Veterinary Internship


It is our goal to allow our interns to grow in the direction of their interests and work towards their long-term goals. Interns will be expected to shadow veterinary staff and assist with the daily running of the center. In order to apply for the veterinary internship, we require that applicants are studying or have graduated from a veterinary-related field and have clinical experience.

Veterinary and Orphan Care internship prerequisites:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Can commit to at least one month
  • Currently studying or graduated in a veterinary related field
  • Has clinic experience and ideally worked in a rehab center before
  • Can provide at least 2 educational/ professional references
  • Successfully completes a Zoom interview

Common Experiences During a Veterinary and Orphan Care Internship

A variety of duties and experiences are available depending on how long you are able to join us for an internship. Interns who plan to dedicate one month can expect duties like these:

  • Feeding neonate and juvenile animals
  • Assisting and observing animal emergencies and triage
  • Observing surgeries
  • Observing and learning about necropsies (interns may be qualified to perform necropsies on a case-by-case basis)
  • Loading syringes and administering medications to animals at the sanctuary
  • Assisting with animal husbandry (cleaning, feeding and enrichment)
  • Preparing diet and nutritional needs
  • Record keeping
  • Collecting browse and leaves for the animals
  • Taking part in weekly educational lectures/ workshops

Interns who are able to stay with Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary longer than one month will experience activities in addition to those above. Including:

  • Completing independent necropsies, depending on the animals we receive
  • Assisting and observing animal surgeries
  • Honing critical care skills like bandaging techniques, inserting catheters for an IV, and fluid therapy
  • Practicing and learning about different suturing techniques
  • Practicing wild animal medicine and pharmacology
  • Assisting with physiotherapy

Veterinary Internship FAQ

All interns in this area will shadow our veterinary staff and assist accordingly. Things you will experience include:

  • Medicating sick animals
  • Assisting with rehabilitative techniques
  • Restraining animals for and assisting with clinical check-ups
  • Physiotherapy
  • Assisting with surgeries
  • Preparing diets
  • Assisting with orphan care
  • Assisting in feeding/cleaning of sanctuary and rehabilitation animals
  • Collecting and providing enrichment
  • Maintaining the clinic

While Spanish language skills are a definite plus, applicants must be fluent in English in order to qualify.

Because it is impossible to predict how many emergencies requiring surgery will occur over the course of your time with AWS, we can’t make any promises as to how many surgeries you will be able to assist with or witness. In order to qualify for assisting with surgery, we will look at how many years of study you have completed, the status of your degree, the complexity of the surgery and your level of competence.

While the veterinary internship’s primary duties revolve around the clinic, vet interns will be expected to assist throughout the rehabilitation center and sanctuary.

Because of the size of our clinic and the typical workload, we do not accept more than two vet interns at any given time.

While this depends on the animals we will be treating during your visit, it is likely that vet interns will be asked to feed or medicate sick/orphaned animals throughout the night once a week.