Animal Rescue - Volunteer Reviews

INDIA

Read what our volunteers say about their time volunteering

Find out more about the Animal Rescue project

Natasha – 2017 

“I felt incredibly supported during my stay in India. The host family is absolutely amazing and are so supportive; they were absolutely the best part of the trip for me. They were always happy to answer questions and help you with anything (like giving directions to get to places etc) and the food cooked for you was always good.

The placement itself was a little daunting at first but once i was introduced to the volunteer co-ordinator and shown around i felt much better. The first two days were a bit slow as i was only allowed to go with the disabled dogs or the cows but after two days I was allowed with the injured/mange dogs and i felt much more helpful as i walked the dogs that were able to be walked and spent time with ones that couldn't. All the dogs really appreciate the time you spend and i felt like my presence was really helpful.

What did you find most rewarding?
I found it incredibly rewarding to be able to work closely with the dogs at the rescue centre, many of whom had horrible wounds and greatly appreciated the time spent with them.

What did you find most challenging?
The only part i found challenging was when sightseeing, i found that as a foreigner, you were the centre of attention and some people try to talk to you or take photos with you. It's fine if you can take it in your stride but as a shy person, i found this aspect the most challenging part of the trip.

What advice would you give to others who are considering this placement?
I would tell them to be prepared to see animals with extremely bad wounds at the placement, and even out on the streets, as well as being emotionally prepared to deal with both the ill animals at the site and seeing the, often negative, interactions between locals and animals (I saw a woman throw rocks at dogs).

Why did you choose Pod Volunteer?
I have worked with the previously and always found them helpful.

Would you recommend Pod Volunteer? Yes”

Emily - 2017

“Volunteering at the Animal rescue project was an incredibly rewarding experience that left me with long-lasting memories and a new perspective on compassion and empathy for other living beings. It is an inspiring place to be, and the efforts of the owners to provide a sanctuary for the city's injured animals is humbling.

The host family were wonderfully accommodating and not once did I ever feel homesick. They were eager to help me make the most of my short two weeks in India and their hospitality was above and beyond what I could have expected.

Organising the placement through Pod Volunteer was a stress-free experience from the beginning to the end. Their support was exceptional and Gemma promptly replied to all my email queries - I definitely plan to return to this project in the future!

What did you find most rewarding?
The most rewarding part was the hands-on experience - being able to fully get involved and make a difference to the lives of the animals in the centre.

What did you find most challenging?
It was challenging at times to see so many injured and sick animals, and to see some lose their fight.

What advice would you give to others who are considering this placement?
If you are an animal lover then don't think twice about taking on this program! You will be greatly rewarded with memories and impressions that stay with you long after your trip ends. And if you can, go for at least one month to get the most out of the experience.

Why did you choose Pod Volunteer?
I looked at many different volunteering organisations online, but Pod Volunteer really stood out to me. The amount of information easily available on their website, alongside the reasonable prices and excellent customer service when enquiring made the decision easy for me.

Would you recommend Pod Volunteer? Yes”

Elaine - 2017

“How did you find out Animal Rescue project in India with Pod Volunteer?
I found everything about the project not just "very good", but excellent. From application until the day I left India, I always felt supported, and never felt like I didn't know what was going on. A big thank you to POD for an excellent service!

Animal Rescue in India does wonderful work with and for animals. Their 'let love guide you' motto is one that we can all learn from. I encountered many animals there, that in my country would have been pts (put to sleep), as it would have been the humane thing to do.

What I learned is that every living creature deserves a chance, and that often what seems a hopeless case, can have the happiest ending, with the waggiest tail.

What did you find most rewarding?
Getting to know and working with the paralysed dogs in Handicapped Heaven.

What did you find most challenging?
The death of animals I had been working with.

What advice would you give to others who are considering this placement?
Get as involved as possible, whilst remaining positive for the sake of the animals that need you.

Why did you choose Pod Volunteer?
I had volunteered through Pod twice before, and knew that they were well organised. The only thing I had to worry about was booking my flights. The rest was taken care of by Pod.

