Animal Care Volunteer Project in Italy - Rome
Want to volunteer in animal shelters in Italy? International Volunteer HQ’s Animal Care project offers the opportunity for volunteers to support the welfare and protection of cats in local shelters in Rome. Volunteers gain experience caring for the health and wellbeing of the animals while giving them time, love, and the best chance of being adopted.
- Programs start every second and fourth Monday of the month
- Affordable fees from CA$1210 for 2 weeks
- Includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Care for abandoned cats and help them find a loving home
Discover the fascinating art, culture and history of Rome
Get a taste of authentic Italy by staying at a local lodge
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
The Animal Care project in Rome offers volunteers the opportunity to support the welfare and protection of cats at local animal shelters. These shelters play an important role in managing stray cats, treating and protecting them, raising awareness of animal abandonment and promoting adoption.
As an Animal Care volunteer you’ll help local staff with routine daily tasks. There may be an opportunity to supplement your time by improving the shelter itself, raising community awareness about animal abandonment through campaigns, assisting with minor medical treatment, and supporting the shelter’s social media accounts to help better promote the shelter.
The Animal Care program in Rome has several objectives, all of which are equally important. Day-to-day duties for volunteers help work towards these goals, including:
- Taking care of our four-legged friends (cats) by feeding, cleaning and grooming them
- Providing companionship by playing with the animals
- Supporting local staff of non-profit associations in the maintenance and cleaning of shelters
- Contributing to communication campaigns in support of the shelters themselves
- Raising awareness around topics such as adoptions of animals
- Taking care of cats suffering from particular diseases (such as FeLV), learning how to treat and rehabilitate them
When joining the project in winter, volunteers should be prepared for lower temperatures of between 40-60°F (5-15°C), and come equipped with warm clothing. Clothing that can be soiled and get dirty is also recommended as you will be working closely with lots of animals.
Why do Animal Care volunteering in Rome with IVHQ?
While volunteering on the Animal Care project in Italy you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Improving the health and wellbeing of animals
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining experience in an animal shelter
- Learning Italian and immersing yourself in the culture
- Acquiring a cross-cultural understanding of animal care
- Exploring the beauty of Italy’s charming capital city
- Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this program. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more
- 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.
Italy photo gallery
”Thank you for checking in on me. I’m having a wonderful time in Italy and love my placement! Saying goodbye to the kitties at the end of my stay is going to break my heart. I can’t think of anything that is not going well. Thanks again for reaching out!”
Read reviews from Animal Care volunteers in RomeSee more reviews
Rome is and has been many things - the capital of Italy, the Eternal City and the center of the ancient Roman empire. It is both brimming with reminders of bygone eras and teeming with dynamic, modern industry and entertainment. It’s also the setting of IVHQ’s Italy - Rome program, and volunteer placements are located throughout the wider city area.
Like any major city, there is a socio-economic divide in Rome and the people who fall on the disadvantaged side of this face a host of challenges. Volunteers can help make a difference to their lives by providing essential support to local initiatives designed to address these issues and others that affect the community.
Arrival and orientation
The program orientation in Rome begins on the second and fourth Monday of each month and lasts for a full day. Volunteers need to arrive in Rome on the Sunday before orientation.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO). You can also arrive into Ciampino–G. B. Pastine International Airport (CIA) but should expect you may need to wait to be picked up. Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation in Rome. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are traveling in Italy prior to your volunteer program and arriving overland, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a central meeting point in Rome on the Sunday before orientation.
Orientation is hosted by our Italy team in Rome. It begins the morning of your chosen start date and lasts for a full day. The orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Rome – an introduction to Italy, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, and a tour of the local area. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers with whom you can swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
Your specific placement orientation will be held the following day and you will be shown how to travel to and from your placement, receive an introduction to your placement, and then complete a few hours of volunteering.
Volunteer schedule example
After your program orientation, you will have a morning, afternoon or evening volunteer shift at your placement and will work for approximately 3 to 5 hours per day. Your schedule will vary depending on the needs of your particular project. A typical schedule is as follows:
|6.00 AM||Breakfast begins at the volunteer accommodation and is available until 9:00 AM.|
|8.00 AM||Travel to your volunteer placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your project. Please note that some placements run in the afternoon and volunteers on these placements will have the morning free to use as they wish or to attend Italian language lessons.|
|12.00 - 1:00 PM||Lunch break. Buy your own lunch from Rome’s many excellent cafes and eateries. After lunch, volunteers will continue volunteer work (where applicable).|
|1.00 PM||Volunteers with afternoon or evening shifts travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on their project.|
|6.30 - 10:30 PM||Dinner at the volunteer accommodation. After dinner, you will have the remainder of the evening free to relax and use as you wish.|
On weekends, you can spend your free time discovering why Rome is one of the most popular and revered tourist destinations in the world. For a start, you can visit monuments to ancient history like the Colosseum, check out Vatican City, see Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, explore the Pantheon and throw coins into the Trevi Fountain.
