Feline Health at OCAS

Interns Tasks & 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 the 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 & 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/Academic Credit: The NCSU course coordinator will determine if students pass the 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.