Animal Volunteer Work

TYPE OF VOLUNTEERING - animal projects

If you would like to volunteer with animals then we have a diverse range of different projects available. Volunteering opportunities include working with elephants, sloths, monkeys, bears, leopards, jaguars, horses, dogs, turtles as well as tropical birds and reptiles in a variety of amazing locations around the world.

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We find the best volunteer projects with animals for you, help you with all the arrangements and provide lots of support before and during your volunteering time abroad! Pod Volunteer is an award-winning non-profit organisation helping people to volunteer with animals for as little as 1 week or as long as 1 year.

Whether it’s volunteering with elephants in Thailand, caring for dogs and cows in India, or working with sloths in Costa Rica, volunteers are needed all year round to support the enormous work that goes into caring for animals. For example, the wildlife rescue team in Thailand look after over 600 animals so our volunteers are kept very busy helping to prepare food for each day!

We are committed to ensuring that the animal projects that we work with offer the highest standards of animal welfare and work with Right Tourism, an organisation which helps people to stay animal-friendly whilst travelling.

Our animal volunteer work adheres to the Five Freedoms: freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour; freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area; freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment; freedom to express (most) normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind; freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

We only support rescued animals or where they are in a wild environment, and we don’t support elephant volunteering projects where elephant riding for tourism takes place. We also don’t offer volunteering with lion cubs.

Ultimately, we believe that where possible wild animals belong in the wild, in their natural environment where they can display their natural behaviours. We do however also accept that there are some cases where this is not possible and the best alternative is animals being kept in a sanctuary, as close to their natural habitat as possible.

Below you’ll find our carefully selected range of projects volunteering with animals which you can click through to and find out about the volunteer role, location, accommodation and costs, see lots of pictures and read volunteer reviews!

We also have a range of conservation volunteering projects which may be of interest as they often involve animals too as part of a wider overall conservation or research project.

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Animal Rescue

Animal Rescue

India

  • Support an Animal Rescue Centre team to care for injured, sick and abused animals
  • Help feed, clean and care for the rescued animals
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Duration: 1 – 12 weeks

Cost from: £595 / €655 / $740

Bear Rescue

Bear Rescue

Cambodia

  • Help care for over 120 rescued Malayan sun bears and Asiatic black bears
  • Provide enrichment for these endangered species in tropical Cambodia
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Duration: 1 - 6 weeks

Cost from: £645 / €710 / $800

Caribbean Wildlife

Caribbean Wildlife

Belize

  • Assist keepers with the care of around 200 rescued native animals including jaguars and tapirs
  • Help prepare food and enrichments for the animals at the educational visitor centre
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Duration: 2 – 3 weeks

Cost from: £945 / €1040 / $1170

Desert Elephant Conservation

Desert Elephant Conservation

Namibia

  • Join an elephant tracking team to research the wild elephant population
  • Build protection walls for farmers' water sources and drinking water points for the desert elephants
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Duration: 2 – 12 weeks

Cost from: £1095 / €1205 / $1360

Desert Elephant Conservation - Family Trip

Desert Elephant Conservation - Family Trip

Namibia

  • Work with your family to help protect and research desert elephants in Namibia
  • Join a family volunteering team to support elephant conservation and community work
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Duration: 10 days

Cost from: £895 / €985 / $1110

Dog and Cat Rescue

Dog and Cat Rescue

Thailand

  • Support a Dog and Cat Rescue Centre on a tropical island
  • Help walk the dogs, clean the shelters, feed and play with the animals
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Duration: 3 – 12 weeks

Cost from: £595 / €655 / $740

Dog Rescue

Dog Rescue

South Africa

  • Provide support to the dogs at an animal rescue centre in the beautiful winelands close to Cape Town
  • Help the local team feed, clean and care for abandoned and rescued dogs
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Duration: 2 - 12 weeks

Cost from: £995 / €1095 / $1235

Elephant and Wildlife Conservation

Elephant and Wildlife Conservation

Sri Lanka

  • Join the team to support vital work helping to protect wild elephants
  • Research bears, leopards and other wildlife to support their conservation
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Duration: 1 - 12 weeks