Would you recommend Pod Volunteer? Yes”

Richard – 2017

“Ravi and Gaurav (the local team) were real friends and Neha fed me wonderfully! As an older volunteer I found bending for much of the day to stroke dogs a problem causing back pain. Even so I was made to feel very welcome and thanked for the work I did achieve, rather than being left wishing I had been younger!

What did you find most rewarding?
Being greeted by wagging tails when arriving at work each morning.

What did you find most challenging?
Coping with back ache.

What advice would you give to others who are considering this placement?
Would a portable low stool be worth taking with you, along with brushes for the dogs, to leave when you finish your placement?

Why did you choose Pod Volunteer?
A good way to spend time in India and meet people rather than just being a tourist.

Would you recommend Pod Volunteer? Yes
Thank you everyone involved for making the three weeks so enjoyable for me.”

Joey – 2017

“It really was a great experience id defiantly would like to go again.

What did you find most rewarding?
Work with the paralize dogs

What did you find most challenging?
The death of a little cow a was feeding every day

What advice would you give to others who are considering this placement?
Dont be afraid to ask to do more

Were there any parts of the placement which you would like to see changed?
No everything is great

Why did you choose Pod Volunteer?
Found it on the Internet and im glad I did they really help me all the way. 

Would you recommend Pod Volunteer? Yes”

Shannon - 2016

“From the place to the people everything about volunteering in Udaipur was spectacular. At the accommodation I was made to feel like I was at home and nothing was too much trouble. In terms of Animal Rescue my experience went above and beyond me expectations. Although at first seeing so many injured animals was overwhelming by the end of the second day I got nothing but joy from being there. Every morning I woke up excited to go and see the animals, I especially loved spending time in handicapped heaven and feeding the calfs. Not only did I get an amazing experience but I also made some volenteer friends who I plan to meet up with in the future. During my placement I also gained a lot of confidence and I now have more appreciation for simple things at home.

What did you find most rewarding?
The most rewarding aspect for me was just spending my time at the Animal Rescue, i enjoyed every moment of it.

What did you find most challenging?
The thing most challenging for me was just simple things like missing the food from home etc but that didn't really effect my overall experience at all.

What advice would you give to others who are considering this placement?
Be open to and embrace new experiences and views of others.

Why did you choose Pod Volunteer?
The steps to get into the placement were straightforward and I had read nothing but great reviews.

Would you recommend Pod Volunteer? Yes”

Nina - 2016

“I can definitely say that this experience changed me as a person. Working with people that have nothing but still manage to give 100% to animals in need really made me reconsider a lot of things. The staff at the Animal Rescue centre are amazing, they are all so nice and friendly and so good at what they do. I particularly enjoyed spending time with the calves and cows, which I would never would have thought of before coming! 

At the beginning I felt a bit lost and frustrated with all the time that we had to dedicate with just sitting and petting the dogs but after a while I understood that it really makes a big difference for them and moreover there's always some more hands on manual work to do (poo to be scooped, sacks to be carried, dogs to be shampoed...)-you just need to ask!!

Overall, it was a really intense experience I would recommend to anybody who truly loves animals.

What did you find most rewarding?
seeing the calves grow bigger and stronger, preparing and distributing the dog food

What did you find most challenging?
when we had to pet the dogs for long periods of time.

What advice would you give to others who are considering this placement?
Definitely don’t be scared to speak up and ask to do more manual work if you feel like it's more rewarding for you.

Why did you choose Pod Volunteer?
I felt like it is safer to use an european trustable volunteering organization as a way to get to local volunteering projects rather than directly contacting the latter. 

Would you recommend Pod Volunteer? Yes"

Maja – 2016

“I honestly had time of my life volunteering on Animal Rescue project! I've met so many great people and I am sure it was the beginning of a lifetime friendships. Never before have I learnt so much about Indian culture and customs or gained so much experience about working with animals. It was an adventure to remember and I am sure I will be back! I had an amazing time volunteering and I met so many lovely people. 

