Internships in Animal Rescue, Shelter Operations, Veterinary Medicine and Wildlife Rehabilitation

Center Valley Animal Rescue (CVAR) in Quilcene, Washington has two to three unpaid internships available. These are offered year-round and may be tailored for your school’s time frame.  On-site living quarters are available but may be shared with the other interns

About Us 

CVAR is a non-profit no-kill animal rescue and shelter driven mostly by volunteers and private donations. 

CVAR was established in 2002 and on the present site since 2004. We have 30 acres of property, a building for small animals, many outdoor pastures, 3 barns, smaller shelters for large animals, and a new dog building which is currently under construction. A separate area on the property is used for wildlife rehabilitation.

We have a full medical facility equipped with sterile surgery and treatment areas, digital x-ray, dental x-ray, new dental equipment, and more.  There are six veterinarians who donate their time on a regular basis. Our director, Sara, is a LVT and Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator. 

We are located on the picturesque Olympic Peninsula with a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities. Seattle is a few hours including a ferry ride away.

About the Position 

  • Internships are offered quarterly and will be for a minimum of 40 hours/week. This will include some weekend work and potential holiday work.
  • This is an opportunity to get hands-on experience with different aspects of farm and companion animal rescue and care, and wildlife rehabilitation. It will help you build a knowledge base of running a no-kill shelter, hone adoption screening skills, gain veterinary skills and experience with a diverse array of animals.
  • Internships can be tailored to the individual’s career goals, but interns will be expected to help with every aspect of work on the ranch. 


  • Interns will assist with daily animal care at CVAR. This may include feeding, cleaning enclosures, giving meds, and meeting all animal needs. After a period of training and demonstration of competency, the intern may take on daily feeding and medication shifts. This will begin under the supervision of the director and/or staff.
  •  Interns may be asked to fill in when volunteers are unable to come in. This may include cleaning and other care of any number of species as needed. 
  • Interns may help during Open to the Public days by giving tours and helping people who are interested in adopting a pet that is a good match. (We are currently closed to the public due to Covid, although we hope that will change soon.)
  • Animal capture and transport may be delegated as experience is gained.
  • Many aspects of wildlife care and rehabilitation will be performed, including emergency intake, cleaning, feeding, medicating, bottle or tube feeding, providing enrichment, and release.
  • Care for education animals (Red-tailed Hawk, Great-horned Owl, and three raccoons).
  • Assist with spay/neuter and vaccination clinics. 
  • Assist with surgeries, treatments, diagnostic testing on a multitude of animals.

Other daily activities could include but are not limited to: 

  • Care for domestic/exotic animals in care: dogs, cats, rabbits, small animals (mice, rats, chinchillas…), birds, reptiles and anything else we may have. 
  • Care for farm animals and equines: horses, goats, sheep, llamas, alpacas, pigs, emus, poultry, bovines and anyone else that may be here. 
  • Care for wildlife in rehabilitation as well as education animals: raccoons, deer, squirrels, opossums, rabbits, rodents, coyotes, ducks and geese, gulls, raptors, owls and anyone else we may have. 
  • Animal care may include cleaning cages, stalls, rooms, enclosures, feeding, medicating, transporting, capturing, restraining…. 
  • Research and carry out (after approval) enrichment ideas for the animals 
  • Learn protocol for quarantine for both inside and outside animals and demonstrate adherence. 
  • Help write up protocols and enrichment plans for all types of animals. 
  • Online classes: we have started building an online set of classes.  You will be expected to take them and we would be thrilled if you would like to help us create more! 
  • Surgery/clinic Days: Assist the veterinarians and LVT with all aspects of clinics, including:  Scheduling appointments, checking in and out clients/patients, cleaning and wrapping surgery packs, drawing up injections, animal handling and restraint, placing microchips, help maintain records, help with treatments and diagnostic tests.  Some of this will depend on the interns qualifications/licensing but other duties could include, supervised surgeries, taking x-rays, emergency care, dentistry, iv catheter placement, injections, tube feeding, exams…… 
  • Assist farm animal vet and accompany her on rounds to other clients. 
  • Observe at local veterinary clinic/hospital. May include observing surgeries or appointments and helping the DVM’s or staff. 
  • Objectives can be developed to help each student achieve learning goals.  This should be done at the beginning or before the internship and evaluated after. 
  • Special projects can be established to benefit both student and CVAR. Projects can be worked on during ‘down times.’ 


  • Age: Must be 18 or over 
  • Must have a strong interest in animal welfare, be a self-starter and exhibit a willingness to learn. 
  • Experience with animal care preferred.
  • Preference given to students considering a career in wildlife or veterinary medicine. 
  • We will look for the same qualities that we find in our volunteers: enthusiastic, mature, hardworking people who work with the overall team in an open and supportive manner. 
  • Must be able to lift at least 50lbs on a daily basis. 
  • Ability to stay on feet for 8+ hours a day. This is important for surgery days.
  • Ability to work 40 hours a week.
  • Strong verbal communication skills or willingness to learn. 
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team.

The Basics of Life 

Housing: The newly constructed apartment includes a kitchen and bathroom in the loft of one of our barns.  This space will be shared with the other interns.

  • There is lots to do in the area if you like nature.  We are not far from beaches, mountains and hiking.  It is about 2 hours to Seattle. 
  • Public transportation is minimal – Jefferson Transit has one bus that runs past here and up to connecting buses and to Port Townsend 4 times daily, twice on Saturdays and does not run on Sundays. It is recommended that interns have their own vehicle for transportation. 
  • This is a volunteer position. 
  • This is a remote location and there are no Ubers!  It is helpful if you have a vehicle but if not our volunteers, staff and other interns have been willing to take interns to the store and occasional other outings.

To Apply

Please email a resume and cover letter, as well as dates available to:

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