Animal Shelter

Animal Shelter Volunteer

Do you love animals and are you determined to support helpless creatures around the world? Countless animals are born on the streets or are victims of abuse and abandonment. They are injured, ill, traumatized and in dire need of tender love and care. If you are excited to work with rescued wildlife or cats and dogs, don’t hesitate to join one of the animal shelter programs. Help initiate the adoption process so they become someone’s loving pet. This is your chance to donate some of your time to shelter and get to know the local community. A new and meaningful volunteer experience awaits you at an animal rescue project! Volunteer and lend animal shelter organizations a hand by providing abandoned or ill-treated creatures a safe haven. Help with caretaking activities, nurse them back to health, spend quality time with the animals or support the adoption process of cats and dogs. Animal lovers with a passion for travel have arrived at the right place. Continue reading to find out more about the different volunteer opportunities abroad in animal shelters or rescue centers.

Support a Cat and Dog Shelter

Help take care of street cats and dogs and support rescue activities in Costa Rica Find a new home for helpless animals. 

Support Dog Shelter

Help take care of street dogs and support rescue activities in Greece. Find a new home for helpless animals This volunteer program

Why Volunteer at an animal shelter?

Countless strays that would otherwise be roaming the street seek refuge in an animal shelter. Some creatures that end up at the shelter are there because they have been ill-treated by their owners. In other cases, they have been illegally kept as pets or injured in the wild. These animals aren’t able to return to the wild so they rely on animal shelters to keep them safe.

Dogs, cats, wolves, huskies, farm animals, horses along with other wildlife rely on animal shelters to adopt them and care for them. You can get up close and get to know the community of the shelter or rescue center when you decide to volunteer.

Tasks at the shelter will vary greatly. The main aim is to give the creatures the best chances they can get in life. In the case of cats and dogs, you can help find someone from the community to adopt them.

If you are concerned about the wellbeing of helpless animals and want an opportunity to get close to them, then a volunteer project at an animal shelter is ideal. Work at a shelter and get to know both the creatures along with the lovely people of the local community. You will receive training in how to deal with the inhabitants and get to know them in no time.

What will I do When I Volunteer at an Animal Shelter?

Volunteers who are eager to help out at an animal shelter project abroad will spend most of their time in a shelter or rescue center. Depending on the program, you’ll be dealing with dogs, cats, huskies, horses, or even exotic creatures. All of this will depend on the area you are volunteering in. The creatures that end up in a shelter, have suffered. They have been abandoned, abused, or are in poor health. These shelters are private organizations that have noticed a need for animal support. To continue their activities, they’re responsible for finding funds for their cause and rely on help from volunteers who share this love and are eager to save and care for these creatures. As an animal shelter volunteer, you will receive training regarding how to care for these lovely creatures. You’ll be making friends in no time!

Animal care

Are you keen on nursing injured or neglected animals to better health? Do you enjoy taking dogs for a walk or excited about rescuing injured animals? Each project may have a different focus but they all share the common goal of caring for the animals and providing them a brighter future.

Certain projects focus on nursing injured or ill animals by:

  • cleaning up wounds
  • cleaning the eyes of the animals
  • treating bad skin conditions
  • training dogs
  • de-ticking
  • deworming
  • brushing
  • shampooing
  • cleaning their enclosures
  • feeding
  • preparing food

Animal birth control

When it comes to domestic creatures, overpopulation remains a big issue. Although many people decide to take a pet, there are still many families that don’t take full responsibility. When they become inconvenient, the pet is often abandoned. On top of that, they have often not been spayed or neutered. This inevitably increases the number of strays which remains a big problem in many developing countries.

If you are also concerned about this, join a volunteer project dedicated to animal birth control. Neutering and spaying street cats and dogs will avoid further increases in the population of strays. Volunteer as an aid on one of the programs and take a proactive approach to the street animals problem.


A crucial part of being a volunteer at a shelter is helping to maintain it. Volunteers will be asked to help clean the kennels and pens to keep the shelter or rescue center a hygienic and welcoming home for current and future furry inhabitants. Volunteer and provide the furry guests with premium services.

Animal adoption

If you’re ambitious and committed to a longer stay abroad, you can apply your convincing skills and help support the adoption procedure. Help cats and dogs find a new home through adoption and become a loving pet to a caring family. Find families who are keen to adopt a pet and bring them together. The center will likely screen the candidates to make sure they are a fit to adopt and care for a pet. Adoption is never an easy process but donating some of your time to it will improve the lives of many.


Volunteers with excellent marketing or social media skills can also focus on creating more awareness for the organization which will increase attention for the project. You may be great at organizing events. This could be a way of attracting attention to the center.

