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Animal Care Volunteer Program in Lima - Peru

Animal Care Volunteer Program in Lima - Peru

Love hanging out with man’s best friend and want to be an Animal Care volunteer in Peru - Lima? International Volunteer HQ’s Animal Care project is a great opportunity for volunteers to help the thousands of dogs that have been abandoned on the streets of Lima and are often suffering from hunger, disease and injury. Volunteers gain animal care experience while providing vital support and help for non-profit dog shelters that manage, treat and rehabilitate the dogs and try to find them new, loving homes.

Highlights:
  • Programs start the first and third Monday of the month
  • Affordable fees from CA$393 for 1 week
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Help with exercise, play, cleaning and feeding of abandoned dogs

  • Discover Peru’s amazing mountains and ancient ruins

  • Stay in a volunteer house or homestay near the coast of Lima

Key information

Care for & rehome abandoned animals
Based in dog shelters in Lima
Volunteer house or homestay
Volunteers aged 16+ and families
Fully hosted experience from CA$393 for 1 week
Durations from 1 - 12 weeks
Spanish language lessons available
Up to 5 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who like dogs and are interested in making a difference to their welfare in Lima by undertaking a variety of volunteer tasks. You’ll be working closely with local staff so there’s no need to have prior experience caring for animals, but being able to speak Spanish would be hugely helpful.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Thousands of stray dogs call the streets of Lima home, especially in low-income areas where many people have pet dogs, but struggle to access sterilization programs. When dogs fall pregnant they, or the pups, are often abandoned as the owners can’t afford to provide for an entire litter. Dog shelters are seen as important institutions to help manage street dogs that commonly suffer from hunger, infection and injuries, however they are not funded and rely on the help of volunteers to operate.

As an Animal Care volunteer you will assist in the daily running of non-profit dog shelters, which provide a loving home to many dogs that would otherwise be on the street. Tasks include:

  • Dog walking
  • Bathing and grooming
  • Feeding
  • Playing games
  • Administering vitamins
  • Cleaning and general upkeep of the shelter
  • Adoption campaigns to help give dogs a permanent home and free up shelter space for other dogs.
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 Lima with IVHQ?

When you volunteer with animals in Peru - Lima you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Helping stray and abandoned dogs from the streets of Lima
  • Assisting local initiatives to rehabilitate and rehome animals
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining animal care experience
  • Immersing yourself in Peruvian culture
  • Exploring the stunning mountains and ancient ruins of Peru

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
  • Volunteers aged 16-18 are required to provide IVHQ with parental consent in order to participate on the program, and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team
  • 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

CT
Chiara Teal
20 Dec 2023

This was an AMAZING EXPERIENCE. I felt so so safe. I (Female, 27) often walked around on my own at various times. Everyone is so purely grateful, the principals, teachers, students - honestly it’s overwhelming the thanks and support you get. Most of the city is in poverty like I’ve never seen before but the generosity and warmth from everyone was incredible, donate anything you can (find a dollar city store and it will cost you next to nothing) and the kids were so so eager to learn.

...
JH
Julia Harnadek
10 Aug 2023

The IVHQ preparation checklist was an excellent resource. The local coordinators were absolutely excellent I cannot sing their praise loudly enough. They consistently looked out for us, helped us in any way they possibly could, and were always kind and approachable. The dog shelter is amazing and the people there are passionate and dedicated. I really looked forward to going to my volunteer placement every day and felt that I really built relationships with the shelter dogs. I loved spending time with them, and looking after them, and I think that the local staff do an amazing job with managing the volunteers.

...
ME
Madison Ekstrom
14 Jul 2022

I realize how grateful I am for what I have. It was humbling to go to a place where there was many places without safe water or access to electricity. Take the leap. I was scared at first to travel alone to a foreign country, but I felt safe and supported from the moment I arrived in my volunteer city, and was able to enjoy the local culture through the recommendations of the local team with many of the volunteer friends I made.

...
MV
Mollie Veale
13 Jul 2022

I loved every minute of it and want to do it more regularly, trying different programs and destinations. Try it, just for a week, you won’t regret it

...
DL
Diana Lopez
21 Jul 2021

My favorite moment from my volunteer experience was meeting new people and making lifetime friendships. Go with an open mind and just experience the difference in culture.

