Animal Care Volunteer Project in Spain - Barcelona
Want to make some four-legged friends as an Animal Care volunteer in Spain? International Volunteer HQ’s Animal Care project empowers volunteers to assist cats and dogs that have been lost or abandoned in Barcelona. Volunteers gain experience caring for animals while helping improve conditions at an overcrowded animal shelter which aims to keep animals active and healthy so they have a better chance of finding a new home.
- Programs start every second and fourth Monday of the month
- Affordable fees from CA$1342 for 2 weeks
- Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Keep rescued animals clean, fed and active
Enjoy Spain’s majestic landscapes
Stay in a modern, sustainable hostel in Barcelona
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
Animal shelters play an important role in protecting lost and abandoned animals in Barcelona, but often they can be overcrowded. Volunteers support the shelters to cope with the significant number of animals and improve conditions for the cats and dogs in residence.
As an Animal Care volunteer you will spend time with the cats and dogs with the aim of keeping them active and healthy. Your duties will vary and depending on your skills and the length of your stay but usually include:
- Walking dogs
- Playing with animals
- Giving animals time out of their enclosures
- Cleaning and grooming
- Raising awareness about animal abandonment
The long term aim of volunteering with animals is to have them ready to be adopted. That means they should be healthy and happy so local families who come into the shelter looking to adopt are interested. All dogs in the shelters are fully vaccinated.
Why do Animal Care volunteering in Barcelona with IVHQ?
When you volunteer with animals in Spain - Barcelona you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Improving the chances of cats and dogs to get rehomed
- Caring for animals that have been abandoned, lost or neglected
- Developing your communication skills
- Practicing your Spanish
- Gaining animal care experience
- Immersing yourself in the Spanish way of life
- Discovering Spain’s vibrant culture and history
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 speak fluent English, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ before departure.
Spain photo gallery
”I had such a great week in Barcelona on the Animal Care project. The people I met were so lovely and I have made some really great friends. I really enjoyed the project and it was great to see how much our help was appreciated. I enjoyed gaining new experiences with the new friends I made and seeing how our efforts benefited the project. I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone!! Just be open minded and enjoy the experience.”
Read reviews from Animal Care volunteers in BarcelonaSee more reviews
Catalonia is a region in northern Spain with its own distinct culture. Barcelona is its capital and melds millennia of history with modern life in a way that creates a vivid, stylish city with a vibrant atmosphere. It’s rich with the art and architecture of Gaudi and Picasso; home to FC Barcelona - one of the world’s best football teams; loaded with remnants of its ancient Roman past; stacked with beautiful beaches and parks and known for its mouth-watering cuisine. The IVHQ Spain volunteer program in Barcelona hosts a popular range of meaningful volunteer work. The dedicated local team supports volunteers 24/7 as they’re immersed in local life, helping you to develop an authentic understanding of this iconic destination. Volunteer placements are located throughout the wider city area of Barcelona. Some placements are up to a 90-minute commute, which can be on different means of public transport.
Arrival and orientation
The program orientation begins on the second and fourth Monday of every month, and volunteers need to arrive in Barcelona on the Sunday before orientation.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN). 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 transported via Metro to the volunteer accommodation. Your accommodation is covered by your program fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are traveling in Spain prior to your volunteer program and arriving overland, we will provide you with a time and place to meet the local team in Barcelona on the day before your program orientation.
Orientation is hosted by our Spain team in Barcelona. 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 Spain – an introduction to Spain and Barcelona, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, an introduction to project and placement as well as a tour of the local area and a basic Spanish language lesson. The orientation will also give you a chance to sign up for additional Spanish language lessons and to meet other volunteers with whom you can swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing .
Volunteer schedule example
After the initial orientation, you will have a morning, afternoon or evening shift at your placement and will work for approximately 3 to 5 hours per day. Please note that start times and daily workload depends on the specific project that you are participating on.
