Invest in Interns

Investing in Our Internship Program Is Investing In The Future


  • Since the mid 1980s, well over 250 interns have come through our clinic doors. 
  • Of those, more than 20 have served as employees over the years.
  • At least 5 have become veterinarians, with several specializing in wildlife care.
  • Donor support makes this program possible.

Our summer internship program is an extraordinary learning opportunity for college students studying in the fields of animal science, wildlife conservation, biology, environmental sciences, veterinary studies, and related degree or certificate programs. Generous donations make this program possible.

Interns gain an experience like no other.

Students selected for the internship program typically spend 12-14 weeks over the summer learning about wildlife and wildlife rehabilitation in a hands-on environment. The interns work in the clinic alongside the clinic supervisors, staff veterinarians, intern trainers, seasonal staff, and experienced volunteers. They participate in the daily care of the wild birds at Tri-State, support the fundamental day-to-day operation of the clinic, and see firsthand the effort that goes into successful wildlife rehabilitation. They also receive training in emergency wildlife response protocols and techniques for washing oiled wildlife from the Oil Programs staff.

We gain a unique support team during our busiest time.

The program also benefits Tri-State and the community by providing additional clinic support during the busy summer months. During this time, we receive about 1,500 birds, mostly babies and juveniles, which require frequent feeding and more time-consuming care. Having interns learning and assisting in the clinic from May to September ensures that Tri-State is able to provide the highest quality of care to our patients and more efficiently serve the thousands of members of the community who visit or call during those months.

In the words of past intern, Dr. Erin Frey, veterinarian 

“What I found so unique about Tri-State was the staff’s attention to detail and their pursuit of the best care for the birds. As interns we received an impressive amount of written, verbal, and experiential training on identifying species of birds, recognizing illness and injury, and safe bird handling. From the diets we prepared to the specifics of each enclosure, the veterinarians had tailored their care plan to the needs of each bird. Every attempt was made to mimic an animal’s normal surroundings including ‘pool time’ for recovering waterfowl and large flight cages for the large birds to exercise their wings. As a scientist and veterinarian I appreciate the importance of research. The veterinarians, clinic staff, and volunteer trainers work continuously to improve treatment protocols and achieve better outcomes of recovery and release. The work that Tri-State does, particularly their scientifically validated methods of treating oiled birds, is known internationally. My firsthand experience as a Tri-State intern informs my thought process as a veterinarian and a proponent of One Health initiatives, and I feel fortunate to have worked with and learned from those … who continue to do such crucial work.”

On average, the cost of sponsoring one stipend intern is $2,500, which does not include the cost of supplies. That is why we are asking you to help support our efforts in continuing our successful internship program. Together, investing in our youth is investing in our future.  Please consider making a monetary gift today!


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