Studying or want to study pre-veterinary science, animal science, shelter medicine/management or related field? Then the Animal Care Sanctuary’s Pre-Veterinary Internship Program might be for you – and don’t take our word for it.
“This summer has been the most amazing one of my life so far. I love Animal Care Sanctuary and wish I could stay here longer. I have grown more as a person than I thought I ever could. I have met so many amazing people and animals ….I have become not only a better student and learner, but more importantly a better person because of this internship.” Elizabeth, Summer Intern 2019
Animal Care Sanctuary is one of the oldest and largest no-kill shelters in the United States and is the only animal care organization of its kind in the country that offers pre-vet internships with housing on-site.
Our lifesaving mission envisions a community that promotes turning compassion into action for dogs and cats by adopting healthy animals into loving homes, promoting the human-animal bond through outreach, education and advocacy, spaying and neutering to end the suffering of over-population and to improve public health, and the humane and compassionate treatment of all animals.
The three main pillars that guide our work are animal rescue/adoption, community collaboration and education.
The ACS Intern Program is designed to give students the experience in all facets of shelter and sanctuary management. It provides opportunities to develop skills in a variety of areas involved in animal care.
Interns are given the opportunity to work with 200-300 cats and over 35 dogs to provide quality care, enrichment and socialization in a facility designed for optimum animal health and well-being.
The program consists of a 12-week rotation through their cattery, canine care, low cost spay/neuter and wellness clinic (working with our vet team), and the adoption office to experience all aspects of the sanctuary. Students get education on the non-profit model and board governance. Students are also part of their Alternative Housing program in which they foster and train shelter dogs who require behavioral modification training (BMT) to increase their adoptability. This program has been very successful in decreasing a dog’s length of stay. During the time with the interns, the dog’s stress level decreases living in a homelike atmosphere while their BMT increases.
Here is an overview of Kayla’s recent internship experience:
“Every rotation gave me a much better understanding of shelter medicine operations and helped me build skills that are essential for success while pursuing a career as a veterinarian…Probably one of the best highlights of the internship for me was the foster experience. Allowing us to handle and work with dogs that are in need of behavior modification really demonstrates the trust ACS is willing to put in the interns…The vet clinic team at ACS was always excited to be able to show me interesting medical cases and really wanted to give me as much hands-on experience as was possible…Overall the team at ACS is dedicated to the care of their animals. I’m proud to be able to say that I got to be a part of this team and I am excited to be able to point people in the direction of ACS because I know just how much time and energy they put in towards the care of their animals.”
– Kayla, Summer Intern 2019
In addition, ACS has 6 intern positions annually, reserved specifically for those pursuing a degree in shelter medicine or shelter management or for pre-vet students who have an interest in this pursuit. These interns qualify for a stipend provided by The Bronson Scholarship in Memory of Frederick M. Gerhard & Edythe Gay Jennings.
The Sanctuary typically has 3-4 interns between both of their locations (East Smithfield and Wellsboro PA) during the Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall sessions.
Since 2014 ACS has hosted over 30 interns from various schools across the country, including, Penn State University, NYU, Cornell University, Purdue University, University of Notre Dame and Michigan State University.
There is housing on-site at both Sanctuary locations for the students.
Even if students choose a path in private practice or a specialty, it’s the hope of ACS they still play an active role with a shelter in their own community.
We are in the midst of renovating our intern housing and would love some donated furniture or donations towards purchasing new furniture! Please send an e-mail to if you are interested in donating furniture or if you want to make a donation:
If you are interested in learning more about their pre-veterinary intern program check out their website, or send an e-mail to