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Volunteer Program

The Equine Medical Center offers volunteer opportunities in the areas of facility upkeep and patient care. Our volunteers contribute to patient wellness and recovery by providing the best possible hospital environment. They also have the unique opportunity to observe and learn from our doctors and staff in this clinical setting.

All volunteers must have their own health insurance.

The 2022 Foal Watch Volunteer Program has been canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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Working alongside our nursing assistants, barn care volunteers help to keep our hospital healthy and clean for our in-patients at the center's 38-stall facility.

Responsibilities

  • Pick out, strip, and disinfect stalls.
  • Hose walkways and sweep aisles.
  • Groom horses.
  • Clean and fill water buckets.

Requirements

  • Must have solid, extensive horse experience and be able to safely lift 50 pounds.
  • Must be at least 18 years old, or 14-17 years old with a parent (also with solid horse experience) as a co-volunteer.
  • Must commit to working eight hours per week for a total of 100 hours or more.

Our combined Foal Care/Mare Watch Volunteer Program runs from February through May and requires a four-hour per week commitment for the length of the program. No horse experience is necessary. Training is provided at a mandatory training session held in late January or early February. Volunteers may get to see the birth of a foal.

Responsibilities

  • Sit with sick or premature foals in the Equine Center's neonatal ICU to keep them properly positioned, help them stand to nurse, or tube-feed them.
  • Watch normal and at-risk mares on closed-circuit monitors for signs of foaling, and walk by the stall every 30 minutes.
  • Alert technicians so that clinical staff can attend the birth and assist the mare and foal as needed.
  • Groom and milk the mare.
  • Keep bedding clean.
  • Sweep, do laundry, and help doctors and technicians with tasks as needed.
  • Veterinary Technician Internships are available to students enrolled in an AVMA-accredited veterinary technology program. We are pleased to accommodate large animal observation and husbandry hours, as well as full internships and externships, supervised by our licensed veterinary technicians.
  • The following program is temporarily suspended due to COVID-19:
    For a $35 fee, the Equine Center offers "Shadow Days" for students in at least the eighth grade to follow one of our residents from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students must sign releases and have proof of health insurance.

Questions?

To learn more about volunteer opportunities or to request an application, please send a message to emcvolunteer@vt.edu.