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Animal Care Volunteer Project in Croatia - Split

Animal Care Volunteer Project in Croatia - Split

Care for & rehome abandoned animals
Start dates
Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
Choose from 2-12 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 4 hours per day
Volunteers aged 18+
Dormitory-style hostel
Program fees
From CA$1577 for 2 weeks
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
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Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

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This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who are passionate about animals and animal rights. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about animal welfare in a different country while being part of a team that shares the same passion as you.

Project details

Ready to make some four-legged friends as an Animal Care volunteer in Croatia? International Volunteer HQ’s Animal Care project is a great way for volunteers to help improve life and conditions for abandoned cats and dogs in overcrowded animal shelters in the seaside town of Split. Volunteers gain experience caring for the health and wellbeing of animals while giving them time, love, and the best chance of getting adopted.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Animal shelters in Croatia play a crucial role in rescuing countless cats and dogs abandoned by their families. These shelters often face overcrowding, and volunteers are essential in providing care, socialization, and love to these animals, helping them thrive and increasing their chances of finding a forever home.

As an Animal Care volunteer, you’ll assist local staff with daily tasks and help raise community awareness about the importance of preventing animal abandonment. Your day-to-day duties will include:

  • Engaging with Animals: Play with dogs and cats, monitor their progress, and ensure they receive plenty of love and attention.
  • Walking Adventures: Take the dogs for walks in the surrounding areas, giving them exercise and fresh air.
  • Hands-On Care: Bathe, brush, and observe the behavior of dogs and cats to ensure their health and happiness.
  • Shelter Maintenance: Assist with cleaning tasks and maintaining all areas of the shelter, including green spaces, animal enclosures, and public areas.
  • Creative Contributions: Design and create new toys and entertaining spaces for the animals, enhancing their quality of life.
  • Visitor Engagement: Create welcoming recreational spaces where visitors can relax, pet the animals, and enjoy quality time with them.
  • Community Building: Foster a familiar and informative environment, making the shelter a warm and inviting place.
  • Event Planning: Help prepare and organize innovative and beneficial events both inside and outside the shelter.
  • Innovation and Ideas: Suggest new ideas to help the organization improve its mission to support and care for animals.
  • Capture Memories: Take pictures at different events and around the shelter, showcasing the positive impact of your work.

Rest assured that all animals in the shelter are fully vaccinated, ensuring a safe and healthy environment for both volunteers and animals.

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 Split with IVHQ?

While volunteering with animals in Croatia you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Giving abandoned animals a brighter future
  • Helping animals get along with people
  • Learning or practicing Croatian
  • Gaining animal care experience
  • Immersing yourself fully in Croatian culture
  • Exploring the picturesque coast of Split

Volunteer requirements

Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate on this program. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.

All volunteers must have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a recent criminal background check.

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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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

Thomas Payne
12 Jun 2024

I loved the experience, mainly because of all the new people I met and now consider my friends, I think it’s great for people that a travelling by themselves for the first time (like me) and I have definitely grown as a person.

Grace Woodbury
12 Jun 2024

I feel that I gained not only confidence in travelling abroad but also a new perspective on how animal shelters work in a foreign country. For someone hesitant I would say just do it, push yourself and go do it, it will all work out great.

Jenna Austin
22 Mar 2024

The experience was very welcoming and helped me grow as an individual.

Katie Woolley
27 Feb 2024

I have no complaints about the volunteering process with IVHQ. They made it so easy, with support offered throughout and useful tools and guides to ensure you are fully prepared for the experience and can get the most out of it. I would definitely recommend IVHQ to anyone looking to volunteer as I found the whole experience incredibly rewarding and it feels great to know I have made a difference and helped a good cause. I learnt so much while there and feel like it has really improved my confidence by pushing me out of my comfort zone and allowing me to do things I never thought I would be able to do before! I am so glad I took part in this volunteering experience and would definitely encourage others to do the same!

Neve Boundy
12 May 2022

This was such an amazing experience! I was worried that I was going to be alone at first but I ended up meeting so many amazing people and we became friends straight away. I’m so glad that I did this, I wish I could’ve stayed longer!

Mai Elhaggar
03 Nov 2021

If you’re new to volunteering, just like I was, IVHQ is definitely the right choice and the best decision I’ve ever made! Every single detail was taken care of, from the volunteer work itself, to the accommodation. I already can’t wait for next summer so I can volunteer again!


To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit

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 Split, Croatia with IVHQ


The IVHQ Croatia volunteer program is based in Split, a vibrant seaside spot on the Mediterranean coast and the second largest city in Croatia. ​This is a golden opportunity to volunteer in Europe in a place high up on every traveler’s bucket list. Split is a popular tourist hub because of its scenic ocean views, rich culture and authentic Croatian feel.

Volunteer placements are located in and around Split with the Marine Conservation project based in Omiš. While Split is a well developed city, it does have pockets of under-served communities, social and environmental issues and local initiatives that need volunteer help. By choosing to volunteer here, you’ll be supporting community-led projects that focus on providing opportunities to improve the livelihoods and wellbeing of the local community.

Arrival and orientation

The Croatia volunteer program begins on the first and third Monday of every month, and you need to arrive in Split on the Sunday before your chosen start date.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Split International Airport (SPU).Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee, however, if you arrive outside of Sunday between 9:00AM - 09:00PM, your pick-up will incur an extra cost of US$65.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation, approximately 40 minutes away. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are traveling in Croatia prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a meeting point in Split on the Sunday before your program start date. You are also free to make your own way to the volunteer accommodation.

