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Animal Care Volunteer Project in Portugal - Lisbon

Animal Care Volunteer Project in Portugal - Lisbon

Purpose
Care for & rehome abandoned animals
Start dates
Programs start every Monday
Duration
Choose from 1-12 weeks
Volunteer hours
Up to 5 hours per day
Age
Volunteers aged 16+
Accommodation
Dormitory-style hostel
Program fees
From CA$1020 for 1 week
What's included
Find out here
Apply for free
'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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This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who love working with dogs and cats and are interested in animal welfare. You’ll be working closely with local placement staff so no animal care experience is necessary.

Project details

Want to support local animal shelters as an Animal Care volunteer in Portugal? International Volunteer HQ’s Animal Care project is a great way for volunteers to help look after and re-home dogs and cats that have been abandoned or lost in Lisbon. Volunteers gain experience caring for animals in a garden sanctuary, while helping keep animals active and healthy so they have a better chance of finding a new home.

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Volunteers on the Animal Care project assist shelters to support the welfare and protection of abandoned dogs and cats in a local protected garden. The garden provides a natural environment in which dogs and cats can be free, while also protected, and aims to make sure that the they are happy, healthy, with the ultimate goal of being adopted into loving homes.

The main goals of these animal shelters is to protect the animals and provide them with medical treatment and companionship. They also aim to raise awareness around animal abandonment and reduce future abandonment rates by organizing adoption events in which you may have the opportunity to partake in.

Daily tasks can include, but are not limited to:

  • Feeding the dogs and cats
  • Playing and socializing with them
  • Cleaning cages and kennels
  • General maintenance of the garden
  • Assisting with basic medical treatments
  • Supporting adoption events and contributing to communications campaigns in support of the shelters

You do not require any experience to join this project, but patience and a love for animals is essential. All of the dogs and cats housed in the shelters are fully vaccinated.

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 Lisbon with IVHQ?

As an Animal Care volunteer in Portugal you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Improving the chances of dogs and cats to get rehomed
  • Caring for animals that have been abandoned, lost, or neglected
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining animal care experience
  • Immersing yourself in Portuguese culture
  • Exploring Portugal’s natural environment

Volunteer requirements

Volunteers need to be 16 years or over to participate in this program. All volunteers are required to speak fluent English, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ before departure.

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

YX
Yuhan Xu
29 Apr 2024

During my trip to Lisbon, I had the chance to meet people from various countries and professions. Interacting with them helped me gain clarity on my post-graduation aspirations. Moreover, I conquered my fear of dogs by volunteering at an animal shelter. Previously, whenever a dog barked, I'd instinctively scream and flee. Yet, with the encouragement of shelter staff, I started approaching, petting, playing, and understanding these dogs' backgrounds.

...
BC
Beatrice Clover
10 Apr 2024

It was so easy to communicate with IVHQ and I liked the guidance and reminders they provided as I prepared. The team in Portugal were really really helpful and supportive. I felt like if I needed anything I could easily go to them for help or questions. I feel like I made a difference to the dogs I was working with. I also felt my confidence grew so much and as a person in general from meeting new people, cultures and experiences. I would definitely recommend it to people and say that you can't go in with any expectations - embrace as much as you can.

...
AM
Agshana Muraleetharan
08 Apr 2024

I have never been in a hostel before but can confidently say I had the best experience living in one for two weeks. I’ve become a more well rounded person and I can say I have volunteered abroad and would definitely do it again.

...
SW
Sophie Williams
15 Jan 2024

I learned something about the culture in Lisbon/Portugal but I also learned about the cultures of the other volunteers I met while staying in Portugal. To anyone who is hesitant about joining the program, I would tell them to not be afraid to work hard, the work would be easy if they didn’t NEED volunteers but the projects desperately do need help, its not just a holiday, its work.

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HW
Hope Williams
24 Mar 2023

IVHQ did an incredible in preparing me for this experience and the local team were great and always available to answer my questions. I loved the project and really felt like in my own small way I was making a contribution. One of my favourite moments was when I had a beautiful cat jump on my lap and fall asleep. This program has inspired me to do another trip! I want to continue to give back and do another volunteer trip soon. It is a great way to contribute while at the same time push yourself out of your comfort zone. Dong the trip by myself was hard but once I did it, I knew I wanted to do it again. It feels wonderful to travel independently and meet new people while giving back to a cause I care about.

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RT
Riley Thompson
09 Dec 2022

The ability to ask questions with someone from IVHQ when preparing for the trip was great and super beneficial for making the planning of the trip as easy as possible. The support of the local team was amazing and always there if you needed any questions asked. Being able to get up close and interact with the animals in the wildlife park was my favourite moment on the program. Meeting and forming connections with so many great people from all over the world had a massive impact on me. There's definitely something there for everyone so if you are thinking about volunteering, I'd recommend giving it a good consideration!

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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

Location

Volunteer Abroad in Portugal with IVHQ

Location

The IVHQ Portugal Program is located in and around Lisbon - the capital and largest city in Portugal. It’s a veritable treasure trove of history, culture, breathtaking scenery, exciting nightlife, gorgeous beaches and great places to eat and drink.

