Feline Health Internship at OCAS

The internship will provide NCSU students with shelter companion animal husbandry and shelter medicine experience combined with school credit via ANS 492 or ANS 493 to be determined by the NCSU course coordinator. The Animal Center will utilize the interns to work in the shelter alongside the Animal Care Technicians, Veterinary Health Care Technicians, Shelter Veterinarians, and the Program Coordinators. A key component of this working intern program is for the interns to aid during summer months when kitten and cat intake escalates.

Intern Tasks and Responsibilities

VHCT/ACT assistant:

  • Kitten intake: Interns will become proficient at processing incoming kittens into the shelter; feline intake exams and health assessments, weight, correct color and breed identification, sex identification, deworming medication, nutritional supplementation, vaccines, placement and pathway planning in the shelter
  • Foster kitten vaccine updates; individual animal identification, weight, deworming, vaccines, pathway planning, verbal communication skills with the foster parent to determine history and health of foster kittens
  • Cat and kitten husbandry, feline shelter care & stress reduction

Vet Team assistant:

  • Surgery check-in, surgical recovery from anesthesia, instrument cleaning, preparation of surgical instruments
  • Veterinary appointments: collect verbal or written patient history for clinical foster appointments, assist with weights and exams, treatment of ill or dehydrated kittens, dispensing medications, fecal parasite exams
  • Foster parent training- learn common medical problems associated with orphan kittens, learn basic husbandry and care for orphan kittens, assist veterinary team with training sessions for foster parents

Program/Foster Coordinator Assistant:

  • Assist foster coordinator with follow-up on kittens in foster care
  • Special events assistance as assigned (adoption events, rabies vaccine clinics)

Research assistant:

  • Projects will vary from year to year.

Timeline: The Feline Health Summer Internship will begin in May and terminate in August prior to Fall semester, approximately 10-12 weeks.  The hours and dates may vary each summer based on the NCSU summer school schedule. Interns are required to complete a minimum of 8 hours per week over approximately 12 weeks for a minimum of 96 hours.  Approximately 2-3 interns will be accepted each summer. The internship will start with a 2-week orientation. During orientation students will receive a shelter tour from the Program Coordinator, work one on one with a Veterinary Health technician (VHCT), work one on one with an Animal Care Technician, and work a shift with the Veterinary team. Additional assignments may include webinars and select readings. Students will receive the animal handling policy and sign volunteer waivers and an expectations memo during the orientation.

Program Outcomes and Academic Credit

Program Outcomes:

  • Hands on experience with physical exams including intake exams, vaccination, medical treatment and the management of medical cases
  • Hands on experience and better understanding of general cat and kitten husbandry and handling
  • Hands on experience with high volume, high quality, companion animal, spay neuter surgery
  • Experience interacting and presenting to the public on topics related to feline health
  • Hands on experience with clinical research
  • Better understanding of pet overpopulation, veterinary medicine in a shelter setting, public health, public service, and the One Health Initiative

Course Requirements: The NCSU course coordinator will determine if students pass requirements for academic credit. The Program Coordinator or Shelter veterinarian will contact the course coordinator to discuss individual students if the need arises. Students may be dropped from the internship program at the written request of the Shelter Veterinarian or Animal Services Director.

Application Requirements

This program has is only offered in the summer.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • The Feline Health Internship is restricted to juniors, seniors, and current VMCAS applicants. Freshmen and Sophomores interested in learning more about shelter medicine should consider the Shelter Medicine Internship
  • The student must be an NCSU student with at least a 3.30 GPA.
  • Per North Carolina State requirements, all shelter employees (including interns) must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Unvaccinated individuals are ineligible to apply for this internship.

Application Materials:

Applications must be submitted via the Internship Application form with the following attachments: 

  • Letter of Intent (1 page)
  • Current resume
  • Unofficial copy of your most recent transcript (transfer students must provide copies of their NCSU transcript and unofficial transcripts from all previous institutions)
  • Contact information for two references, included in the resume