On Monday, orientation is hosted by our local team in Croatia and runs for a full day. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Croatia – an introduction to Croatia, Croatian customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in Croatia, 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 socializing.

Volunteer schedule example


A volunteer day is subject to change depending on your specific project and placement. ​A typical daily schedule​ might be as follows:

8:00 - 10:00 AM Breakfast is served at the restaurant next door to volunteer accommodation.
9:00 AM Volunteers with a morning shift travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your project.
12:00 - 2:30 PM Lunch is served at the restaurant next door to volunteer accommodation.
2:30 PM Volunteers with an afternoon or evening shift travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on their project.
7:30 - 9.00 PM Dinner at the restaurant next door to volunteer accommodation. After dinner you will have the remainder of the evening free to relax and use as you wish.


Volunteers have the weekends free and Split and Croatia are full of interesting things to do, see, visit, eat and learn.

Croatia has a wondrous history and culture, paired with beautiful coastline and nature. You can spend a weekend traveling across the country - visit the popular Klis fortress that is only a short drive from Split, or spend the day in nature surrounded by waterfalls in Krka National Park or Plitvice National Park. If you are looking for an adventurous activity, try rafting down the river in Dalmatian hinterlands, or sea-kayaking the beautiful see-through Adriatic Sea. There is so much to see and explore, and nothing is far away in Croatia!

Volunteers can make travel arrangements further afield once in Croatia, with the advice and guidance of our local staff.

Accommodation and WiFi

Experience the vibrant heart of Split from our cozy, dormitory-style hostel, perfectly situated just a 10-minute stroll from the city center. Conveniently located, the nearest bus station is only a 5-minute walk away, and you’ll find a delightful array of local amenities including coffee shops, a pizzeria, a supermarket, a pharmacy, an ATM, and more, all within a short walk.

The hostel is divided into three dormitories, typically arranged by gender, though during peak times, shared-gender dorms may be utilized. You’ll have the opportunity to meet and connect with fellow volunteers, sharing a room with up to seven others. Each volunteer is provided with a personal locker to keep their valuables safe, and you’ll enjoy free WiFi and air conditioning throughout your stay. The communal areas include a dining room, a lounge, and a well-equipped kitchen with fridges, microwaves, and basic utensils for your convenience.

Shared bathrooms are separated by gender and feature Western toilets and showers. Bedding and towels are provided for each volunteer, and while our local staff ensure the accommodation is cleaned throughout the week, we encourage volunteers to keep their spaces tidy to maintain a pleasant atmosphere.

For those seeking a bit more privacy, we offer private room upgrades upon request, and subject to availability. These rooms are located within a 20-minute walk of the hostel and are self-catered. Enjoy the added benefit of lunch and dinner at our partner restaurant, giving you a taste of the local cuisine, while breakfast can be enjoyed at your leisure.


Volunteers are provided with breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Breakfast is self-served at the volunteer accommodation and includes cereals, butter, marmalade, cream cheese, ham, milk, coffee and bread. Lunch and dinner are also provided in the restaurant and volunteers can choose from a variety of options.

Tap water is safe to drink in Croatia and while we encourage volunteers to bring a reusable drink bottle to minimize the consumption of single-use plastics, bottled water is readily available if you prefer. You should budget approximately CA$7 per week for this.


  • USD

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately CA$471) you secure your spot and unlock all our preparation and training tools.

You don't need to worry about paying your Program Fee until you get closer to your start date.

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 $1,100 Equivalent to $79/day
3 weeks $1,510 Equivalent to $72/day
4 weeks $1,920 Equivalent to $69/day
5 weeks $2,330 Equivalent to $67/day
6 weeks $2,740 Equivalent to $65/day
8 weeks $3,560 Equivalent to $64/day
10 weeks $4,380 Equivalent to $63/day
12 weeks $5,200 Equivalent to $62/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately CA$471) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Croatia generally find US$80 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses.
  • Any changes or cancellations within 14 days of your start date are subject to a US$200 late change/cancellation fee.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Airport pick-up
  • Accommodation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

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

  • Transport to and from your placement each day
  • Return to the airport when your program finishes
  • Flights
  • Visa (if required), travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check.
  • Personal spending money for snacks, laundry, public transportation, drinks and leisure activities during your free time.

Free-time experiences & tours in Split

Take your volunteer experience to the next level with IVHQ's affordable activity and tour add-ons in Split! Explore your options below and learn how to book them once you've been accepted onto the IVHQ Split program.

In-person Language Lessons
In-person Language Lessons

Improve your Croatian language skills at the most affordable rate while volunteering in Croatia.

From CA$44
Online Language Lessons
Online Language Lessons

Improve your Croatian language skills at the most affordable rate while volunteering in Croatia.

From CA$44

Check what's required to visit Croatia

Safety and support

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

Essential country information

Capital Zagreb
Population 4.7 million
Languages Croatian
Currency Croatian Kuna (HRK)
Time zone UTC+02:00

Weather and climate

The Adriatic coast of Croatia, where our volunteer program is based, enjoys a Mediterranean climate of cool, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Temperatures in Split range from 41°F to 50°F (5°C to 10°C) in winter and 79°F to 86°F (26°C to 30°C) in the summer, which runs from June to August.

Apply to check if you're eligible!

Other projects you may be interested in

How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!