*Recruitment Temporarily Suspended for all externship roles
Animal Care Externship
Our animal care teams are able to provide externship opportunities to students currently enrolled in an accredited animal behavior and/or husbandry program. Duties include cleaning, feeding, monitoring health and well being and providing enrichment for companion animals in the shelter.
ABC Animal Trainer Externship
Our teams are able to provide externship opportunities to students currently enrolled in the Animal Behavior College program. The onboarding process includes a 1-1 mentor shift at the shelter and then students self schedule shifts to work directly with the animals.
High School Externship
High school students (16+) enrolled in an externship program at their high school can learn animal husbandry with the San Diego Humane Society Animal Care team. Duties include cleaning, feeding and providing enrichment activities for companion animals in the shelter. Students can assist with hands-on socialization after completion of optional training classes offered by the volunteer team. Externship placement priority is given to current active volunteers.
Veterinary Assistant and RVT Externship
Our veterinary medical teams are able to provide externship opportunities to students currently enrolled in a vet assistant or RVT program. Students must commit to a set schedule and complete their hours within the determined timeframe.
DVM Student Externship Program
Our veterinary team is committed to providing fourth year DVM students with a comprehensive shelter medicine rotation. However, please be aware that COVID-19 changes might still be in effect during future academic years, meaning a DVM student externship with San Diego Humane Society would be a hybrid rotation of virtual course and on-site experience.
Changes and cancellations may occur at any time as the externship program continues to adapt in response to the pandemic. This may include requests to shift dates of an externship to fit within the schedule of the virtual course, otherwise cancellation may occur.
Cancellation may also occur if externship capacity changes for unforeseen circumstances.
For more information about our externship program for final-year DVM students or to request an externship reservation, please email [email protected] .
Those interested in an externship opportunity can look forward to:
- Center for Shelter Medicine full-service medical and surgical facility
- Annual intake of approximately 50,000 animals on an open-admission policy, affording students experience with a large variety of medical, surgical, emergency, and behavioral patients
- Team of experienced veterinary staff for mentorship
- Daily high-quality-high-volume (HQHV) spay-neuter surgeries, with hands-on surgical mentoring
- Observation of advanced surgical and dental procedures
- First-hand experience in infectious disease patient and shelter management
- Observation of investigation and management of Humane Law Enforcement investigation cases
- Participation in the 24-hour orphaned kitten nursery (March through November)
- Participation in veterinary didactic and case rounds
- Mentored preparation of case and subject presentation
- Comprehensive overview of shelter medicine in the context of animal shelter management and community support
- Opportunity to shadow other departments: Behavior Center, Project Wildlife, Humane Law Enforcement.
Current duties for DVM student externs from AVMA-accredited veterinary colleges include:
- Primary, mentoredsurgical and medical case responsibility, including patient examination, assessment, and formulation of a diagnostic and treatment plan
- Medical record keeping, S.O.A.P. format
- Care of hospitalized patients
- Evaluation of imaging, laboratory, and other diagnostic findings
- Spay/neuter surgeries, assistance with orthopedic, dental, or soft tissue surgeries, cystocentesis, venipuncture, benchtop laboratory procedures, placement of IV catheters, assistance with anesthesia, nerve blocks, , post-mortem examinations, ophthalmologic and otic examinations, administration of treatments, pre-surgical examinations, assistance with vaccine clinics, and other procedures, depending on opportunity.
- Participation in case and didactic rounds
- Preparation and presentation of a medical case or shelter medicine topic at the end of each two-week rotation.