Feline Health at WCAC

Interns Tasks & Responsibilities

AHCT Assistant: 30%Feline Health Intern sedating kitten

  • 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 updates (currently on Sunday and Wednesday afternoons); individual animal identification, weight, deworming, vaccines, pathway planning, and verbal communication skills with the foster parent to determine the history and health of foster kittens
  • Cat and kitten husbandry, feline shelter care & stress reduction

Vet Team Assistant: 30%

  • Surgery check-in, surgical recovery from anesthesia, instrument cleaning, preparation of surgical instruments
  • Veterinary appointments: collect verbal or written patient history for clinical 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

Foster Coordinator Assistant: 10%

  • Assist foster coordinator with follow-up on kittens in foster care
  • Special events assistance as assigned

Research Assistant: Projects will vary from year to year: 30%

  • Summer 2018: Probiotic clinical study with NCSU-CVM
    • Assemble fecal collection packs and probiotics to be distributed with foster kittens
    • Learn and assist with randomization and placebo based clinical trials
    • Assist with tracking of kittens and samples
    • Assist with coordination of fecal sample collection from kittens in foster care
    • Collection, labeling, and shipment of fecal samples to diagnostic lab
    • Assist with data collection and management
    • Attend two review sessions between interns, shelter veterinarians, and Dr. Jody Gookin (NCSU-CVM) to discuss project goals


The Feline Health Internship typically begins in June and terminates in August prior to the start of the Fall semester (approximately 10-12 weeks). Interns are required to complete a minimum of 8 hours per week over approximately 12 weeks for a minimum of 96 hours.

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
  • Experience interacting and presenting to the public on topics related to feline health
  • Hands-on experience with clinical research including randomization of clinical trials, importance of placebo, sampling, collection of clinical data, Excel spreadsheets, data review, and literature search
  • Better understanding of pet overpopulation, veterinary medicine in a shelter setting, public health, public service, and the One Health Initiative

Academic Credit: The NCSU course coordinator will determine if students pass the requirements for academic credit. The Chief 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 Chief Veterinarian or Animal Services Director.