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What are animal welfare NGOs and animal welfare nonprofits? They’re not-for-profit organizations dedicated to improving animal welfare or wildlife protection. They’re also fantastic places for internships with animals. There are a lot of convincing reasons why you want to know how to get an internship with an animal nonprofit.

First and foremost, many animal non profit internships are dream experiences in themselves. Our programs might have you protecting giant sea turtles in the Galapagos or performing veterinary surgery in Portugal.

More than this, with specialist skill training and practical experience, interning with animal NGOs can be an instrumental first step towards an impactful career spent protecting and caring for animals.

In this blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to find internships with animal NGOs, answer some FAQs, and even suggest our top programs. So, if you’re a young animal lover interested in a career helping animals, read on!

Steps to Get an Internship with Animal NGOs

Set Your Goals

The first step in how to get an internship with animal nonprofits is deciding what you want from an internship experience.

Take some time to reflect on what you hope to achieve through your internship experience. Ask yourself questions like:

  • What aspects of animal welfare and wildlife protection are you most interested in? 
  • Are there specific animal non profit jobs or career goals you’re working towards? 
  • If so, how can this internship help you progress? 
  • Do you need practical experience, skill-building, or industry insight?

Setting clear and achievable goals will help guide your internship search and help you make the most of your time with an animal NGO. There’s no point knowing how to find internships with animal NGOs if they’re not the internships you want.

Gain Qualifications and Experience

Animal welfare is one of those fields where qualifications or relevant experience can make a world of difference.

While not all internships with animals require a relevant degree, you’ll have a lot more options as a student or graduate of biology, animal care, or a related field. For those who didn’t go to university, you will still find plenty of opportunities in marketing, fundraising, and NGO management for animal welfare nonprofits.

In any case, it is always worthwhile to have experience showing your commitment to animals. This could be volunteering at a local dog shelter or getting involved with wildlife protection projects at your school or university.

Research Internships with Animals

It’s not enough to know the answer to ‘what are animal welfare NGOs?’ You need to know which animal nonprofits are offering internships with animals and which programs suit your interests and goals.

Explore various animal NGOs and research the internship opportunities they offer. Prioritize finding programs that offer the career development you seek, but if you can, look for organizations whose mission and values align with your own interests and goals too.

Take the time to review their projects, the types of animals they work with, and the specific tasks interns are expected to perform. These details will shape your entire internship experience.

Seek Advice

It’s always a good idea to reach out to professors, mentors, or professionals in the field of animal care and conservation for advice on how to get an internship with animal nonprofits. They can offer valuable guidance on selecting the right opportunities, and they may even be able to connect you with potential internship providers.

Alternatively, it’s often worthwhile talking through your goals with friends or family members to help make your decision

Failing all else, you could get in touch with us, and we’ll tell you all about why to do a nonprofit internship with animal NGOs and how to find the best ones.

Shortlist Your Favorites

After conducting thorough research, narrow down your list to a few internship opportunities that resonate with you.

It can be difficult to pick the best place for a nonprofit internship because there are so many tempting travel opportunities – especially with animal nonprofits! Remember the goals you set out initially and stick to your priorities here, though.

Consider factors such as the organization’s impact, the level of hands-on experience offered, and the potential for professional growth and learning. Prioritize internships that align closely with your goals and interests.

Apply and Interview

Now, the nerve-wracking part of how to get an internship with animal nonprofits: applications!

Follow the basics when it comes to application materials: tailor your application to each internship, highlight relevant skills, experiences, interests, etc. Additionally, try to communicate your passion and commitment for animal welfare nonprofits and the work they do. Here’s where to mention any relevant experience with animal nonprofit jobs.

If selected for an interview, prepare by practicing common interview questions and researching the organization thoroughly. Also, remember that this is your opportunity to ask questions too, and make sure the animal nonprofit you’re applying to is a good fit for you.

Common Questions about Internships with Animal Nonprofits

What types of tasks might interns expect to undertake at an animal nonprofit?

If you’re working out how to get an internship with animal nonprofits, you’d better know what they entail.