Volunteers can find an organization that fits their preferences. Depending on the creatures you prefer or the type of work you want to do, you can choose from the different volunteer projects. We are confident you will find something to your liking. The more time you donate to these cute creatures, the more responsibilities you will get. You’ll grow into your role and help make the shelter a warm home for animals which have been through a lot. You may be responsible for training other volunteers after you have gotten the hang of things. Hopefully, you will be able to witness loving families adopt some of the inhabitants of the shelter and keep them as a loving pet.

 What are the Best Places to Volunteer at an Animal Shelter?

Both developing and developed countries offer wonderful projects focused on animal shelters and rescue centers. Let’s take a closer look at the different locations you can go to if you decide to volunteer. Every community is unique and you will gain a new experience you will never forget.

Latin America

Volunteers who aren’t afraid of exotic species like crocodiles, snakes, geckos, and turtles will find volunteer opportunities with these type of creatures in Latin America. If exotic creatures aren’t your cup of tea, you can opt for shelters with farm animals like horses and mules. Other options in Central America are veterinary practices where you can volunteer and work as an aid. If you are more drawn to pets, South America offers several dog and cat shelter projects in touristic hotspots like Ecuador, Peru, and Chile.


Volunteers who can’t ignore the call of Africa and want to support animal shelters as they revel in the biodiversity of Tanzania, Ghana or South Africa, will also find a project to their liking on this spectacular continent. Donate your time to a project in Africa and get ready for a completely different world.


Thailand offers next to palm trees and sandy beaches, several projects that aid strays. For those who want to avoid tourist hotspots, Cambodia, Nepal, and India are worthy alternatives to volunteer and aid a shelter program abroad. Enjoy the beauty of your surroundings while you donate some of your precious time to the center and get to know the local community. Support the adoption process for stray cats and dogs and allow them to become a pet to a lovely family.

North America and Europe

If you prefer milder or perhaps even cold temperatures, opt for an adventure in Canada or Albania. Volunteers who don’t fear the cold can choose the road less traveled and care for huskies in Canada.


Five Benefits of Volunteering at an Animal Shelter

Volunteering is always associated with something positive. It’s difficult to name drawbacks to supporting helpless members of the animal kingdom. There’s no doubt you’re contributing to a great cause and you will be appreciated by the community. However, let’s look at the benefits this unique experience abroad may have in store for you.

Valuable Learning Opportunities

Volunteering in a different country will give you the unique opportunity to learn more about your destination abroad. You’ll also learn a great deal about the culture of your volunteer destination. Volunteering at an animal rescue center will also teach you more about animal care and psychology. Bottom line is that you’ll walk away from the program having learned a great deal about the ins and outs of an animal center. Those in training to become a vet will benefit from this hands-on experience.

Meet other people

You will meet other volunteers and travelers who share your love for animals. You’ll be in contact with like-minded individuals and bond with the locals of your destination. This will be a wonderful opportunity for forging meaningful relationships and cultural interchange.

New Experiences

Volunteering is a brilliant way to expand your perspective of the world. Issues that seemed huge problems before, may seem trivial after your animal volunteer experience. Life experiences make you stronger and will empower you for the future.

Health Improvements

Animals, beautiful surroundings, and contributing to a wonderful purpose are components that can positively influence happiness. Happy people tend to be healthy people. Witness the calming effect that nature and the different pace of the local community have on you and support the animal shelter or rescue center.


This is your chance to explore the world and discover some of the most interesting places the world has to offer. Whether you’ll be nursing injured creatures or supporting the adoption procedure, you’ll be doing this while contributing to a meaningful cause. What are you waiting for? Get out your luggage and start packing!

How do I Volunteer with Shelter Animals?

Are you convinced you want to help disadvantaged creatures? Excellent choice! Once you’ve picked a few animal programs which fulfill your requirements, let’s take a look at the first 3 steps which will send you on your way to volunteer and travel:

  1. Check whether there’s a match between you and the project. There may be some requirements you need to fulfill.
  2. Take a look at the location of the project and decide whether it is a location you are excited about.
  3. Get in touch with the organization and see whether your expectations and your schedule match up.

Once this is sorted. Let’s take a look at the practical steps.


As you’ll be working with animals, it’s imperative you receive the necessary vaccinations prior to leaving. A rabies shot is a minimum must-do. Check-in with your doctor about the required vaccinations for your destination.

Insurance (Health & travel)

We recommend getting both health and travel insurance. In fact, this is even a requirement for many programs abroad. Get in touch with your program contact person to find out if an insurance plan is already in place for volunteers.

Visa, Passport, and Documentation

Once you know your destination, take the following 3 steps before setting off on your life-changing adventure!

  1. Look into the visa requirements for the country you will volunteer in.
  2. Make sure you have a valid passport considering the requirement of the host country.
  3. Prepare the correct documents to fulfill the visa application.