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Animal Sanctuary Volunteer

Volunteer abroad with street animals and support animal shelters around the world in their important work...

Top 20 of 79 programs

Very Good 4.3 (52)
872  per week · 1  ‑  12  weeks · Age  18+ · Has Wifi

This project supports the welfare and protection of animals at local shelters. Support local shelters play an important role in managing colonies of stray cats!

Airport Taxi
Perfect 4.6 (5)
38  per week · 2  ‑  12  weeks · Age  18+ · Has Wifi

We are a new rescue centre, and the first one in the Sacred Valley of the Incas (Peru), so your contribution will make a massive difference to the welfare of stray dogs.

Airport Taxi
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Volunteer with Street Animals

Why volunteer with street animals?

In most developing countries, dogs and cats are considered part of the family and are cared for accordingly. Families accept them as their responsibility and will do what is necessary to ensure their health and wellbeing. In the off-chance families are unable to tend to their furry housemate, there are shelters available that are equipped to take care of animals and keep them off the streets.

Developing countries struggle with maintaining a comfortable living standard for people and don’t always regard animals as a priority. Animal birth control is often unheard of and the growing population of street animals like cats and dogs remains a huge issue. In many cases, there’s a problem regarding ill-treatment of the animal. Dogs and cats that have outgrown the cute puppy or kitten phase are often no longer welcome and end up on the streets. The problem continues when these creatures aren’t spayed or neutered because just 1 litter of kittens for example can easily lead to 48 stray cats in a period of 16 months according to Peta organization .

Another prevalent issue is exotic wildlife being held as pets. Wild animals that have no purpose in a domestic setting are still being kept as pets and are being poached due to their high value. When wildlife has had long-term exposure to people and are used to a lot of human contact, they are unable to readapt to their natural environment. These creatures will rely on the conservation or rescue center for the rest of their lives. Macaws especially fall into this category. The exotic beauty of this animal has made them attractive pets and is one of the reasons behind their dwindling population.

What will I do as a volunteer with street animals?

Volunteers who are eager to help out with street animals in one of the projects abroad will spend most of their time in an animal shelter or rescue center. Depending on the program, you’ll be dealing with dogs, cats or even exotic creatures like macaws. Animals and wildlife that end up in a shelter, have suffered. They have been abandoned, abused or are in poor health. These shelters are private organizations that have noticed a need for animal support. To continue their activities, they’re responsible for finding funds for their cause and rely on help from volunteers who share their love for animals and are eager to rescue these creatures.

Animal Care

This is where you come into the picture. Are you excited about helping disadvantaged dogs, cats or wildlife? Are you keen on nursing them to better health? Do you love taking dogs for a walk and are you always up for some frolicking? If that’s the case, volunteering with street animals is perfect for you. Each project may have different goals on the agenda but they all share the common goal of caring for the animals and providing them a brighter future.

Certain projects focus on nursing injured or ill animals by:

  • cleaning up wounds,
  • cleaning the eyes of the animals
  • treating bad skin conditions
  • de-ticking
  • deworming
  • brushing
  • shampooing

Animal Birth Control

In the case of cats and dogs, a big issue remains overpopulation. If you are also worried about this, join a volunteer project dedicated to animal birth control. Neutering and spaying street animals will avoid further increases in the population. Volunteer as an aid on one of the programs and take a proactive approach to this problem.


A crucial part of being a volunteer at an animal or wildlife conservation shelter is helping to maintain it. Volunteers will be asked to help clean the kennels and pens to keep the shelter a hygienic and welcoming home for current and future furry inhabitants.

Animal Adoption

If you’re ambitious and committed to a longer stay abroad, you can apply your convincing skills and help some of the animals find a new home. Facilitate the adoption process and lead animals the way to a loving home. Volunteers with excellent marketing or social media skills can focus on creating more awareness for the organization which in turn will increase the number of volunteers and stimulate donations.

Volunteers with a love for animals will find an organization that fits their preferences. The longer you dedicate yourself to these cute creatures, the more responsibilities you will get. You’ll grow into your role and help make the shelter a warm home for animals which have been through a lot.

