Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers

Thai Island Dog & Cat Shelter

Bangkok, Thailand show on map

This project was started in 2005 when it became apparent that dog and cat populations were spiralling out of control and cruelty to these animals was prevalent.

The Project

The project started in 2005 when it became apparent that dog and cat populations were spiralling out of control and cruelty to these animals was prevalent. One factor was that after the Tsunami during the Thai construction boom, construction workers came to the island with their dogs but left them behind when the buildings were completed. The number of tourists visiting the island and feeding these dogs increased which resulted in their survival and reproduction rates causing overpopulation.

The centre’s primary objectives are to control the population of stray animals on Koh Lanta Yai in a humane way through sterilization programs and to provide medical attention to sick and injured animals. To date, over 8,000 animals have been sterilised and treated.

The centre also aims to promote awareness and educate the local community on the importance of animal care and respect to local dog and cat populations. This assists in helping to reduce the local issues of abuse and overpopulation.

The Location

The centre operates on the beautiful island of Koh Lanta Yai, the largest of the island group on the west coast of southern Thailand. While home to many resorts, bars and restaurants, the atmosphere remains relaxed and tranquil compared to other more developed Thailand destinations.

The island itself is comprised of several stunning beaches, a large protected national park, a historic Chinese fishing village, mangroves and caves. Eating is relatively affordable and there are options for every culinary appetite. Nightlife varies from relaxed bars on the beach to occasional dance parties and live reggae music concerts. Tour operators provide easy and affordable island-hopping and diving/snorkelling trips.

While Koh Lanta Yai is home to a large melting pot of Buddhists, Thai-Chinese, Muslims and sea gypsies, this island folk live in peace and harmony with one another. With this kind of mix, Koh Lanta Yai is always celebrating an event of some kind, be it part of Thai Buddhist, Thai-Chinese or Thai-Islamic tradition.

Our Volunteers

Due to a lack of funding and support, the centre relies heavily on donations and the work of volunteers to keep it operational.

You will help care for and enrich the lives of the homeless animals at the centre while educating the local community about the importance of the humane treatment of animals.

You will make a positive difference to the lives of dogs and cats, work with a dedicated and enthusiastic team and be given the opportunity to converse with the local people on this important issue.

Conditions Onsite

It can be very emotional work treating and caring for sick and abused animals so you should try to be prepared for this. Be rest assured that you are amongst like-minded people who are experiencing the same feelings and emotions as you and will be there to support you.

There is no maximum age, however, you will need to be able to stand for long periods of time, work in humidity or wet conditions, travel to and from the project and perform basic manual labour tasks. Things may be organised differently from back home and things might not always make sense. You should be open-minded, patient, willing to accept new things and be prepared to get stuck in.

The staff will do their best to inform you on what's going on and what is expected of you; however, there will be times when you must act independently and use your own initiative as there can sometimes be a lack of resources at the centre. 

The work can be physically demanding as you are on your feet for most of the time and depending upon the time of year, it can be hot and humid.

Thailand has rich, biological diversity. However, sadly increasingly, human pressures such as overexploitation, habitat loss and habitat degradation, are pushing many of Thailand creatures to the brink of extinction. In Thailand, as in every country in the world, animals are abused and exploited for profit and human gratification. There are many examples of animal exploitation for the tourist industry, such as animals performing in degrading shows and elephant riding camps. There is also a thriving illegal trade in wild animals for pets.  O2E ask that volunteers do not engage in activities that involve animal exploitation. 

Please Note

The first instalment of your project fees is due within 1 week after you paid the deposit on Volunteer World. This is a total of $495 AUD and comes off your balance. The balance is due 90 days prior to travel. For all further information about the fees, please scroll down to the section "Program Fees“.

Typical day

You will be involved in the daily routine of the resident cats and dogs (and occasional wildlife) at the centre. This includes

  • exercising the dogs in the running areas and taking them for walks 
  • socialising and playing with the animals 
  • feeding and watering the animals
  • giving medication and care
  • treating the ill or recovering animals
  • providing vet assistance during treatments
  • cleaning cages 
  • enclosures and recovery cages 
  • washing towels and linen 
  • engaging in fundraising activities 
  • ensuring the centre is clean and tidy and promoting the centre and its objectives to the local community.

You will spend time rounding up stray animals that would otherwise be at risk and bringing them to the centre for spaying/neutering or medical treatment. 

The dogs require a lot of exercise so you may spend time at the beach with them running and playing.

Some dogs need help to trust people again.

The centre functions primarily as a sterilization clinic and most days are organized with this as a priority. However, because it is the only animal medical response facility on the island, demand for medical attention comes in, sometimes in high numbers, and we ask that our volunteers be flexible and prepared to respond to these kinds of scenarios. This might mean overtime hours and on-call availability.