...
MM
Michael McMahon
03 Mar 2021

IVHQ and the local team made my experience unforgettable. If you want to travel and make a difference, IVHQ will make sure you achieve these goals while your needs and safety are met.

...

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 Peru, Lima with IVHQ

Location

Lima, Peru’s capital city, is perched along the country’s Pacific coast. As the biggest city in Peru and one of the largest in South America, Lima is an important hub of culture, commerce, finance and politics. It’s also got a long history dating back to Pre-Columbian times as well as a strong Spanish influence and both of these can be explored in the many museums, art galleries, churches and ancient historical sites dotted around the city.

IVHQ’s Lima projects are set in and around the city, near the tourist hotspots of Barranco and Miraflores, wildly different in nature but both known for their beauty, great food and buzzing nightlife.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of each month and volunteers need to arrive into Lima on the day before orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee. We recommend that volunteers under the age of 18 travel internationally with a notarized letter from their parents to support their documentation.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and transported to the volunteer accommodation in Lima. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation. If you are traveling in Peru prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up in Lima on the day before your program orientation, or you can make your own way to the program site.

Orientation is hosted by our local team at the volunteer house in Lima. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date. It covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Lima – an introduction to Peru, Peruvian customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in Peru, 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

First Day

On the first day of the volunteering placement, you will be escorted to the project by our local staff and introduced to the staff at the project you will be working with.

Weekdays - A typical day would be as follows:

6:00 AM Breakfast at the volunteer house or homestay.
7:00 AM Volunteers leave home and travel to their placements.
12:30 - 1:00 PM Volunteers finish placement and return to their accommodation. You will be provided with a packed lunch to eat at your convenience.
2:00 - 6:00 PM Volunteers are free to prepare for the next day or do some shopping and sightseeing. If volunteers are taking Spanish language lessons, they will usually take these in the afternoon. Some placements may take place in the afternoon.
6:30 - 7:00 PM Dinner at the volunteer house or homestay.

Weekends

During the weekends, volunteers have spare time and usually just relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of Lima and Peru. Popular activities include paragliding from the cliffs of Miraflores, visiting the Pachacamac Ruins south of Lima, climbing to the top of the Huaca Pucllana Pyramid, surfing the coastal waters of Miraflores and Barranco, and sandboarding in Huacachina of Southwest Peru. Long weekends can be taken to travel further afield to visit other parts of Peru such as Cusco and Machu Picchu.

Looking for more ideas of things to do in Peru - Lima? Check out our Lima Travel & Tours page!

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers will either be accommodated in the main volunteer house or a homestay experience. Typically, volunteers are housed in our main facility, unless capacity is reached or you express a preference for a homestay.

Our volunteer accommodation strikes a perfect balance between independence and camaraderie. Featuring shared bedrooms and a communal area, it fosters a sociable atmosphere while a dedicated local team member is available on-site for support. It’s important to mention that volunteers will be accommodated on the third floor, while a local family resides on the floors below. We’ve had a longstanding partnership with this family since 2015, and while their presence has been warmly received by volunteers, there is often minimal interaction between volunteers and the local family due to the separation.

Each room is equipped with single bunk beds, usually shared with up to 6 volunteers of the same gender. Amenities include Wi-Fi, hot water, bedding, a fridge, and a TV in the common area for your comfort. Additionally, you have the option to upgrade to a homestay experience (shared room) for a more immersive interaction with a local Peruvian family. Please note that this incurs an additional cost. During quieter seasons, you may be accommodated without other volunteers in the homestay. Conversely, during busy seasons, a small number of volunteers may share the homestay with you.

For those seeking a quieter retreat, private single or matrimonial rooms are available as an accommodation upgrade. This option places you either in the volunteer house or in a homestay with a local host family. While preferences can be noted, room allocation cannot be guaranteed. Reservations incurs an additional cost and is subject to availability.

To ensure the safety and respect of all volunteers, our local team enforces curfews. Sunday through Thursday, there is an 11:00 PM curfew. Exceptions may be granted for special occasions if requested in advance. The curfew is explained in detail during orientation.

Meals

Volunteers are provided with three hearty meals daily, consisting of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast is offered as a self-serve, located in the volunteer kitchen, offering a variety of options such as tea, coffee, toast, local breads, fresh fruits, cereal, condiments, ham, eggs, yogurt, and cheese.

