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Animal Care Volunteer Project in Croatia - Split

Animal Care Volunteer Project in Croatia - Split

Ready to make some four-legged friends as an Animal Care volunteer in Croatia? International Volunteer HQ’s Animal Care project is a great way for volunteers to help improve life and conditions for abandoned cats and dogs in overcrowded animal shelters in the seaside town of Split. Volunteers gain experience caring for the health and wellbeing of animals while giving them time, love, and the best chance of getting adopted.

  • Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
  • Affordable fees from $1100 for 2 weeks
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Care for, feed and play with abandoned cats and dogs

  • Enjoy the picturesque beaches of Split, Croatia

  • Stay in a fun, comfortable, modern hostel

'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.

Key information

Care for & rehome abandoned animals
Based at animal shelters in Split
Dormitory-style hostel accommodation
Volunteers aged 18+
Fully hosted experience from $1100 for 2 weeks
Durations from 2 - 12 weeks
Discover the Mediterranean coast
Up to 4 hours volunteering per day

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who are passionate about animals and animal rights. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about animal welfare in a different country while being part of a team that shares the same passion as you.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Animal shelters play an important role in Croatia, helping to rescue a large number of cats and dogs that are abandoned by their families. These shelters are often overcrowded and volunteers play an important role in caring and playing with the animals, promoting their health, wellbeing, socialization and giving them the best chance of finding a loving home.

As an Animal Care volunteer you’ll help local staff with routine daily tasks and raise community awareness about animal abandonment. Day-to-day duties include:

  • Playing with dogs and cats and following their progress
  • Walking the dogs in surrounding areas
  • Helping care for the animals: bathe, brush and observe the behavior of dogs and cats
  • Helping the staff with maintenance and cleaning tasks
  • Taking care of all areas of the shelter: green areas, animal enclosures and public spaces
  • Creating new entertaining spaces and toys for dogs and cats
  • Creating recreational spaces where visitors can relax and enjoy quality time with the animals while petting them
  • Creating a more familiar environment and community - welcoming and informative
  • Helping prepare and create innovative and beneficial events in the shelter and outside
  • Suggest innovative ideas to the organization that will directly or indirectly help in their mission to help animals
  • Taking pictures in different events and at the shelter

All animals housed in the shelter 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 Split with IVHQ?

While volunteering with animals in Croatia you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Giving abandoned animals a brighter future
  • Helping animals get along with people
  • Learning or practicing Croatian
  • Gaining animal care experience
  • Immersing yourself fully in Croatian culture
  • Exploring the picturesque coast of Split

Volunteer requirements

Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate on this program. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.

All volunteers must have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a recent criminal background check.

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

Not sure which program to join?

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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.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

Jenna Austin
22 Mar 2024

The experience was very welcoming and helped me grow as an individual.

Katie Woolley
27 Feb 2024

I have no complaints about the volunteering process with IVHQ. They made it so easy, with support offered throughout and useful tools and guides to ensure you are fully prepared for the experience and can get the most out of it. I would definitely recommend IVHQ to anyone looking to volunteer as I found the whole experience incredibly rewarding and it feels great to know I have made a difference and helped a good cause. I learnt so much while there and feel like it has really improved my confidence by pushing me out of my comfort zone and allowing me to do things I never thought I would be able to do before! I am so glad I took part in this volunteering experience and would definitely encourage others to do the same!

Sandra Lofton
04 Oct 2023

I was a bit anxious before I left. I had never travelled solo on an international trip nor stayed in a hostel before. From the moment I got to the destination I felt welcome, supported and safe. I am glad of the timing of my trip, being the start of "off-season", provided a quieter and less crowded environment at the hostel. Being considerably older than those I shared a room with I was grateful for the quiet. To those hesitant about joining the program, I would say "go for it"!

Liz Stockel
30 Aug 2023

I really enjoyed the experience as a whole. As an older volunteer my advice would be to just go for it, keep an open mind and enjoy the opportunities that are presented.

Neve Boundy
12 May 2022

This was such an amazing experience! I was worried that I was going to be alone at first but I ended up meeting so many amazing people and we became friends straight away. I’m so glad that I did this, I wish I could’ve stayed longer!

Mai Elhaggar
03 Nov 2021

If you’re new to volunteering, just like I was, IVHQ is definitely the right choice and the best decision I’ve ever made! Every single detail was taken care of, from the volunteer work itself, to the accommodation. I already can’t wait for next summer so I can volunteer again!


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 Split, Croatia with IVHQ


The IVHQ Croatia volunteer program is based in Split, a vibrant seaside spot on the Mediterranean coast and the second largest city in Croatia. ​This is a golden opportunity to volunteer in Europe in a place high up on every traveler’s bucket list. Split is a popular tourist hub because of its scenic ocean views, rich culture and authentic Croatian feel.

