Veterinary student preceptorships and vet tech externship opportunities in shelter medicine

Get real-world experience and hands-on training like nowhere else, working under some of the best veterinarians in the field at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. If you are studying to become a veterinarian, a vet tech, or are seeking a career in veterinary shelter medicine, an externship at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah, is the best place for you.

Fourth-year veterinary student preceptorship and externship program

If you're a fourth-year veterinary student considering a career in shelter medicine, there's no better place to spend your preceptorship than right here at Best Friends! Under the guidance of Best Friends veterinarians, you'll participate in making daily medical rounds of the sanctuary animals, practicing making diagnoses and offering treatment recommendations. You'll get experience interpreting diagnostic testing and giving opinions about medical treatments being used on particular animals.

In addition, if your surgical experience is appropriate, you'll perform spay/neuter surgeries and possibly other surgical procedures as well. Students will practice conducting scheduled appointments with the public, and may take part in some emergency situations as well. There's ongoing medical care for animals hospitalized at the sanctuary. And as time permits, special projects may be suggested or assigned. Best Friends has a beautifully-equipped, state-of-the-art veterinary clinic for homeless animals and some of the best vets on the planet. We hope you'll come away feeling this was the preceptorship opportunity of a lifetime.

Download the vet student preceptor application.
2019 veterinary preceptor dates
2020 veterinary preceptor dates

Veterinary technician externship program

If you're enrolled in a certified veterinary technical program and you're interested in animal welfare or working in a sanctuary setting, then this externship is most definitely for you.

The veterinary technician externship program is open to individuals, ages 20 and over, currently enrolled in a certified veterinary technician program and with at least six months of experience working in a clinical setting. If you are interested in pursuing a career within a sanctuary setting, this externship will be particularly beneficial.

This program gives you hands-on experience setting catheters, drawing blood, animal restraint, cleaning surgery, assisting in surgery, cleaning kennels, performing medical treatments on patients and helping with radiographs (if the student has taken a safety course). You may be asked to perform general care of hospitalized patients such as feeding, walking, cleaning living areas, some laboratory work (fecals, urinalysis, preparing lab samples) and assisting in cleaning the hospital at the end of the day. There may be other duties as assigned, depending always on the needs of the animal patients. But you'll always be under the supervision and guidance of a top-notch veterinary staff.

Download the vet tech externship application.

Find out more about our externship program by emailing us at You can also call us at 435-644-2001, ext. 4864.

Extern scholarship information

*Please note: Financial assistance may be available for those with a genuine need. Click here for more information about scholarships available for veterinary student and vet tech externs.

Best Friends also offers internships. Learn more.

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