Animal Behavior Internship

We are seeking motivated and compassionate people with a passion for animal behavior.

Animal Behavior Internship

This opportunity will expose participants to the role of animal behavior in shelter operations. Participation in this program will allow students to develop transferable, real-world skills in the areas of behavior observation, animal handling, behavior modification, animal welfare, and team work.


Interns are expected to work a regularly scheduled shift. After attending an orientation and training course on canine body language and handling, animal behavior interns may follow one of the two following tracks:

Applied Track:

• Creating, preparing, and distributing canine enrichment.
• Participating in canine intraspecies socialization programs.
• Providing socialization and adoption exposure opportunities for long-term dogs.
• Implementing behavior modification plans with fearful or unsocialized dogs.
• Communicating behavioral concerns and developing basic interventions for common behavioral concerns.

Research Track:

• Developing a research question relating to shelter animal behavior and welfare, with applications to the needs of the agency.
• Alongside the Director of Animal Behavior, creating a research plan and developing data collection materials to carry out the project.
• Collecting and analyzing data, and then summarizing the findings in write-up or presentation form.
• May be completed in conjunction with thesis credits through college or university.


• At least 19 years of age.
• Basic animal handling skills and experience working with or training animals.
• Coursework in animal behavior and/or learning processes preferred.
• Ability to follow written and verbal instructions.
• Ability to work effectively and independently without supervision.
• Team-oriented mentality and ability to communicate effectively and respectfully with others.
• Ability to speak, read and write the English language fluently.
• Writing and computer skills.
• Flexibility and willingness to learn and to try new things.
• Ability to handle situations that can be emotionally and physically demanding.


Each internship is an unpaid position, minimum of 12 hours per week within the Animal Behavior department, to be scheduled during normal working hours, for 3 months. The exact schedule can be determined between the intern and the Director of Animal Behavior.

Download the Internship Application here »