Animal Shelter Goa, India

WHY we need you in India

washing dogs

HOW can you help?

WHAT you can do?

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

alex stock india






  MIN AGE: 16+



Whilst Goa is a popular holiday and backpacker destination, it also has a large number of cattle freely roaming in the streets, which can often cause problems. Stray dogs also end up wandering the beaches due to the numerous beach shacks and restaurants open in the tourist season.

During the summer and monsoon season (May to mid-September), the restaurants along the beach close and the dogs no longer have access to food. During this time of year, volunteer from this program take cooked food to the beach to feed the dogs.

As for the cattle and other animals who get injured in road accidents, they are brought to the rescue centre. Here they are treated, given medication, and taken to the stable to regain their health, and then given away for adoption so that they do not end up on the roads again.

Volunteers will mainly be maintaining the rescue centre, taking care of the injured animals, going out to rescue injured animals when required, assisting the local veterinarian, and also feeding the dogs on the beaches during the months of May to September.

This project gives you the opportunity to make a real contribution to the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, injured, and orphaned animals. Tasks will vary throughout several rescue centres within the Northern Goa region. You will be directed by local rescue experts in daily rescue and rehabilitation tasks, which may include collecting and transporting injured, orphaned, and sick animals, animal care duties, basic first aid as well as the construction of animal enclosures.

You will play a major role in assisting the process of rehabilitation, recovery and release, especially for the orphaned animals that have had one or both parents killed in a road accident and would otherwise not survive.

As a general rule, we recommend never to look at an animal directly in the eye, when you first meet them, as this can be seen as a sign of aggression. Try to build trust before going near them.

Staff at the project will be able to give you more advice on how to interact with the animals, but below is a few basics…

Kittens and Cats
Wipe the eyes and body with warm salty water, and pat dry. Clean litter trays and cages.
Play and spend time stimulating them.

Puppies and Dogs
Wipe with warm salty water and pat dry. Groom and treat for ticks and fleas if any.

Give them lots of exercises and help with training lessons, giving them treats when well behaved. This can be a very important training when they go to their new homes.

Wipe with warm salty water.
Bottle-feeding. Make sure your head is away from theirs and your feet are away from the “kick distance”. Wipe the calf’s mouth and chin with a damp cloth after feeding.

Cows are gentle creatures, but always be aware of your surroundings, when you are with the cows.

Grooming: This is very important for calves and cows. Again, make sure you are not in the kick distance. Make deep sounds when grooming, this comforts them. Massage in circular strokes on the side of their face.

Love being groomed and are very friendly, but shy.

This project would be conducted in the mornings. If you wish, you can continue the program in the afternoon as well.


Goa, Kerala
The beach goers destination with the right mix of infrastructure and order coupled with that crazy un-ordered Indian charm. Goa is a really fun destination, with plenty of party goers and a relaxed funky vibe great for the free spirited types who want a more ‘westernized’ taste of India!

Project Tasks

  • Provide care for orphaned, injured, and sick animals.
  • Assist in grooming, feeding, washing, and exercising the animals.
  • Help with transporting injured animals back to the shelter.

Food & Accommodation

The Goa Volunteer centre is a large western style house with a lovely garden and large outdoor area. The house features and hot water (solar powered), WiFi, dining room, mini library and travel desk, lounge areas, television with satellite connection, safety lockers and lockable rooms, fridge and western style toilets and purified water. Bed linen is provided, however you should bring your own towel. You’ll be sharing a room with max of 2-4 volunteers at any one time in single gender rooms. You can wash your clothes by hand otherwise there is laundry services available for an additional fee. The centre is located located about 1 hour from the airport and about a 15 min walk to the nearest supermarket with ATM and personal SIM card for additional Wifi if desired as the quality of internet is not the greatest! The closest city is Mapusa.

You will be provided with three meals a day on weekdays and two meals per day on weekends. The meals are a mix of Western and Indian food, consisting mainly of vegetarian dishes including rice and vegetables. You can expect to have a chicken dish about twice per week. You can also use the kitchen facilities to cook for yourself or eat out at any of the local restaurants. 

All prices in USD
  • 1 Week - $275
  • 2 Weeks - $445
  • 3 Weeks - $655
  • 1 Month - $865
  • 2 Months - $1795
  • 3 Months - $2695
Vol House
What's Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Airport Pickup
  • Local Transportation
  • 1 Day Orientation
  • 24/7 In-Country Support
  • Project Materials & Equipment
  • Pre-departure Expert Advice
  • Preperation Tools & Checklists
  • Certificate of Completion



If you have a love of animals and a caring nature then yes! This project would suit those who are naturally calm around animals and don’t mind getting stuck in and getting hands dirty!

