Animal Care Externship
For 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.
Status: Not currently recruiting.
ABC Animal Trainer Externship
For 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.
Status: Not currently recruiting.
High School Externship
For high school students (16+). Students will learn companion animal husbandry skills with the San Diego Humane Society Animal Care team. Duties include cleaning, feeding and providing enrichment activities for companion animals in the shelter. This is a no animal contact role. Shifts are available 7 days a week.
Status: Not currently recruiting. If interested in a regular volunteer position, follow the regular process to apply as a volunteer and complete our online/in person education series, then volunteer solo!
Project Wildlife Externship - Bahde Wildlife Center and Ramona Wildlife Center
For students currently enrolled in an accredited academic program. Wildlife Husbandry Externs provide direct care to rehabilitation patients and may assist with sanctuary animals in our care.
Veterinary Assistant or RVT Externship
For students currently enrolled in a vet assistant or RVT program. Students must commit to a set schedule and complete their hours within a determined timeframe.
- Oceanside - Full
- Escondido - Full
- San Diego - Full
- El Cajon - Full
DVM Student Externship Program
Our veterinary team is committed to providing fourth-year DVM students with comprehensive shelter medicine rotations. Externship experiences are open to any fourth-year DVM student enrolled in an AVMA-accredited veterinary college.
Those interested in an externship opportunity can look forward to:
- A robust educational experience at any of our campuses in San Diego, Escondido or Oceanside.
- Supporting the annual intake of more than 40,000 animals to our open-admission shelter, giving students the opportunity to gain experience with a wide variety of medical, surgical, emergency and behavioral patients.
- Mentorship from a team of experienced veterinary staff.
- Daily high-quality, high-volume (HQHV) spay/neuter surgeries, with hands-on surgical mentoring.
- Observing advanced surgical and dental procedures.
- First-hand experience in infectious disease and shelter management.
- Observing the investigation and management of Humane Law Enforcement cases.
- Participating in the efforts of our Kitten Nursery (March through November).
- Participating in veterinary didactic and case rounds.
- Mentored preparation of case and subject presentation.
- Comprehensive overviews of shelter medicine in the context of animal shelter management and community support.
- Opportunities to shadow other departments such as Behavior and Training, Project Wildlife and Humane Law Enforcement.
Current duties for DVM student externs from AVMA-accredited veterinary colleges include:
- Primary, mentored surgical 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.
- Evaluating of imaging, laboratory, and other diagnostic findings.
- Performing spay/neuter surgeries, assisting with orthopedic, dental, or soft tissue surgeries, cystocentesis, venipuncture and benchtop laboratory procedures, placement of IV catheters, assisting with anesthesia, nerve blocks and post-mortem examinations, administration of treatments, pre-surgical examinations, assistance with vaccine clinics, and other duties depending on the opportunity.
- Participation in case and didactic rounds.
For more information about our DVM externship program or to request an externship reservation, please email [email protected]. Reservations are required and subject to availability. DVM students are required to be in their fourth (final) year of their DVM curriculum and enrolled in an AVMA-accredited veterinary college.
Please note: Changes and cancellations may occur at any time due to extenuating and unforeseen circumstances in an environment such as an animal shelter.