Family Animal Rescue Volunteering Projects Thailand

There is nothing that beats giving back, nothing in the world. It’s a powerful and exhilarating experience to help others, especially animals in need and it’s a brilliant life lesson to teach your kids.

Dog and Cat Rescue, Thailand

puppies dog cat rescue thailand

What you need to know

The centre accepts kids from the ages of 13 and up.

While helping out the centre you’ll live on an amazing tropical island and help care for rescued dogs and cats, which is just fantastic. It’s a small centre and there are vets there too.

How will you make a difference?

Just the sheer fact that you’ll be helping rescued animals can tell you a lot. Your work will help to make a massive positive change to the welfare of animals in Thailand and at the same time you’ll all be learning new skills and meeting some awesome people along the way too.

What will you do?

Basically, you’ll work 6 days a week and each day does vary, but you’ll get involved in all sorts of things like walking the dogs, helping to catch dogs, giving medication, helping with treating the animals, helping to maintain the centres, cleaning and washing animals and you’ll also be involved in educating people on how to take care of their pets, and why it’s so important. Your kids will love the opportunity to work with dogs and cats and you’ll probably find them running around and playing with the dogs and cats in their spare time. They also run a not-for-profit vet clinic on the island where some of you could volunteer and gain some experience along the way. If you’re a vet, then they would certainly be grateful for your presence here too.

There are normally 6 to 12 volunteers at a time.

Other Important Information

The project came about in 2005 during the construction boom after the Tsunami. During the boom, construction workers arrived with their dogs but then left them behind when the buildings were finished. To add to the problem, tourists fed the dogs which of course caused them to be healthy enough for breeding and now there’s the problem of over population.

The whole idea behind the programme is to prevent and control this overpopulation on Koh Lanta in a humane way through sterilisation programmes. By doing this, the suffering of the cats and dogs through hunger, disease, abuse and injuries will be greatly reduced. They also provide animal care for injured and abused animals, and of course educate and promote awareness of animal care and respect.

Koh Lanta is near Phuket and Krabi; quite a destination to say the least! Long, sandy beaches and scuba diving, mangroves, coral rimmed beaches and rugged tree covered hills. There is loads of stuff to see in your spare time like visiting a national park, or a historic Chinese fishing village as well as some caves. Get ready for some adventure too!

Once you’re finished your volunteering work you can head off to discover the Phi Phi Islands, Krabi and the Phuket region. Cool.

There is basic shared accommodation with cold water showers, a fan and electricity points. Sounds like quite an experience!

Visit their website for more information.

Elephant Care and Wildlife Rescue, Thailand

What you need to know

They accept kids for the ages of 14 and over for this project and you’ll be caring for Asian elephants that have been rescued from a harsh working life. To add to the fun, you’ll live in a tropical wildlife centre that is based on temple grounds and is home to about 300 rescued animals. That is amazing! The Wildlife Rescue project is also based on the same grounds where you work with animals including macaques, gibbons, bears, exotic birds and reptiles. You can combine these two volunteering projects.

How will you make a difference?

You will make a major contribution to elephant welfare in Thailand where you’ll help care for elephants and work alongside professional mahouts (elephant keepers). But if you combine the Wildlife Rescue volunteering programme with this you will also make a massive difference to animals including rescued primates, bears, exotic birds, reptiles and other small mammals.

They are entirely dependent on volunteers and the financial support, so you know that you are really working for a good cause. You will be able to provide a better life for the elephants and of course the mahouts.

But even on a personal level you will work alongside one of the most incredible creatures on earth and make a huge difference to their lives. That’s something to get you excited.

What will you do?

Each and every day will be different but you’ll be feeding and giving water to the elephants, cleaning their enclosures, hosing them down for a good bath, harvesting and collecting food from the local farms for them and you might even look after some of the domesticated animals on the site. This is really interesting stuff.

For the Wildlife Rescue project you’ll also be feeding the animals, giving them water, cleaning their enclosures, assisting with visitor tours, maintaining cages and keeping the grounds clean.

On both projects tasks are rotated so you get to do a bit of everything.

You work a six day week from about 6.30am to 5.00pm and the centre is informal and relaxed. Each and every one of you will be scheduled where you are most needed and where your skills will give the maximum advantage.

There are generally 15 to 30 volunteers on Wildlife Rescue but, including the Elephant Care project there can be between 20 to 40 volunteers at the centre at one time.

Other Important Information

The centre helps rescue domesticated elephants that have been used for begging on the streets of Bangkok and other cities and the aim is to provide a refuge that is as close to nature as possible. Domestic elephants were traditionally used in the logging industry but after the ban on logging, many mahouts turned to making a living from using their elephants for tourism or begging on the streets of big cities. The city is not the right environment for such a large forest animal what with being under the constant threat of road accidents, pollution and a scorching heat that can be fatal to a large mammal such as the elephant.

There are 7 elephants that live at the centre but now they spend their days on natural ground, breathing clean fresh air, and eating as much as they like. They also have the company of their own kind as well as experienced mahouts and vets.

In the Wildlife Rescue project there are around 100 primates which mostly consist of macaques and gibbons as well as langurs and lorises. There are just over 20 bears, both Asiatic black bears and Malayan sun bears. There are also civets, a leopard cat, an Asiatic golden jackal and a variety of exotic birds and reptiles. There is even a crocodile called Dundee! Wow!!!

Their aim is to save wildlife and their habitat from destruction, rescuing wild animals from places where they are maltreated or neglected. They aim to rehabilitate captive or domesticated animals and, if possible, reintroduce them to their natural habitats.

Although you’ll work closely with the animals, there is a strict ‘hands off’ policy, and no physical contact is allowed to help with their rehabilitation and ensure everybody is safe and sound.

As we mentioned the centre is on temple grounds, about 160km south of Bangkok. You’ll also be about 25km from the beaches of Cha Am and Hua Hin. It’s an awesome, stunning and peaceful location, situated on a small lake.

In your free time you can visit the local village and there are Buddhist temples that you can visit too.

You will live in basic shared rooms on-site at the centre.

Visit the website for information on the Elephant Care Project in Thailand and The Wildlife Rescue Project in Thailand.

About the Author

Lisa Steyn (51 Posts)

I’m a marketer by profession and a writer by nature. I discovered writing as my passion years ago, and have loved every bit of it, particularly writing for families in order to help them have fun and improve their lives. I’ve travelled the world extensively, lucky me! To make me happy put me next to the raging sea, or the calming mountains, and to get me firing on all cylinders send me on a wildlife safari!


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