Animal Care in Cambodia
Want to look after our furry friends as an Animal Care volunteer in Cambodia? International Volunteer HQ’s Animal Care project gives you the opportunity to support local animal shelters and pagodas in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. Volunteers help rescue, provide companionship, and care for neglected cats and dogs in need. There may be opportunities where practicing vets or veterinary students may have the opportunity to assist with medical treatments and minor surgeries; but this cannot be guaranteed.
- Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
- Affordable fees from £377 for 2 weeks
- Includes accommodation, meals, orientation and 24/7 support
Care for neglected cats and dogs in need
Explore Cambodia’s striking landscapes and temples
Stay with other volunteers in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh
This program is ideal for:
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
As an animal shelter volunteer in Cambodia, you will provide support at an animal shelter or in a pagoda - both available for neglected cats and dogs in need in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. These centers and pagodas take in and care for abandoned and neglected animals, which would otherwise be without help. If you are comfortable being around a large number of animals and you are looking for a project where you can provide hands-on care, your support will be highly valued on this project.
Your main role on the Animal Care project will be supporting the staff at the shelter, as well as in the pagodas, in providing care to abandoned & rescued animals. The tasks may include:
- Providing medication to animals
- Cleaning the centers and temples
- Feeding the animals
- Washing and grooming animals
- Practicing vets may be able to assist in a Veterinarian capacity; but this cannot be guaranteed
To join the project, all volunteers are required to have an up-to-date rabies vaccination for this project. You will need to send the local team your certificate of vaccination via email prior to your arrival into Cambodia
There is an additional £8 per week surcharge to cover resources (i.e. food and snacks) that the local team donate to the placement, on behalf of volunteers. This is included in your Program Fee that will be quoted to you in your Acceptance Email.
Why do Animal Care volunteering in Cambodia with IVHQ?
When you volunteer at an animal shelter in Cambodia, you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Helping care for and rehome abandoned animals
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining experience caring for animals
- Immersing yourself fully in Khmer culture
- Discovering Cambodia’s beautiful landscapes and temples
- Volunteers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to participate in this program
- 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.
Cambodia photo gallery
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
Read reviews from Animal Care volunteers in Cambodia
”I literally know I’ve made a difference where I volunteered. I created a document that had all the current animals and made sure they all had names so they could record information accordingly.”
Read reviews from Animal Care volunteers in Cambodia
In the heart of Southeast Asia, Cambodia is a country full of beauty and tragedy. As well as an abundance of beautiful beaches and temples there are many reminders of the history of genocide and civil war that left Cambodia one of the least developed countries in the world. In Phnom Penh there are numerous places where you can learn about what happened, including the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum or Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre. It is important to be informed about these poignant events in order to gain a better understanding and deeper respect for the Cambodian people and their culture.
As an IVHQ volunteer in Cambodia you could be based at placements in the capital city of Phnom Penh, the remote city of Battambang, or by the impressive temples of Siem Reap.
Arrival and orientation
The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of the month and volunteers need to arrive in Siem Reap any time on the Sunday before orientation. After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Siem Reap International Airport (REP). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee.
From the 16th of October 2023: there will be 2 x pick-up times only on the Sunday before your start date - one at 10:00 AM and the other at 4:00 PM.
When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation in Siem Reap. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the Sunday night before your program orientation.
If you are travelling in Cambodia prior to your volunteer program, the local team can pick you up on Sunday from any hostel or hotel in Siem Reap.
Orientation is hosted by our Cambodia team at the volunteer house in Siem Reap. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Cambodia – an introduction to Cambodia, its culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities 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 socialising.
Although you are expected to fly into Siem Reap, as this is where the program orientation is held, your placement may be based elsewhere; either Siem Reap, Phnom Penh or Battambang. After your time on the program ends, you can either fly out of Siem Reap or Phnom Penh, although please note that your transportation back to the relevant airport is at your own expense.
