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Shelter Medicine Veterinary Externship

Shelter Medicine Veterinary Externship Overview

Shelter Medicine Veterinary Externship Overview

This two or three-week externship (40 hours/week) takes place at the Atlanta Humane Society location in Alpharetta, Ga. This externship is designed to give students exposure to the shelter environment. Students will perform routine spay and neuter surgeries on shelter animals (dogs and cats) prior to adoption as well as other ancillary surgeries or dental procedures depending on the student’s prior experience. Shelter medicine cases, including routine examinations and ill animal care, are performed daily. Participation in other activities, such as consultation with other shelters, disaster response, and large-scale animal seizure, may be required on occasion.

Our partners at VCA Animal Hospitals have generously awarded us a grant that will provide students with a food and lodging stipend to help facilitate this externship. If you are interested in receiving this stipend, please notify us during your application process.

We are not currently accepting new application for our extern program.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Senior veterinary students attending AVMA accredited colleges who have completed the surgery course and clinical surgery portion of their curriculum. Additional surgery experience (such as Humane Alliance training) is highly recommended.
  • Liability certificate
  • Student health insurance coverage (university or personal)
  • Dean’s letter or transcript verifying senior year status and proof of completion of surgical courses


  • Perform spay/neuter surgeries and possibly other surgical procedures (based on student experience and skill level)
  • Participate in daily medical rounds of the shelter
  • Practice interpreting diagnostic tests, making diagnoses, and offering treatment plans
  • Conduct scheduled foster appointments
  • Participation in shelter consultations, disaster response, and large-scale animal seizure may be required on occasion
  • Special projects and/or training presentation as appropriate


  • Must be a fourth-year veterinary student and have completed their small animal surgery rotation
  • Must be small animal tracked with experience in handling dogs and cats
  • Students seeking a career in shelter medicine and the field of animal welfare will be given priority
  • Must have positive attitude and enjoy working with volunteers, staff, and public clients
  • Must ensure that all responsibilities are completed effectively and in a timely manner
  • Must be able to communicate effectively through oral and written communication
  • Must abide by all Atlanta Humane Society policies and procedures with regard to safety, infectious disease protocols, and animal care.

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