The Animal Welfare Specialist Intern will support staff in caring for our animals and connecting people with the resources that they need.  As such, they should share the Northeast Animal Shelter’s desire to effect change in our community.  AWS’ Interns should have a deep sense of compassion and a strong desire to help both animals and people.

The AWS Intern will demonstrate and embrace the organizational values of Compassion, Integrity, Collaboration, Excellence, Service and Positivity in carrying out day to day tasks as well as in interactions with others.

This is an unpaid volunteer role within our volunteer program. It is designed for high school and college students who are considering careers with animals. If you are seeking an unfiltered look at the rewards and challenges of a career in animal welfare, we’d love to consider your application!


  • Complete a variety of tasks as directed by staff. Tasks may include but are not limited to cleaning, disinfecting, office work, phone calls, cage set up, laundry, dishes, donation sorting, assistance with Humane Education children’s programming, and animal care.
  • Ensure all animals are provided with the best possible care. Clean and disinfect kennels, cages, etc., provide proper food, water, bedding and enrichment.
  • Provide quality and meaningful customer service to the general public at all times.
  • Participate in training as required for the role.
  • Have the ability to keep information confidential.

Physical requirements

  • Able to sustain moderate to heavy activity with variable amounts of standing, walking, bending, reaching and stooping.
  • Able to lift, push, pull or carry objects and/or animals weighing up to 50 lbs.
  • Able to perform these duties in variant temperatures and elements including extreme heat, extreme cold and inclement weather.
  • Must be able to manage any animal or hay-related allergies with medication

Emotional and mental requirements

  • Able to multitask and complete tasks in a fast paced, high stress environment
  • Able to maintain composure during challenging and/or emotionally charged situations
  • Able to work with staff, fellow volunteers, and clients in an empathetic and supportive manner
  • Adaptable to an ever-changing environment. This role is not a suitable match for individuals who do best with routine tasks
  • Receptive to direction and feedback
  • The ability to remain open-minded and understanding of decisions for euthanasia that consider the animal’s physical and emotional well-being and the safety of the community.

Required skills & attributes

  • Able to work well with and communicate effectively with the public, staff, and fellow volunteers
  • Able to be judgment-free in challenging situations, including animal surrenders
  • Able to multitask and prioritize in a fast paced, high stress environment
  • Able to work independently
  • Able to pass a criminal history check
  • Computer proficiency is required
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Fluency in Spanish is a plus!

Qualifications and education requirements

  • Must have completed Junior year of high school or higher
  • Must be 16 years old by the start of internship as our minimum volunteer age is 16.
  • Some animal experience necessary. Experience with multiple species with various dispositions and behavior needs helpful but not required.

Time Commitment

  • Must be able to participate in a virtual orientation and on-site training
  • Three set days a week, including one weekend day, for a minimum of 6 weeks during the period of July-August.
  • A six hour shift from 7am – 1pm or 1pm – 7pm with a one hour lunch/dinner break.
  • Ability to commit to their internship through September is a plus!


Reliable transportation is required. There is parking on site, but there are numerous public transport options as well. Be sure to check out your possible commute before committing to volunteering.

Volunteers age 16 and 17 must be able to obtain a MA Youth employment permit for this volunteer role, prior to their volunteer start date. Details can be found at


All shelter equipment, including but not limited to, animal handling tools (harnesses, leashes, etc.) telephones, computers (word, excel, Outlook email etc.).

Additional notes

This is not a contract; management reserves the right to change this volunteer job description at any time.