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Hand in Paw Internship

Become an intern at Humane Society of Southern Arizona

Internship Application Timeline

The Hand in Paw Youth Internship Program is designed for the young person who has a serious interest in animals and animal welfare, as well as being a role model to younger children. Not only will the program provide practical volunteer experience for those planning on pursuing a career with animals or children, but will also teach the value of compassion and care for all living things.

Applicants must be 13-18 years of age, responsible and reliable. It is critical that applicants would enjoy leading younger youth in fun activities while interacting with animals.

Applications are currently closed. Please check back again in December!

December 1 2023 - January 31st 2024 - Application process is open.

January 31st, 2024 - Last day to submit an application and all supplementary documents. Shortly after this date, candidates will be notified of an interview opportunity or elimination from the process.

March - Interviews will take place to determine eligibility and suitability for the program. Final notifications of acceptance or regrets will be sent.

April - New intern orientation will take place during this month. Date and time will be sent with program acceptance email.

May - Camp orientation will take place. The Humane Amigos Camp, running during the months of June and July, will be the first opportunity to volunteer.

Interns must:

  • Complete the Youth Internship application

  • Be able to volunteer a minimum of 3 events or shifts per semester with the HSSA Education Department

  • Make a one year commitment

  • Take direction and be open-minded to corrections

  • Work with minimal adult supervision

  • Possess basic organizational, reading, and math skills

  • Be punctual and responsible

  • Enjoy working with children and animals

Typical duties include:

  • Participating in presentations and activities, such as summer camps, kids club events, Birthday Paw-ty, offsite events, fairs, and classroom programs

  • Assisting staff with shelter tours or activities

  • Caring for animals within the Education Department (Interns do not have direct contact, care, or control of any animals residing in the HSSA shelter. All animal care and socialization is with Education Ambassador Animals, animals fostered during our camps, children's events, and/or Pet Visitation and Therapy Dogs.)

  • Exercising and socializing animals

  • Assisting younger children with educational programs and crafts

  • Stocking and sorting supplies

  • Assisting with office-related duties

  • Helping set up for events and cleaning up afterwards

  • Access to internship position description to add to resume


The internship program includes a fee of $100 paid each January. This fee covers the cost of program perks like t-shirts, food and snacks, quarterly meetings with organization updates and socialization opportunities, and professional development opportunities. Scholarships are available to all candidates selected for the program. Newly accepted and returning candidates will be sent a link for payment upon acceptance. 


Mentor Intern Program

Available to interns aged 15+ who have been with the Internship Program for at least a year with a positive track record of attendance and responsibility. On top of regular intern opportunities, the Mentor Intern Program will have the following options:

  • Shadow in 3-5 different departments at HSSA for 2-3 hours per shift for in-person experience in animal welfare.
  • Act as a mentor to less experienced and new interns.
  • Field trip and outing opportunities to gain experience with other organizations.

There are many benefits to interning at HSSA, such as keeping track of volunteer hours for high school community service requirements, letters of recommendation for work or college, job training skills, and hands-on experience with children and animals.

Please contact us if you are interested, need more information, or have questions about the HIP Youth Internship: mkothe@hssaz.org or call 520-327-6088, ext. 125.

Where are the HSSA Classrooms?

If you are visiting HSSA's Education Department, you will want to go to the coral Education building.

Location Map - Main Campus Locations - Education