Every week, the Rexburg Animal Shelter takes care of animals and gets them ready for adoption.

“Some of the special needs that you may encounter with animals that come through in that they require a little bit of extra love to make sure that everything gets healed and they’re better and they’re ready to be adopted again.” Officer Stephen Buzzell, Rexburg’s Animal Control Officer said.

But, the Rexburg Animal Shelter does more than offer cute animals a home, they’re also giving students in the Vet Tech program at BYU-Idaho some unique opportunities.

Cassi Defendis is one of those students and though her internship has ended, she says she learned many of the skills she needs for her major her at the shelter. Working at the shelter provides interns with an amazing opportunity to learn about animal behavior on a closer level.

“I learned to read animal behavior a lot better like to see with when they were aggressive or you know, food aggressive even, um, when they were gonna fight with other animals or if they were not gonna be good with people,” Defendis said.

“They get to see different behaviors they’re not going to be able to see normally, you get to do a lot more with behavioral evaluation, intake evaluations, things like that, that help you to be able to identify problems in an animal when they’re first coming in.” Officer Buzzell remarked.

In addition to learning about animal behavior, interns also assist in cleaning, playing with the animals and other duties.