Volunteer schedule example
On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
Weekdays - A typical volunteer day might be:
|7:00 AM||Breakfast in the volunteer house or with your host family|
|9:00 AM||Volunteer leaves home and travels to the project to begin work|
|12:00 - 2:00 PM||Lunch break. In Cambodia all workplaces have a lunch break for about 2 hours. Some start earlier, some later. During this lunch break you are welcome to stay at your placement. Some placements will offer you food.|
|2:00 - 5:00 PM||Work at the project usually ends. You are free to travel home, sightsee or do some shopping.|
|7:00 PM||Dinner in the volunteer house or with the host family.|
Cambodia is packed with a vast range of things to do and see in your free time. In the modern capital city of Phnom Penh you can visit the king’s official residence, The Royal Palace, and the famous Silver Pagoda, check out the huge art-deco market, cruise along the Mekong or learn about Cambodia’s devastating history at one of the many museums.
The tourist hub of Siem Reap is home to Angkor Wat, a collection of temples that together form the largest religious monument in the world. There are many hotels, resorts, markets and museums, and nearby is a lake with floating villages, a national park featuring waterfalls, rivers and Cambodia’s largest reclining Buddha.
During the long public holidays in April, September and November, you may also wish to travel further afield to Laos, Vietnam or Thailand.
Accommodation and WiFi
You will be accommodated in either a volunteer house, guesthouse or home-stay and you can expect to share a room with four other IVHQ volunteers, who are of the same gender. Bedrooms are comprised of bunk beds with bedding provided, which includes a bottom sheet, blanket and pillow. Although there is no air conditioning, electric fans are provided in each room and if volunteers require additional cooling, they are able to request an additional fan via the local team.
If you’re volunteering in Siem Reap, you’ll be accommodated in a volunteer house. Volunteer houses have electricity and running water and the majority of rooms have private bathrooms. In each volunteer house, there is a sitting area, dining area, TV and Wi-Fi.
For those volunteers placed in Phnom Penh, you will be accommodated in either a homestay hosted by a family who has been approved by the local team in Cambodia or a local guesthouse, depending on where your placement is located. Both the guesthouse and the homestay also have electricity and running water. Being in a homestay for your duration on the program is a fantastic way to experience the local culture and even if you are placed in a local guesthouse, this is still a great way to interact with the local community.
If your placement is in the province of Battambang, you will stay on-site in the school compound. You will have a separate room which you will share with up to one other volunteer. Electricity, running water, western bathrooms and Wi-Fi are provided.
Volunteers in Cambodia are provided with three meals a day which are served in the volunteer house. Breakfast generally consists of seasonal fruit and bread with a variety of spreads such as; peanut butter and jam.
Lunch and dinner is usually rice or noodles with fried vegetables and meat. These meals include a wide range of dishes consisting of rice, vegetables and meat with sweet, salty, bitter and sour flavors. Volunteers on the Animal Care project should expect a packed vegan lunch.
If you have any special dietary requirements, please let the team know when you apply for the program so arrangements can be made.
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||£377 Equivalent to £27/day|
|3 weeks||£499 Equivalent to £24/day|
|4 weeks||£603 Equivalent to £22/day|
|5 weeks||£708 Equivalent to £20/day|
|6 weeks||£813 Equivalent to £19/day|
|8 weeks||£1023 Equivalent to £18/day|
|10 weeks||£1233 Equivalent to £18/day|
|12 weeks||£1438 Equivalent to £17/day|
|16 weeks||£1841 Equivalent to £16/day|
|20 weeks||£2243 Equivalent to £16/day|
|24 weeks||£2646 Equivalent to £16/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteer Service
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately £275) 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 GBP.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- The Animal Care project has an extra cost of US$10 per week to cover the resources that the local team donate to the placements, i.e. food and snacks, while the Medical project has a separate fees table (please see the Cambodia Medical project page) to cover the support you receive from the hospital staff.
- 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 Cambodia generally find US$50-80 per week to be sufficient for expenses.
Check what's required to visit Cambodia
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||Cambodian Riel (KHR)|
Weather and climate
Cambodia has two distinct seasons. The rainy season, which runs from May to October, can see temperatures drop to 22°C (71.6°F) and is generally accompanied by high humidity. The dry season lasts from November to April and temperatures can rise up to 40°C (104°F ) around April.