Volunteer placements are located in and around Split with the Marine Conservation project based in Omiš. While Split is a well developed city, it does have pockets of under-served communities, social and environmental issues and local initiatives that need volunteer help. By choosing to volunteer here, you’ll be supporting community-led projects that focus on providing opportunities to improve the livelihoods and wellbeing of the local community.

Arrival and orientation

The Croatia volunteer program begins on the first and third Monday of every month, and you need to arrive in Split on the Sunday before your chosen start date.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Split International Airport (SPU).Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee, however, if you arrive outside of Sunday between 9:00AM - 10:00PM, your pick-up will incur an extra cost of US$65.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation, approximately 40 minutes away. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.

If you are traveling in Croatia prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a meeting point in Split on the Sunday before your program start date. You are also free to make your own way to the volunteer accommodation.

On Monday, orientation is hosted by our local team in Croatia and runs for a full day. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Croatia – an introduction to Croatia, Croatian customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in Croatia, 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


A volunteer day is subject to change depending on your specific project and placement. ​A typical daily schedule​ might be as follows:

8:00 - 10:00 AM Breakfast is served at the restaurant next door to volunteer accommodation.
9:00 AM Volunteers with a morning shift travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your project.
12:00 - 2:30 PM Lunch is served at the restaurant next door to volunteer 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.
7:30 - 9.00 PM Dinner at the restaurant next door to volunteer accommodation. After dinner you will have the remainder of the evening free to relax and use as you wish.


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

Croatia has a wondrous history and culture, paired with beautiful coastline and nature. You can spend a weekend traveling across the country - visit the popular Klis fortress that is only a short drive from Split, or spend the day in nature surrounded by waterfalls in Krka National Park or Plitvice National Park. If you are looking for an adventurous activity, try rafting down the river in Dalmatian hinterlands, or sea-kayaking the beautiful see-through Adriatic Sea. There is so much to see and explore, and nothing is far away in Croatia!

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

Accommodation and WiFi

Volunteers are accommodated in a dormitory-style hostel located in central Split, about a 10 minute walk from the city center. The nearest bus station is about a 5 minute walk from the hostel and there is a restaurant, local coffee shops, pizzeria, supermarket, pharmacy, ATM and other utilities also within a 5 minute walking distance from the hostel.

The hostel is separated into 3 different dormitories which are usually arranged by gender, however at busy times shared-gender dorms are also utilised. You can, therefore, expect to share a room with up to 7 other people. Every volunteer will have access to their own locker to store valuables and other personal belongings, free WiFi and air conditioning. Volunteers also have access to a dining room and lounge area. There is also a kitchen available that volunteers can use with fridges, microwaves and basic utensils.

The hostel has shared bathrooms, separated by gender, equipped with western toilets and showers. Bedding and towels are provided for each volunteer. Local staff do clean the accommodation throughout the week, though volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy.

A private room upgrade in Split is available upon request and is subject to availability. The private rooms are located within a 20 minute walk of the hostel and are self-catered. Volunteers staying in a private room will also have lunch and dinner included in the partner restaurant but breakfast is not provided in the accommodation.


Volunteers are provided with breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Breakfast is self-served at the volunteer accommodation and includes cereals, butter, marmalade, cream cheese, ham, milk, coffee and bread. Lunch and dinner are also provided in the restaurant and volunteers can choose from a variety of options.

Tap water is safe to drink in Croatia and while we encourage volunteers to bring a reusable drink bottle to minimize the consumption of single-use plastics, bottled water is readily available if you prefer. You should budget approximately $5 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 $1,100 Equivalent to $79/day
3 weeks $1,510 Equivalent to $72/day
4 weeks $1,920 Equivalent to $69/day
5 weeks $2,330 Equivalent to $67/day
6 weeks $2,740 Equivalent to $65/day
8 weeks $3,560 Equivalent to $64/day
10 weeks $4,380 Equivalent to $63/day
12 weeks $5,200 Equivalent to $62/day
  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately $329) 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 in Croatia generally find US$80 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses.
  • 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 Split

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

In-person Language Lessons
In-person Language Lessons

Improve your Croatian language skills at the most affordable rate while volunteering in Croatia.

From $31
Online Language Lessons
Online Language Lessons

Improve your Croatian language skills at the most affordable rate while volunteering in Croatia.

From $31

Check what's required to visit Croatia

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 Zagreb
Population 4.7 million
Languages Croatian
Currency Croatian Kuna (HRK)
Time zone UTC+02:00

Weather and climate

The Adriatic coast of Croatia, where our volunteer program is based, enjoys a Mediterranean climate of cool, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. Temperatures in Split range from 41°F to 50°F (5°C to 10°C) in winter and 79°F to 86°F (26°C to 30°C) in the summer, which runs from June to August.

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How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!