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. Volunteers make a marked difference to the lives of the animals here and need to have patience and a deep love for the work they will do.

Domestic Animal Shelter


Location Hout Bay, Cape Town, South Africa
Duration From 2 weeks
Dates All year round
  • You must have an intermediate level (B1) 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 Sunday (project start is Tuesday)
Day of departure Saturday


  • Assisting the Vet Tech and Hospital Manager with their daily duties (previous animal medical experience is essential for this).
  • Caring for animals (dogs, cats and farm animals) - providing them with love, attention, exercise and grooming.
  • Spending time walking the dogs and/or assisting the team in their daily duties, including clicker training for socialising the dogs as well as river and mountain walks.
  • Assisting the team when going into the local township to offer education, medical treatment and building of enclosures, etc.
  • Learning about animal behaviour from a qualified animal behavioural specialist.
  • Assisting in educational presentations and outreach programmes to teach local children from the local low-income areas in Hout Bay about animal-human interactions. This includes a literacy programme where one of the project’s dogs attends reading groups at the local primary schools.
  • Getting personal support from the volunteer coordinator.
  • Experiencing amazing tours and adventures in and around Cape Town.

Project Information

The animal shelter is a non-profit organisation whose core aim is to rehabilitate and re-home lost, abandoned, abused, and neglected animals and to educate local communities, in particular their children. They strive to uplift the lives of companion animals in disadvantaged communities by providing free sterilisations to qualified 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.

Your Role

A possible work schedule could be:

  • 9:00 – 12:00 Go for a walk with the dogs. Whenever volunteers are between jobs, all staff are encouraged to spend time with the cats, dogs and puppies – they need human contact and love desperately, and always enjoy some human interaction. You groom the dogs/cats, make enrichment toys. You will be able to assist in socializing the dogs and also spend time with the dogs in their enclosures.
  • 12:00 – 12:30 Lunch.
  • 12:30 – 13:30 Assist with maintenance of the shelter.
  • 13:30 Departure from the project once all is done.

You will get a full orientation and introduction on Monday. The project starts on Tuesday.

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


You will live at the Volunteer House. It is a private house in an upmarket residential area in Cape Town. Volunteers are accommodated in twin bedrooms but may upgrade to single rooms upon request. There are 4 bathrooms to share, a communal kitchen to cater yourself, a dining room, a lounge with TV and DVD and a beautiful garden with a swimming pool.
Bedding is provided. Towels will be not provided.
There is a washing machine at the residence for you to use which works with tokens which can be purchased for R40 per load.


Good Hope Volunteers Jessica from Brazil

“It was a big challenge because everything here is different but I learned a lot during the two months”

Good Hope Volunteers Rafael from Brazil

"It was an amazing and unforgettable experience. The perfect combination between love for animals, travel and friendship."

Good Hope Volunteers Thiemi from Brazil

"The project was really great! It was about taking care of domestic animals. I learned a lot from the experts and it was very nice to spend time with the dogs and cats. I also had a great time in Cape Town. I met incredible people and saw amazing places! I hope to come back soon!"

Good Hope Volunteers 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!"

Good Hope Volunteers 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."