I also loved working with the animals. It really gave me satisfaction to see that my help was needed. Last time I was in India I fell in love with that country but now I think I love it even more thanks to the volunteering project.

What did you find most rewarding?
Helping animals in need every day. They were all really warm-hearted towards animals and towards other people as well. I also loved working with the animals. It really gave me satisfaction to see that my help was needed. Last time I was in India I fell in love with that country but now I think I love it even more thanks to the volunteering project.

What advice would you give to others who are considering this placement?
Be open minded

Why did you choose Pod Volunteer?
Because it seemed to be genuinely interested in helping others and care about volunteers and their safety. 

Would you recommend Pod Volunteer? Yes

Thank you so much for all the help and support I received from you during organising my trip and also when it lasted. 

Thank you once again! Pod is doing amazing job!” 

Eydn – 2016

“I did Animal Rescue Udaipur, India. It was amazing. There are around 400 animals there-dogs, cats, cows, bulls, donkeys, goats, pigs, birds. The staff there is so helpful, especially Suraj, and you do great work. It's amazing to see what Jim and his family have accomplished with this sanctuary. As a volunteer, you'll work a lot with the disabled dogs (my personal favorite!) and feed the calves!

The volunteer house is amazing as well, very accommodative. The people are kind, and the meals are enough (and tasty). I really enjoyed my time there, and wish I stayed longer than 2 weeks!

What did you find most rewarding?
Working with the disabled dogs! Seeing their spirit, and how happy they are to have attention and love was so rewarding.

What did you find most challenging?
Honestly there was nothing too challenging about the project itself! The project was great, and the host family was amazing and so I never felt like I was having a challenging time.

What advice would you give to others who are considering this placement?
Do it! If you can, if suggest just booking the flight and placement and going! India is an experience, I had my doubts at first as well, but 2 weeks later I was nearly in tears having to leave the animals, and the other volunteers I met.

Why did you choose Pod Volunteer?
They had a variety of projects to choose from, and that they require you make a profile made it seem more "legit" and real for me!

Would you recommend Pod Volunteer? Yes”

Zoe - 2016

“All the staff there is amazing, I met such inspiring and beautiful people during my stay! India is a wonderful country, staying with Ravi and Gaurav helped me to get a better insight in indian culture and food, and I loved every part of it! I also tied strong bonds with volunteers on the School Project and it was very sad to leave them. 

It is a shelter for mainly dogs, cows and donkeys which fosters street animals that could not survive by themselves.

What did you find most rewarding?
Getting used to the daily routine, feeling part of the staff, being offered food and plenty of smiles by the beautiful women there, learning a bit of Hindi, meeting a particular animal that you feel attached to, taking care of animals you know by name and learned to love, all these experiences I will never forget. At the end of my stay (of 3 weeks) I felt like Bedla, Udaipur, was my second home.

What did you find most challenging?
I have to say that at a certain point the second week I got a little bored of petting dogs for 3 hours a day, I felt like there was not enough "physical work" to do. However, this feeling lasted only a couple days in the middle of my stay. Also, one little cow that I really loved and cared for every day died one night, and it I felt really powerless and sad.

Why did you choose Pod Volunteer?
I looked up "animal volunteering" on google, and Pod seemed a serious and well organised organisation."

Devi - 2016

“Quite simply if you are thinking about volunteering with Pod just go for it !!!

The Street Animal Rescue Project in India is by far the best project I have ever done. I have done two others and this one was just brilliant. The Street Animals , people and India were just all utterly gorgeous , friendly , welcoming and beautiful.

What did you find most rewarding?
Fussing, petting , hugging , stroking  massaging the disabled dogs was just so unbelievably rewarding. They are all just desperate for attention , fuss and love and give it all back to you in unbelievable amounts of love. Utterly gorgeous !!!

What did you find most challenging?
Nothing really. Some sights can be a bit emotional but only because the dogs and people are so happy. You might also get bitten by insects a little.

