Companion Animal Services Internships

Thank you for your interest in the Companion Animal Services (CAS) Internship program at PAWS. The PAWS Companion Animal Shelter places thousands of animals each year in loving, responsible homes, provides training and education to strengthen the human/animal bond, and works to end animal cruelty and overpopulation.

Our CAS department addresses the companion animal needs for the Greater-Seattle area through the operation of a limited-admission, high placement shelter, meaning that no healthy adoptable animals are euthanized. A satellite cat adoption facility, spay/neuter clinic and a variety of other programs support these efforts.

CAS interns are integral to our success as they participate in the daily work of the shelter. There are three tracks an internship can take: one is focused primarily on animal behavior (Animal Behavior and Care Interns); the Foster Care Intern supports our life-saving foster program by assisting with the direct care and basic veterinary medical needs of our most vulnerable population of animals; while the other is focused on advancing PAWS' programs and services through the Programs Internship.

These internships are an excellent opportunity for individuals who are considering a career in animal welfare, are interested in animal sheltering, want to learn more about companion animals and their behavior, and who support the PAWS mission.

All intern candidates are required to attend a volunteer orientation, volunteer interview, and specific skills classes as part of the internship.

Program Interns work directly with the Programs Manager and Companion Animal Services Director. This internship offers the most flexible schedule and hours of service.  The intern will be involved in a variety of program projects, gaining experience in program development, and activities involving marketing of programs or adoptable animals, research, and event support. Program Interns have been essential to supporting our Pet Pantry Program, World Spay Day, adoption events, Pet Safety Day and many more programs that help the animals and community.

Cat or Dog Behavior and Care Interns typically complete an eight to twelve-week program which is broken up into three levels of increasing development and experience. This internship requires at least two days of service a week, typically four to six hours a day. Cat or Dog Behavior and Care Interns work closely with the Animal Behavior Lead, Cat City Manager and Animal Care Leads, immersing themselves in the care of the animals, as well as learning the basics of animal behavior. As the internship progresses, you will learn how to clicker train, participate in behavior assessments and assist with the promotion of harder to place animals.

Please note: As of June, the next available Dog Behavior and Care internships are in the Fall and Winter of 2016.

Foster Care Interns work directly with the Foster Care team, and typically complete an eight to twelve-week program which is broken up into three levels of increasing development and experience. This internship requires at least two days of service a week, typically 4 to 6 hours a day. Interns learn how to provide care to the most vulnerable population of animals in our care including neonatal kittens and puppies, nursing mothers with litters and animals recovering from illness or injury. Interns support the 100-plus foster care providers by placing animals into foster care, scheduling veterinary checks and vaccine appointments, contacting new foster care applicants, and fielding general foster care inquiries. As the internship progresses, you will learn how to administer daily medications and vaccines to animals; identify basic signs of illness and steps to address the animal’s needs.

Abilities and experience required

  • An interest in animal welfare; sheltering experience preferred but not required.
  • Ability to work effectively and independently without supervision as well as working well with others.
  • Ability to speak, read and write the English language fluently.
  • Experience dealing with the public and providing customer service, in person, over the phone or through email.
  • Writing and computer skills.
  • Flexibility and willingness to learn and to try new things.
  • Ability to be around dogs and cats, as all interns have some animal contact regardless of the track they choose to pursue.
  • Ability to cope with a highly-emotionally charged environment with some animals who are homeless, abandoned, orphaned or abused, as well as the reality that some of the animals in our care may be euthanized.
  • At least 18 years of age.

Length of internships

Most internships are 8 to 12 weeks, two days per week with 4 to 6 hour shifts; and scheduled during normal business hours. The exact schedule and length of internship can be determined between the intern and the manager overseeing the internship. All internships are unpaid positions.

Application instructions

If you are interested in applying to participate in a CAS Internship please submit the following:

  • Your resume or curriculum vitae.
  • A letter of intent explaining why you are interested in the CAS Internship and how this experience will help you to meet your goals.
  • The names, type of relationship held, and contact information for three references, including one previous employer. Please include both phone number and e-mail address for each reference. These references should be able to vouch for your character and work ethic. Letters of recommendation may also be submitted.

Application materials for all the above internships can be submitted by e-mail to, or by mail to:

Attn: Tracey Rogers
PO Box 1037
Lynnwood, WA 98046