Intern at the Sanctuary

Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary invites you to become an animal care intern with us. If you thrive on new experiences and aim to make a difference in the lives of animals, this is the opportunity for you!

Description: Our internship program is a unique way for you to work directly with rescued animals at our beautiful sanctuary in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. During the internship, you will have the hands-on opportunity to learn the basics of rabbit, bird, goat, and pig care with us.


  • Currently enrolled in college, or a general career interest in animal protection or veterinary care;
  • Excellent verbal communication skills;
  • Ability to work independently, manage time effectively, organize multiple tasks, and meet deadlines;
  • Ability to think creatively and to share ideas; must be physically able to lift/move up to 15 pounds;
  • Must be able to stand, walk, or sit for extended periods of time;
  • While interning at the sanctuary, maintaining a vegan diet is required; AND
  • All intern applicants must have medical insurance.

Internship details:

  • Non-residential (must have reliable transportation to and from sanctuary)
  • 15 hours per week
  • 1 – 3 month internship commitment

Application instructions:

  • Applications (required: cover letter, resume and personal references) will be accepted on or before the 10th of the month for consideration for an internship beginning on the 1st of the forthcoming month.
  • Email a cover letter, current resume and two references with subject line “Internship application for YOUR NAME” to Your cover letter (150 – 250 word requirement) should outline why you would like to intern at Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary and briefly summarize past experiences (if any) in the field of animal protection or veterinary technology.
  • Once an application is received, the applicant may receive a request for an interview and internship acceptance application.
  • Once notified of Harvest Home’s decision, accepted applicants will have one week to either accept or decline the internship offer.

Academic Credit: If an intern wishes to receive academic credit for the internship, it will be the intern’s responsibility to make arrangements with his or her school.


Interviews with Previous Interns

Q & A with Sanctuary Intern Jenna Savage

Jenna Savage, a pre-vet student at Humboldt State University, interned at Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary during the summer of 2011. She is pictured here with Jenna, Jr., a young rescued chicken who formerly lived in an apartment before being surrendered at Berkeley Animal Care Services.

Before Jenna’s departure for school, we sat down for a quick recap of her summer internship at the sanctuary:


What interested you in interning at Harvest Home this summer?

I wanted to intern for Harvest Home for several reasons. First, I wanted to gain experience working with farm animals. Second, I am a big fan of the work Harvest Home does and have always wanted to get involved and help in any way possible. But most importantly, I wanted to meet and hang out with the amazing animals there. I had an amazing time and I loved getting to know all the residents!

What are some of the highlights of your internship so far?

The entire experience was really amazing and there were so many highlights throughout the summer. My first day at the farm was one of the most memorable. I was greeted right away by a couple of the dogs that live there and I was very impressed with how well the animals were cared for and loved. I loved meeting all the interesting animals that lived there and hearing all of their amazing stories. The day I assisted in taking Mohawk to the vet was also a very memorable experience. He was not a very happy boy but he did much better than I had expected. I also really enjoyed picking up the three new goats, Selma, Abe and Milton. It was great to see how well they adjusted and thrived in their new home at Harvest Home.

How has this internship prepared you for future career plans?

My dream is to be a veterinarian and the experience I gained at Harvest Home will definitely help me reach that goal. I learned so much over the summer and am so thankful I got the opportunity to be a part of this amazing organization. I hope one day I will be able to use the knowledge I gained at Harvest Home and the knowledge I hope to gain at vet school to make a difference in farm animals’ lives. Christine and Karen, you inspire me and I wish there were more people like you in this world.

Q & A with Sanctuary Intern Ashlee Ferguson

Ashlee Ferguson, a resident of Manteca and recent graduate of The University of Oregon, is currently interning at Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary. She is pictured here with Timothy, a rabbit who was abandoned by his previous guardians. Read about Ashlee’s experiences at the sanctuary during the fall season:

What caught your interest in interning at Harvest Home?

I was interested in an internship at Harvest Home because I thought it would be a great opportunity to help animals in need, as well as learn how to care for animals that I’ve never had experience with.

What are your career aspirations?

I have always wanted a job working with animals. I recently graduated with a degree in marine biology, so I would love to continue down that path if possible.

