Dog Shelter Volunteering Program in Galle, Sri Lanka

Galle, Sri Lanka

57 People are researching this program

Volunteering Journeys

(67 Reviews)
  • From $1039 USD for 3 Weeks

  • 3 - 6 Weeks

  • Select Start Dates

  • 16 to 70 years old



The life of a stray dog is far from easy in Sri Lanka. The vast majority of the public’s awareness of dogs (and animals in general) is still very limited. There are hundreds of thousands of stray dogs in the country who suffer from hunger and untreated diseases, some of which are shot, beaten to death or gassed. Most dogs live on the streets, and many are in an appalling state. Unsprayed females produce several litters of puppies every year, many of which are simply abandoned in front of temples or at the gate of the Dog Care Clinic. These puppies are usually too small to have even the slightest chance of survival unless provided with care. Most of them die of hunger or due to parasites or fall victim to animal abusers. Hence, it is of utmost importance to provide these vulnerable dogs with a level of care that gives them the best chance to survive and thrive.

The main goals of this project are to provide:

-consistent neutering programs to reduce the number of stray dogs

-mass vaccinations in to reduce diseases and to minimize the risk of rabies to both humans and animals

-treatment and care of injured and sick dogs

-increase the understanding between dogs and humans

-to help the locals in Sri Lanka through social adoption projects

Many people who own dogs in Sri Lanka are poor and cannot afford vets' fees, so there is a tremendous need to provide these treatments free of charge.

Arrival and Orientation

Volunteers have to fly into Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) on any Saturday of every month. All volunteers on arrival will get

-Welcome Presentation (including Health & Safety Training)

-Culture Presentation

-Project Specific Presentation

-Area Orientation Tour


The VJ Volunteer Villa has shared bedrooms with attached bathrooms, kitchens, common areas, rooftop terrace and private garden. Each room houses 4 to 6 volunteers. The bedrooms have bunk beds. Our main office is located on the ground floor of the villa where our entire team work daily from 8 AM to 6 PM.

Field Conditions

Participants will work at the Clinic for about 4 hours a day (generally from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM) from Monday to Friday assisting them with various day-to-day tasks that are key for the successful running of their operations. Volunteers will be classified under two categories:

1. General dog lovers (anyone who has a passion for dogs and is willing to spend time caring for them)

2. Veterinary students (anyone who is formally pursuing a career as a vet)

The scope of work for general dog lovers will be:

-Assisting with the daily morning feeding

-Assisting at the daily afternoon feeding

-Socializing the dogs and spending time with sick and injured dogs (this will be a key focus area) 

-Brushing and checking the dogs for ticks

-Nail cutting and ear cleaning

-Helping out with cleaning the dog boxes

-Assisting with their intake of medicines

-Other day-to-day tasks as appropriate

The scope of work for veterinary students will depend on their level of knowledge, experience and technical sophistication in this area. In general, vet students will preferably be placed in the New Clinic, which is the part of the clinic where sick and injured stray and owned dogs arrive. The students will assist the vet with various tasks (e.g. holding the dog while wound cleaning, injections, examination, etc.). The students may also help with washing the dogs. They will also help with the morning feeding. Depending on their level of sophistication, they might also assist during castrations and wound sutures (if deemed qualified by the Clinic authorities).

Your Impact

This program is extremely rewarding and impactful and in your time on the project you will find how valuable your time spent with the dogs is. Please see our video of a volunteer giving his views on the impact made.


Galle, Sri Lanka
  • Where you will be volunteering
    Talpe, Galle

    This clinic is about 15 mins by car. You will be working with professional and experienced local staff and guidance will be given to you. On your first day you will be given a tour of the facility and a schedule will be given to you.

  • Where you'll be staying
    No 36 Sudarmaram Road,KatugodaGalle

    We are based in Galle, which isone of Sri Lanka’s most enchanting destinations, home to the famous 17th century Dutch Fort.

  • Nearest Airport
    Katunayake International Airport (CMB), Gampaha, Sri Lanka


3 Weeks
6 Weeks
3 Weeks

$1039 USD

What’s Included

  • Donation to local organization

  • All meals

  • Transportation to and from project site

  • Training and support

  • Project supplies

  • Airport dropoff

  • Airport pickup

  • Housing

What’s Not Included

  • Local language lessons

  • Travel insurance

  • Air Tickets

Project Start Dates


Volunteering Journeys is a social enterprise that provides the global youth of today with responsible and experiential travel opportunities through sustainable and impactful volunteer programs in the areas of education, healthcare and marine & animal conservation. Our two marquee locations are Galle, Sri Lanka and Kerala, India - both tropical destinations known for their raw beauty, deep culture/history and hospitable people. What separates us from others is our global mindset, local knowhow and ability to deliver wonderful experiences to our young travellers. We are ground operators and offer truly authentic projects be it hospital placements for medical/nursing students, working with special needs communities, women's empowerment, teaching english to children or Buddhist monks, or working on serious elephant, dog care or sea-turtle conservation projects. We also offer unique adventure & sightseeing tours in these locations, which can be done on a standalone basis or combined with any of our volunteering programs. All our programs are created and managed with the goal of enhancing young travellers' learning and having fun, whilst providing sustainable development and aid to the communities we serve.

Reviews (67)


Dec 31, 2017

I'm a medical student from Germany and I spent four weeks in Kerala. The staff were very helpful and warm. On the first day we got a tour of the surrounding area and the staff helped us plan for the weekends as well. I spent the majority of my ... +more


Nov 17, 2017

Had a great time in Nepal. I really enjoyed my placement at the hospital and felt like I really experienced culture in Nepal


Nov 16, 2017

VJs was very supportive and organised. If we needed help with anything, hospital related or otherwise, they would always have a friendly face and research it for us and give us the information as soon as they could.

The orientation was very helpful and informative for cultural immersion.

Hospital took ...

Angela Au

Nov 15, 2017

I'm a medical student from Australia doing a medical elective with Volunteering Journeys in Kathmandu. The level of support from Volunteering Journeys is great. Although I was mainly at the hospital, I also had the chance to do community work at a school. They give you a free tour ... +more

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