Internships at Southeastern Guide Dogs

running puppy
At Southeastern Guide Dogs, we’re working hard on behalf of our extraordinary dogs, transforming lives. Our employees, volunteers, and interns share our mission mindset, where service and caring are woven into our culture.

About Us

Southeastern Guide Dogs, Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2014 Nonprofit of the Year, has the distinction of being dually accredited by the two premier, global accreditation bodies: the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF) and Assistance Dogs International (ADI). Founded in 1982 in Palmetto, Florida, the organization employs the latest in canine development and behavior research to create and nurture partnerships between visually impaired individuals and extraordinary guide dogs. Southeastern Guide Dogs serves more than 400 graduates across the U.S. and continues to place more than 100 dogs each year into careers benefiting people with visual impairments, and veterans. The charity provides all of its services free of charge and receives no government funding.

Location and Campus

Our main campus is located on 35 landscaped acres in Palmetto, Florida, just off I-75 and I-275 and easily accessible from Sarasota, Bradenton, St. Petersburg, and Tampa.

Our facilities include a student center, the Isaac and Margaret Barpal Veterinary Center, the puppy kennel, the Keith G. Hirst Canine Assessment Center, the training kennel, and the gift shop.

Benefits and Features

When you intern at Southeastern Guide Dogs, you’ll join the 120+ employees and 350+ campus volunteers making a genuine difference in the lives of our visually impaired students, graduates, and veterans. Our unpaid internships create personalized learning experiences in nonprofit management, animal care, veterinary services, human services, genetics, marketing, and development.

Interns will gain these valuable benefits:
• College credit when coordinated through your university
• Valuable, relevant, hands-on experience to prepare for your career, enhance your resume, and help make decisions about your future
• An expanded network of professionals in your field
• Development of people skills and work-readiness skills
• The opportunity to work with our intelligent, lovable puppies and dogs
• The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others by aligning yourself with our mission

Internship Opportunities

Southeastern Guide Dogs offers a variety of internship/externship opportunities for high school graduates who are currently enrolled in a college, university, or technical center degree program. Our internship positions fall within these functional areas:

Veterinary Externship: for students currently enrolled in a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) program
Genetics and Reproduction: for students majoring in animal genetics, animal science, biological and biomedical areas, zoology, veterinary, or related fields
Veterinary Technician: for students enrolled in a veterinary technician program
Volunteer Services: for students in a business, management, human services or related field
Culinary: for students enrolled in a culinary education or hospitality program
Marketing/Photography: for creative students and photographers enrolled in business, marketing, advertising, or related fields
Media Relations: for students enrolled in business, public relations, media relations, journalism, or related fields
Grant Research/Writer: for talented writers enrolled in business, writing, nonprofit management, and related fields
Special Events/Walkathon: for students in hospitality, nonprofit management, business, event planning, or related field.

Please note that applications for internships are accepted year-round however the following minimum requirements are in effect:

  • High School Graduate or College student with independent transportation to our Palmetto campus.
  • Able to bend, sit and stand for at least 30 minutes at a time.
  • Able to lift up to 40lbs unassisted.
  • Able to commit to a minimum of 10 hours per week for a minimum of 6 weeks.
  • Able to work weekends and holidays.

It is often financially impractical for non-local residents to apply for internship experiences unless they are able to secure nearby lodging.  Unfortunately we are unable to provide accommodation or assistance in locating accommodation for interns.

How to apply

Click button below to apply online.


Questions should be emailed to Shannon Starline

Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc.
4210 77th Street East, Palmetto, FL 34221
Telephone: 941.729.5665 | Fax: 941.729.6646

Copyright 2013 © Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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