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.
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:
Each day will differ but activities include:
Each day will differ but activities include:
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:
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:
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.
There are usually 12-16 volunteers with a maximum of 22, but this varies considerably throughout the year.
This placement has been approved by the DofE as meeting the requirements for the Residential section of the Gold Award.
Read about volunteer experiences and challenges in our Thailand Dog and Cat Rescue reviews.
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
Volunteers share a room at the centre with one other volunteer and bathroom facilities are shared. There are communal areas to relax, eat and socialise in and WIFI.
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:
Vegetarians and vegans are welcomed and can be catered for.
Drinking water is provided at the volunteer accommodation for you to use.
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 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 even sea gypsies. The majority of the population in the rural areas are Muslim. The area however, does not suffer from any religious tension and the people live in peace and harmony. With this kind of mixture, Koh Lanta is always celebrating something, whether it’s part of Thai Buddhist, Thai-Chinese or Thai-Islamic tradition.
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:
To find out more, see the Lonely Planet Thailand
You can start on any day.
|3 - 8 weeks||£595||GB Pounds|
|9 - 12 weeks||£725||GB Pounds|
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.
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 www.xe.com
“I spent three months volunteering at the Cat and Dog Rescue project in Thailand and cannot recommend it enough to anyone who wants to work with animals, with the added bonus of being in a beautiful part of the world. You get to live on site, which means that even when you are not working you get to hang out with the animals; walking the dogs or cuddling the cats.
All the work was pretty much hands on with the animals, so the rewards were instant. Yes there was a lot of cleaning involved, but that is not an issue if you are an animal lover as without the volunteers no one would be there for them. Working in a team full of staff and volunteers who are all passionate about animal welfare is so heart-warming, we would often spend our evenings out talking about the animals.”
“I was able to see this first hand that the work the centre do truly benefits all the animals, and furthermore, they really need your help! The Dog and Cat Rescue Centre not only focuses on the current wellbeing of animals, but aims to improve the welfare of animals in the long run. This is definitely visible on the Island as the number of stray animals in noticeably smaller than in other parts of Thailand.
I think regardless of how long you are able to help out, or of how much experience you have, if you are an animal lover I would definitely recommend this for you. It is definitely difficult at first however the positives outweigh the challenges by a mile. It was very rewarding to know that by cleaning the animal’s cages, feeding them or even just offering some company/cuddles, I was able to help even in the smallest way possible.”
“I had an amazing time, the centre is great, very well managed. I had very good contact with animals, people from the centre as well as the tourists visiting. As your accommodation is in the centre you are really a part of the everyday life of the shelter this means that you can spend all the time you want with the cats and dogs. I really recommend any animals lovers to go volunteer there!
A typical day was spent feeding the animals, cleaning the cages, walking the dogs and doing tours for tourists explaining the goal of the shelter and how it works. Helping when injured animals arrive to the shelter and watch them getting better day after day is the most rewarding part of the volunteering role. This project gives you the opportunity to meet fantastic people from different countries that like animals and nature like you and you really feel helpful to a nice project.”
“This project is suitable to people looking for experience working with animals, or who just enjoy being surrounding by cats and dogs. To be part of an amazing rescue centre, which solely concentrates on the animals’ welfare was exhilarating. While I was out there, I felt that every daily task, big or small was imperative to ensuring a happy stay for the animals.
The most rewarding part of the experience was seeing a dog/cat come in with an injury or skin problem, caring for them daily is rewarding it itself, but leaving the centre after they have fully recovered makes the whole experience worth it. Volunteering abroad is a rewarding experience and just a little care and attention can mean so much to an animal, who has never experienced it before.”
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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"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
"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
"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