Once you’ve ticked off those iconic experiences you can relax and find out which of the rest of Rome’s numerous attractions you’ll see next. It might be any one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites, the perfect authentic carbonara or a steaming cup of espresso, touring ancient churches, checking out the nightlife of buzzy Trastevere or stumbling upon the latest in fashion on one of Rome’s best shopping streets, Via del Corso.
If you’re ready for a change of scene, you can take a quick weekend train trip to see the ancient ruins of Pompeii, or Naples - the home of pizza. Nature lovers should also factor in a visit to the beautiful Amalfi Coast to complete the precipitous and spectacular Walk of the Gods. Volunteers staying for longer durations, or who wish to travel before or after their program, can visit areas further afield in Italy, including Venice, Cinque Terre, Florence, Milan, Pisa and much more. You can make travel arrangements once you arrive in Rome with the advice and guidance of our expert local team.
Accommodation and WiFi
Volunteers are accommodated in a dormitory-style camping lodge in Rome. You can expect to share a room with one or two other volunteers of the same gender. Bedding and towels are provided, and there are shared western bathrooms. Staff will clean the accommodation throughout the week, however volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy.
The lodge has a large pool as well as other social and game facilities for volunteers to enjoy in their free time.
WiFi is available at the volunteer accommodation, as well as at many cafes and restaurants in the area. To keep connected, the local team will provide you with a free local SIM card that you can activate to purchase mobile data for an unlocked mobile phone.
Private single, twin or double rooms in the camping lodge, with the use of the communal bathrooms, can be arranged at an additional cost.
Volunteers are provided with breakfast and dinner each day as part of the program.
Breakfast is self-serve at the accommodation and available from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM. Breakfast generally includes tea, coffee, bread, croissants, sweets, cheese, ham, spreads, cereal, yogurt, and fruit.
Dinner is served between 6:30 PM and 10:30 PM and includes local staples such as pasta, vegetables, and salad.
Lunch is not provided and we recommend you budget about CA$13 per day to buy it from the excellent local shops, cafes and restaurants nearby. These are easily accessible both close to placements and the accommodation.
Tap water is fine to drink in Rome and the accommodation has a fountain of drinkable water where you can refill your reusable bottle. However, bottled water is also readily available if you prefer and you should budget approximately US$10 (approximately CA$13) per week for this.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|2 weeks||CA$1217 Equivalent to CA$87/day|
|3 weeks||CA$1653 Equivalent to CA$79/day|
|4 weeks||CA$2088 Equivalent to CA$75/day|
|5 weeks||CA$2523 Equivalent to CA$73/day|
|6 weeks||CA$2959 Equivalent to CA$71/day|
|8 weeks||CA$3829 Equivalent to CA$69/day|
|10 weeks||CA$4700 Equivalent to CA$68/day|
|12 weeks||CA$5571 Equivalent to CA$67/day|
- Breakfast and dinner
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of CA$404 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 CAD.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, lunch, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Rome generally find US$200 to be sufficient for weekly expenses, including transport and miscellaneous spending.
- Please note: You will need to budget an extra US$3 per night for the Rome Tourist Tax, paid directly to the accommodation upon arrival.
Italian language lessons
Fluency in Italian is not a prerequisite for the volunteer program in Rome. However, we recommend that volunteers take advantage of the very affordable language lessons offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers by our local team in Italy. Volunteers find that taking these lessons helps immensely with day-to-day volunteer work and communicating with local people. Volunteers interested in taking Italian language lessons can arrange these directly with the local team once in Italy.
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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.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
Essential country information
Weather and climate
Italy’s climate is quite diverse due to its long peninsula and mountainous terrain. The coastal areas of Liguria, Tuscany and most of the South are predominantly Mediterranean with dry summers and moderately wet winters. In the northern parts of Italy and areas of higher altitudes, the climate is cooler and the winter months can be cold, wet, and often snowy. Weather in Rome, where the IVHQ volunteer program is based, is pleasant throughout the year. Winter temperatures in Rome (December to February) vary from 4°C/39°F to 14°C/57°F while spring (March to May) is slightly warmer at around 15°C/59°F. Summer (June to September) in Rome can become very hot and humid with average temperatures ranging between 18°C/64°F and 31°C/89°F. Rainfall is heaviest in November and driest in July.