Do you love animals and want to help improve their lives and quality of care? Do you want to build a career as a vet tech or veterinarian? Then veterinary volunteering could be a great start for you!
It is a fact that global warming and urbanization have led to some serious problems for animals thriving in the wild. Many animals have suffered due to lack of food and habitation, change in weather, diseases, and displacement.
More so, human-driven causes such as the forest fires in the Amazon, bushfires in Australia, overpopulation, deforestation has endangered a lot of species.
In situations like these, the world really needs the support of active volunteers who can take steps further to contribute effectively towards the care, protection, and conservation of wildlife.
Meanwhile, take a look at the table of content below.
Table of contents
- What is the Goal of Veterinary Volunteering?
- Why Veterinary Volunteering?
- Benefits of Veterinary Volunteering
- 1. Gaining Insight into a field of interest
- 2. Developing Valuable Practical Skills
- 3. Gaining admission into a School of Veterinary Medicine
- 4. Positioning yourself for a paying job in the future
- 5. Building a network of Professional Contacts
- 6. Making New Friends
- 7. Connecting with New Communities
- 8. Boosting your Resume
- 9. Having Fun Doing Something Good
- How to Find Veterinary Volunteering Opportunities
- 13 Best Veterinary Volunteering Opportunities in 2023
What is the Goal of Veterinary Volunteering?
The ultimate goal of veterinary volunteering is to improve the health of animals and conserve wildlife.
This can be extended to supporting the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of animal owners or guardians, and contributing to public health.
Why Veterinary Volunteering?
Working with veterinary volunteering programs is an excellent way to create a more humane world, while traveling from one beautiful place to another.
When you engage in veterinary volunteering abroad, you will do wonders for vulnerable species.
Benefits of Veterinary Volunteering
Veterinary volunteering brings all kinds of extra benefits your way, including adventure, travel, valuable experience, and connecting with other like-minded people.
There are many organizations and groups that seek volunteers to assist their staff members, and volunteering can be very rewarding on many levels.
1. Gaining Insight into a field of interest
Veterinary volunteering helps you to learn about the veterinary career path without the added pressure you feel as a new employee.
You may also have more chances to learn about more varied aspects of animal medicine and care.
2. Developing Valuable Practical Skills
Volunteering with a veterinary clinic or aid organization helps you gain hands-on experience and learn new skills.
It helps you to develop a skill set that you need for a great stride in your veterinary career.
3. Gaining admission into a School of Veterinary Medicine
The experience and skill acquired from veterinary volunteering can be a major booster for your medical school application essay that discusses your ability to care for sick or diseased animals.
A letter of recommendation from a director of an international animal care organization or reserve can go a lot further than your GPA.
4. Positioning yourself for a paying job in the future
Volunteering can open the door to many job opportunities. You will develop a good reputation by volunteering and potentially even be offered jobs that have not yet been advertised to the public.
Some of the volunteer and charity groups do have paid positions that open up from time to time, or they might have leads on paying jobs that are looking for someone with your skillset.
5. Building a network of Professional Contacts
Veterinary volunteer opportunities can be an excellent way to network and interact with professionals in this field of interest.
You can benefit from this by getting job references, finding new potential job openings, writing letters of recommendation, etc.
6. Making New Friends
Volunteering in an animal related industry means you have the chance to make friends and work alongside other animal lovers who share similar interests with you.
You will meet people outside your usual circle that you might never have had the chance to interact with otherwise.
7. Connecting with New Communities
You will have to travel to different places of the world as a volunteer, and this will make you to learn new cultures and ways of life.
It creates a positive relationship between you and the communities that can, in turn, raise awareness of important causes and needs in communities of the world.
8. Boosting your Resume
The additional experience and skills you gain as a volunteer can certainly be included on your resume, and in fact, can be a big advantage.
9. Having Fun Doing Something Good
Veterinary volunteering opportunities allow you to make a difference while surrounding yourself with others who are enthusiastic about the same cause. Volunteering should really be a lot of fun. If it isn’t fun, you haven’t found the right volunteer opportunity yet.
If you are interested in learning how to medically treat ill or injured animals, there are short and long term veterinary volunteer opportunities out there. In this article you will be guided on thirteen of the best veterinary volunteering opportunities.
Read: What Is Virtual Volunteering? A Complete Guide On Virtual Volunteering In 2023
How to Find Veterinary Volunteering Opportunities
If you have worked out what you are looking out for in a veterinary volunteering program, the next thing is to start researching specific programs, so as to narrow down potential opportunities.
It is not always easy to find the right opportunities, and each project must be evaluated individually to ensure that their ethical suits you. There are online sites and resources you can use to get started with your search.
1. Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are good places to find interesting and unique veterinary volunteering opportunities. Examples of some useful ones are – Veterinary Volunteering, Volunteer with Animals, Veterinary Volunteer Missions Abroad, and Volunteers in Africa Beware.
Once you join these groups, you will see regular veterinary volunteering opportunities posted as they arise.
2. Not-for-Profit Volunteer organizations
There are a number of international charitable organizations who recruit volunteers for their partner shelters and projects.
These organizations do a fantastic job of advertising roles and supporting volunteers throughout their journey.
Some of these organizations are – PlanMyGapYear, Maximo Nivel, Projects Abroad, GoEco, etc.
3. Google Searches
If you are looking for something really specific, it is always worth a Google search to see if you can find a volunteer project that suits your needs. But know that, just as there are many genuine projects out there; it is also easy to be fooled into finding projects that are less than ethical.