Lunch is typically served upon your return to the accommodation after your placement. Peruvian cuisine is a vibrant fusion of international flavors, influenced by Spanish, Chinese, Italian, West African, and Japanese culinary traditions. Adapted to local produce, dishes often feature a carb-rich array including pasta, rice, bread, corn, potatoes, chili peppers, and chicken.

For those staying in homestay accommodations, expect to dine as the local host family does. In Peru, it’s customary for the main meal to be served at lunchtime, often repeated in the evening, featuring traditional meat or vegetarian stews complemented by vegetables and rice. Drinkable water will be readily available throughout your stay.

Should you have any dietary restrictions or preferences, please inform us in advance, and we’ll make necessary arrangements. While we strive to accommodate your needs, we also recommend bringing extra spending money for any personal dietary snacks. As a volunteer, flexibility is key, so expect some variation from your usual dining habits.

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
1 week CA$393 Equivalent to CA$56/day
2 weeks CA$697 Equivalent to CA$50/day
3 weeks CA$1000 Equivalent to CA$48/day
4 weeks CA$1193 Equivalent to CA$43/day
5 weeks CA$1392 Equivalent to CA$40/day
6 weeks CA$1592 Equivalent to CA$38/day
8 weeks CA$2006 Equivalent to CA$36/day
10 weeks CA$2407 Equivalent to CA$34/day
12 weeks CA$2807 Equivalent to CA$33/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 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
  • Discounts on language lessons
  • Discounts on travel and tour add-ons
  • 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$470) 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, public transportation to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Lima generally find US$50 - $100 per week to be sufficient for expenses, such as snacks, in-country tours, and Spanish language lessons.
  • Anyone volunteering during the week before Christmas will have a one-off surcharge of US$70 added to their file when registering, for Christmas activities within the community.

Free-time experiences & tours in Peru

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

Lake Titicaca Tour (2 nights/1 day)
Lake Titicaca Tour (2 nights/1 day)

Prepare to be in awe of this unique landscape and surroundings on this overnight tour!

CA$200
Machu Picchu Overnight Tour  - Upgrade (2 days, 1 night)
Machu Picchu Overnight Tour - Upgrade (2 days, 1 night)

Explore Machu Picchu on an exhilarating 2-day & 1-night tour.

CA$700
Machu Picchu Tour (Full Day)
Machu Picchu Tour (Full Day)

Experience the awe-inspiring wonders of Machu Picchu in just one day without stretching your budget!

CA$534
Mini Adventure (6 days, 7 nights)
Mini Adventure (6 days, 7 nights)

See all of Peru’s major hot spots on this 1-week Mini Adventure tour.

CA$1315
Lake Titicaca Tour (2 nights/1 day)
Lake Titicaca Tour (2 nights/1 day)

Prepare to be in awe of this unique landscape and surroundings on this overnight tour!

CA$200
Rainbow Mountain - Short Trek
Rainbow Mountain - Short Trek

Enjoy a short, mountainside trek to the top of Rainbow Mountain, part of Ausangate Mountain in the Andes.

CA$84

No experiences or tours for Lima, yet...

Spanish language lessons

Spanish language lessons are available for all volunteers regardless of their ability. IVHQ strongly recommends these for all volunteers, unless they are fluent in Spanish. If volunteers have little or no Spanish ability and are volunteering for a period longer than 2 weeks, they should strongly consider these courses, so they can work and communicate with all parties more effectively during their program. These language lessons can be pre-booked by the hour via your MyIVHQ profile and the class schedule confirmed on your arrival in Lima at your program orientation. The language lessons are tailored to each volunteer’s current level of Spanish. The cost is very affordable and offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers at US$20 (approximately CA$28) per hour for a private class.

Check what's required to visit Peru

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 Lima
Population 32 million
Languages Spanish
Currency Nuevo Sol (PEN)
Time zone UTC-05:00

Weather and climate: Peru, unlike other equatorial countries, does not have an exclusively tropical climate; the influence of the Andes and the Humboldt Current causes great climatic diversity within the country. The coast has moderate temperatures, low precipitation, and high humidity, except for its warmer, wetter northern reaches. In the sierra, rain is frequent during summer, and temperature and humidity diminish with altitude up to the frozen peaks of the Andes. The jungle is characterized by heavy rainfall and high temperatures, except for its southernmost part, which has cold winters and seasonal rainfall.

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How to get started

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