Animal Care Volunteer Project in Portugal - Lisbon
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.
- Programs start every Monday
- Affordable fees from $615 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, meals, orientation and 24/7 support
Care for rescued dogs and cats and help them find new homes
Discover Lisbon’s stunning natural environment
Stay in a sustainable hostel only a short walk from the beach
This program is ideal for:
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.
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 Portugese culture
- Exploring Portugal’s natural environment
Volunteers need to be 18 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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Portugal photo gallery
Academic course credit
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”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 tr...ip! 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.” read more
Read reviews from Animal Care volunteers in LisbonSee more reviews
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. 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
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.|
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.
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. 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 $264 (approximately $264). 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.
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. 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 $10 (approximately $10) a 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.
|1 week||$615 Equivalent to $88/day|
|2 weeks||$937 Equivalent to $67/day|
|3 weeks||$1,259 Equivalent to $60/day|
|4 weeks||$1,581 Equivalent to $56/day|
|5 weeks||$1,903 Equivalent to $54/day|
|6 weeks||$2,225 Equivalent to $53/day|
|8 weeks||$2,869 Equivalent to $51/day|
|10 weeks||$3,568 Equivalent to $51/day|
|12 weeks||$4,212 Equivalent to $50/day|
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 on Lisbon based projects and on the Wildlife 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.
Portuguese language lessons
Portuguese language lessons are available to all Lisbon-based volunteers, regardless of your Portuguese language ability. Volunteers are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these lessons to allow you to work and communicate more effectively during your program.
If you would like to sign up for the language lessons, simply let your Program Manager know and they will be happy to help you arrange them. The language lessons are tailored to each volunteer’s current level of Portuguese and are taught by a professional Portuguese language teacher. Classes run Monday through Friday, the cost is very affordable and offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers. They are paid for prior to your arrival and the local team will help you arrange a suitable time to complete your lessons during your program orientation.
|10 Hours:||$315 (approximately $315)|
|20 Hours:||$630 (approximately $630)|
|30 Hours:||$943 (approximately $943)|
|40 Hours:||$1258 (approximately $1258)|
|50 Hours:||$1571 (approximately $1571)|
Please note, Portuguese lessons are held at the Lisbon accommodation and are not available to volunteers on the Wolf Conservation project.
Check what's required to visit Portugal
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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.
Essential country information
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.