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Domestic Animal Shelter

This centre is a pro-life, nonprofit organisation whose core aim is to rescue, rehabilitate, re-unite and re-home lost, abandoned, abused and neglected dogs and cats.

Domestic Animal Shelter


Location Fish Hoek, Cape Town, South Africa
Duration From 2 weeks
Dates All year round
  • You must have an upper intermediate level of English
  • Special skills: You should have a love for animals
Minimum Age: 18
Your impact
Documents required Enrolment form, curriculum vitae, letter of motivation, passport copy, proof of medical insurance
Day of arrival Saturday
Day of departure Saturday


  • Walk the dogs on some of the most pristine beaches in Cape Town.
  • Assist the mobile clinic, which goes into townships to teach people about pet care. If you have animal medical experience, you will be able to assist medically.
  • Care for dogs and cats, providing them with love and attention.
  • Get personal support from the volunteer coordinator.
  • Experience amazing tours and adventures in and around Cape Town.
  • Make new friends from all over the world.

Project Information

The animal shelter is a non-profit organisation whose core aim is to rescue, rehabilitate, reunite and re-home lost, abandoned, abused, and neglected animals and to educate communities, in particular children. They strive to uplift the lives of companion animals in disadvantaged communities by providing free sterilisations to qualifying families, primary health care, veterinary treatment and food as well as humane education to pet owners.

The shelter aims to: 

  • Lessen the suffering of abandoned, injured and abused dogs and cats by rescuing them, providing for their well-being and placing them into loving homes.
  • Reduce the numbers of unwanted animals by providing free sterilization for dogs and cats in disadvantaged communities.
  • Provide education to create an awareness of the moral and ethical responsibility we have towards the animals whose world we share. 

The shelter strives to meet the needs of dogs and cats in underprivileged communities by providing primary health care such as vaccinations, deworming and parasite control: 

  • Offering free sterilisations to qualifying households.
  • Providing a scheduled, daily mobile clinic offering basic health care to the animals.
  • Establishing an essential working relationship with surrounding disadvantaged communities, helping them to protect the rights of the animals through effective education, guidance, follow-up and empowerment.
  • Treating animals from disadvantaged communities at the shelter veterinary clinic. 

Your Role

A possible work schedule could be:

  • 08:00 – 10:00 Help with feeding, medicating, watering and cleaning. (Morning feeding is at 08:00 for the adult dogs and 08:30 for the puppies.)
  • 10:00 – 12:00 Go for a walk with the dogs (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday). Take dogs to hydrotherapy, if needed. Whenever volunteers are between jobs, all staff are encouraged to spend time with the dogs and puppies – they need human contact and love desperately, and always enjoy some human interaction.
  • On a Friday and Saturday you are welcome to help with adult dog outings to the beach and to the sports field in the area, where the animals get a much needed leg stretch and some fresh air.
  • 12:00 Feeding time for the puppies.
  • 13:00 – 15:30 Continue with going for a walk with the dogs, socializing them with other dogs, introducing social groups, playing with them in the green area, grooming the dogs, washing the toys.
  • 15:30 Supper feeding for all the adult dogs in the centre.
  • 16:00 Check that all animals have blankets and that kennels are clean and dry, and that they have water for the night. Check the kennels are locked properly.
  • 16:30 Departure from the project once all is done. 

Every Friday morning you will help with de-worming and weighing of pups.

It is important to note that this description serves as an example only. The daily tasks and challenges depend on the volunteer and the work that needs to be done. The final job description can therefore vary substantially from the above. 


You will be staying at a backpackers’ in Muizenberg. The backpackers’ is located in the heart of Muizenberg and only a few steps away from the beach. It is equipped with dorm-style rooms, a communal kitchen, a lounge and dining area, shared bathrooms, outside & inside chill areas and free WiFi. Bedding is provided, towels are not provided. Laundry can be done at commercial laundry facilities nearby.

You will be able to relax in the afternoons overlooking the ocean, and head to the beach on the weekends for a surf at the world famous Muizenberg Beach across the road.


Valentin from Switzerland


"I could spend a lot of time with the puppies. Playing, walking at the beach, puppy training and feeding them. This was really good friend. Taking care of the sick puppies and visits to the vet are also part of it. All the staff is really nice and passionate about animals. I will miss both. Was a good experience!"

Jefrey from Brazil


"This kind of programme provides a unique growth. The feedback we have of these lovely animals is indescribable. It is a pleasure to help dogs in everything, we feed them, make them happy in many cases like walking around the Tears and also teach them how to respect people."