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Volunteer overseas on worthwhile and sustainable programmesVolunteer Overseas

Volunteering Overseas With Animals

Projects Abroad Veterinary volunteer treats a domestic cow in India

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.

The animal care placements give volunteers the opportunity to support and interact with injured and sometimes endangered animals, helping them through each stage of the rehabilitation process. You could be working at the world’s biggest bear sanctuary in Romania, at an animal rehabilitation centre for injured, captured or confiscated wild animals in Mexico, or in a primate rehabilitation centre in Argentina. No experience is necessary, just a love of animals and a willingness to work hard.

Veterinary interns can work with a large variety of animals from stray dogs to exotic birds alongside professionals. Many of the placements will work with a mix of domestic and working animals including some outreach work in rural areas. As well as having the chance to be useful at their placement, interns gain a valuable insight into their profession, using very different resources and techniques.

Veterinary Medicine & Animal Care project destinations:

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

Volunteer overseas with Projects Abroad and work with pandas in China

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

A Projects Abroad volunteer works overseas with a bird on an Animal Care project in Mexico

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.

Stacy Barr, Animal Care in Mexico"I would wake up around 8am and have breakfast with my host family, and then catch the bus to the centre. I would set about cleaning the birdcages and feeding the different types of birds. After this we moved to the outside cages, interacting with some of the more random animals. 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."

Stacy Barr
Animal Care 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.

Veterinary Medicine & Animal Care project destinations:


Veterinary Medicine & Animal Care project destinations:

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