Internship Programs

Imagine helping to care for rescued wild cats at one of the most highly regarded wild animal sanctuaries in the country! Our Internship Program is an incredibly unique and valuable experience that you will find only in Sandstone, Minnesota!

The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS) offers two different Internship opportunities – Animal Care Internships and Communications Internships.

Our goal is to provide a well-rounded, professional experience for our interns, while educating them about the sanctuary field and the captive wildlife crisis. Interns gain valuable education and experience to help them in their future careers.

Our internships are six months long and have 4 available start dates:

  • Spring Session: March thru August every year
  • Summer Session: June thru November every year
  • Fall Session: September thru February every year
  • Winter Session: January thru June every year

These are fulltime, unpaid internships in Sandstone, MN. TWS provides FREE HOUSING and a $110 weekly stipend. Interns are required to live in TWS housing for the entire duration of the internship.

The Wildcat Sanctuary is a rescue organization that provides a forever home to over 100 wild cats with freedom from neglect, fear, and abuse, and through education and advocacy we hope to bring an end to the captive wildlife crisis.

We are a no contact facility and do no buy, breed, sell, trade any of our cats.  We also maintain strict safety protocols for the benefit of our staff, interns and the cats entrusted to our care.  

We are a nonprofit, accredited sanctuary dependent on the generosity of our donors to provide every cat with a safe, caring, wild-at-heart environment that they so deserve.

Animal Care Interns

This is a six-month long internship that teaches our interns what it takes to be a carnivore caretaker. Interns will gain valuable experience from exotic feline husbandry, habitat construction and modification, diet preparation, enrichment, grounds keeping, emergency response, and more! The Animal Care Internship also offers additional leadership experience as a Lead Intern after successful completion of the initial 6-month internship.

Communications Interns

This opportunity is six months long and is ideal for college students or recent graduates who are interested in learning about social media management, fundraising, and the captive wildlife crisis. Communications Interns help us bring the wild cat residents to our social media and donor audiences.

Testimonials:

“The TWS Communications Internship brought me so much knowledge and appreciation! I immediately felt like I found my place with the help and support from the staff. The job is different than any other kind of media internship I ever would have expected/experienced. You see growth in yourself and the residents, you make incredible connections, and you get to share one of the most important missions with the supporters that mean so much to TWS. I can’t even describe how grateful I am to have had this opportunity!”
From Hannah, Media Intern Winter 2022

“I can confidently say this was one of the best experiences I’ve had in my life. This internship is hard, but also one of the most rewarding. Not only is it great for resume building and gaining valuable experience for any future animal career paths, but it is also an internship where you get to work with some of the most dedicated and passionate team of people you may ever know. Each staff member at the sanctuary has your best interests and your success in mind; they will do anything to help you grow in the field of your choice. Along with that, it is also amazing to work for the animals that call TWS home and being able to get to know every one of them on a personal level is a gift all on its own. If you are thinking about doing this internship, I highly recommend it. It’s an experience of a lifetime, and a good one to take a chance on!” – Nicole, Animal Care Intern and Lead Intern Spring 2021

“Loved the experience.  So sad to leave.” – Anna Maria, Animal Care Intern Spring 2021

This internship was an amazing experience where I was able to learn so much about not only taking care of big cats but also the true life of being involved in a sanctuary.” – Jackie, Animal Care Intern Fall 2020 & current TWS Caretaker

“The work environment was overall great, I learned so much, my opinions mostly mattered, and I got to work with all kinds of wild cats. All in all, it was one of the most rewarding internships I’ve had.” – Miranda, Animal Care Intern Spring 2020

“I especially enjoyed seeing the cats themselves and how satisfied they were to be in our care, safe from harm. That was incredibly rewarding.” – Cassandra, Animal Care Intern Spring 2020

“I thoroughly enjoyed all of the animal care and husbandry responsibilities. Those times where I could really get to know who the cats were as individuals will always stick with me. I feel so honored to know and have known so many wonderful beings during my time as an intern.” – Emily Animal Care Intern Spring 2019

“I do feel that this internship gave me so much valuable information and knowledge so that I can go on and be an asset to different animal care teams. I feel that TWS has set the bar pretty high as far as safety and various other protocols. A lot of trust was also put in to us so I feel very lucky to have been accepted into this program and I will carry my experience with me throughout the rest of my career.” – Jessica, Animal Care Intern Spring 2019

“I learned a lot about the husbandry of carnivores, experienced first hand operant conditioning, and learned a lot about construction. I also feel that this internship taught me how to respect and treat my coworkers and future interns in order to help build strong relationships and a team work atmosphere.” – Julia, Animal Care Intern Spring 2019

“I feel I gained experience to help make me a strong job candidate because we were trusted to (with supervision and training) do tasks like feeding and pilling medications.” – Kaitlyn Animal Care Intern Fall 2019

“This internship has increased my love for wildcats and wanting to help them. I have learned so much with hands on training and I now know this is what I want to do the rest of my life.” – Jessica, Animal Care Intern and Lead Intern Fall 2019 & current TWS Caretaker