Dog Shelter Caretaker

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founded in 2011
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Coordinator | Josh
Coordinator | Josh

High­lights

Volunteer in a dog shelter rescue homeless stray dogs
Get the chance to refresh your Spanish while in Latin America
Express your love to animals and make a positive contribution to their well-being
Assist the staff with general maintenance, clean enclosures or play with the dogs
Discover the beautiful city of Lima in your spare time
Peru is home to a large number of stray dogs. The sad reality is that many of these dogs are homeless and thus subject to illness, hunger and even abuse. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Singles
Couples

The stray dog overpopulation is a growing problem in Peru as free-roaming dogs (these are dogs with owners that are often left to their own devices) roam freely throughout the day mating with the homeless strays and increasing the number of strays on the streets of Peru.

Cusco, the location of our all our community projects in Peru, is one of the biggest hotspots of stray dogs across the whole of Peru. A tourist hotspot, authorities in Cusco typically have a pessimistic outlook that the stray dogs bring illness and can be aggressive to the tourist population that brings a lot to the city. They have traditionally adopted a more brutal approach to managing the strays dog population through culling mechanisms. Previously there had been no centralised government programme in Peru to control the stray dog overpopulation so that the management process of controlling stray dog numbers was often left up to each local administration divisions.

Naturally, many disagreed with the authorities tough approach line and protests were a regular occurrence in Cusco’s main square. November 2015 represented huge progress for animal welfare workers across Peru as the Peruvian Congress approved the Animal Protection and Welfare Law. This law classifies animals as sentient beings and punishes those found guilty of animal cruelty with three to five years in prison.

These days, dog lovers within the Cusco community take more humane approaches to save Peru’s street dogs. Examples of this include mobile clinics, educational outreach campaigns in local schools and setting up dog shelters. PMGY have teamed up with a dog shelter in Cusco that takes care of dogs that have been rescued from the streets. The shelter is home to approximately 125 dogs that receive food and care on a daily basis. There are two staff members that work at the shelter on a daily basis who will be the local support for volunteers when at the project.

Dog shelters across Peru typically receive little to no government funding or assistance. Therefore volunteer support and contributions are a big help to the project that otherwise can receive limited help. Not only will your time and physical efforts at the project go a long way, but included within the programme fees is a donation that goes directly to the project that further supports the general upkeep of the day to day costs the project incurs.

So if you have a love for dogs and a willingness to get a little bit dirty, then this project is definitely for you! We have availability from 1 week upwards on the project and you will volunteer typically across the morning periods Monday to Friday. Older clothing for the project is recommended as are shoes that you do not mind getting dirty!

For our programmes in Latin America, we recommend that you speak basic to intermediate Spanish. While the programmes only require you to speak a basic level of Spanish, we find that the ability to speak a good level of Spanish will greatly enhance your overall experience. English is generally not widely spoken so if you do not speak a reasonable level of Spanish then you will find it difficult to communicate and thus may have a frustrating experience.

PMGY offer Online Spanish Lessons that you can take before your trip. These are priced at $225 for 20-hours and this provides you with the opportunity to receive one-on-one classes from a trained Spanish teacher. Classes are held via Skype and can be worked around your schedule back in your home country. We also offer a Language & Immersion Programme which you can take part in prior to your volunteer placement. This provides you with 20 hours-per-week of group Spanish lessons. Both of these options can be added during our online application process and are highly recommended if you want to make the most of your volunteer placement.

Once you are in-country then you are also able to organise additional Spanish lessons directly with our local team. Volunteer feedback suggests that it can often be tiring to complete Spanish lessons at the same time as your volunteer placement so we generally recommend the Language & Immersion Programme option.


Typical day

Our dog shelter project allows volunteers to experience their love of animals during their time in Peru. Working at the centre of the project, your daily tasks will make a positive contribution to the care and wellbeing these rescued dogs receive. Here is a selection of some of the main things you can expect to get involved in during the week:

 

– Assisting the local staff with the care of the animals
– Feeding the dogs
– Playing and enrichment activities with select dogs
– Cleaning the shelter
– Helping with general maintenance
– Local support campaigns within Cusco
– Assisting with marketing and communications for the dog shelter association to help fundraising opportunities
– Showing off your creative side to dynamically raise awareness about animal issues in Cusco.
– For those involved in veterinary work or have relevant experience, depending on availability it may be possible to assist in the rehabilitation of dogs with severe trauma

Free-time activities

IN & AROUND CUSCO
PMGY volunteer in Peru participants are based in Cusco, the Incan capital of world located in the Andes Mountains. The small city has so much history!  As you move through the narrow streets you can’t help but wander into the hidden markets, gaze upon the local artwork and chuckle at the llamas dressed in traditional material.

