Volunteer with Dog Rescue
Location: Chiang Mai province – Northern Thailand
Nearest Airport: - Chiang Mai (CNX)
Duration: Up to Four weeks
Although dogs and elephants may not find themselves sharing the same space in the wild we provide a loving home for both species at Elephant Nature Park.
Our Dog Rescue Project began as a result of catastrophic floods in Bangkok towards the end of 2011. In rented boats navigating the river of streets, volunteers rescued abandoned dogs trapped on rooftops and desperate for help. Many dogs were too afraid to board our boats and were given fresh water, food and medical treatment to survive on their own.
Of the 2,000 dogs pulled to safety, 155 were brought to Elephant Nature Park to begin their second chance at life. Large ‘dog runs’ were built with all kinds of things for the dogs to climb on, swim in, and play amongst. A small animal hospital was constructed and a full time vet and clinic manager have been employed to care for them at the park.
Since the floods, many new dogs have joined the family, several of them puppies or pregnant mothers who’ve come from the surrounding communities and have suffered malnutrition, disease, abuse and neglect. Our Project has also saved many destined for the illegal dog meat trade in Laos or Vietnam.
Currently the park is home to several hundred dogs. Caring for all these rescued animals is a full-time job, and we need your help.
What will I be doing?
Volunteering with Elephant Nature Park Dog Rescue Project provides an opportunity to truly make a difference in the lives of so many animals. The minimum time commitment is one week, but some of our dog volunteers have stayed with us for months. Volunteers work in the dog shelter from 8am to 5pm each day, with a 90-minute break for lunch. Lunch is provided buffet style at our main communal area, and tea and coffee is available in the dog shelter office.
When you arrive at the project the first morning is spent exploring the park and our projects.
Our daily schedule includes:
One of the most important factors for us in preparing volunteers for their placement and creating a successful volunteering experience is trying to manage people’s expectations. This is not always easy as people come with different backgrounds, attitudes, goals etc. and due to the nature of the work no two experiences are ever the same.
We try to manage expectations by giving you as much information as possible up front. We find that the vast majority of our volunteers have an amazing and life-changing experience but this is largely up to you and whether you´re wiling to get in and have a go.
Volunteers need to be in good physical condition due to the nature of the work in a hot and humid environment. No specific skills are required other than enthusiasm and commitment! At times, the work can be emotionally difficult so it is best to be prepared for this.
Working at the Dog Rescue Project – Volunteering can be a challenging process that involves many unpredictable factors. You may find it emotional and it is likely your experience will leave a lasting impression on you. It’s not the type of environment where you’ll be given direction all the time so we encourage you to use your initiative and don’t just wait for things to happen. You need to be flexible and try to adapt to the local environment.
It’s not a holiday – Although you may be volunteering as part of your vacation, it’s important to recognize that being a dog volunteer won´t be a typical holiday. The work can be challenging and draining, although volunteers usually find that the rewards far outweigh any hardships. It’s also not realistic to judge the experience by the same standards you would usually apply if travelling to tourist resorts.
The benefit you bring – The contribution you are making through the time and money you are committing is making a huge difference to so many lives.
When the project runs - Dog Rescue Volunteer positions runs from Sunday - Sunday.
Accommodation and food
You will be living on site in comfortable accommodation sharing with at least two other volunteers. Here you will fall asleep to the sounds of elephants calling. Enjoy large buffet style lmeals with many different dishes to choose from. Vegan and vegetarian food is always available and all dietary restrictions are catered to.
What is Provided?
What do I need?
The initial maximum of four weeks may be extended depending on availability and suitability
Leaving the Dog Rescue Project
When it comes time to leave us (many people want to stay forever) on Sunday the transport departs the park around 3:30 pm and you will be in the city by 5:00 pm. If you have to leave earlier please contact our volunteer coordinators to arrange this.
All About Your Volunteer Position:
Starting From: 8:00am each Sunday morning at our Office. (We do not provide hotel pick up service for dog volunteers).
Returning: to Chiang Mai city on Sunday afternoon.
Baggage / Luggage allowance: One Standard Check-in Sized Rucksack/Suit Case/Bag AND one small day pack per person.
What to Bring: Overnight bag with change of clothes for 7 days, Hat, Sunscreen, Sandals/Flip Flops, Shoes for walking, Towel, Camera, Bug Repellant, Flashlight
Seasonal: rain gear (June - October), warm clothes (November - February)
Volunteer Operational Months: All Year Round
Age Suitability: Adults or children over 12 accompanied by legal guardian
What is Included: Transport from Chiang Mai to the project and back, Clean, convenient accommodation on site, Three delicious meals per day, served in buffet style with great amount of choice, Internet connection - generally available.
Bookings close: Five Days before you are due to visit. A deposit is required to secure your place(s).
Volunteer Contribution: 5,000 Baht per week or part of a week. Adult or Children over 12 years old