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 or abused.

You will support the team by helping to walk the dogs, clean the shelters, feeding and playing with 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 and mangroves, learn to scuba dive or spend time in the beautiful national park in your free time.

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


Key Info

key info
  • Location: Krabi
  • Start dates: Any date
  • Duration: 4 – 12 weeks
  • Age requirement: 25+
  • 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 control the overpopulation of dogs and cats through sterlisation, provide an exceptionally high level of care to injured or abused animals, and promote awareness of animal welfare.

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  of the rescue centre and help them reach even more animals.

Volunteers are asked for their preference and depending on the needs of the centre whilst you’re there, you will be involved in one of the following roles. Each day will differ and activities include:

Dog role

  • Preparation (including cooking of food) and distribution of food and water
  • 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

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

Quarantine role

  • 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

Volunteers working in quarantine do not have any contact with any other animals at the centre. Often the animals in quarantine spend most of the day in their cage so an important part of the role is spending time with them as well as giving appropriate care.

Centre Reception & Guide role

  • 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

The centre is open to tourists 7 days a week, so they can meet the animals and learn all about the charity. Many visitors donate or even adopt one of the dogs or cats!

Volunteers joining the project for 6 weeks or more have the opportunity to enrol on a diploma in Dog Behaviour at a discounted rate. For any volunteers interested in this, the local team will provide more information whilst you are at the project.

For volunteers interested in marketing, there is also a Video and Photography role available at this project.

“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, Manager

Typical Day

In your first few days you will receive an introduction to your work. All the tasks will be explained by the local team and long term volunteers and there is a timetable in the centre which runs through the daily tasks.

Dog, Cat and Quarantine 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 one night shift per week at the centre, 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 6 days per week from 9am–5pm.

Volunteers live on site, a short walk away from the animals. On your day off there are lots of great 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. Alongside Dog and Cat Rescue volunteers, there may be a Video and Photography volunteer at the project.

Local support

The local team will oversee your volunteering work and be there to support you throughout your placement.


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 with hot water, and WIFI. 

Thailand volunteer accomodation


On weekdays (Monday to Friday), breakfast and lunch are provided at the volunteer accommodation. Here are typical examples of the food you will have: 

  • Breakfast – ingredients are provided for you to make your own breakfast - bread, cereals, eggs and fresh fruit
  • Lunch – pasta, stir fry, noodles, rice or curries. There will be a choice of two dishes, including a vegetarian and vegan option

For dinner and food at weekends, 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.

Getting there

You will need to fly into Krabi Airport (KBV).

We can arrange for you to be met on arrival and have a private transfer from the airport to the project, which takes about 2.5 hours, or you can take a shared minivan from the airport.

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! 


The island of Koh Lanta has a tropical climate and is hot throughout the year. Daytime temperatures average between 32-34˚C and nighttime temperatures typically fall to 24-26˚C. There can be tropical rainstorms at any time of year, but the two main seasons are hot and dry (November to April) and 'cool' and wet (May to October). Even in the 'cool' season it is still very hot!

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


You can start on any day.

What's Included


  • Dedicated Pod Volunteer Specialist to support you
  • Accommodation - a simple shared room onsite or a private room at a nearby resort
  • Breakfast and lunch on weekdays
  • 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
  • Donation to Pod Environmental Fund supporting reforestation in Belize and solar lights in Ghana
  • Volunteering certificate and reference (on request)

Not included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)
  • Vaccinations and medication
  • Transfers to / from the project (we can arrange this for you, it costs 2800 Thai Baht each way)
  • Living costs - evening and weekend meals, snacks, drinks, laundry
  • Any tourist trips / activities you choose to do in your free time
Price table
4 - 8 weeks £595 GB Pounds
9 - 12 weeks £725 GB Pounds


The prices in the table above are for a shared room onsite at the rescue centre. There is also an alternative option to stay at a nearby resort, which has the following fees:

  • 4 - 8 weeks = £495 + the room cost which you pay directly to the resort
  • 9 - 12 weeks = £625 + the room cost which you pay directly to the resort
  • Rooms range from around £15 - £55 per night


  • £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). 


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

Read volunteer reviews from the Dog and Cat Rescue project


“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!”


“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.”


“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!”


“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


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


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Alex and the Pod UK team are here to help you throughout your trip

Reserve your place and start your volunteering adventure to Thailand!



  • 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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  • 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