Peru is full of wonder with the Incan capital, Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley, Rainbow Mountain, the Amazon and the Nazca lines along with coast. Here you can find yourself in a prime spot to visit places like Rainbow Mountain, Machu Picchu, the Maras Salt Mines, Sacred Site of the Moray, Lake Titicaca and the Sacred Valley of the Incas.

Our participants are situated in a great location to explore the local sites and also travel further afield.
Concert/
Music
Sightseeing
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Museum/
Opera
Yoga/
Meditation

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level) or Spanish (intermediate level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 17:00

What's Included

Services by Plan My Gap Year
  • ACCOMMODATION (HOMESTAY)

  • MEALS (BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER)

  • AIRPORT PICK UP (24 HOURS)

  • IN-COUNTRY ORIENTATION

  • 24 HOUR IN-COUNTRY SUPPORT

    • 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SUPPORT 

    • DEDICATED PMGY TRAVEL MENTOR

    • EMAIL & TELEPHONE SUPPORT 

    • VOLUNTEER HANDBOOK 

    • LIVE PRE-DEPARTURE WEBINARS

    • 100% FINANCIAL PROTECTION

    • REGULAR PROGRAMME INSPECTION

    • CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION

Airport Pickup at Jorge Chavez International Airport
Accommodation

During your time in Peru you will live in our homestay(s). The accommodation is basic but comfortable. You’ll be living with local families whom will guide you in Cusco and help to improve your knowledge of the Spanish Language! The homestay families usually have very limited English.

The homestays are located just outside of central Cusco all within 30 minutes bus of your chosen project and usually walking distance from the local teams offices. Each room has single beds, up to 3 people per room (same-sex rooms only). Volunteers are provided with bed linen and cupboard space to store clothes and accessories. All volunteers will have their own keys for the front of the building, apartment and their bedroom.

Bathrooms are shared. Each bathroom has a shower and western style toilet. The water is usually warm (although can be victim to power cuts) to ensure you keep warm in the chilly nights of Cusco! The house has Wi-Fi and a communal area for volunteers to hang out with their host families. There is also a kitchen with a refrigerator to store any items you need to keep chilled; just ask the host family for some fridge space out of respect in advance, The host families will prepare all meals across your time on the project with us (including a packed lunch if you wish).

The families of the homestay normally have a separate area within the house for their family, but they love to interact with volunteers and hear about your days. This ensures you have round the clock support and security along with the chance to improve your Spanish language skills.

Your host family location is usually linked to your project location for ease of logistics to get to and from the project. Should you have requirements to be in the same accommodation as another PMGY application then be sure to highlight this on the special requirements of your online application.

Guest Family
Food & Beverages

Volunteers will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner every day during their time with PMGY. Breakfast and dinner are served at the homestay, whereas for lunch we provide you with a packed lunch (upon request). With notice, the local team can even precook a meal for you and you can venture to the local team school headquarters and warm the meal up if you wish for your lunch.

Boiled and filtered water is also available at the homestay(s) for volunteers.

Most meals are traditional Peruvian dishes that can be carb heavy traditionally. Peruvian cuisine consists of a lot of rice or quinoa and the meat is mainly chicken. Most meals will incorporate lots of carbs and vegetables compared to the UK so please be open-minded around this! Due to the altitude, you will notice that your breakfast and dinner meals are quite small and lunch is very big. Going to sleep with a full stomach is hard on the body and at such an altitude it is difficult to digest large quantities of food. It may take you a few days for your body to accustom to this as well.

The main meats are chicken, fish and alpaca. There are a number of western restaurants around a 10-minute drive from the accommodation should you fancy picking up some home comforts. There are also some Vegan and Indian restaurants in Cusco. Our local team will tell you all about the options available to you during your in-country orientation.

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) in Lima. We assist you to find cheap flights to Peru.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Peru provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Peru you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Peru.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

Every 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
1 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
$ 489
2 weeks
$ 639
3 weeks
$ 789
4 weeks
$ 939
6 weeks
$ 1,224
8 weeks
$ 1,524
12 weeks (max. stay)
$ 2,124
Average fees
$ 333 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Plan My Gap Year will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Plan My Gap Year during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Plan My Gap Year cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Plan My Gap Year.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

  Americas South America Peru  Lima, Chavez Jorge

Dog Shelter Caretaker

Peru is home to a large number of stray dogs. The sad reality is that many of these dogs are homeless and thus subject to illness, hunger and even abuse.

$333/week

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