Animal Shelter Introduces New Internship Program

Kencia Jolly, at left, and Wiliam Vesey, are enjoying their summer internships at the St. John Animal Care Center.

The Animal Care Center of St. John has expanded its outreach to the young people of the island by introducing a summer internship program this year.

Due to the small size of the shelter and the organization’s modest budget, the ACC Summer Internship Program will be limited to two interns each summer season.

Kencia Jolly, 17, of Estate Pastory, and William Vesey, 14, of Estate Chocolate Hole, began their six-week internship Tuesday, July 12. ACC Shelter Administrator Sally Nelson is training both Vesey and Jolly as a team to help care for the growing number of cats and kittens residing at the shelter in Cruz Bay.

Jolly is participating in the program to fulfill her Community Service requirement for Ivanna Eudora Kean High School. Her soft-spoken, gentle manner has proven perfect for working with the shelter’s cats and kittens. Further, her computer skills help Nelson load donor tools in the shelter office.

Vesey has waited patiently for several years to be old enough to assist at the shelter. His love for kitties and all small animals has been a constant in his life.  He claims that his specialty is socializing homeless and half-tame kitties.

Interns in the program must be between the ages of 14 and 17. The two young interns will assist Nelson from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday for six weeks.

At the end of the six weeks, Jolly and Vesey will receive official ACC certificates to document their contribution to the well-being of the island’s needy companion animals.

Diana Ripley, who heads the ACC’s humane educational efforts for school children, strongly supports this newest initiative. She called it a “fun activity” for the young teenagers which will help strengthen their skills in handling and caring for the animals.

St. John Rotary Club officer John Fuller called the program a “win-win” opportunity, and Monica Munro, ACC Treasurer, said it was simply “wonderful!”