Read also: 20 BIBLE VERSES ABOUT VOLUNTEERING
13 Best Veterinary Volunteering Opportunities in 2023
Below are organizations offering some of the best veterinary volunteering opportunities.
Plan My Gap Year is an award-winning volunteer abroad organization, offering high impact volunteer projects in Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.
PMGY offers some of the most amazing wildlife conservation volunteering abroad projects in Bali, Greece, Peru, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.
There are turtles, African elephants, lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, and rhinoceros to look after. PMGY programs start on two dedicated start dates every month, and participants can join from 1-24 weeks.
Volunteers are provided with an extensive pre-departure support service, airport pickup, orientation, meals, accommodation, project transportation, and local support throughout. Anyone can volunteer, as long as you have a love for animals.
#2 Maximo Nivel
Maimo Nivel’s Animal Care programs are available in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Peru. In Latin America, animals are not viewed as family members, nor is there a well-developed culture of animal rights.
Overall, there is a lack of education and understanding of animals and their unique needs.
Their projects help in providing medical care, education, and various other services to protect innocent animals.
Volunteer placements are available at a number of specialized facilities, which include, dog and cat shelters, wildlife rescue centers, sustainable farms, and even a university-run zoo.
Some animal care projects are only available on a limited basis, so you have to mention your preference when applying.
#3 Projects Abroad
Projects Abroad is an industry leader in safe, sustainable and hassle-free volunteer projects. Their volunteer travel programs are culturally-rich, where often you will live with a host family and work alongside local people.
There projects are available in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America & the Carribean, and South Pacific.
GoEco founded in 2006, is a leading eco-tourism company with a varied selection of affordable, ethical volunteer projects abroad.
They provide access to over 150 extraordinary community, wildlife and environmental initiatives all over the world. They have projects in Africa, and Latin America.
Projects include Animal Rescue and Conservation in Costa Rica, Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica, Wild Animal Rescue shelter in Ecuador, African Wildlife Orphanage in Zimbabwe, African Wildlife Ranch Internship in South Africa, etc.
You must be 18 years of age, ethuasiastic about making the wolr a better place, independent and determined, and open-minded about new cultures and eperiences.
#5 Agape Volunteers
Agape Volunteers is a fully registered UK non-profit charity which specializes in placing thousands of volunteers abroad into charity work projects across Africa.
They have veterinary volunteering projects in Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, and Maasai land.
#6 Naturally Africa Volunteers
Naturally, Africa Volunteers provides opportunities for skilled and non-skilled volunteers to help make a difference in Africa.
They have animal care volunteering projects in Malawi, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, and Namibia.
#7 A Broader View Volunteers
A Broader View Volunteers was founded in 2007, and created on the belief that one person can make a difference in the lives of others through meaningful service-learning volunteer work.
They have veterinary volunteering opportunities with projects in Sea Turtle Conservation and Animal Rescue Center.
You can volunteer in South America, Central America, Asia, and Africa.
Fronteering offers exciting volunteer abroad projects. Founded in 2007, the organization’s philosophy is that when someone volunteers abroad, they should be experiencing the adventure of a lifetime.
It combines unusual destinations and activities with sustainable projects and deserving communities. They have veterinary volunteering projects in South America, North America, Europe, Australasia, Asia, and Africa.
If you have always dreamed of volunteering with animals, GivingWay is a good place for you. GivingWay allows you to search for and find volunteer opportunities with animals around the world.
You can contribute to animal welfare and wildlife conservation in all kinds of environment, from rain forests to farms and cities.
Volunteering locations include Costa Rica, Nepal, Peru, South Africa, and Thailand.
#10 Volunteer World
Volunteer World connects you with your favourite animal volunteer projects. Founded in 2006, they have since, engaged volunteers with social projects.
Volunteers have projects in Costa Rica, South Africa, Tanzania, Ecuador, Indonesia, and Europe.
#11 International Volunteer HQ
International Volunteer HQ has affordable Animal Care and Wildlife Conservation volunteer projects for animal lovers or anyone wanting to play a hands-on role in helping to protect wild species in order to prevent extinction.
Their top wildlife volunteer programs include Wildlife Conservation in Victoria Falls, Wildlife Conservation in Kruger National Park, South Africa, Wild Elephant Conservation in Sri Lanka, Sea Turtle Conservation in Madagascar, Veterinary Care in Tanzania, and Supporting Animal Shelters in Guatemala.
Read: 10 Best Child Volunteering Opportunities Abroad In 2023
GVI’s wildlife conservation programs give you a chance to get involved in conservation research, data collection and environmental education work abroad.
Serving as a conservation volunteer with GVI means working with some of the world’s most endangered animals.
You will get involved in programs working towards the conservation of African animals like cheetahs, rhinos, lions, elephants, and hyenas, Aldabra giant tortoises, Asian elephants, Jaguars, Reptiles and Amphibians, Sea turtles, Sicklefin lemon sharks, and Tropical birds.
Locations include Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, and Latin America.
#13 African Impact
Founded in 2004, African Impact are leaders in the volunteer travel industry in Africa and experts in responsible volunteering, gap year programs, study abroad service learning and internships in Africa.
They have animal and wildlife conservation projects in Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Zanzibar, and Zimbabwe.
Wildlife is an important aspect of the human life and environment. It is a humanitarian call to be part of the wildlife conservation projects around the world and contribute in whatever way you can.
From protecting critically endangered black rhinos on the plains of Africa to tracking sea turtles on the beaches of Costa Rica, there are a whole lot of veterinary volunteering opportunities abroad. You can embark on your passion, and make a difference in our world today.
In conclusion, these are the best Veterinary Volunteering Opportunities