For our final chapter in our voluntourism series, we head to India. Let us know if there is a great volunteer destination that we’ve missed, by leaving a comment.
It’s easy to appreciate the need to protect endangered native species, but there are other animals that need assistance in developing countries. Walk through any region in India and you will come face to face with the street dogs.
Thousands of strays roam the streets – at best they are malnourished and poorly cared for, at worst they can be dangerous and rabid. Hundreds of people are bitten each year and locals have been known to turn on the dogs, poisoning and beating them. International Animal Rescue operates a program in Goa that aims to sterilise and vaccinate street dogs (and cats) to reduce the population and prevent the spread of disease.
The program has helped over 100,000 animals since it began in 1998. The centre houses around 200 animals at a time with a full time staff of 28, including six vets and three nurses. Volunteers can help out at the clinic for a day, a week or a month and duties include feeding animals, cleaning enclosures, helping the vets at the clinic, collecting animals off the street and assisting with the adoption program for rehabilitated animals.
The centre is glad for any assistance offered, but if you have veterinary qualifications or any skill working with animals then you will be especially useful. The centre doesn’t charge volunteers, but doesn’t provide any accommodation or transport so you’ll need to organise your own. internationalanimalrescue.org
Remember to also take care of yourself on your holiday, with appropriate travel insurance. You can find a policy here.