Animal Care Volunteer Project in Thailand - Chiang Rai
Want to do your part to care for abandoned dogs and cats in Thailand? International Volunteer HQ’s Animal Care project is a chance for volunteers to care for these neglected, lost and/or injured animals in Chiang Rai. Volunteers gain experience caring for animals, including helping keep animals active and healthy so they have a better chance of finding a new home. Please note that the work can sometimes be difficult and emotionally challenging, so please be prepared for this.
- Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
- Affordable fees from $495 for 1 week
- Includes accommodation, meals, orientation and 24/7 support
Care for animals that have been injured, neglected, or abandoned
Discover Thailand’s lush jungles and stunning beaches
Stay with other volunteers in a village of rustic huts
This program is ideal for:
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
As an Animal Care volunteer in Thailand, you will assist the local staff to support the welfare and protection of abandoned dogs and cats in a local gated 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 animals are happy and healthy. The goal is for the animals to get adopted into loving homes or be returned to their owners.
The Animal Care program has a broad range of work. Please keep in mind that it can be very difficult and emotionally challenging, so you will need to be prepared to be working with animals that may have been neglected or abused.
At times, local working methods can be different to what you are used to in your home country. As such, flexibility, patience, and a desire to understand is essential.
Daily tasks can include, but are not limited to:
- Feeding the dogs and cats (including strays)
- Playing and socializing with the animals
- Cleaning cages and kennels
- General maintenance of the garden
- Assisting with basic medical treatments, such as flea/tick drops and vaccinations
- Animal bathing and grooming
- Case research, review, and transfer to vet for assessment/treatment
- Community working, including grooming and bathing clinics, applying flea and tick drops
- Supporting vaccination and sterilization events
- Contributing to communication / marketing, and social media campaigns for events
- Contributing to fundraising campaigns for specific cases or events
Volunteers staying for more than 1 week will go on at least one overnight homestay, working on a project whilst generally staying in a hilltribe village. Those who are taking part long term go on an overnight homestay every second and fourth week of the month, unless advised otherwise. Homestay locations are work related, and the locations change regularly.
Please note: There is an additional US$50 per week surcharge to cover resources such as: animal food, vaccinations and medical treatment of the animals. This is included in your Program Fee that will be quoted to you in your Acceptance Email.
Why do Animal Care volunteering in Chiang Rai with IVHQ?
When you volunteer at this animal shelter in Thailand, you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Helping care for and re-home abandoned animals
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining experience caring for animals
- Immersing yourself in Thai culture
- Discovering the amazing, natural environment of Chiang Rai
- Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program and may be asked to provide additional documentation to the local team
- All volunteers aged 13+ are required to provide a criminal background check to IVHQ prior to departure. Those aged 13-17, if unable to obtain a criminal background check, can provide two character reference letters instead
- All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance
- All volunteers must speak fluent English.
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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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
Chiang Rai is a city in the northernmost province of Thailand renowned for its beautiful mountain scenery, historic sites and authentic Thai atmosphere. It’s a great spot for those wanting to get off the beaten path and experience Thailand in a more relaxed manner than you might do in the bustling capital city of Bangkok or the popular islands of the south.
While Thailand is considered a reasonably well-developed country with low rates of extreme poverty and unemployment, there is an enormous socio-economic disparity between the wealthy and the rest of the population. Volunteers provide valuable assistance with improving conditions for low-income communities and contribute to local initiatives that help Thailand continue to develop and reduce inequalities. Volunteer placements are located near the volunteer headquarters in Chiang Rai and in the hills with local hill tribes.
Arrival and orientation
The Thailand volunteer program begins on the first and third Monday of each month, and you need to arrive in Chiang Rai before 5pm on Monday.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Mae Fah Luang-Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI). 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 to the volunteer accommodation a short drive from Chiang Rai. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night of your program orientation.
If you are traveling in Thailand prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a meeting point in Chiang Rai at 11am on the Monday morning.