Portugal and Lisbon have risen from poverty only this century, so while it is a fantastic and affordable destination to visit, local communities are still facing the lingering effects of previously being one of the poorest countries in Western Europe. Volunteers can have an impact on these communities by supporting local initiatives which aim to improve the lives of Lisbon’s residents and make sure they have access to all of life’s basic necessities.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins every Monday, and volunteers need to arrive in Lisbon the day before their orientation.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Lisbon Airport (LIS). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee, however, if you arrive outside of Sunday between 9:00AM - 9:00PM, your pick-up will incur an extra cost of US$65. Volunteers under the age of 18 are required to travel with written consent from both parents or guardians in order to enter Portugal. Volunteers under the age of 18 who require a pre-arranged visa will also need their visa application to be signed by a parent or guardian.

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

If you are traveling in Portugal prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a prearranged location in Lisbon on the day before your program orientation.

Orientation is hosted by our Portugal team at the accommodation. 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 Portugal – an introduction to Portugal, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, an introduction to project and placement as well as a tour of the local area. The orientation will also give you a chance to sign up for Portuguese language lessons if you’re on a Lisbon based project, and to meet other volunteers with whom you can swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.

Volunteer schedule example

Weekdays

You will have a morning, afternoon or evening shift at your placement and will work for approximately 3 to 6 hours per day. Please note that start times and daily workloads depend on the project that you are participating on.

8:00 - 10:00 AM Breakfast is available at the volunteer accommodation
8:30 AM Travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your project.
1:00 - 3:00 PM Lunch is served at the accommodation or at your placement. After lunch, you will continue your volunteer work.
2:30 PM Volunteers with afternoon or evening shifts travel to placement and begin work on their project.
7:00 - 9:00 PM Dinner at the volunteer accommodation. After dinner you will have the remainder of the evening free to relax and use as you wish.

Weekends

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

Explore the old city of Lisbon and get yourself lost in the small alleys that are seeped with music and delicious food. Be sure to try the local pastry - pastel de nata and listen to traditional folklore music - fado. Lisbon is a vibrant city with many cultural and music events, you can’t possibly be bored here. If it’s nature you’re looking for - it has that too! Sintra Natural Park is only a short drive away and boasts wonderful castles and palaces. Come for a day trip to Arrabida beach and try the well-known local wines.

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

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers on Lisbon based projects will be accommodated in a dormitory-style hostel with other volunteers in Estoril which is a 5 minute walk from the beach. You can expect to share a room with between 3 - 13 other volunteers of the same gender however, male volunteers may share mixed-gender rooms with other guests if the male dormitory room reaches capacity.

Bedding and towels are provided, and there are shared western bathrooms however, they are not separated by gender. Staff will clean the accommodation throughout the week, however volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy. Please note that there is a 10:00 PM curfew in place at the hostel for volunteers under the age of 18.

WiFi is available at the volunteer accommodation, as well as 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 double rooms in the hostel, with the use of the communal bathrooms, are available at an additional cost of US$384 (approximately CA$555). These can be purchased as an add-on via your MyIVHQ account once you have registered for the Portugal program. All accommodation upgrades are subject to availability.

Volunteers travel to their placements from the volunteer accommodation via public transport or by foot.

Meals

Portuguese food is delicious and during your time in Portugal, you will be sure to receive some incredible treats.

Most volunteers are provided with three meals a day. Breakfast is self-serve at the accommodation and generally includes tea, coffee, bread, cheese, ham, spreads, cereal, yoghurt, and fruit. Twice a week, you will have the opportunity to enjoy Portuguese food. Lunch and dinner usually include local staples such as fish and chicken, as well as rice, pasta, vegetables, and salad. If your placement requires you to be away from the accommodation during lunch or dinner, these will be provided at your placement or you will take a packed meal.

Tap water is fine to drink in Portugal, however, bottled water is readily available if you prefer and you should budget approximately US$10 (approximately CA$14) a week for this.

Pricing

  • USD

Spots are limited. For a Registration Fee of just US$329 (approximately CA$476) 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.

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 $705 Equivalent to $101/day
2 weeks $1,065 Equivalent to $76/day
3 weeks $1,425 Equivalent to $68/day
4 weeks $1,785 Equivalent to $64/day
5 weeks $2,155 Equivalent to $62/day
6 weeks $2,525 Equivalent to $60/day
8 weeks $3,265 Equivalent to $58/day
10 weeks $4,005 Equivalent to $57/day
12 weeks $4,745 Equivalent to $56/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately CA$476) 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 on Lisbon based projects and on the Biological Park Conservation project generally find US$65 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses. For those on the Wolf Conservation project, we recommend a weekly budget of US$150.
  • 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 Lisbon

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

Language Lessons
Language Lessons

Enhance your Portuguese language proficiency at the most affordable rate while volunteering in Portugal.

From CA$455

Check what's required to visit Portugal

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 Lisbon
Population 10.46 million
Languages Portuguese
Currency Euro (EUR)
Time zone UTC+00:00

Weather and climate: Lisbon has a Mediterranean climate with dry hot summers and mild winters. During winter, from December to February, temperatures are mild and vary from 8°C to 14°C (46°F to 57°F). Summer, from June to September, is dry and hot with temperatures ranging between 18°C and 29°C (64°F and 84°F). Rainfall is heaviest in December/January and driest in July/August.

Apply to check if you're eligible!

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How to get started

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Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
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