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Animal Care Volunteer Project in Barcelona - Spain

Apply now. The next available start date for this project is Jan 10, 2022

Animal shelters play an important role in protecting lost and abandoned animals in Barcelona, but often they can be overcrowded. As a volunteer on this project, you’ll support the shelters to cope with the significant number of animals and improve the conditions for these cats and dogs.

Volunteer support is crucial in playing with the cats and dogs to keep them active and healthy, so they can be adopted or re-integrated with local families. Your core role is to walk and play with animals so they have time out of their enclosures each day. You can also help with cleaning, feeding and raising awareness in the community about animal abandonment.

Animal Care volunteer in Barcelona, Spain with IVHQ

The long term aim of volunteering with animals is to have them ready to be adopted. That means they should be healthy, happy and appealing for local families who come into the shelter looking to adopt.

You will be working alongside local volunteers as well as shelter staff to support their day-to-day tasks. Your duties will vary and depending on your skills and the length of your stay.

All dogs in the shelters are fully vaccinated. This project has a minimum duration requirement of 2 weeks.

Apply now
Apply now
Project Highlights
What you need to know
  • Affordable fees from $1030 for 2 weeks
  • Volunteer in animal shelters for abandoned and rescued cats and dogs

  • Help to keep the animals fed, active and clean

  • Suited to enthusiastic volunteers who like working with animals

  • Minimum duration requirement of 2 weeks

  • Volunteering for up to 4 hours per day

Destination Highlights
Spain at a glance
  • Based in the bustling Spanish city of Barcelona

  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support

  • Accommodation in a dormitory-style volunteer hostel

  • Between 5 and 15 volunteers start in Spain each month

Fill out the quick form below to find out what the Covid-19 restrictions and visa requirements are for Spain, based on your country of residence.

The IVHQ Spain volunteer program is located in Barcelona, the capital city of Spain’s Catalonia region.

Barcelona is coastal city with a vibrant atmosphere and 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.

The Spain volunteer program begins on the second and fourth Monday of every month. Volunteers can choose to volunteer in Spain for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks. The Youth Support and Special Needs Support projects have a minimum duration requirement of 2 weeks.

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 – Introduction to Spain and Barcelona, Culture and Customs, Rules and Expectations, Safety, Travel Opportunities, 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.

Weekdays: 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 your project.

12.00 - 2:00 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.

Please note this schedule will vary depending on the needs of your particular project.

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 is 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 three meals per day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). 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, just need to 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 $5 per week for this.

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.
2 weeks $1,030 Equivalent to $74/day
3 weeks $1,435 Equivalent to $69/day
4 weeks $1,840 Equivalent to $66/day
5 weeks $2,245 Equivalent to $65/day
6 weeks $2,650 Equivalent to $64/day
8 weeks $3,460 Equivalent to $62/day
10 weeks $4,270 Equivalent to $61/day
12 weeks $5,080 Equivalent to $61/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
  • Certificate of International Volunteering

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of $299 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 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.

Volunteers have the weekends free and there is no shortage of great things to see and do in Barcelona and throughout Spain! History, art, culture, cuisine and natural beauty - Spain has it all! As a volunteer in Spain, you can fill your free time in Barcelona visiting the many historical sites and attractions, swimming and sunbathing at the incredible beaches and dining on local delicacies such as Paella.

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 so much more! Volunteers can make travel arrangements once in Barcelona, with the advice and guidance of our local team.

See our Spain Travel and Tours page for more volunteer travel options in Spain!

Capital Madrid
Population 46.7 Million
Languages Spanish
Currency Euro (EUR)
Time zone UTC+01:00

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, typically 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 typically 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.

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 page to learn more.

Volunteers must speak fluent English or Spanish. Volunteers must have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a recent criminal background check. Marine Conservation volunteers must provide a recent medical certificate or doctor’s note showing medical clearance for diving. Volunteers on the Creative Technologies project must have a minimum of 2 years training and/or professional experience in website development, graphic design, videography or photography.

Spanish is not a prerequisite for volunteering on the IVHQ Spain program, however we recommend volunteers take advantage of the highly affordable Spanish lessons offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers by our local team in Spain.

Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.

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!