Dog and Cat RescueThailand

The Dog and Cat Rescue project works to control the overpopulation of dogs and cats on the island and care for animals who have been injured and/or abused.

You will support the team by helping to walk the dogs, clean the shelters and feed the animals. You can assist the veterinary team with animal treatments and work alongside the centre to help promote animal welfare within the local community. Many people are aware of the problems of stray dogs and poor veterinary treatment of animals in Thailand, but few get to make a difference; this project provides you with this opportunity.

Explore the many beaches, mangroves and caves, learn to scuba dive or spend time in the beautiful national park in your free time.

Volunteers are needed to provide care and enable more animals to receive treatment.

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Key Info

key info
  • Location: Krabi
  • Start dates: Any date
  • Duration: 3 – 12 weeks
  • Age requirement: 18+
  • Availability: Spaces available
  • Cost: From £595 / €655 / $740 - see fees table below
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Project Information

Volunteer role: What will I be doing?

Set on the stunning island of Koh Lanta, the Dog and Cat Rescue project aims to provide an exceptionally high level of care to the animals, whilst promoting awareness of the issues surrounding stray animals. In your first few days you will receive an introduction to your work. All the tasks will be explained in detail by staff and long term volunteers. There is a timetable in the main centre which runs through the daily tasks.

There are typically over 40 dogs and 50 cats staying at the rescue centre at any one time which means there is always a lot of work to do – from scrubbing out kennels to preparing food and playing with the animals. Volunteers are a vital support to the ongoing running and maintenance of the rescue centre. Before travelling to the project, volunteers are asked which role they would prefer but depending on the needs of the centre whilst you’re there, you may be placed on one of the following roles:

Dog role

Each day will differ but activities include: 

  • Preparation and distribution of food and water (includes cooking food for over 40 dogs)
  • Cleaning kennels, dog bowls and laundry
  • Bathing
  • Dog training, agility and swimming
  • Dog socialisation and spending play time with the animals
  • Walking the dogs – there are both beach and forest routes used for walks

Cat role

Each day will differ but activities include: 

  • Preparation and distribution of food and water (includes cooking food for over 50 cats)
  • Cleaning out litter trays, cat areas and recovery cages
  • Cat socialisation and play
  • Making enrichments and cat toys

Quarantine role

Volunteers working in quarantine do not have any contact with any other animals present at the kennel and clinic. Often the animals in quarantine would spend most of the day in their cage and so an important of this role consists of spending time with them as well as giving appropriate care.

Each day will differ but activities include:

  • Preparation of food and water
  • Feeding cats (some need special assistance) 
  • Monitoring animals’ health
  • Bathing animals and assisting vets
  • Cleaning cages
  • Cat socialisation 
  • Making enrichments and cat toys

Centre Reception & Guide role

The centre is open to the tourists and visitors 7 days a week, so they can meet the animals and learn all about the charity. Many visitors choose to donate to centre or even adopt one of the dogs or cats! Our ‘Centre Reception & Guide’ volunteers are based in the heart of the centre, surrounded by the resident cats and help with the following activities:

  • Welcoming visitors to the centre and pets to the clinic
  • Taking visitors on a tour of the centre
  • Teaching visitors about the dogs, cats and the aims of the centre
  • Helping to run the small on-site shop, taking donations and sponsorships 
  • General maintenance and administration 
  • Helping volunteers on the dog, cat and quarantine roles

Working days and hours

Volunteers work 6 days per week for an average of 6 hours per day. Day time shifts are split into 7am–1pm or 1pm–7pm. Depending on the numbers of volunteers at the centre, it may be necessary for volunteers to do split shifts which are 7-10am and then 4-7pm. This is to cover the busiest times of the day.

There is also 1 night shift per week at the centre, these run from 7pm–7am. When working a night shift, volunteers sleep at the centre so that they are on hand in case of an emergency and can monitor any sick or vulnerable animals already on site. They also help with the preparation of morning food.

Centre Reception & Guide volunteers work 9am–5pm.

Volunteers live on site, a short walk away from the animals. On your day off there are a variety of free time activities for you to get involved in.

