Feline Health Internship at WCAC

The Feline Health Internship will provide students with veterinary experience and 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 Health Care Technicians, Veterinary Technicians, and the Foster Coordinator. A key component of this program is for interns to provide assistance during the summer months when cat and kitten intake escalates.

Intern Tasks and Responsibilities

Feline Health Intern sedating kitten

AHCT Assistant: 30%

  • 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, 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: 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 2022: TBD
  • 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 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
  • Experience interacting and presenting to the public on topics related to feline health
  • Hands on experience with clinical research to include randomization of clinical trial, 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: NCSU course coordinator will determine if students pass 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.

Application Requirements

The application window is February 19th, 2024, through March 4th, 2024. Interview offers will be sent by March 8th for the interview timeline of March 18 – 20th, 2024. Applicants will be chosen by March 22nd, 2024. There will be a mandatory orientation for all accepted applicants potentially on June 1st (subject to change).

This program is only offered during 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