  • Accommodation
  • 3 meals p/day weekdays / 2 meals p/day weekends
  • Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
  • Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
  • 1 day orientation
  • Daily transportation to project
  • In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
  • Fundraising support
  • University course credits (where applicable)
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Airfares
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tours, Souvenirs & spending money
Your program includes a 1 day orientation. This is an important day to help you become familiar with your surroundings, as well as learning about the local customs, culture and surroundings.
Typical Orientation Day Includes:
  • Introduction meeting, General rules, Setting Expectations, Advice on Health and Safety and insuring you have all your documents.
  • Indian Do’s and Don’ts, Cultural introduction, learning about the countries history 
  • Tour around the accommodation and local area.

Programs begin every Monday, and volunteers are required to arrive the day prior, for orientation before the project. Your accommodation on the Sunday is included in the program fees.

A free airport pickup is included when arriving to Dabolim International Airport (GOI). You must arrive between Sunday 00:00 to 24:00 on Sunday.

If arriving outside the pickup times we charge an additional fee for any extra night’s accommodation before your program, and another fee for a private transfer.

Alternatively, if arriving early you could wait at the arrival’s terminal for the pickup time, book accommodation at the airport and meet us during the pickup times or make your own way to the project (we will advise on how to do this).

From the airport to accommodation, it takes 45 minutes by road.   

On your first day of the program, you will have an orientation day to better understand your new environment and program. Our coordinators will take you to a beautiful spice plantation, a visit to the local market, and a few supermarkets located close to your accommodation. You can also use this time to exchange any currency or purchase essential items you might need during your stay.

You will receive an introduction to the project and given some time to observe what goes on at the project site. You can also choose to assist the existing volunteers on the project. Our coordinator’s on-site will show you the ropes and train you on the project tasks.

Wednesday to Friday
After an early breakfast, travel to the animal shelter. You will be helping with the following tasks:

  • Feeding the animals
  • Daily or hourly monitoring, reporting, and assessing animals
  • Reporting daily behavioural changes
  • Changing bandages where required
  • Washing and cleaning of animals where required
  • Administering medicine and ointments as required
  • Cleaning enclosures and their environment
  • Animal Enrichment
  • Feeding stray dogs on the beach during the monsoon season of June to October

Please take treats along with you every day. You will have your packed lunch at the shelter, and you may continue with your work after lunch.

You will finish your work at about 16:30 and return to the volunteer house for a well-deserved rest.

Weekends are always free for relaxing or sightseeing of your choice. Our ground operators will help you organise additional trips with special (non tourist) rates which can be paid directly in local currency. As a volunteer you will gain access to local knowledge, opportunities and value you simply would not find if staying as a standard tourist.

Participants below the age of 18 should have parental consent.

Participants above the age of 65 should have medical clearance.

Ensure that you have had all the necessary vaccinations before participating on the project.

Additional Equipment
Sturdy walking shoes
Hat and sunscreen
Water bottle

India is an eclectic and intoxicating cultural experience like no other! Home of the famous Taj Mahal, the Himalayas, the sacred Ganges river, and over 1 billion people of varying languages, cultures and beleifs, India is sure to push you to the boundaries of your comfort zone.

IVI is focused on establishing sustainable employment and education through volunteering efforts in India. Children in some of the regions we service have not had basic nutritional background. Over 950,000 newborns per year in India die from infections. Education about health for families provides a strong foundation for self-care in the communities we service in India.

India’s climte ranges from tropical down south to alpine up in the northern mountain regions. 

From April until the start of October is summer, and in most places in India, is very hot. In June the monsoon rains start in Kerala down south, and move inland. Further north and in the rural areas of Rajasthan, it can get pretty cold from December to January- sometimes as low at minus 5 degrees!

Be prepared for some hot temperatures but if in the Sikkim region, bring along some warmer clothing as it can get cold in the mountains. 

India is a country FULL of culture! From the beautiful colours, different religions, ancient traditions and the smells of spices- India is a country like no other.  It’s the the second most populous nation after China, with over 1.2 billion people. 

The most prominant religions are Hinduism and Buddhism and around 13% of the popualrtion are Muslim. Because there are so many religions, India celebrates a large number of festivals throughout the year. Some of these include Diwali, Holi, Eid and Good Friday. 

In India, the cow is considered to be a Holy animal and you will see cars either driving around, or simply waiting if a cow is in the road holding up traffic! In some parts of India it is forbidden to eat meat or drink alcohol. 

You will see many temples in India, as well as colourful clothing, particually the sari’s that the local women wear, and many cultural dance shows and activities. 

30 Years Non Profit Experience

IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.

Affordable Volunteer Travel

We’re not motivated by shareholder profits.   Our fees are fully transparent to ensure maximum benefit where it is most needed. 

Safe & Responsible Projects

All projects include a dedicated 24/7 in-country management team, operational & risk assessment & overseas support contact.   All projects are personally inspected to ensure very high quality.

Work Experience & University Credits

We place thousands of Uni students and can assist you with course credits and in-field experience points.   Many of our project coordinators are qualified practitioners in their respective fields allowing unique in-field supervision and Uni accreditation options

Weekends & Extra Tours

Ready to Volunteer in India?