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Animal Care Volunteer Project in Italy - Rome

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 a variety of animals, including cats, dogs, horses, donkeys and pigs, to name only a few, in local farms and 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$2370 for 2 weeks
  • Includes accommodation, breakfast and dinner, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Care for abandoned animals 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

Key information

Care for & re-home abandoned animals
Based in an animal shelter in Rome
Dormitory style camping lodge
Volunteers aged 18+
Fully hosted experience from CA$2370 for 2 weeks
Durations from 2 - 12 weeks
Explore Rome’s stunning architecture
Up to 5 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Animal loving volunteers that want to make a difference to the lives of the animals homed in the shelter.
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 animals at both local farms and cat shelters. These places play an important role in managing endangered animals, treating and protecting them, raising awareness of animal abandonment and promoting adoption, when applicable.

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 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

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.

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 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

Volunteer requirements

  • 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 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.

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

Emma O'Shea
21 Mar 2024

It was an incredible experience! I met so many friendly and amazing people. You are given enough time each day to tour around the city and do touristy things as well as working within your program to help the best way you can.

Aurora Robinson
29 Jan 2024

I had many questions before my trip that were answered effectively and quickly by the IVHQ team. I had a wonderful time at the shelter caring for and maintaining the living space of rescued and injured roman cats, along with gaining experience working in that kind of environment. I am so excited to learn more about my furry friends at uni next year as I embark in this field of study.

Rosa Ruggaard Lauridsen
13 Dec 2023

I gained many friends and I met a range of interesting people. It was certainly everything I had hoped for, and more. I also learned so much about the place I was visiting and even realized that it could be a great place to study. This trip truly helped me feel how it would be to live a life without my parents always beside me and living outside the country on my own, which was exactly what I had hoped for.

Lachlan Erhart
07 Nov 2023

Everything was easy and extremely helpful. Local team was excellent, very supportive and always happy to help. I felt very accomplished following my experience volunteering.

Ophélie Tremblay
20 Sep 2023

Great help from the local team!! Animal Care was a program where I felt like I had as much of an impact on the cats as they had on me, it's very rewarding. Even though I was there for a short period of time, I quickly saw how well I adapted and I noticed the change in my confidence. If your goal is to develop confidence and autonomy, I guarantee that it will be effective.

Serenity Hernandez
05 Sep 2023

During my last year of high school, I was looking for something to do during the summer before I was burdened with my studies for college. I looked at every website for volunteering abroad and nothing made me want to jump on it. That was until someone online made a video about volunteering with IVHQ in Africa. I saw how much fun they were having and it made me want to check out what IVHQ was all about. I started scrolling through the website and was stunned not only by how many opportunities they had but also by how many countries they had available. I’m not sure why I chose Italy - Rome but I can tell you one thing, I do not regret it.


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 Rome, Italy with IVHQ


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.

Volunteers on this program should expect commutes of up to 1:45 hours one way to your placement. These long commute times are a result of Rome’s transportation system that almost always has long delays, ongoing repairs, and unpredictable schedules. Those who wish to join the Sustainable Farming project will usually have a longer commute than those on projects such as Youth Support and Teaching English, as this project is in the countryside on the outskirts of the city.

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 or afternoon 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:

7.30 AM Breakfast begins at the volunteer accommodation and is available until 10.30 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.
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 central camping lodge in Rome. You can expect to share a room with one to 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 camping lodge. It may not be available in your room; however, it is available in all of the common areas. WiFi is also available in many cafes and restaurants in the area.

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 7:30 AM to 10:30 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$14 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$14) per week for this.


  • USD
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 CA$2370 Equivalent to CA$169/day
3 weeks CA$3342 Equivalent to CA$159/day
4 weeks CA$4313 Equivalent to CA$154/day
5 weeks CA$5285 Equivalent to CA$151/day
6 weeks CA$6256 Equivalent to CA$149/day
8 weeks CA$8199 Equivalent to CA$146/day
10 weeks CA$10142 Equivalent to CA$145/day
12 weeks CA$12085 Equivalent to CA$144/day
  • Accommodation
  • 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 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 CA$477) 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 lunches, transport and miscellaneous spending.
  • Any changes or cancellations within 14 days of your start date are subject to a US$200 late change/cancellation fee.

Check what's required to visit Italy

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 Rome
Population 61.7 Million
Languages Italian
Currency Euro (EUR)
Time zone UTC+01:00

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.

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How to get started

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