Other volunteers

There are usually 12-16 volunteers with a maximum of 22, but this varies considerably throughout the year.

Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) award

This placement has been approved by the DofE as meeting the requirements for the Residential section of the Gold Award.

Volunteer reviews

Read about volunteer experiences and challenges in our Thailand Dog and Cat Rescue reviews.

Why are volunteers needed

With over 45 dogs and 50 cats at the centre, there is always plenty of work that local team needs help with. The support from volunteers allows the centre to provide an exceptionally high level of care and extend their reach to more animals. By volunteering at the rescue centre, you will make a major contribution to the welfare of the animals on the island.

Since the project was established in 2005 they have sterilised and treated over 8,000 animals, substantially reducing the stray population on the island. Many people are aware of the problems of stray dogs and poor veterinary treatment of animals in Thailand, but few get to make a difference; this project provides you with this opportunity.

“Volunteers help with the day to day running of the project; we literally couldn’t do it without them. 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.”
Tanya, Placement Manager

Accommodation

Volunteers share a room at the centre with one other volunteer and bathroom facilities are shared. There are communal areas to relax, and there is WIFI available.

Volunteer accommodation in Thailand

Alternatively, volunteers can choose to stay at a nearby resort (at additional cost) which offers private rooms with double beds, air conditioning, en-suite bathrooms and WIFI. 

Volunteer accommodation shop in Thailand

Meals

On weekdays (Monday to Friday), both breakfast and lunch will be prepared for you at the volunteer accommodation. During the weekends, lunch will not be provided and you will be responsible for this.

Here are typical examples of the food you will have: 

  • Breakfast – bread, cereals, eggs and fresh fruit
  • Lunch – pasta, stir fry, noodles, rice or curries. There will be a choice of two dishes, one of these will be a vegetarian and vegan option
  • Dinner and weekend lunches – you can either use the cooking facilities to prepare your own meal or eat out at one of the many nearby restaurants that offer both Thai and Western food

Vegetarians and vegans are welcomed and can be catered for.

Drinking water is provided at the volunteer accommodation.

Location and free time

Koh Lanta is popular tourist destination, the island is known for long, sandy beaches and scuba diving. There are actually two main islands, the larger, more populated Koh Lanta Yai (commonly known as simply Koh Lanta) and the smaller Koh Lanta Noi, as well as several minor islands. The geography of the island is made up of mangroves, coral rimmed beaches and rugged tree covered hills, and there are 9 sandy beaches to enjoy!

Koh Lanta

Koh Lanta has a natural and laid back feel to it. In your free time after work you can relax and enjoy the island. There is a lot to do on your day off, including exploring the many beaches, scuba diving, spending time in the national park, visiting a historic Chinese fishing village and enjoying the stunning mangroves and caves! These activities are best booked locally once you are at the project.

Koh Lanta is a cultural mix of Buddhists, Thai-Chinese, Muslims and sea gypsies. They live alongside eachother peacefully and there is always some celebration whether it’s part of Thai Buddhist, Thai-Chinese or Thai-Islamic traditions! 

Travelling in Thailand before or after your placement

Thailand is often referred to as the ‘land of smiles’ and is a huge attraction for travellers from around the world due to its glorious beaches, tropical climate, great food and fascinating culture. Thailand has something to offer everyone and popular activities include:

  • Snorkelling in Phuket
  • Visiting the many colourful and ancient temples  
  • Visit the beautiful waterfalls, wildlife and limestone cliffs of Khao Sok National Park
  • Exploring the tranquil mountains in the North and meeting ethnic hill tribes

For more information on Thailand and some of the things we loved when we visited there please see our Thailand country page. This also features all our other Thailand volunteering projects as you might like to consider combining this project with one of the others we offer to make a trip of a lifetime!

Temple in Thailand

Climate 

The island of Koh Lanta has a tropical climate and throughout the year is hot with temperatures averaging between 28-32 degrees clesius. There can be tropical rainstorms at any time of year, but the two main seasons are hot and dry (November to May) and 'cool' and wet (June to October).

Dates

You can start on any day.