Cost from: £945 / €1040 / $1170

Elephant Care

Elephant Care

Thailand

  • Care for elephants rescued from a harsh working life
  • Live on site at a tropical wildlife sanctuary home to over 400 animals
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Duration: 1 - 12 weeks

Cost from: £645 / €710 / $800

Elephant Care and Research

Elephant Care and Research

South Africa

  • Join an active research team collecting data to guide best practice for management of captive elephants
  • Work hands on with elephants providing care and enrichment
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Duration: 1 - 12 weeks

Cost from: £795 / €875 / $985

Elephant Conservation

Elephant Conservation

Cambodia

  • Assist at a sanctuary which provides a home for rescued Asian elephants
  • Observe elephants in their natural surroundings and help support the daily running of the sanctuary
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Duration: 1 – 12 weeks

Cost from: £795 / €875 / $985

Horse Rehabilitation

Horse Rehabilitation

South Africa

  • Help to care for and rehabilitate around 40 horses (no previous riding experience required)
  • Enjoy riding along the Indian Ocean whilst watching whales and dolphins
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Duration: 1 – 12 weeks

Cost from: £895 / €985 / $1110

Monkey Rescue

Monkey Rescue

South Africa

  • Work hands on with a variety of primate species at a well-respected monkey sanctuary
  • Learn about primate behaviour whilst providing care and enrichment for rescued monkeys
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Duration: 1 – 12 weeks

Cost from: £545 / €600 / $675

Turtle Conservation

Turtle Conservation

Costa Rica

  • Join an active conservation team monitoring and protecting sea turtle populations
  • Work alongside international and local staff and learn about turtles and conservation whilst living on the stunning Pacific coast
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Duration: 1 – 12 weeks

Cost from: £995 / €1095 / $1235

Under 18 Elephant Care & Wildlife Rescue

Under 18 Elephant Care & Wildlife Rescue

Thailand

  • Work with elephants, monkeys, bears and a variety of other rescued animals
  • Live on site at the centre, with a group of 16-17 year olds and Pod Team Leader
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Duration: 2 weeks

Cost from: £1495 / €1645 / $1855

Video and Photography Volunteer – Dog and Cat Rescue

Video and Photography Volunteer – Dog and Cat Rescue

Thailand

  • Use your media skills to capture images of the animals at a Dog and Cat Rescue Centre
  • Live on a tropical island whilst producing short videos to help rescued animals find their forever homes
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Duration: 4 – 12 weeks

Cost from: £595 / €655 / $740

Wildlife Rescue

Wildlife Rescue

Thailand

  • Work with rescued bears, monkeys, otters, gibbons and other exotic animals
  • Help to protect endangered animals, living onsite at a tropical wildlife sanctuary
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Duration: 1 - 12 weeks

Cost from: £645 / €710 / $800

Wildlife Rescue

Wildlife Rescue

Costa Rica

  • Assist at a wildlife sanctuary which provides a safe haven for rescued animals
  • Help to care for animals such as monkeys, sloths, birds and anteaters
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Duration: 1- 4 weeks

Cost from: £695 / €765 / $860

Wildlife Rescue - Family Volunteering

Wildlife Rescue - Family Volunteering

Costa Rica

  • Work with your family to care for and help rehabilitate rescued animals living at the sanctuary
  • Assist the team in providing a safe haven for monkeys, sloths and anteaters
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Duration: 1 week

Cost from: £575 / €635 / $715

Making a difference with animals

  • Every 20 minutes, the world adds another 3,500 human lives but loses one or more entire species of animal or plant life - at least 27,000 species per year (WWF)

  • Around the world, our volunteers worked with and helped 1,216 animals last year!

  • “Volunteers bring a lot of love and time to our animals and the fact that they are committed animals lovers willing to give time to this project is fantastic for the dogs and cats in our care.” Dog and Cat Rescue Centre, Thailand

dog rescue

dog rescue

monkey

monkey

cow in India

cow in India

bear rescue

bear rescue

elephant care

elephant care

horse rehabilitation

horse rehabilitation

elephant research

elephant research

big cat

big cat

elephant walking

elephant walking

monkey rescue

monkey rescue

primate rescue

primate rescue

We have long term relationships with hand-picked projects that have lasting and positive impact. We are a highly experienced and passionate team, here to support you!

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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