On Monday, you’ll spend the day resting, meeting other volunteers and the local team. Orientation is hosted by our local team at the office in Chiang Rai. Orientation begins on the Tuesday morning after your chosen start date and runs for the entire day. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Thailand – an introduction to Thailand, Thai customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities in Thailand, 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
Weekdays: A volunteer day is subject to change depending on your particular project and placement and the time of year that you are volunteering. A typical daily schedule might be as follows:
|8:00 AM||Breakfast at the volunteer accommodation|
|8:30 AM||Morning meeting for all volunteers|
|9:00 - 11:30 AM||Volunteer work begins. Work and hours are dependent on the project and placement that each volunteer is working at. Lunch breaks vary in time depending on the working schedule, but all volunteers get an hour to eat and relax|
|1:00 PM||Volunteer work continues|
|5:00 PM||Dinner at the volunteer accommodation|
|6:00 PM||Volunteers have free time to spend as they wish; however, many volunteers use this time to plan lessons or do extra work for their projects|
Weekends: As the working week runs from Tuesday to Saturday, Sunday and Monday are considered the weekend for volunteers on the Thailand program. During the weekends, volunteers have spare time and usually just relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of Chiang Rai and Thailand.
In Chiang Rai alone you can visit Wat Rong Khun, the breathtakingly ornate White Temple; see Wat Phra Kaew, the original home of the famous Emerald Buddha which now resides in Bangkok; or do some shopping and sample the fabulous food at the daily Night Bazaar or at the Walking Street Market during the weekend where a whole street closes to traffic to accommodate stalls and stands. It’s also a great place to go cycling, take a hike or learn about the region’s long and rich history and diverse culture. Other parts of Thailand offer spectacular scenery and wildlife, phenomenal beaches and an amazing selection of adventure and relaxation activities.
Accommodation and WiFi
Dependent on when volunteers arrive to the program, the accommodation will differ:
- If volunteers arrive during normal working hours on Monday, as noted in the arrival details above, they will have one night stay at The Mirror Foundation site. This is a good chance to exchange numbers with those who may be on the Outdoor Work and Childcare project, so you can meet up during the weekends.
- If volunteers arrive after 5pm, the local Animal Care staff will collect volunteers upon their arrival and take them directly to the work placement and their accommodation.
The living conditions are basic and volunteers should be prepared to have cold running water and bucket showers. Mattresses are provided in the form of traditional Thai mattresses which are usually placed on the floor - these are much thinner than Western style mattresses and do take a bit of getting used to. You may find that you will need a sleeping bag or duvet (you can always purchase these in country) to provide some cushioning if you find them uncomfortable. Basic bedding is provided in the form of a sheet and pillow.
Please keep in mind that the volunteer accommodation is to be kept tidy at all times.
Volunteers staying for more than 1 week will go on at least one overnight homestay, working on a project whilst generally staying in a hilltribe village. Those who are here long term go on every overnight homestay which is every second and fourth week of the month, unless advised otherwise. Homestays are work related, and the locations change regularly.
Traditional Thai cuisine is designed to appeal to the four fundamental taste senses with a balance of sour, sweet, salty, and bitter flavors. Common ingredients in Thai cooking include fish sauce, shrimp paste, chili paste, coconut milk, and lime juice. Staple foods include rice, rice noodles, vegetables, and herbs. Food served at the volunteer accommodation during the weekdays are typically hill tribe and Thai style meals; however, Western style food is also served occasionally.
During the weekends, food is not provided and volunteers purchase food at local shops and cook for themselves, or eat in town. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let us know when you apply for the program so we can make arrangements for you.
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||$495 Equivalent to $71/day|
|2 weeks||$625 Equivalent to $45/day|
|3 weeks||$775 Equivalent to $37/day|
|4 weeks||$955 Equivalent to $34/day|
|5 weeks||$1,125 Equivalent to $32/day|
|6 weeks||$1,285 Equivalent to $31/day|
|8 weeks||$1,615 Equivalent to $29/day|
|10 weeks||$1,975 Equivalent to $28/day|
|12 weeks||$2,335 Equivalent to $28/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
- 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 in Thailand generally find US$30-50 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
Check what's required to visit Thailand
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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
|Currency||Thai Baht (THB)|
Weather and climate: The climate in Thailand varies between the north and south regions, however, the temperature is relatively hot year-round throughout the country. The southern coastal region is characterized by a monsoon climate, which brings heavy rainfall from April to October in the South West and from September to December in the South East. In central and northern inland parts of Thailand, the climate is tropical with the rainy season lasting from May to November, bringing hot and humid weather. During the dry season, temperatures are cool from November to February and are hot from March to May. In Chiang Rai, the hottest average temperature is 36°C (96.8°F) in April and the coolest average temperature is 15°C (59°F) in December. Please see Weather Spark for more details on the climate and weather forecast.