A typical daily schedule is as follows:
|8:00 AM||Breakfast at the volunteer accommodation.|
|9:00 AM||Volunteers with a morning shift travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on their project.|
|1:00 - 3:30 PM||Lunch is served at the 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.|
|8:00 - 10:00 PM||Dinner at the volunteer accommodation. After dinner you will have the remainder of the evening free to relax and use as you wish.|
On your free weekends in Spain, visit Gaudi’s unfinished yet still iconic La Sagrada Familia church, catch a football match, try a local paella, sunbathe on an incredible beach or wander the streets of Les Ramblas to Barcelona’s city center.
Volunteers staying for longer durations, or who wish to travel before or after their program, can visit areas further afield in Spain including; Granada, Valencia, Madrid and many other places. Volunteers can make travel arrangements once in Barcelona, with the advice and guidance of our local team.
Accommodation and WiFi
Volunteers in Spain are accommodated in a dormitory-style hostel close to the airport and about 45 minutes from the city center of Barcelona.
You can expect to share a room with between three to nine other volunteers of the same gender. Every volunteer will have access to their own locker to store valuables and other personal belongings. The hostel has shared bathrooms equipped with western toilets and showers. Bedding and towels are provided for each volunteer.
Volunteers can also enjoy a shared living room, a small library, and a pool during the summer months. There are staff who clean the accommodation throughout the week; however, volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy.
WiFi is available in the volunteer accommodation and can be accessed from many cafes and restaurants in the area. A local SIM card with data can also be purchased for unlocked phones.
Private rooms in the hostel with shared or private bathrooms can be arranged upon request for an additional cost, subject to availability.
Volunteers are provided with breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day.
Breakfast is self-serve at the volunteer accommodation and includes fruit, bread, jam, cereal, milk, tea, and coffee. Lunch and dinner are provided in the accommodation according to a fixed menu. Meals will include pasta, rice, meat, seafood, vegetable and salad dishes as well as some typical Spanish dishes.
Volunteers who wish to spend the day in the city and require a packed lunch can request this the day prior.
Tap water is fine to drink in Spain; however, bottled water is readily available if you prefer and you should budget approximately US$5 (approximately CA$6) 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$1339 Equivalent to CA$96/day|
|3 weeks||CA$1866 Equivalent to CA$89/day|
|4 weeks||CA$2392 Equivalent to CA$86/day|
|5 weeks||CA$2919 Equivalent to CA$84/day|
|6 weeks||CA$3446 Equivalent to CA$83/day|
|8 weeks||CA$4499 Equivalent to CA$81/day|
|10 weeks||CA$5552 Equivalent to CA$80/day|
|12 weeks||CA$6606 Equivalent to CA$79/day|
- 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$389 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 transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Spain generally find US$80 to be sufficient for weekly expenses including transportation and miscellaneous spending.
- Please note: You will need to budget an extra US$10 per night for the Barcelona City Tax, paid directly to the accommodation upon arrival.
Language lessons in Barcelona
Spanish language lessons are available for all volunteers in Spain regardless of their ability. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these lessons to allow them to work and communicate more effectively during their program. The language lessons are organized upon arrival in Spain during the program orientation. The language lessons are tailored to each volunteer’s current level of Spanish and are taught by professional Spanish teachers. Classes run Monday through Friday, the cost is very affordable and offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers. Spanish lessons must be paid for once in Spain to our local team and prices are available upon request after you have registered for the program.
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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: Being such a large country, the climate of Spain is very varied. Barcelona and its metropolitan area has a Mediterranean climate, with mild winters and hot summers. Its average annual temperature is 21.2 °C (70.2 °F) during the day and 15.1 °C (59.2 °F) at night. In the coldest month, January, the temperature ranges from 12 to 18 °C (54 to 64 °F) during the day and 6 to 12 °C (43 to 54 °F) at night. In the warmest month – August, the temperature ranges from 28 to 32 °C (82 to 90 °F) during the day and about from 20 to 24 °C (68 to 75 °F) at night. Large fluctuations in temperature are very rare.