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Animal Care in Cambodia

Animal Care in Cambodia

Want to look after our furry friends as an Animal Care volunteer in Cambodia? International Volunteer HQ’s Animal Care project gives you the opportunity to support local animal shelters and pagodas in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. Volunteers help rescue, provide companionship, and care for neglected cats and dogs in need. There may be opportunities where practicing vets or veterinary students may have the opportunity to assist with medical treatments and minor surgeries; but this cannot be guaranteed.

Highlights:
  • Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
  • Affordable fees from AU$724 for 2 weeks
  • Includes accommodation, meals, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Care for neglected cats and dogs in need

  • Explore Cambodia’s striking landscapes and temples

  • Stay with other volunteers in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh

Key information

Rescue & care for abandoned animals
Based in Siem Reap & Phnom Penh
Volunteer house accommodation
Volunteers aged 18+ and families
Fully hosted experience from AU$724 for 2 weeks
Durations from 2 - 24 weeks
Explore Cambodia's spectacular temples
3-5 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Active volunteers who love animals, are passionate about animal rights and want to get stuck in by helping at animal shelters.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

As an animal shelter volunteer in Cambodia, you will provide support at an animal shelter or in a pagoda - both available for neglected cats and dogs in need in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. These centers and pagodas take in and care for abandoned and neglected animals, which would otherwise be without help. If you are comfortable being around a large number of animals and you are looking for a project where you can provide hands-on care, your support will be highly valued on this project.

Your main role on the Animal Care project will be supporting the staff at the shelter, as well as in the pagodas, in providing care to abandoned & rescued animals. The tasks may include:

  • Providing medication to animals
  • Cleaning the centers and temples
  • Feeding the animals
  • Washing and grooming animals
  • Practicing vets may be able to assist in a Veterinarian capacity; but this cannot be guaranteed

Please note:

To join the project, all volunteers are required to have an up-to-date rabies vaccination for this project. You will need to send the local team your certificate of vaccination via email prior to your arrival into Cambodia

There is an additional AU$16 per week surcharge to cover resources (i.e. food and snacks) that the local team donate to the placement, on behalf of volunteers. This is included in your Program Fee that will be quoted to you in your Acceptance Email.

COVID-19 requirements for Cambodia: Please note that currently the Cambodia program orientation is based out of Siem Reap, which means that there is a requirement for volunteers to fly into Siem Reap for their program. There is a requirement for all volunteers on the Cambodia program to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated (including booster), at least 14 days before flying to Cambodia.

These measures are in place until further notice so please do keep this in mind for your planning. Please also ensure that you check with your nearest Cambodian embassy regarding entry restrictions due to Covid-19 based on your nationality and start date, and let me know if you would like to make changes to your program details.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #15: Life on Land

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #15: Life on Land

Human activity has altered almost 75% of the earth’s surface and around 1 million animal and plant species are threatened with extinction. Nature is critical to our survival. We must promote kindness to animals and use regenerative techniques to combat deforestation, conserve biodiversity and protect wildlife.

Why do Animal Care volunteering in Cambodia with IVHQ?

When you volunteer at an animal shelter in Cambodia, you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Helping care for and rehome abandoned animals
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining experience caring for animals
  • Immersing yourself fully in Khmer culture
  • Discovering Cambodia’s beautiful landscapes and temples

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
  • All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
  • All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
  • All volunteers must speak fluent English.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply For Free

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

EP
Emily Pattenden
31 Jan 2024

I felt like I did make a good impact while there. It gave me some ideas for a career path too as I think I would like to work as a veterinary assistant now!

...
SJ
Stephen Jupp
10 Jan 2024

This was my fourth volunteering placement and I am always immersed in a new culture. I believe that the placement allows volunteers a good opportunity to positively affect the lives of stray cats and dogs.

...
LC
Liv Crowley
20 Dec 2023

Everyone was very helpful and replied to emails, overall very easy to reach anyone on the team! I gained confidence in speaking to new people and learning about new cultures.

...
FG
Flynn Gregory
11 Oct 2023

It’s going to be very different but that’s what makes you a better person and that they should definitely do volunteering!

...
SA
Sarah Arthur
04 Oct 2023

I literally know I’ve made a difference where I volunteered. I created a document that had all the current animals and made sure they all had names so they could record information accordingly.

...
FH
Faith Hockley
19 Apr 2023

Spending time with amazing animals and getting to know each one of them was my favorite. This experience made me more aware of the struggles of animals in Asia and helped me grow as a person.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit
Volunteer Abroad in Cambodia with IVHQ

Location

In the heart of Southeast Asia, Cambodia is a country full of beauty and tragedy. As well as an abundance of beautiful beaches and temples there are many reminders of the history of genocide and civil war that left Cambodia one of the least developed countries in the world. In Phnom Penh there are numerous places where you can learn about what happened, including the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum or Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre. It is important to be informed about these poignant events in order to gain a better understanding and deeper respect for the Cambodian people and their culture.

As an IVHQ volunteer in Cambodia you could be based at placements in the capital city of Phnom Penh, the remote city of Battambang, or by the impressive temples of Siem Reap.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of the month and volunteers need to arrive in Siem Reap on the Sunday before orientation. There are two airport pick-ups times available: one at 10:00am and the other at 4:00pm. Arriving later than the Sunday before your start date is not allowed, as volunteers need to be ready for orientation early on Monday morning.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport (SAI). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee when utilizing the 10:00am and 4:00pm pick-ups.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation in Siem Reap. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the Sunday night before your program orientation.

