The Animal Rescue Program
South Africa is now open to all international arrivals! See the Additional Info. section for COVID-19 arrival information.
This wonderful project works to rescue and rehabilitate animals in need in the Philippi farming area. The residents live in extreme poverty, well below the poverty line. There is a huge issue with stray animals/pets in the area, largely dogs and some cats. Due to the tough economic and social situation in the area, these animals are often neglected and left to fend for themselves, often resulting in starvation and/or sickness. Because of this ever-growing problem in the area, an animal rescue and rehabilitation centre was established. The centre is a pro-life, non-profit organisation that rescues, cares for, and sterilizes stray dogs and cats, with the hope of eventually finding new homes for them. The centre is only able to employ a handful of permanent staff, depending heavily on volunteers to assist with daily tasks and to supply hands-on care for these vulnerable animals.
Goals of this Project:
- To rescue and care for neglected and abandoned animals in the Philippi area
- Find forever homes for these wonderful animals
- Sterilize the animals to combat the over-breeding issue
- Enable inter-cultural exchange which benefits both locals and international volunteers alike
How You Can Help
This wonderful project plays an important role in making the area safer and in creating a better life for neglected and abandoned animals. The rescue and rehabilitation centre houses the animals in a large area as well as indoor rooms for those animals in treatment or rehabilitation. Loving and compassionate care is given to animals, with the hope of eventually finding them forever homes. Volunteers assist with tasks such as the cleaning and maintenance of the animal housing areas, walking the dogs, feeding, or even just spending time playing with the animals in order to reintegrate them with people. Volunteers also work on coordinating and assisting with fundraising events and initiatives. Time spent with the adorable puppies is always volunteers’ favourite aspect of this project! This program is a wonderful experience for international volunteers who will learn so much from the passionate staff and the amazing people and cultures who combine in this fantastic community. Volunteers will generally work from 8:00 am –5.00 pm, Monday to Friday.
Volunteers on this program will contribute in a number of ways. This placement is very hands -on and you can expect to undertake the following tasks:
- Feed and play with the animals
- Clean animal houses and kennels
- Walk the dogs
- Work on fundraising initiatives
Love Volunteers welcomes all those 18 years and over who wish to give their time and energy to help protect and conserve the domesticated animals of Cape Town. This project is best suited to those who are either pursuing a career in animal conservation/zoological studies, or who simply wish to explore an interest in this field. However, the project is open to all and does not require participants to have specific education, qualifications or experience, as you will be shown everything you need to know by one of local project leaders. Importantly though, all applicants must first and foremost have a genuine willingness to help, show drive and initiative, and bring a positive 'can-do' attitude. If this sounds like you, we want you on the team!
Volunteers participating in this program also need to be vaccinated against both Rabies and Tetanus, prior to arrival - they will need to present proof of this on their first day at the animal shelter. New animals are constantly being brought in off the streets, so this is a necessary precautionary measure.
Additionally, volunteers applying to join this program will be required to supply to following documentation:
- Emergency contact
- Vaccination Certificate
Philippi is a farming area located about 30 minutes drive from Cape Towns city center. It is sparsely populated compared to the surrounding city and contains many farms.
Half of Cape Towns vegetables are grown here. The ability to grow produce here is aided by the fact that the area sits on top of a large aquifer.
Start Dates & Duration
This project is available year-round and programs start every SUNDAY. Volunteers can choose to participate for periods ranging from 2 weeks to 12 weeks. Longer stays can be arranged directly with the local team, but will be subject to availability and individual visa conditions.
Spaces on this project are limited and therefore subject to availability. Early booking is recommended.
For current available start dates please check the calendar on the right.
Arrival & Orientation
Upon arrival into Cape Town airport volunteers will be collected by a representative of the local project team and transported to their assigned accommodation where they will join a short welcome session. On Monday, volunteers attend the full orientation session where a representative from the local team will fill you in on local and regional customs, traveling, rules and recommendations, and of course, what to expect from your volunteering experience in South Africa. This is a great opportunity to get to know your hosts, meet your fellow volunteers, and ask any last questions you may have.
- Program Arrival Day: SUNDAY
- Program Departure Day: SATURDAY
- Arrival/Departure Airport: Cape Town International Airport, Cape Town, South Africa (CODE: CPT)
Accommodation & Meals
Volunteers joining our Animal Rescue team in the Philippi farming area are accommodated with one of our carefully selected local host families, in shared rooms. The families are experienced in hosting international volunteers and will take very good care of you.
Staying with a local South African family is a great way to be truly immersed in the local culture. All families have been fully vetted by our local team and have plenty of experience in hosting international volunteers.
Volunteers are provided with breakfast, light lunch and dinner daily. Snacks can be purchased at local eateries. Easy!
*In addition to the program fees listed above a Registration Fee is payable to secure your place. The registration fee is USD 299 for those volunteering with Love Volunteers for the first time or USD 149 for any subsequent volunteer placements. The registration fee includes: lifetime LV Alumni Membership, fundraising support & advice, dedicated pre-departure support, certificate of completion (on request), and exclusive access to the LV Trip Planner.
Some things are not included in the program fees listed above, such as flights, visas, vaccinations, travel insurance, additional foods and snacks, spending money, local transport, in-country trips and excursions, return airport transfer (unless mentioned above).
Please note that prices are subject to change without notice. Please ensure you have read the Love Volunteers Terms and Conditions & Refund Policy.
All international arriving flight passengers will need to adhere to the following:
- A negative Covid-19 test result, taken no more than 72 hours prior to their departure. Those arriving without this will be tested and placed in quarantine (at their own cost) until a negative result is achieved/obtained.
- All incoming passengers will be screened upon arrival, for Covid-19 symptoms
- All arrivals are asked to download the Covid Alert SA App. Information on this is available here: https://sacoronavirus.co.za/covidalert/
Animal Shelter - Volunteers participating in this program need to be vaccinated against both Rabies and Tetanus, prior to arrival - they will need to present proof of this on their first day at the animal shelter. New animals are constantly being brought in off the streets, so this is a necessary precautionary measure.