Our volunteer programs provide you with a life-changing opportunity to make a big difference to the lives of the stray animals in need of care, whilst also offering you a rich holiday experience soaking up the authentic culture in one of Thailand’s must-visit destinations. This is your chance to be a part of a program that aims to tackle the issues at the root to dramatically improve the lives of stray animals in Thailand.
Volunteers can opt from one of the following placement choices:
– Animal Welfare Volunteer
– Marketing Internships
– Vet Student Internships
Animal welfare volunteers experience a hands-on placement where they conduct tasks involved with the day-to-day running of our shelter. Volunteers will spend their days completing cleaning procedures, beach/lake walks, bathing and health checks, in addition to all the dog/cat cuddles! Volunteers will also benefit from learning from dog behaviourist Natt Hamon, who featured on National Geographic’s ‘Cesar’s Recruits: Asia’. To top it off, volunteers get immerse themselves in the beauty and culture of Thailand with the cultural excursions we arrange.
Marketing internships encompass in-depth lessons, advice and practicals in charity marketing projects. Our programs are catered with the person in mind, utilizing their skills and passions, as well as offering new and useful skills. Individuals looking to get into the competitive world of marketing or wanting to evolve their existing abilities will find an invaluable experience in our placements, whilst also getting to enjoy the great parts of our animal welfare volunteer program, including cultural excursions and beach walks! Marketing Interns are mentored, monitored and supported by our partners at XploreAsia so they get the most out of this rewarding charity marketing internship.
Vet student programs mix animal shelter tasks with practical, hands-on experiences in veterinary care. Assist our vets on procedures (*depending on experience), administer wound care and perform health checks of the animals in our care. Our challenging but enriching internship will offer vet students the skills, experience and knowledge they need to thrive in a career in animal welfare, whilst testing their understanding with regular assignments and practicals so they are prepared for the world of veterinary care.
Animal volunteer opportunities in Thailand are plentiful, but not all of them provide you with such a hands-on experience you will get with Rescue P.A.W.S. You will leave Rescue P.A.W.S. with a sense of accomplishment from experiencing both the fun and testing parts of stray animal care in Thailand, and a couple of friends from around the world! This is an ideal opportunity to gain some international animal welfare experience and a host of new skills that you can apply to your resume.
Without the help of our volunteers we wouldn’t be able to keep up with the day-to-day running of our center. Our volunteers allow our staff time to focus on the running of our organization whilst you provide the animals in our care with all the love, attention and training they need to prepare for their journeys ahead, whether they are recovering from sterilization treatments or looking to be adopted or fostered. Therefore, our first requirement is that individuals come prepared to learn, to work and to actively get involved.
Volunteers, regardless of the placement they choose, MUST have rabies vaccinations due to the nature of the work. Your safety and enjoyment is of the upmost importance to us, so we will require volunteers to follow our rules of conduct at all times.
We are an inclusive program, so welcome volunteers from all nationalities and all experience levels- as long as they are 18+ and that they can speak English or Thai so that we can easily communicate with each other, something which is vital in ensuring the well-being our volunteers, staff and animals.
Outside of Work
After a long day, return to the volunteer accommodation provided, adorn your bathing suits and head to Sai Noi Beach for an evening dip under a chalky twilight sky. Alternatively, take the opportunity to explore the local fishing village of Khao Tao where friendly locals greet you, and a short walk up the temple grounds presents you with panoramic views across the village and over to Hua Hin, as well as a big golden Buddha statue.
Walk along the fringes of the Khao Tao lake where a beautifully-decorated memorial sits for the late King. At sunset, the water turns into a sparkling blanket that reflects the orange, pinks and reds of the sky above it, and as night descends, the memorial lights up providing a breath-taking view.
Spend the night exploring the wonders of Hua Hin with your new friends, with Cicada Market offering authentic wares and some tasty food in a huge outdoor market lit up by lights. In the town, you will find a pleathora of shops in the two large shopping malls, restaurants to eat tasty local food and bars. But don’t just limit your trip to these activities, with yoga and meditation workshops, muay thai gyms, the Artist Village, national parks and kitesurfing just a handful of the experiences on offer in this area.
Past volunteers have even arranged to visit to an orphanage regularly. A gorgeous ride through the Thailand countryside to spend the day playing and teaching all the grateful children. A day here is sure to be the highlight of your whole trip!
As a volunteer, what will I be doing?
As a volunteer, you will undergo a host of activities and tasks including (but not limited to):
Fieldwork- Consisting of feeding runs in the local area to packs that we have befriended over time. During this time, you will be given the opportunity to learn more about stray animal behaviour, help us to maintain their health with necessary treatment, supervised by one of our resident vets, and continue to help us on our mission to sterilize as many dogs as possible in the area.
Daily Dog Care- Caring for animals encompasses many tasks on a daily basis. In the mornings, volunteers will conduct cleaning, feeding and short walks for all the animals. Longer walks are arranged for the afternoon, either on the beach or around the lake. We also encourage all our volunteers to engage our dogs in play and build relationships with them for a healthy well-being. All volunteers are expected to maintain high standards of cleaning and animal welfare.
