ to at least 10 weeks; approximately 30 hours per week.

Salary:  Unpaid, volunteer         Housing:  Housing is not provided

Application: Cover letter, resumes, transcript, and one letter of recommendation are required to be considered for the position.  All items should be submitted no later than February 19, 2016; documents should be sent to  This is an unpaid position, but school credit can be considered based on curriculum and project completion.

Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL

The zoo’s Research Internship program provides unique opportunities for undergraduates and recent graduates to gain research experience on exotic species in a captive setting. The internship program is based in the Conservation & Science Department and offers a unique opportunity to conduct work in a variety of areas and gain valuable experience while being a part of the zoo’s team approach to research and management of small populations. Interns have the opportunity to conduct research projects under the guidance of staff scientists in one or more of the following areas: demography, population genetics, population modeling, animal behavior, animal cognition, epidemiology, endocrinology and conservation.

Internships are between three months and two years. The three-month internships are usually filled in the summer months by college sophomores, juniors or recently graduated seniors. In these internships, a student is mentored by a zoo scientist on a single research project in one of the above areas. These short internships usually focus on data collection and/or analysis of an ongoing research project.

Recent college graduates are eligible for longer internships when available. In these longer internships, the intern often carries out multiple research projects in a combination of disciplines (often with different staff mentors), leading to a broad range of experiences. Since its inception the program has trained more than 80 undergraduate and graduate students. Student projects have resulted in published papers, scientific presentations, undergraduate honors theses, master’s theses and Ph.D. dissertations.

The majority of previous interns have gone on to professional careers in science, including veterinary school and graduate school in the biological sciences; several have obtained jobs in Lincoln Park Zoo’s Conservation & Science Department.

Availability:  Summer internships last 3 months. Recent graduates may look into longer internship opportunities (up to 2 years in length). 

Salary:  Unpaid, volunteer         Housing:  Housing is not provided

Application: Availability is variable.  If no internship positions are posted but you would like us to keep your information on file for future openings, email a copy of your resume to

For more information on this internship program, and to see available internships, please visit their website at:

Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, NE

There are a wide range of internship opportunities with the Henry Doorly Zoo.  These internships try to encompass many aspects of the zoo operations.  For more information regarding these opportunities, please call 402-738-2076 or

Application: For more information on the Henry Doorly Zoo please visit the following website:

St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis, MO

The Saint Louis Zoo provides college/university students, recent graduates and individuals with prior college coursework in the area of biology, zoology, education, animal science or related fields an opportunity to learn about the Zoo's zoological operations while obtaining valuable, hands-on work experience in animal care or education and an understanding of the Saint Louis Zoo's role in research and conservation.

Availability: Interns are required to serve a minimum of 20 hours per week for a minimum of six weeks

Salary: Volunteer, unpaid    Housing: Housing for students is not available.

Application: For more information on this internship, as well as how to apply, please visit the following website:

Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, IL

The Shedd Aquarium offers multiple internship programs to students.  One of internship of interest for animal sciences students is the marine mammal internship.  Interns will be involved in data collection, food preperation and husbandry for a variety of marine mammal species.  Interns may have contact with some animals, but animal contact is kept to a minimum.  This is a great opportunity for students interested specifically in a career with marine mammals.  

Availability: Interns are required to serve 12 to 20 weeks (30-35 hours per week).   

Salary: Volunteer, unpaid    Housing: Housing for students is not available.

Application: For more information on this internship, as well as how to apply, please visit the following website:

Peoria Zoo, Peoria, Illinois

The Peoria Zoo is looking for collection management interns to assist the Curator of Collections with the follwing tasks:

-Maintaining detailed records on animal training, behavior,reproduction, and genealogy.

-The development of the annual Institutional Collection Plan

-Cataloging animal id photos and bio facts

-And assist with other duties as assigned

Availability: Internships last for a minimum of 12 weeks, 16 hours per week.  Available year-round (check for specific application deadlines).

Salary: Most are volunteer, unpaid    Housing: Housing for students is not available.

Application: For more information on this internship, as well as how to apply, please visit the following website:

Memphis Zoo, Memphis, TN

The Memphis Zoo has rotating internships available in the fall, spring, and summer each year.  Internships involve animal care activites in a specific area of the zoo (with specific species).  All applicants must have completed their freshmen year prior to applying, and must be maintaining at least a 3.0 GPA in the area of their major.  Interns will be considered volunteers and will operate under the supervision of the Volunteer Coordinators, as well as their area supervisors and will also be required to pay the $50 Volunteer Membership Fee. 

