Veterinary Externship

  • Peggy Adams Veterinary Externship

Veterinary Student Externship Program

Surgical Rotation

Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League offers veterinary students an experience that introduces them to high-volume high-quality spay/neuter. A mentor doctor is assigned to each participant. Course work includes hands-on medical and surgical experience including patient assessment and selection, patient preparation, sterile surgical technique, record keeping, anesthetic and pain management protocol and patient monitoring and support.

We provide free and low cost spay/neuter services to healthy canines and felines (including feral cats brought in for TNVR) that are good surgical candidates. We have a state of the art 15,000 square foot surgical suite and typically have two surgeons and support staff performing 70 spay/neuter surgeries Monday through Friday.

Shelter Medicine Rotation

Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League is a limited admission shelter providing care to 500 cats and dogs on average each day in the facility, and 300 to 400 in foster care.

During a shelter medicine externship, most of a student’s time will be working with a veterinarian in the shelter, but some time will be spent with technicians, kennel staff and client services staff to gain a full appreciation of the wide range of shelter activities. The student will participate in rounds with a veterinarian on most days. Externs will also assist in the vaccine clinic.

Desired Applicant Qualifications
  • Veterinary student enrolled in the third or fourth year of veterinary school.
  • Ability to lift 40 pounds.
  • Ability to follow clinic and shelter protocols and maintain accurate records.
  • Ability to work well with staff, volunteers and the general public.
Terms of Externship:
  • A two to three week commitment is required, with a Monday through Friday schedule. There is no emergency duty.
  • Students must provide their own transportation and housing.
  • Students must be in good standing at an accredited veterinary school.
Application and Instructions
  • Complete the application.
  • letter of intent describing your career goals and reasons for wanting to participate in the externship program at Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League should be uploaded when the application is submitted.

Program Reviews


Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League Vet Externship

Meet Brooke

Externship 2017

My externship at Peggy Adam's Animal Rescue League gave me a great insight into the shelter medicine field. I was able to see the full journey of an animal who enters the shelter from intake to their day of adoption. I worked along with friendly and dedicated technicians, veterinarians, behaviorists, volunteers, and staff. The shelter was huge but amazingly very well organized and clean. I received a ton of hands-on experience in surgery by performing spays and neuters in a high volume setting. I also learned several new surgical techniques. I administered treatments, prevention, and vaccinations. I was even shown the business and finance aspects of the shelter by management. Peggy Adam's has a great family atmosphere that's very welcoming. Thank you so much for the opportunity!

Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League Vet Externship

Meet Annie

Externship 2017

Thank you to everyone at Peggy Adams for being so welcoming! Spending time at Peggy Adams gave me great exposure to very high quality shelter medicine and high-volume spay/neuter surgery. Everyone was extremely dedicated to excellent work and community contribution.

I spent two weeks at Peggy Adams and shadowed and aided veterinarians and staff in all areas of the shelter: intake, treatment of general population animals, behavior assessment, anesthesia induction and recovery, surgery, community vaccine clinic, and intensive care, as well as some of the administrative departments. I really enjoyed the shelter medicine overview but wish I had been able to stay longer for more surgical experience. Even so, I was able to significantly improve my technical skills and now have a much better grasp on shelter medicine struggles and solutions. Thank you for the amazing opportunity!

Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League Vet Externship

Meet Jessie

 Externship 2015

First off I want to thank you and everybody else for hosting me at Peggy Adams. It was a great look into the Shelter Med mission and the hands on experience would not have been available to me elsewhere. The entire staff (Doctors, assistants, reception, administration etc.) were all very welcoming. They made me feel comfortable and a part of the team during my stay. 

If I had to choose a highpoint for my externship, it would definitely be the surgery time. In the 2.5 short weeks that I was there, I was able to perform 4x's the amount of surgeries that I had done the previous three years in Vet School. I am now faster and more confident in performing spay and neuter procedures. 

Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League Vet Externship

Meet Cameron

Externship 2015

Externship Pros: 

  • Exposure to high quality high volume spay/neuter

  • Lots of experience in induction and recovery

  • Able to watch A LOT of surgery

  • Experience in community cat spay/neuter procedures

  • Great facilities

  • Helpful, friendly veterinarians and staff

  • Housing available

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