Dog Rescue
Thailand

The dog and cat sanctuary cares for stray dogs and cats on the island of Phuket in Thailand. They provide a sterlisation programme and essential medical care for animals who have been injured or abused.

You will help the team by walking and socialising rescued dogs which gives vital exercise, fun and freedom. Your support will help prepare the dogs to become ready to be adopted into a new family. Many people are aware of the problems of street animals in Thailand but few have a chance to help - this project provides you with the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of the dogs.

Explore the beautiful island of Phuket in your free time, a beach lover’s paradise! Phuket is Thailand’s biggest island, with many beaches, water sports, scuba diving, night markets and Thai-Chinese culture to explore.

Volunteers are needed to gets hands on and enrich the lives of the many dogs who live at the centre.

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Key Info

key info
  • Location: Phuket
  • Start dates: Every Sunday
  • Duration: 1– 8 weeks
  • Age requirement: 18+ (8+ for families)
  • Availability: Spaces available
  • Cost: From £495 / €575 / $620 - see fees table below
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Project Information

Volunteer role: What will I be doing?

Set on the stunning island of Phuket, the sanctuary was established to help street dogs and cats who had no-one else to care for them. It carries out an extensive spay & neuter programme and houses and looks after the medical needs of over 1,300 dogs and 400 cats who are too vulnerable to be returned to the community. Whenever possible new homes and families are found for the dogs and cats.

The primary role for volunteers is to socialise and walk the dogs. It is essential to teach the dogs to trust people and for them to learn how to walk on a lead so that they can be adopted. The dogs love to get some quality time outside, walking and playing!

The dogs live in large 'runs' of up to 25 dogs. You will take one dog out at a time out for a lead walk. There is a dog walking route within the grounds of the centre, an off-lead area where they can have fun chasing toys, and even a dog pool, where the dogs can have a splash and cool off!

The time the dogs get outside of their run is so valuable to them and a key factor in maintaining their wellbeing.

Dogs are the main focus of the volunteer role, but the cats also love attention and you are welcome to spend time socialising and playing with the adorable felines during your lunch break.

You don’t need any prior experience, just patience, enthusiasm and a passion for dogs! All of the animals at the centre are vaccinated against rabies so you are not at risk whilst volunteering.

Typical Day

On your first morning (Monday) you will receive an induction to volunteering and an orientation tour of the sanctuary. You will visit the the dog run which has been allocated to you and you will have some time getting to know each dog in your run. After lunch you will head out on your first dog walk! 

Volunteers work from Monday to Friday and days follow the same timetable:

  • Pick up from your accommodation at 8.30am
  • Transport to the sanctuary (about 20 minutes' drive) – settle in, order lunch and have a coffee
  • Mornings (9am – 11.45am) – walking and spending time with the dogs in your dog run
  • Lunch break – time to relax, recharge and cool off. You can also spend time playing with the cats (optional)
  • Afternoons (1pm – 3.45pm) – walking and spending time with the dogs in your dog run
  • Depart at 4pm on the transport back to your accommodation

You will be working fairly independently during the day but the local team are always on hand to provide assistance.

Weekends are days off and there are lots of great free time activities for you to get involved in.

Other volunteers

There are usually 10-30 volunteers (with a maximum of around 50) at the project, numbers vary throughout the year. Volunteers all work together but stay in different hostels, guest houses and apartments in the local area. 

Local support

The local team will oversee your volunteering work and be there to support you throughout your placement. There is a volunteer manager and a team of volunteer coordinators, including international and Thai staff.

“Almost all of the animals in our care are former street animals who need to learn to feel comfortable around people. Socialisation is vital for shy animals and for those who have been abused so that they can to be adopted, which is where our amazing volunteers help!” Chrissie, Manager

Accommodation

Volunteers have a private room at a friendly, clean and comfortable guesthouse which is a few minutes walk from a lovely beach, where there are restaurants, bars and shops to enjoy.

Volunteer accommodation in Phuket

Each bedroom has an ensuite bathroom, hot shower, air conditioning, small fridge and free WIFI. 

Volunteer accommodation

Meals

Meals are not included in this placement.

For breakfast, you can make your own simple breakfast and have in your room (there is a fridge to store milk etc.) or buy food from local shops.

On working days (Monday-Friday), volunteers order lunch from a local Thai restaurant and it’s delivered to you at the centre. There are vegetarian and vegan options.

For lunch at weekends and for your evening meals, there are lots of restaurants within walking distance of your accommodation, giving you a good choice of Thai and international options. It's especially nice to eat on the beachfront!

Drinking water is provided at the centre, from a water dispenser where you can fill up your water bottle throughout the day. In the evenings and at weekends, you can buy water locally.