What advice would you give to others who are considering this placement?
Bring some Bonjela to put on your insect bites as it completely numbs the area that they are on and then you can just forget about them .Other than that please just don't hesitate,just do it. The Street Animal Rescue Project is the best ever POD project I think personally, the project could really do with the help !!! Would just love love love more people to help with the Animal Rescue centre as it is literally the best pod project you could choose and animals and people could really do with your help and love!!!

Why did you choose Pod Volunteer?
I have previously volunteered with Pod and have been delighted with their service.

Would you recommend Pod Volunteer? Yes. A Special and Massive extra thank you to Erin and Gemma at Pod for looking after me.”

Danny, 2016

“What did you find most rewarding?
Looking after the animals and seeing the joy your company and help actually gives them. Built up a rewarding relationship with one of the dogs and was sad to say goodbye.

What did you find most challenging?
Seeing the condition of the animals at first but when you realise how happy and well looked after they after it is not a problem.

What advice would you give to others who are considering this placement?
Don't do it if you cannot handle being around paralysed and previously abused animals. It can be emotionally challenging at first.

Were there any parts of the placement which you would like to see changed?
Would have liked more evening activities outside of volunteering.

Why did you choose Pod Volunteer?
Had the better range of projects.

Would you recommend Pod Volunteer? Yes”

Sarah - 2015

“The support from the Pod staff and the local coordinators was definitely exceptional. My time at the Animal Rescue project in India (although short...) was definitely a worthwhile experience that I will never forget!

Everything was so well organised and the local coordinators Ravi and Gaurav could not have been more helpful! They had no problems answering any of my questions or concerns no matter how small. The food was always delicious and is something I will definitely miss! Neha is probably the sweetest woman I have ever met and she was happy to cook me something to bring to the shelter for lunch whenever I needed.

The project itself was a little challenging at the beginning, especially getting used to seeing all the sick and injured animals. However as time went on I got more and more accustomed to it and realised that the animals there, although injured, are there to heal and are living a much happier life at the shelter.

What did you find most rewarding? Although I was not there for very long, by the end of my project I could already start to see improvement in the injured dogs. Especially the paralysed dogs, as you could see some of them starting to try and walk again!

What did you find most challenging? Leaving the shelter and having to say goodbye to all the lovely staff and volunteers that I had come to know was definitely hard.. not to mention having to part with all the animals that I had become quite attached to! Even after two weeks, Udaipur started to feel like my second home, so leaving the place and the people I found to be the most challenging part... I can honestly say that two weeks was not long enough!

What advice would you give to others who are considering this placement? Go by yourself because you WILL make friends there! And stay as long as you possibly can!

Why did you choose Pod Volunteer? Excellent support before and even during the placement! Always replied to my emails even when Gemma was away on a project.

Would you recommend Pod Volunteer? Yes”

Philip - 2015

“While the hospital itself does a fantastic service for the animals of Udaipur (after all, where else would injured street dogs and cows, etc, go?) what really made this experience and this place a special one were the people. The staff of the hospital have an enthusiasm and optimism (read: fun and sense of humor) that have been rare in my experience in the work place. It was this that made coming to work every day not only something I felt was important, but something to look forward to.”

Louise

“Very positive experience. The wonder of spending time with a frightened animal and gaining its trust is a special memory. Terribly difficult to leave, have become very attached to many dogs. My views on euthanizing disabled animals has changed seeing some of the happy paralyzed dogs here. I have really enjoyed getting to know the staff and I am very impressed with their care. Another bonus is the beautiful countryside… will never forget this experience and I hope to be back.”

Stina

“Being here has given me my passion back in many ways and I am certain again after some time of doubt that I want to become a vet. This place has taught me that you really can make a difference.”

Carrie

“I wasn’t sure what to expect coming here, but the veterinary care of the animals is excellent. The entire staff is so compassionate with the animals and excellent at handling them (this is not always the case in the USA). Thanks so much for letting me be a part of your organization.”

