General Sanctuary Assistant

Jacobs Ridge Animal Sanctuary
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Coordinator | Julian
Coordinator | Julian
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Work closely with rescue street and farm animals and play a vital role in the development of the Animal Sanctuary
Get involved with animal rescue and rehabilitation and help to save animals and bring them to health
Make unforgettable memories, working closely with like-minded people
Learn/improve upon a vast range of skills
Enjoy the Spanish way of life in a beautiful country setting and learn/improve upon the Spanish language
The General Sanctuary Assistant will help with all and any aspects of the daily running of the sanctuary, including its "Volunteering Holiday Programme". This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

Jacobs Ridge is an animal sanctuary, located in rural Murcia in Spain.  Surrounded by beautiful scenery, the sanctuary borders lemon groves and orchards and there are acres of neighbouring land to explore.  The animals in our care are given the very best we can offer them, with space to roam and be safe.  

Volunteers are vital to the sanctuary, as it enables the rescued animals who live here to get the best care possible.  Many of the animals at the sanctuary have had a difficult start to their lives before they came to live at The Ridge, so their wellbeing is the top priority.  With so many animals being abandoned and mistreated, sanctuaries offer an essential lifeline to those in need.  Volunteers enable the sanctuary to not only continue to give the necessary day to day care, but also to continuously improve the facilities and outcomes for the animals we have offered a home to. 

We are looking for a General Sanctuary Assistant to join our team, for a minimum of 3 months.

The Assistant will be carrying out a wide range of varying tasks but will mostly be focused on the day to day physical running of the sanctuary.

The ideal candidate:

  • Must have a love for animals of all species' and a passion for animal rescue
  • Must be prepared to work unsociable hours outdoors in all weathers
  • Must have a strong work ethic with a positive "can do" attitude
  • Must be able to communicate clearly with volunteers to be able to train and assist them
  • Must be mentally and physically fit 
  • Must able to carry out a number of different tasks
  • Must learn quickly
  • Must be able to work independently and as part of a team
  • Must have some basic experience and knowledge of animal care 
  • Must carry out their duties in a conscientious and efficient manner
  • Must be polite, friendly and respectful 

Typical day

The hours and days that the General Sanctuary Assistant will work will vary depending on the time of year and on how many other volunteers are working on that day. 
The ideal candidate must therefore be flexible and willing to occasionally work long weeks if necessary.  Usually, in the peak of summer, the day will start around 7am, due to needing to get many jobs done before the heat of the day sets in.  No two days are the same, creating a varied and interesting role for the successful person. 
The day is split into two parts with a break in the middle.  
As we must work around the daylight and temperature, the ideal candidate must be able to work unsociable hours.

Days of work required per week: 5-7
Hours of work required per day: 8 avg

The general daily responsibilities are as follows:

  • Walking and feeding the dogs and cleaning areas of dog waste
  • Feeding and watering the other animals
  • Administering medication 
  • Cleaning animal enclosures
  • Cleaning feed and water buckets
  • Maintaining clean work and communal areas
  • Assisting with the cleaning of volunteer accommodation 
  • Managing animal feed stock levels and arranging for deliveries
  • Managing animal medication levels
  • Updating animal health records
  • Assisting with grocery shopping and animal feed shopping/deliveries
  • Assisting with vet/farrier visits
  • Assisting with the welcoming and training of weekly volunteers
  • Assisting with volunteer excursions
  • Assisting with food preparation and serving
  • Assisting with ongoing tasks such as: fence and shelter building/repair, land tidy and maintenance, vegetable gardening etc

Free-time activities

We are situated in a beautiful part of Murcia with many stunning locations just a short drive away.
The following activities are part of our normal routine with our weekly volunteers.
Whether or not you attend will be down to vehicle space and if there are any jobs outstanding on the sanctuary.
The opportunities will arise every week so if you have to stay behind one week, there is always the next:

  • Pool swimming 
  • Nature swimming 
  • Rock jumping
  • Sightseeing
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking/rafting
  • Thermal pools visit
There are plenty of other activities that our volunteers can enjoy on their days off or in between working hours at the sanctuary such as sightseeing/shopping in our local town of Mula and local city of Murcia. If you have your own transport/public transport, you will also be able to arrange other activities at your own cost if you wish.

Water Sports


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 (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Other skills which are not essential but preferred are:

•Driving License
•Animal care experience (in particular dogs and horses)
•Tractor/machinery driving experience
•Spanish language skills
•First Aid Qualification
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday

What's Included

Airport Pickup at Corvera International
We are happy to pick you up from Murcia City Centre, Murcia Corvera Airport (RMU) or Mula Town Centre.
Accommodation will be shared accommodation with the other long-term volunteers in a house/villa.

As this is yet to be arranged, we cannot share full in-depth information but it will be in modern, working order with private bedrooms and shared bathroom facilities.

Although we do not charge a fee, you will sign a contract upon arrival to protect the property and its contents. 

The accommodation will be in/near the local town which is just a 5 minute drive from the sanctuary.

Transport to and from the sanctuary will be provided.
Food & Beverages
Basic food and drinks will be provided but any additional snacks and beverages must be paid for by the volunteer.

Depending on your working hours, you will either have a meal cooked for you on the sanctuary site or you will cook something for yourself at your accommodation.

As a vegan sanctuary, we have a strict rule that no non-vegan food enters either the volunteer accommodation or the sanctuary out of respect for our ethics and for the animals that we care for.
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 Corvera International (RMU) in Corvera. We assist you to find cheap flights to Spain.
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 Spain provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Spain you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Spain.

Dates & Fees

Details on arrival

We are looking for our General Sanctuary Assistant to join us ideally in March or April 2022 for at least 3 months.

If the candidate has the right to remain in Spain after this time (be a member of a European country or have a Spanish visa), this period can be extended as long as both parties are happy.

Our preferred length of stay is 6-7 months +.

This program is paused due to COVID-19

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
13 - 50 weeks

Why book with Volunteer World

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We refund your fees if Jacobs Ridge Animal Sanctuary cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Jacobs Ridge Animal Sanctuary.

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General Sanctuary Assistant

The General Sanctuary Assistant will help with all and any aspects of the daily running of the sanctuary, including its "Volunteering Holiday Programme".

Free of charge

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