Getting there

You will need to fly into Phuket Airport (HKT).

We will arrange for you to be met on arrival and transferred from the airport to your accommodation, which is a 10 minute drive away.

Location and free time

Phuket is an iconic tourist destination and the biggest island in Thailand, located in the South of Thailand alongside the Andaman sea. Phuket is best known for its beaches and you are spoilt for choice! Popular beaches include Rawai, Patong, Karon, Kamala, Kata Yai, Kata Noi, Naiyang and Mai Khao.

Phuket, beach near volunteer accommodation

It’s also worth visiting Laem Phromthep viewpoint, a stunning sunset spot. For something a little more active, enjoy water sports, a day at the water park or learn to scuba dive.

Phuket has a large Chinese influence, so you will see many Chinese shrines and Chinese restaurants around Phuket Town and a famous vegetarian festival is held there every year.

Climate 

The island of Phuket has a tropical climate and is hot throughout the year, with temperatures generally between 25-33˚C. There can be tropical rain showers at any time of year but the main rainy season in Phuket is from May to October and the dry season runs from December to March.

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 exploring the:

  • Many colourful and ancient temples  
  • Beautiful waterfalls, wildlife and limestone cliffs of Khao Sok National Park
  • Tranquil lush mountains in the North and meeting ethnic hill tribes
  • Bustling city of Bangkok, the Grand Palace and famous weekend market

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

Dates

Start dates are every Sunday.

What's Included

Included

  • Dedicated Pod Volunteer specialist to support you from booking on until you complete your trip
  • Comprehensive trip planning guide
  • Phuket airport pick up and transfer to your accommodation
  • Accommodation - your own private room with air con and fridge at a guesthouse near the beach
  • Daily return transport from accommodation to the sanctuary
  • Induction
  • T-shirt
  • Support from the team onsite in Thailand
  • 24/7 emergency support from the Pod Volunteer UK team 
  • Donation to Pod Environmental Fund tackling climate change
  • 100% payment protection through ABTOT 
  • Volunteering certificate and reference (on request)

Not included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if staying more than 30 days)
  • Vaccinations 
  • Living costs - meals, snacks, drinks, laundry
  • Transfer to Phuket airport on departure
  • Any tourist trips / activities you choose to do in your free time
Price table
1 week £495 GB Pounds
Extra weeks £225 GB Pounds

Discounts

  • £70 per week per person discount for friends / couples sharing a room
  • £100 discount for any family members who are under 18 years old
  • £50 discount if you have previously volunteered with Pod Volunteer 

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 Rescue project

Scarlett and Toby

"We were both incredibly impressed by the facilities, the efficiency of the organisation and the passion of those who work there. The dogs and cats are so clearly in need of a little love, fun and affection, and helping the staff provide that to them every day was nothing short of joyous.Then there’s the social scene, we made some excellent friends and enjoyed plenty of post-volunteering dinners, drinks and dancing."

Angel

"The carers and staff look after the animals here like their children, and everyone here has so much love to share. The more time you spend here, you’ll see their character and realise how beautiful they are and how much love they are ready to give. You can never stop learning from animals, and all of them in the sanctuary are so deserving of a forever home."

Nawa

"I had the best experience spending time with the dogs. They’re adorable and friendly and give you positive energy. Some of them are shy which makes me like them even more. Some of them are energetic, and I’m so happy every time I walk them and when they allow me to pet them. They are all stray dogs who the sanctuary is protecting and helping to recover. All the staff here are so friendly too. If you need any support, they always help you. Do not hesitate to volunteer here, you will have the one of the best experiences and memories."

Axelle 

“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 dogs and cats that you can in this centre! All the supervisors help you and give you all the support you need and that's great!

Chelsie

“My experience at the Dog 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 dogs and cats. 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. I would love to do this all over again!”

1,300

dogs needing walks!

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

Alex

24/7 support

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

Reserve your place and start your volunteering adventure to Thailand!

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VOLUNTEER REVIEWS

  • Thailand Dog Rescue volunteer - Graham

    "The project was all I thought it would be and more. The location itself was amazing - be prepared for lots of dog walking you will have a fantastic time!"

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Thailand Dog Rescue volunteer - Julia

    "The work is so worth it. The sanctuary does such great work. Not only are they saving animals lives, but helping to reduce the stray population of dogs and cats."

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  • Thailand Dog Rescue volunteer - Chelsie

    "My experience at the Dog Rescue project was honestly amazing and the best thing I have ever done. You meet amazing people, volunteers and supervisors - I would love to do this all over again!"

    Read more volunteer reviews

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