Interns at animal nonprofits can expect to engage in a range of tasks spanning all aspects of working for an animal nonprofit. So, you’re better off asking, ‘What are animal welfare NGOs’ daily operations?’.

Your animal non profit jobs might include animal care such as feeding, grooming, and exercising animals. You could also spend your time on more administrative duties, such as data entry and filing, or assisting with fundraising efforts through events or donor outreach.

How Can Interns Make the Most of Their Experience at an Animal Nonprofit?

One of the top lessons learned during a wildlife conservation internship is that any internship experience will be what you make of it. Interns can maximize their experience by actively seeking learning opportunities. Ask questions, take on tasks enthusiastically, and seize every chance to get involved.

Building relationships with staff members and volunteers can provide valuable networking opportunities and mentorship. Additionally, volunteering for additional responsibilities or projects can showcase initiative and dedication.

What Skills and Qualities Are Animal Nonprofits Typically Looking For in Interns?

As mentioned, animal welfare nonprofits often require relevant experience and qualifications from their interns, but there are soft skills and characteristics they value too.

Animal nonprofits often seek interns who demonstrate a genuine passion for animal welfare, strong communication and interpersonal skills, reliability, adaptability, and the ability to work effectively both independently and as part of a team.

5 Animal Nonprofit Internships to consider

1. Conservation Internship in Galapagos

Want to know how to find internships with animal NGOs caring for endangered species? Join an animal nonprofit in one of the world’s most renowned biodiversity hotspots and help protect the unique ecosystems and rare species of the Galapagos Islands’.

Your day-to-day will consist of tasks like habitat restoration, hatchling monitoring, and sea turtle night patrols. In your downtime, you’ll explore the islands and experience the rich culture and traditions of the Galapagos.

2. Wildlife Veterinary Internship in Malawi

Join a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center in Malawi alongside experienced veterinarians in one of our top animal nonprofit internships in Africa.

You’ll gain practical experience in wildlife care and veterinary treatment working with iconic African wildlife such as baboons, wild cats, and porcupines. Highlights include living within the sanctuary in the heart of the African Bush, contributing to vital wildlife conservation efforts, and gaining practical veterinary experience treating an incredible cast of creatures.

3. Veterinary Internship in Portugal

Want to know how to get an internship with animal nonprofits offering practical experience in animal care? Travel to one of the animal NGOs in the rough forested landscapes of Santarém, Portugal, and gain firsthand veterinarian experience.

You’ll work closely with experienced vets to provide excellent care for a variety of native Portuguese animals. You’ll take part in animal non profit jobs like diagnosing illnesses, administering treatments, and supporting conservation efforts in the region.

4. Wildlife Husbandry Internship in Costa Rica

Travel to a tropical paradise and care for sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife with an animal nonprofit and sanctuary.

Interns assist with hands-on wildlife care and animal nonprofit jobs like daily husbandry duties, animal restraint and capture, and managing camera traps. You’ll also experience some of the public-facing aspects of work at animal NGOs, like conducting public tours and facilitating educational workshops

5. Organizational Development Internship in Cape Town

Live and work in the vibrant city of Cape Town and gain practical experience in the nonprofit sector with one of our most unique animal nonprofits.

This animal nonprofit improves the lives of both at-risk youth and street dogs in South Africa by teaching children to train dogs. Your role as an intern will focus on fundraising efforts. This will include tasks like fundraising research, proposal writing, campaign management, and impact monitoring.

Why Should You Do an Animal Nonprofit Internship With an NGO?

Many dream of working to protect animals in their careers. Fewer manage to make that dream a reality.

If you’re a young animal lover committed to wildlife conservation or animal welfare as a career path, you will have to overcome many hurdles. One of the first things you’ll face is the challenge of how to get an internship with animal nonprofits. Having read this blog, you’re a little better equipped to face that challenge.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to find the internships you need to progress towards animal nonprofit jobs. If you’d like some more guidance on how to find internships with animal NGOs, get in touch with Roots. We have a lot of experience in nonprofit internships and can help you find and secure your perfect placement.

Browse Our Available Animal Nonprofit Internships