Julie

“I had a wonderful experience at the Animal Rescue project. I received a warm welcome and the staff was just open and friendly from day one. The way everybody cares about the animals is incredible. Though seeing some of the injuries is not easy, sometimes it is amazing to witness and be a part of doing the very best to help each and every animal here. The staff, other volunteers, and of course the animals, have touched my heart. I will take home wonderful memories and hope to come back. “

Jane

“You are doing more than humanly possible to make a difference to the welfare of animals in Udaipur. I hope your wonderful work spreads throughout India. Everyone here is compassionate and gentle.”

Charlotte

“I am absolutely devastated to say goodbye to the beautiful dogs here…the only thing that makes it easier to go is knowing that they will be loved and looked after during their stay at the Animal Rescue project.”

James

“The time spent here has been extremely rewarding and I hope to return at a later date. As a teacher I hope to bring a group of my pupils here and volunteer in the summer. I also hope to organize some fund-raising at my school on behalf of Animal Rescue  If anyone is considering volunteering at Animal Rescue, I wouldn’t hesitate to say, “Do it!” It’s a cliché, but in the act of giving at Animal Rescue I have received far more. I am forever in their debt. It has given my trip to India extra meaning.”

Dave

“You must know as I write this, tears well up in my eyes. I feel proud and honered to have been able to make a small difference, and to help you in your most heroic quest to heal, rehabilitate all the injured, sick, and homeless animals of Udaipur. You are all my heroes and I love you all so much. You will always be in our hearts. Keep up the good fight.”

David

“I had a thoroughly enjoyable two weeks here. It is a fantastic cause, helping the needy street animals who are out there on their own under very difficult circumstances. While the animals have various injuries and illnesses, the overwhelming feel of the Animal Rescue project is one of positivity. The animals are in the best place where they get care, shelter, food, and love. The animals seem genuinely happy, which is a testament to the great work being done by everyone at the Animal Rescue project. It was a pleasure to be part of it for two weeks.”

Sally

“The care and love given to every animal by every member of the team was beautiful. So happy to see such great work being done and how brilliant the team is here. I’m blown away by their commitment. I will be back.”

Sarah

“Thanks for making me feel so welcome and at home during my 3 weeks here. It has certainly been a very different experience for me and a far cry from my usual veterinary work! But I have enjoyed every minute and am glad to have been able to help out some of the puppies! I will definitely do my best to come back soon and do it all again!”

Virginia

“It really meant a lot to me to see your awe-inspiring project, and to be able to contribute…Love, love, love, love, love to all your animals!”

Sarah

“It’s been an intense few weeks but we’ve had an amazing time and most importantly we felt like we made a real difference, that we wouldn’t get in most other places. I hope Animal Rescue goes from strength to strength…”

Michelle

“I loved being able to give care and attention to everyone, but especially the cows. I know they have had a hard life and it’s so nice they have somewhere caring to be during their troubles or even last days.”

Persephone

“Absolutely incredible experience. I felt we saved a skinny mother’s life by encouraging her to feed with some love. I hadn’t cried for at least a year before I came here and it was the most moving but incredible experience I have had in a long time. It is an amazing thing that you are doing for all these animals. I will be back, but this time for longer.”

Zarah

“There was so much work being done. The amount achieved with your funds and staff is amazing. Thank you for allowing us to assist you with your work in some small way. This past week has been so much for me: inspiring, motivating, confronting, heart-breaking, challenging and fulfilling.”

Mary

“The staff were so gentle and caring and very open and friendly with volunteers. I learned so much about animal care, Indian culture, and life in general by spending just two weeks here. Wish it were longer.”

Find out more about the Animal Rescue project

AWARDS AND ACCREDITATIONS

  • Tourism Concern
  • Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust
  • Right Tourism
  • DOFE
  • theguardian
  • the independent
  • Sunday Times
  • Year Out Group
  • Best Volunteering Organisation
  • Wall Street Journal