What’s your favorite aspect of the sanctuary?

I love how the sanctuary takes in and cares for animals that so many people tend to overlook. They give so many animals a loving home where they can live out the rest of their lives.

How does your current internship fit in with your future work with animals?

This internship is giving me a lot of hands-on experience working with and caring for animals that I’ve never worked with before. It is definitely a great experience and I am so grateful that I can be a part of it.

Q & A with Sanctuary Intern Stephanie Chan

Intern Stephanie Chan dedicated her entire summer to service for animals. Stephanie’s optimistic attitude and spirited enthusiasm was a welcome addition to the sanctuary’s daily function. Before heading back to college at Oregon’s Willamette University, Stephanie reflected on her experiences over the summer with the animals at the sanctuary:

What interested you in interning at Harvest Home

I think what interested me the most in interning here was definitely the variety of animals. So far, I have only had experience with dogs and cats and the only experience I have had with livestock is the Old McDonald Song and picturesque farm themed children books. Who knew that ducks could have Mohawk’s and needed water to swallow, roosters and chickens have so many different kinds of breeds, and turkeys can be white?! My mind was completely blown.

What was the most eye-opening experience during your internship?

Probably the field trips out to the rabbit mill and livestock auction. It was absolutely heartbreaking to see the rabbits in such terrible conditions. Their water bowl is as tall as my pinky and maybe one to two inches wide. Only two rows were available for public viewing except that was about 20% of the entire place. All other rows were private. As Christine and I were walking with  the owner, she noticed that there was pee in one of the water bowls. She immediately took a hose out  to spray out the dirty water and to replace it with fresh water. Then she said to the bunnies in the cage, “Who did this?! If you do it again, I’ll hose you down”. I could not even tell if that was joke or not.

With the livestock auction, I was speechless. So many animals crowded in these very large pens, standing in their own urine and feces. A man who was trying to direct a bull somewhere, would climb into these pens and bang a paddle against wall which not only agitated the bull but also agitated the animals inside the pens. The goats bleated and hovered in fear, trying to get away from the man. How could one not be aware of this? There has to be some better way to be able to herd the bull somewhere. It was also difficult to see the auction take place. It was not enough for the auctioneers to push the scared cow into the pen. They had to scare her some more by hitting her with the paddle, so she would run back and forth, back and forth. And one of the cows we saw was bleeding very badly, but she was still stuck in the pens with the other cows, rather than being treated. It was just absolutely ridiculous. I don’t understand why some people think it is okay to mistreat animals this way just for profit.

Share some of your favorite experiences with the animals at the sanctuary.

This is hard because I have had so many great experiences with the animals here. I always have to be really careful and creative when I try to get Taylor the rabbit’s water bowl because she is so feisty and I am deathly afraid of being bit. I usually enter in with a towel or try to distract her with my other hand while I grab her water bowl.

Now I am also afraid of roosters and chickens because of their beaks and feet. One time, the birds in the back pen didn’t get their breakfast yet so when I entered, I was literally chased back and forth in the pen by them. I think I was literally begging Kona to protect me, even though I used to be so nervous around him. I would always leave that pen with a sigh of relief. Hungry birds are so scary.

How could I forget about Grandpa? He is always such a happy fellow, very mild-mannered. Until he came with Christine and I to fed the goats some bananas. I’m not very sure what happened but after the banana dropped on the ground, I tried to direct the goat’s head there where he just started barking, ears flapping, body jiggling. It was hilarious. He has never looked so agitated before.

Why should people become involved as volunteers at Harvest Home

Others should become involved as a volunteer at Harvest Home because you’re not only helping the animals there, they’re helping you in return. I never leave the Sanctuary in a bad mood (except that one day where I was bit by a rabbit and a rooster). Things are much simpler there. All the animals want is to be taken care of and loved. The turkeys talk back to you, Monica the pig talks back at you (especially if you tell her she needs a bath) so if you ever want to have a conversation with them, there you go. And if you want someone to listen to you, the rabbits and Grandpa are good listeners. It is not only fun but invigorating to be away from your cell phone and fussy people. Volunteering at Harvest Home gives one a new perspective, and I think we all need that sometimes.


Leave a Reply