What's Included

Included

  • Dedicated Pod Volunteer Specialist to support you
  • Accommodation - a simple shared room
  • Breakfast every day and weekday lunches
  • Induction
  • T-shirt and vest
  • Support from the local team
  • Support from the Pod Volunteer UK office by phone and email
  • 24/7 emergency back up
  • Volunteering certificate and reference (on request)

Not included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)
  • Vaccinations and medication
  • Transfers to / from the project
  • Living costs - evening meal, weekend lunches, snacks, drinks, laundry
  • Any tourist trips / activities you choose to do in your free time
Price table
3 - 8 weeks £595 GB Pounds
9 - 12 weeks £725 GB Pounds

Discounts

  • £75 discount for every additional project you book as part of the same trip
  • £75 discount if you have previously volunteered with Pod Volunteer 
  • £100 discount if staying at offsite accommodation

Where the money goes - financial transparency

Your fee covers the overseas costs of volunteering and the costs of running our organisation in the UK, on a non-profit basis.  For more details and a breakdown of our costs please click here.

Book with confidence - financial protection

All monies paid to us are financially protected through The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT). 

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Fees in currencies other than GBP are indicative only and volunteers are invoiced in GBP. For current exchange rates please see www.xe.com

Read volunteer reviews from the Dog and Cat Rescue project

Axelle – 2019 

“It was a great experience, my first trip outside France, alone… These are not holidays! Even though there is the beach and the palm trees! But you heal, socialize, play, help all cats and dogs that you can in this centre! Where, all the supervisors help you and give you all the support you need and that's great! 

It was another life, at all levels, I come back with the desire to leave as soon as possible to volunteer again in other countries where they need help but especially people to motivate to help!”

Tegan – 2019

“The hardest, yet most rewarding three weeks of my life, a total rollercoaster of an experience. It was very sobering to learn about the mistreatment suffered by animals on the animal (and in some cases, witness it first hand in seeing animals arrive at the centre with wounds on them), yet I feel so honoured to have been able to give them comfort and assistance, and watch as their happiness and health increased tenfold. 

For every animal we couldn't save, there were more we could, and did, and it was worth every bad day, every time I was feeling frustrated and tired, every time it was overwhelming, it made it all worth it in the end.”

Libby – 2018 

“I had a really good time working on this project and despite it taking a few days to settle in, I loved every second of it! 

I mainly spent time with the cats, feeding, cleaning, socialising etc. however there were many chances to help out the dog team by walking the dogs or preparing their food. I loved getting to know the cats’ different personalities and behaviours. It was amazing to see that despite being hurt they still loved people!”

Chelsie – 2018

“My experience at the Dog and Cat Rescue project was honestly amazing. I had never travelled before and never on my own, so this was very daunting for me.

However it was the best thing I have ever done. You meet amazing people, volunteers and supervisors, and the reason we are all there in the first place, the cats and dogs. These guys are what the centre is all about and everyone has a huge amount of love for these animals which is shown every single day. The role is not easy, it is very hard work and physically demanding, but absolutely worth every second and I would love to do this all over again!”

Read more reviews

8,000

animals have received treatment from the team

"It was an amazing experience that will stay with me forever! Pod Volunteer provided the ideal amount of support and guidance"Satvinder

Bee

Pod UK Specialist

Apply and you'll hear from Bee soon!

We look forward to receiving your application! There is no commitment by applying and we will send more information.

Apply

VOLUNTEER REVIEWS

  • Thailand Dog & Cat Rescue volunteer - Graham

    "The project was all I thought it would be and more. The Island itself was amazing and the social life is great - as long as you are not scared of hard work you will have a fantastic time!"

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Thailand Dog & Cat Rescue volunteer - Julia

    "The work is hard but it is so worth it. The centre does such great work with extremely limited resources. Not only are they saving animals' lives, but changing the attitudes to animals on the island."

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Thailand Dog & Cat Rescue volunteer - Luis

    "My time here was a dream. You are located by a breath-taking beach and the centre full of good-hearted people and dogs and cats that have been mistreated - who treat you like you have been the best friend in their lives!"

    Read more volunteer reviews

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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