Perks of Being an Animal Science Major: Summer Internship at an Animal Sanctuary

Good afternoon beauty bugs,

I just wanted to pop in a new ‘lifestyle’ type post on here updating you all on what I’m up to this summer. In case you weren’t aware already, I’m majoring in Animal Science at UConn and will be a senior this coming fall, however I’ve been scurrying about this past year trying to find out what exactly I’ll be doing upon graduation. Of course, I want to work with animals! But there are so many different fields I could go into from working in a vet clinic, a zoo, a wildlife rehabilitation center, a farm, – the list truly is endless. This summer was the perfect time to explore my options via internship opportunities.

I had applied to Roger Williams Zoo Animal Care internship program in late February, but was respectfully declined the opportunity to move forth with the interview process as apparently the program was very competitive. I had noticed when I applied they had asked nothing about my academics, and focused mostly on my experience. Nowadays, it’s hard to get experience at all when you have no experience (endless cycle of frustration). But, I was encouraged to reapply later on and give it another go. Of course I was down, but I have NO experience with animals other than companion animals and some experience with large farm animals via UConn. This got me thinking- how could I gain experience with new categories of animals if not at a zoo this summer?

Beautiful portion of the sanctuary

I ended up stumbling upon West Place Animal Sanctuary in Tiverton, RI as I searched for animal-related internship opportunities and applied, and here I am at the start of summer, writing this post just hours after my second week at the sanctuary. Here, they care for farm animals from cruelty/neglect cases as well as take in mainly gamebirds and waterfowl for rehabilitation. I had never experienced wildlife rehabilitation at ALL, and was very eager to start. But that doesn’t mean I’m not just as excited to hang with the alpaca, horses, sheep and goats as well! In addition to my responsibilities as a wildlife rehabilitation intern, I will also be caring for the 20-something domestic ducks that reside there as well as domestic swans (they’re BEAUTIFUL), peacocks, partridges, quail, turkey and geese! I have never been able to care for birds, so this is all new to me. I’m realizing how amazing these creatures are day by day as well as how important it is to respect the wildlife around us and how important each and every creature is to maintaining a balanced ecosystem.

I’ve decided I’ll be posting weekly (hopefully) about a different animal at my internship & all about them, as well as cool things I’ve learned so far. I’m so excited to continue this journey into the wildlife rehabilitation and animal rescue world.

Keep an eye out for a post later this week all about CHESTER- THE NARRAGANSETT HERITAGE DOMESTIC TURKEY.


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