If you are travelling in Cambodia prior to your volunteer program, the local team can pick you up on Sunday from any hostel or hotel in Siem Reap.

Orientation is hosted by our Cambodia team at the volunteer house in Siem Reap. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Cambodia – an introduction to Cambodia, its culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising.

Although you are expected to fly into Siem Reap, as this is where the program orientation is held, your placement may be based elsewhere; either Siem Reap, Phnom Penh or Battambang. After your time on the program ends, you can either fly out of Siem Reap or Phnom Penh, although please note that your transportation back to the relevant airport is at your own expense.

Volunteer schedule example

First Day

On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.

Weekdays - A typical volunteer day might be:

7:00 AM Breakfast in the volunteer house or with your host family
9:00 AM Volunteer leaves home and travels to the project to begin work
12:00 - 2:00 PM Lunch break. In Cambodia all workplaces have a lunch break for about 2 hours. Some start earlier, some later. During this lunch break you are welcome to stay at your placement. Some placements will offer you food.
2:00 - 5:00 PM Work at the project usually ends. You are free to travel home, sightsee or do some shopping.
7:00 PM Dinner in the volunteer house or with the host family.

Weekends

Cambodia is packed with a vast range of things to do and see in your free time. In the modern capital city of Phnom Penh you can visit the king’s official residence, The Royal Palace, and the famous Silver Pagoda, check out the huge art-deco market, cruise along the Mekong or learn about Cambodia’s devastating history at one of the many museums.

The tourist hub of Siem Reap is home to Angkor Wat, a collection of temples that together form the largest religious monument in the world. There are many hotels, resorts, markets and museums, and nearby is a lake with floating villages, a national park featuring waterfalls, rivers and Cambodia’s largest reclining Buddha.

During the long public holidays in April, September and November, you may also wish to travel further afield to Laos, Vietnam or Thailand.

Accommodation and WiFi

You will be accommodated in either a volunteer house, guesthouse or home-stay and you can expect to share a room with four other IVHQ volunteers, who are of the same gender. Bedrooms are comprised of bunk beds with bedding provided, which includes a bottom sheet, blanket and pillow. Although there is no air conditioning, electric fans are provided in each room and if volunteers require additional cooling, they are able to request an additional fan via the local team.

If you’re volunteering in Siem Reap, you’ll be accommodated in a volunteer house. Volunteer houses have electricity and running water and the majority of rooms have private bathrooms. In each volunteer house, there is a sitting area, dining area, TV and Wi-Fi.

For those volunteers placed in Phnom Penh, you will be accommodated in either a homestay hosted by a family who has been approved by the local team in Cambodia or a local guesthouse, depending on where your placement is located. Both the guesthouse and the homestay also have electricity and running water. Being in a homestay for your duration on the program is a fantastic way to experience the local culture and even if you are placed in a local guesthouse, this is still a great way to interact with the local community.

If your placement is in the province of Battambang, you will stay on-site in the school compound. You will have a separate room which you will share with up to one other volunteer. Electricity, running water, western bathrooms and Wi-Fi are provided.

Meals

Volunteers in Cambodia are provided with three meals a day which are served in the volunteer house. Breakfast generally consists of seasonal fruit and bread with a variety of spreads such as; peanut butter and jam.

Lunch and dinner is usually rice or noodles with fried vegetables and meat. These meals include a wide range of dishes consisting of rice, vegetables and meat with sweet, salty, bitter and sour flavors. Volunteers on the Animal Care project should expect a packed vegan lunch.

If you have any special dietary requirements, please let the team know when you apply for the program so arrangements can be made.

Pricing

  • USD
Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
2 weeks AU$724 Equivalent to AU$52/day
3 weeks AU$958 Equivalent to AU$46/day
4 weeks AU$1159 Equivalent to AU$41/day
5 weeks AU$1360 Equivalent to AU$39/day
6 weeks AU$1562 Equivalent to AU$37/day
8 weeks AU$1964 Equivalent to AU$35/day
10 weeks AU$2367 Equivalent to AU$34/day
12 weeks AU$2762 Equivalent to AU$33/day
16 weeks AU$3535 Equivalent to AU$32/day
20 weeks AU$4308 Equivalent to AU$31/day
24 weeks AU$5081 Equivalent to AU$30/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately AU$529) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in AUD.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • The Animal Care project has an extra cost of US$10 per week to cover the resources that the local team donate to the placements, i.e. food and snacks, while the Medical project has a separate fees table (please see the Cambodia Medical project page) to cover the support you receive from the hospital staff.
  • Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Cambodia generally find US$50-80 per week to be sufficient for expenses.

Check what's required to visit Cambodia

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Phnom Penh
Population 16.49 million
Languages Khmer
Currency Cambodian Riel (KHR)
Time zone UTC+07:00

Weather and climate

Cambodia has two distinct seasons. The rainy season, which runs from May to October, can see temperatures drop to 22°C (71.6°F) and is generally accompanied by high humidity. The dry season lasts from November to April and temperatures can rise up to 40°C (104°F ) around April.

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How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
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Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
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