Volunteering with Animals and Veterinary Work Experience Abroad
If you have a passion for working with animals, either in the field of Veterinary Medicine or in a more general animal care-oriented role, then our voluntary projects are a perfect way for you to gain some knowledge or put your skills into practice, with some work experience in the developing world.
You can volunteer whether you are on a gap year from your education, on a career break, or as part of an extended holiday. No matter what your age or experience we have a placement for you!
Working with Animals in the Developing World
Attitudes to animals in the developing world are different from those that exist in the developed world, for a variety of reasons.
In poorer societies a great deal of dependence is placed on many types of animals for the completion of necessary tasks, particularly in farming, where people do not benefit from the labour-saving devices that are taken for granted in many developed countries. Working animals are therefore valued in terms of their strength and speed, and livelihoods depend on them being fit and healthy.
Attitudes to other types of animals are also often very different. A dog might be 'man's best friend', and considered another member of the family by those in more developed countries, but it is hard to feel affection and empathy for such an animal when you live below the poverty line and struggle to feed your children. In many developing countries there is a much higher incident rate of animal neglect, and therefore also a great need for volunteer help.
Veterinary Medicine & Animal Care Volunteering Overseas
Working as a volunteer on a Veterinary Medicine or Animal Care project with Projects Abroad, you will gain some fantastic work experience which would simply not be possible in your own country. To start with you are likely to see many exciting types of animals, such as snakes, big cats or even elephants! Volunteers will also get to see cases that have been virtually eliminated in the developed world, such as rabies, and you will develop a better understanding of the problems that people are faced with in both urban and rural areas of the third world.
Whether you work as a Veterinary Medicine or an Animal Care volunteer you will be given a placement supervisor who is responsible for giving you a full and varied flavour of the kind of work done by people in this field. You will shadow local professionals and will gain hands-on experience which befits your level of experience. You will be able to ask questions and learn from your local colleagues.
You may work in a surgery or in an animal centre, and your work is likely to involve going out on visits in the local community. Whether you are rehabilitating an injured falcon in Mexico, or working with giant pandas in China, you will gain some fantastic experience which will help you on your UCAS form or in future job interviews, whilst also making a big difference to the lives of the animals and people you work with.
"I have since returned to Mexico 3 times, and I spent the past two summers working in the animal care centre in Guadalajara. I fell in love with the centre, the staff and volunteers there and the animals, some quirkier than others. On my first day I helped the staff feed a pelican that was scared of water, and take a wild pig for a walk! Whilst I was there I helped the staff release some animals, ranging from iguanas to squirrels and coatis. It was amazing to see how the animals arrived, and progressed to the moment of release."
Animal Care volunteer in Mexico
If you are more interested in wildlife protection, please take a look through our Conservation projects.
We are committed to ensuring that all our international projects are thoroughly vetted and researched to guarantee that they are not connected to animal cruelty in any form. Our Animal Welfare Policy, which applies to both wild and domestic animals, can be read in full here.