Health Checks and Procedures- Sit in on veterinary procedures and even help the vets with wound care. Perform weekly bathing and de-tick sessions to maintain the health of the animals.
Media- Help us promote our organization by taking photos and footage to set guidelines. You will be provided with help and advice to take visually-pleasing content that will be utilised on the website and on our social media channels. We also encourage our volunteers to submit blog entries to our blog.
What is included in my volunteer placement?
Accommodation, and associated utilities, are included within the program price. The volunteer house comes equipped with Wi-Fi, kitchen and washing machine.
Volunteer placements also benefit from cultural activities including visits to Pran Buri Forest Park, Thai cooking classes and meditation.
How should I prepare for my volunteer trip?
If you want to volunteer at Rescue P.A.W.S, you will need to prepare for your trip here! Firstly, all volunteers must have up-to-date rabies vaccinations due to the nature of the placement.
Volunteers must bring enough appropriate clothing for their placement length. Rescue P.A.W.S. is based on temple grounds, and as such, everyone at Rescue P.A.W.S. is expected to respect the necessary dress code. This means all volunteers must wear clothing that covers their shoulders and knees, and must not be revealing or tight.
Thailand temperatures can reach highs of 40 celsius/ 104 fahrenheit so ensuring your clothes are light and breathable will help when working outside. This should also be considered when bringing clothes to wear on your days off.
We recommend volunteers bring enough sun protection with them on their trip as it can get hot and working outdoors can make you more susceptible to sun-burn. Sun protection in Thailand can often have whitening agents in it, so may not be suitable for use for some volunteers.
We send every volunteer introduction packs with more useful information on and are always on hand to help with visa applications. Should you need any assistance though, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
What can I do on the weekends?
Some must-do activities whilst in the area include:
-Wildlife Friends Foundation
– Water parks
Christopher Pritchard- Australia
I was with Rescue P.A.W.S. for two weeks now and it was an amazing experience. When I arrived and saw the street dog situation, I couldn’t believe my eyes! It was like nothing I had seen before. I saw dogs living on the streets, in abandoned homes, on vacant lots of land – anywhere they could survive. I couldn’t believe how many there were. Doing my part to help the street dogs of Thailand has brought me true joy. Even in my short time here, I have watched so many sick, trembling and frightened dogs become happy and healthy. The love, care and treatment Rescue P.A.W.S. provides makes such a difference to the lives of these animals. I’m grateful to have been able to spend time with a group of passionate, dedicated individuals who devote their time to improving the lives of these unfortunate creatures and to solving the street dog problem, one sterilisation at a time. My time here has made me realise I want to not only work with animals, but dedicate my life to them. It has also made me realise the importance of education and awareness. We all need to open our eyes to the situation and do our part. As long as there are groups like Rescue P.A.W.S., and people supporting them, I’m confident there can be a bright future for our canine friends.
Lydia Bensky- New Zealand
My time with Rescue P.A.W.S. has been better than I ever could have hoped. At first I was worried that my lack of experience would be an issue, having owned other animals but never a dog. I soon found that if you have a passion for the work and a love for the dogs, everything else is irrelevant. I have learned so much, from handling to vaccinating, cleaning to rehabilitating. I especially understand the importance of education and prevention with this issue now and seeing the soi packs really opened my eyes to the enormity of the problem. Every animal should have a good life filled with care and love. And that is what Rescue P.A.W.S. is aiming to achieve. I am so thankful I could be part of it.
Jayne Soltys- Canada
I can honestly say that volunteering at Rescue P.A.W.S. has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. These people are doing amazing things not only in the lives of the dogs, but as well as the community in which the packs are located. I’ve seen countless bags of rice, dog food, collars, toys, shampoo, medicine, and so much more go to the people so that they can properly care for their dogs. Being surrounded by people with such contagious passion has made such an inspiring experience, and they have taught me so much about what it means to be truly compassionate and dedicated to making a difference. Rescue P.A.W.S.makes a huge impact in every community it touches by helping keeping the dogs off streets, preventing the spread of diseases and parasites, and reducing the populations of strays through sterilization surgeries. Their hard work can be seen when visiting the steadily declining packs of dogs around Hua Hin and in the amount of tail-wagging and happy yips that come from each pack that they care for.
In only a few short years, Rescue P.A.W.S. has managed to create a safe haven where street dogs get the chance to have healthy, happy lives and I am extremely excited to see what it will become in the future.
Sam Bower- England
Rescue P.A.W.S. has changed me as a person. I was comfortable with dogs anyway, but going to all these different packs and enjoying Thailand as a whole has really broadened my horizons. I am now more confident with dogs, Rescue P.A.W.S. has taught me how to interact with dogs better and to not be afraid of strays. I’ve grown as a person as well. I’m 26, and it has helped me to become more independent.