I accepted my internship at Cedar Run still uncertain about what I really wanted to do after graduation. After interning from early May to late July, and then staying to volunteer until late August, I can finally say I know what I want to do in my career. When I was approached about contributing an article for the newsletter, I felt I needed to share my experience.
When I started, I was unsure of what to expect from interning at a wildlife rehabilitation hospital. I quickly came to realize that there was no shortage of work to do. From having to constantly feed baby opossums and raccoons and food-prepping for the animals, to constant cleaning and laundry, I was always on my toes and moving. Another huge part of my time here was getting to meet and build relationships with the resident animals that cannot be released back into the wild. The permanent residents gave me so much new-found respect and love for so many different species. Phoebe, the resident striped skunk, was my absolute favorite. However, the best part of my experience at Cedar Run was getting to know the staff, volunteers, and other interns. Getting to bond, learn from, and work with the staff made the high stress of the job worth it.
So, as I mentioned Cedar Run really helped shape me. For one, I now know I want to work to preserve, conserve, and protect animals, the environment, and the planet. This has led me to decide that I want to go to graduate school and focus on ecology and environmental protection. Cedar Run also pushed me to make some major life decisions. The most notable was for me to go vegan. I developed a new respect for the lives of all animals. Cedar Run allowed me to train with some of the best in the field. The staff at Cedar Run was always willing to teach and pushed me to learn and be better. Lastly, Cedar Run gave me lifelong friendships and bonds with some amazing people. So to the volunteers, to Mike, to Lori, to Heather, to Kelsey, to Cheryl, to Taylor, to my fellow interns, and to Cedar Run, thank you for helping me grow.
By Vinnie Spino, Wildlife Rehabilitation Intern 2019