Pre-Veterinary, Animal Science and STEM Internships

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.

Interview with our 2020 Internships –
Hear what they have to say!


The Animal Care Sanctuary 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.

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.

Their 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 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.
The Animal Care Sanctuary is a No-Kill rescue for companion animals and has been in existence for over half a century. Over 1,400 homeless dogs and cats come through our doors each year in need of rescue, medical care, love, and adoption. Our on-site veterinary clinic and national reputation make us a sought after rescue partner and we have developed strong partnerships with rescue groups across the East Coast, the Midwest, South and Southwest. In addition to adopting out rescued animals, we provide clinic services (spay/neuter, vaccinations, and wellness exams) to another 4,000 animals from other shelters, communities overrun with feral cats, and pet owners who lack the financial resources and/or access to high quality, lower cost veterinary services.

The goal of the internship is to help students grow in their field of knowledge. The secondary goal requires the interns to work with an animal with special needs, live with them during the course of their internship, with the goal of getting the animal ready for adoption.

This program is the only one of it’s kind in the nation, and has seen a steady growth in since its founding in 2014 as more and more of our interns have gone out into the world to make their mark and told the story of their time with the Animal Care Sanctuary.

This program was developed in collaboration with Cornell University’s Veterinary School and Shelter Medicine Program. Our continued partnership with Cornell University allows us to have access to the latest teaching methods in veterinary medicine, animal behavior and associated protocols.

Gabrielle | Summer Intern, ’20
Kansas State University

Sophia & Maslin | Summer Interns ’21
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities & Miami University

Interns are given the opportunity to work with hundreds of cats and 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 their vet team), and the adoption/administrative office to experience all aspects of the sanctuary. Students get education on the non-profit model and board governance. Students are also part of our Alternative Housing program in which they foster and train shelter dogs or cats who require behavioral modification training to increase their adoptability.


“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.”

Summer Intern, 2019
Kansas State University

Kayla | Summer Intern, 2019
SUNY Genesseo

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.”

In addition, ACS has several 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.

Since 2014, ACS has hosted over 50 interns from various schools across the country, including the states of Illinois, Connecticut, New York, California, North Carolina, Texas, Maryland, Virginia, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Alabama, and New Hampshire.

Onsite housing is available 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.

Sierra | Spring Intern ’21
Elmira College


Here Is A Summary Of Interns’ Responsibilities:

Interns will work with existing staff to provide daily care for cats and dogs residing at the facility, including: cleaning and maintaining cages and kennel, site preparation and delivery, grooming, and socialization.

Interns will work with our experienced on-site veterinary team to handle, diagnose, and medicate animals. Due to the large number of animals residing at ACS, interns will likely gain exposure to and experience with a number of medical conditions, as well as assisting with spay/neuter surgeries.

Interns will gain experience assisting staff with monitoring new animals for communicable diseases before integrating them with resident animals.

Interns will have the opportunity to assist the facility with regular fundraising efforts and events (pending COVID-19 restrictions) to help raise money to fund our non-profit facility.

Interns will be required to utilize positive reinforcement methods to train and reside with a dog or cat that requires a behavior modification training program.

Sierra Graham, Intern

McKenna | Winter Intern ’20
SUNY Cobleskill


Candidates must be pursuing or have recently received a degree in pre-veterinary science, animal science, biology, or a related field (Veterinary students). SPECIAL CONSIDERATION is given to those pursuing a degree in Shelter Medicine or Shelter Management.

Teamwork and communication skills are essential to success in this program.

Ability to follow oral and written instructions.

Ability to lift up to 50 pounds and perform physical duties such as bending, stooping, and kneeling.

Ability to work on your feet for several hours at a time.

Must possess a valid driver’s license.

This internship is 40 hrs/week, and interns will be required to work weekends as assigned.

For more information, please contact Amy VanBenthuysen at .

Internship duration:

12 week Spring Program-February through May Application Deadline: November 15

12 week Summer Program- May through August Application Deadline: February 15

12 week Fall Program- August through November Application Deadline: May 15

12 week Winter Program-November through February Application Deadline: August 15

Anisa, Summer Intern

Anisa | Summer Intern ’20
Tuskegee University


353 Sanctuary Hill Ln,
East Smithfield, PA 18817


East Smithfield, PA 18817


(570) 596-2200 - Option 2

Fax: 570-596-2222


ACS needs your help to save more lives!
Together we can make a difference.


Dog rehoming and behavioral questions
570-596-2200 Choose Extension 123
Cat rehoming and behavioral questions
570-596-2200 Choose Extension 403
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Animal Care Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization — contributions to which are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. The official registration and financial information of Animal Care Sanctuary may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling toll free within Pennsylvania, (800) 732-0999.
Registration does not imply endorsement.

Tax ID- 22-1837635

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