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 a family in the First World, 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 vaccinating farm animals in India, 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.
"During the working day I shadowed an Indian vet, who was very famous in the twenty local villages. Throughout my time with him I was able to observe him carrying out daily procedures. The members of staff I was working with treated me with respect, courtesy and care showing me their way of life."
Veterinary Medicine volunteer in India
Veterinary Medicine & Animal Care projects:
Help both adults and children rehabilitate from emotional and physical problems through a therapy programme which involves working with horses.
Get involved in feeding monkeys, observation studies, constructing cages and caring for other animals such as llamas, dogs, donkeys and capuchin monkeys.
Work alongside a qualified vet in a clinic for two days a week, assisting with various medical procedures and animal care. Spend the remaining three days a week working at a dogs’ shelter.
Work with a respected dog training centre to offer children with physical or mental disabilities positive interaction with dogs.
Help children with disabilities, or children who have lived on the street or had drug problems, through our Equine Therapy programme.
Volunteer in China’s most established giant panda conservation and research centre. You will help by preparing food, cleaning out enclosures and observing their behaviour.
Volunteer in a veterinary clinic in Kumasi and get involved in administering vaccinations, observing and assisting in operations, laboratory work, post mortems and routine treatments.
Work alongside a local vet, assisting with the treatment and care of domestic animals and livestock. You can accompany vets on outreach programmes and farm visits.
Volunteer at an animal rescue shelter in Montego Bay and help provide treatment and care for dogs and cats You will help with feeding, cleaning and administering treatment.
Choose between volunteering in a special centre for wild and domestic animals or working in the butterfly and bird laboratories of one of the biggest public parks in Guadalajara.
Volunteer at an animal clinic in Guadalajara and help provide treatment to domestic pets. You will work with the animals and their owners, and help with treatments like vaccinations.
Volunteer at a dog rescue centre, on the outskirts of Brasov, and help with feeding the animals and surgical procedures.
Work alongside a local vet in Brasov, assisting with the treatment and care of domestic animals. Your role as a volunteer may involve assisting with tasks such as inoculations and operations.
Working alongside Samoa’s Animal Protection Society, you can take part in awareness programmes, vaccinations, castration programmes and the routine care and treatment of animals.
Volunteer at a domestic animal centre in Cape Town and work with animals such as dogs and cats. Alternatively, you could work at a seabird rehabilitation centre in Bloubergstrand.