You will work 6 days a week and 6 hours a day.

Details on Arrival

Volunteers can start this project Monday - Sunday, all year

To get there, fly to Krabi, Thailand. O2E can arrange an airport pick up for you.

Another option is an overnight sleeper train from Bangkok to Trang, then a bus to Koh Lanta. 

Alternatively, if you fly to Phuket you can get a bus from the airport to Koh Lanta, or take a bus to the port and get a ferry (Nov-Apr only). The journey time from Phuket is around five hours.

Free-time activities

The island of Ko Lanta Yai has 9 gorgeous white sandy beaches, splendid scenery and coastlines boasting more than 70 small islands with forests, coral reefs and underwater life.

Most people spend one day of their holiday in Koh Lanta Yai driving around the island on a rented motorbike or car. You can simply take a map and drive. Being an island, it's hard to get lost, but if you do, it will be an experience in itself. Inland, you'll find small villages that seem completely undisturbed by tourists, beaches used only by fishing boats, lush landscapes of rice paddies and plantations and great viewpoints on the way to the fascinating Old Town in the south east.

Some of the many things to do include

  • Cave exploring
  • Diving, snorkelling and kayaking
  • Visiting beaches 
  • Visit the National Park and Klong Jak waterfall
  • Thai language classes
  • Thai cookery classes 
  • Spa treatments and massage
  • Eating out
  • Enjoying the nightlife
  • Visit the surrounding islands

Renting a scooter is an easy and convenient way to get around the quiet roads on the island. The cost is about 150 THB (US$4) a day or 2500-3000 THB (US$70-90) a month. O2E strongly supports the use of helmets and long protective clothing while riding scooters to avoid serious injury. 

Please note: Thailand offers many activities that include animals. O2E recommends that volunteers refrain from riding an elephant, having your picture taken with an animal or visiting a zoo or animal entertainment venue. These activities exploit, abuse and overwork animals and many are considered illegal by the Thai Government. 

Any tour, activity or show that involves the use of animals in Thailand falls outside the O2E Policy for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

Thailand offers many opportunities to see wildlife roam free in their natural habitat.

Water Sports
Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Hiking

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 20 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 (fluently)
Required Documents
Proof of travel Insurance docs and Proof of vaccinations
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
No specific skills are required other than a love for cats and dogs, a genuine and enthusiastic need to help them and a hard working ethic.

You should be patient, caring, willing to accept new ideas and be prepared to be challenged by alternative cultural views on the treatment of animals.
Time Commitment
Regular working hours are hardly predicable. It mainly depends on the work force. Get in touch with Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers straight ahead to get more infos about current to dos and objectives.

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

Included Services

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 Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers 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 Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers

What's included in this project?

  • Pre-departure support
  • Project Information Pack
  • Informative project orientation upon arrival including location information
  • Accommodation
  • O2E T-Shirt
  • All necessary training by staff or volunteers
  • All necessary placement equipment and materials
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • 24-hour O2E emergency phone
  • Certificate of Participation, if requested
What's not included in this project?

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals
  • Local transport to the project. O2E can arrange transfers or you can take the local bus and ferry
  • Personal spending money
  • Visas and entry permits

Airport Pickup at Krabi Airport
Accommodation

You will be staying on the beautiful island of Koh Lanta, which is based in the South West of Thailand, on the Andaman Sea and is still relatively unspoilt compared to many other islands in Thailand. But Koh Lanta has plenty to offer with SCUBA diving, snorkeling, boat trips, cave exploring, cookery classes, yoga and paddle boarding.

Accommodation will be eco-resort or bed and breakfast within walking distance to the project.

Dorm Room Bungalow
Food & Beverages
Meals are not included, however it is very cheap to eat out and the centre is located within 20 minutes walking distance of several restaurants, convenience stores and several locally run family restaurants. Volunteers are responsible for buying their own food and drinks and can easily self-cater as there is a fridge and cooking facilities. Drinking water is provided, as is tea, coffee and sugar.
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 Krabi Airport (KBV) in Krabi. We assist you to find cheap flights to Thailand.
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 Thailand provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Thailand you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Thailand.
Costs (Prices in USD)
4 weeks (min. stay)
$2,994.00
8 weeks
$5,372.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$7,750.00
Average fees
$697.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Bangkok/Thailand between 4 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Thailand.
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 Oceans 2 Earth Volunteers during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or cash at arrival at the project site.
  Asia South-Eastern Asia Thailand  Bangkok, Koh Lanta Yai

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Reservation
The project site is open in: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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