Best places to volunteer with street animals

Both developing and developed countries offer wonderful projects dedicated to street animals. Incredible locations abroad and animals in desperate need of help, await your support and aid:

Latin America

Macaws are endangered species requiring rehabilitation and conservation. Travel to the lush forests of Costa Rica to support the conservation of these colorful parrots. Other options in Central America range from rescue centers to veterinary practices where you can volunteer and work as an aid. If you are more drawn to dogs, South America offers several dog shelter projects in touristic hotspots like Ecuador, Peru, and Chile. Pack those dog biscuits and start your animal adventure abroad.


Volunteers who can’t ignore the call of Africa and want to support animal shelters and revel in the biodiversity of Tanzania or South Africa, will also find there’s a project to their liking. Work with some of the most diverse wildlife during your African volunteer work abroad.


Thailand offers next to palm trees and sandy beaches, projects to aid stray animals. For those who want to avoid tourist hotspots, Cambodia, Nepal and India are worthy alternatives to volunteer and aid an animal program abroad. Enjoy the beauty of your surrounding while you help animals in need. You’ll be repaid with lot’s love.

North America and Europe

If you prefer milder or perhaps even cold temperatures, opt for an adventure in Canada, Albania or Hungary. Choose the road less traveled and care for huskies or help rescue exotic animals.

Top 5 benefits of volunteering

Volunteering is always associated with something positive. It’s difficult to name drawbacks to helping injured or abandoned animals. There’s no doubt you’re contributing to a great cause and these animals will love you unconditionally in return. Let’s look at what this experience abroad may have in store for you:

1. Valuable Learning Opportunities

Volunteering in a different country will give you the unique opportunity to learn more about your destination abroad. You’ll also learn a great deal about the culture. Volunteering with animals will also teach you more about animal care and psychology. Bottom line is that you’ll walk away from the program having learned a great deal more.

2. Meet other people

You will meet other volunteers and travelers who share your love for animals. You’ll be in contact with like-minded individuals and bond with the locals of your destination. This will be a wonderful opportunity for forging meaningful relationships and cultural interchange.

3. New Experiences

Volunteering is a brilliant way to expand your perspective of the world. Issues that seemed huge problems before, may seem trivial after your animal volunteer experience. Life experiences make you stronger and will empower you for the future.

4. Health Improvements

Animals, beautiful surroundings and contributing to a wonderful purpose are components that can positively influence happiness. Happy people tend to be healthy people. Witness the calming effect that animals and nature have on you and volunteer abroad with street animals or support wildlife conservation at one of the centers.

5. Travel

This is your chance to explore the world and discover some of the most interesting places the world has to offer. You’ll be doing this while contributing to a meaningful cause. What are you waiting for? Get out your luggage and start packing!

How do I get started with volunteering with street animals?

You’re convinced you want to help disadvantaged animals. Excellent choice! Once you’ve picked a few animal programs which fulfill your requirements, let’s take a look at the first 3 steps which will send you on your way to volunteer and travel:

  1. Check whether there’s a match between you and the project. There may be some requirements you need to fulfill.
  2. Take a look at the location of the project and decide whether it is a location you are excited about.
  3. Get in touch with the organization and see whether your expectations and your schedule match up.

Once this is sorted. Let’s take a look at the practical steps:


As you’ll be working with animals, it’s imperative you receive the necessaries vaccinations prior to leaving. A rabies shot is a minimum. Check in with your doctor about the required vaccinations for your destination.

Insurance (Health & travel)

We recommend getting both health and travel insurance. In fact, this is even a requirement for many programs abroad. Get in touch with your program contact person to find out if an insurance plan is already in place for volunteers.

Visa, Passport and Documentation

Once you know your destination, take the following 3 steps before setting off on your life-changing adventure!

  1. Look into the visa requirements for the country you will volunteer in.
  2. Make sure you have a valid passport considering the requirement of the host country.
  3. Prepare the correct documents to fulfill the visa application.

That’s about it. Visa issues may be tricky in some countries so definitely take that into account when applying for your animal project abroad.

Explore the world and care for cats, dogs and other creatures who have been injured or ill-treated. Volunteer with street animals and give these animals a better future.