Pre-Veterinary and Animal Science 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!

“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

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 three main pillars that guide their 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 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 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:

Kayla | Summer Intern, 2019
“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.

The Sanctuary typically has several 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 40 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.

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 raise money to fund our non-profit facility. Past events have included WoofRock, our annual golf tournament, Pints for Pups and more.

Interns will be required to utilize positive reinforcement methods to train and reside with a dog that requires a behavior modification training program. They will provide documentation and meet weekly with shelter staff.


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 April Application Deadline: January 1st

12 week Summer Program- May through August Application Deadline: February 1st

12 week Fall Program- September through November Application Deadline: July 1st

12 week Winter Program-December through February Application Deadline: November 1st


353 Sanctuary Hill Ln,
East Smithfield, PA 18817


East Smithfield, PA 18817


(570) 596-2200 - Option 2

Fax: 570-596-2222

we are a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) with EIN: 22-1837635

11765 US-6,
Wellsboro, PA 16901


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 108

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