Deadlines for applications are as follows: April 10 for Summer (May-Aug) internships, July 1 for Fall (Sept-Dec) internships, and November 1 for Spring (Jan-April) internships.  

Availability: Interns must commit to working a minimum of 24 hours per week for 8 consecutive weeks.  

Salary: Unpaid, volunteer    Housing: Housing for students is not available.

Application: For more information on this internship, as well as how to apply, please visit the following website and click on "Internship Opportunities":   

Wildlife Rehabilitation/Refuge Center Internships

The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, Top Sail Island, NC

The Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is committed to the care and release of injured or sick sea turtles.

This summer internships allows students to work hands-on with the sea turtles in the center's care.  Interns will prepare and distribute food, maintain habitats, be involved in veterinary care, and introduce the public to sea turtles during visiting hours.

Beach surveys and nest relocation is also an aspect of the internship.  Some night shifts are included to search for nesting females, nest sit while waiting for hatching turtles, and post-hatching data collection and analysis.

Availability: Interns must commit to working a minimum of 12 weeks.  Interns will work 5 1/2 days per week with Wednesday afternoons and Sundays off.  

Salary: Unpaid, volunteer    Housing: Housing for students is provided for the 12 week program.

Application: For more information on this internship, as well as how to apply, please visit the following website:  


Wild Care of Cape Cod, Eastham, MA

Annually, Wild Care admits between 900 and 1400 animals, native to Cape Cod, the Islands and southeastern Massachusetts for rehabilitation and orphan rearing. Interns receive training and gain experience in rehabilitation techniques, volunteer management, and public education, from staff and veterinarians volunteering their services.

Interns will help in the rehabilitation of the center’s animals by aiding in basic husbandry, medical care, releases, diet preparation, and more.  Interns will also conduct research of wildlife habitats, behaviors, and natural history in order to conduct and improve upon humane education and outreach programs.  Conservation research, data collection, and dissemination of information gained to the public will also be a part of the intern’s responsibilities.

Availability:  There is a minimum 8 week requirement for this internship. Interns are required to work 5 days a week, 40 hours per week.

Salary:  Interns committing to a 40-50 work week will receive a weekly stipend of $150.00.  

Housing:  Housing may only be secured for summer interns.

Application: The application process is very competitive.   For more information on this internship program, as well as how to apply, please visit their website at:


Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, Prairie City, IA

Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge is located 20 miles east of Des Moines, Iowa.  The refuge consists of 5600 acres, 3000 of which has been returned to prairie.  Bison and elk roam an 800 acre enclosure, white-tail deer, mink, coyotes, owls, and numerous songbirds also wander the refuge.  Interns will have a fantastic opportunity to explore this endangered ecosystem.  Intern duties include assisting staff in a diversity of Visitor Services projects including; environmental education, curriculum development, staffing the Visitor Center information desk, assistance with public special events, and trail maintenance.

Availability:  The internship generally runs 9-12 weeks, working 40 hours per week.  This internship is available in the spring, summer, and fall seasons.

Salary:  Interns will receive a stipend of $2880 to $3840 for 9-12 weeks respectively. 

Housing:  Housing is not provided but there are several rental opportunities in the local area.

Application: Please visit the following website for the full internship flyer which includes application information:  

Equine Internships

Society for Hooved Animals' Rescue and Emergency (SHARE), Dewey, IL

SHARE is a non-profit equine rescue which typically houses about 35 rescue horses at any time.

The Animal Care internship covers daily management of healthy as well as abused and neglected equines. Responsibilities include helping feed the horses, handling to bring them into stalls nightly, grooming, and maintaining a log of health/training activities for your charges. Interns will be able to learn how to properly handle horses of different ages and personalities and what's involved in the daily care of equines. Interns will also help with socializing some abused horses by teaching them to allow being groomed. Overall, the intern will learn valuable equine management skills.  Applications must have reliable transportation out to SHARE.

Availability:  Hours are 4-7pm at least twice per week. The days are flexible.  Internships are available all year around

Salary:    Volunteer

Application:  To find out more about this internship, including how to apply please email Debra Hagstrom at