dog shelter


Life of a stray dog is far from easy in Sri Lanka. Public awareness of dogs (and animals in general) is still very limited. There are an estimated 40 million stray dogs, who suffer from hunger and untreated diseases. Only too often they are shot, beaten to death or gassed.

Most dogs in Sri Lanka 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 left on streets. These puppies are usually too small to have 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.

Dog care volunteers in Sri Lanka are critical as your fees helps fund the upkeep of the dog shelter where almost 200 dogs reside.  In addition it also helps to pay for staff and dog food needed on a daily basis. The shelter also has a dog clinic for which medicines, vaccines and equipment is regularly purchased.

Our dog care volunteer program is suitable for dog lovers as well as veterinary students who want a hands on experience.

This Dog Care Volunteer Program is of utmost importance to provide these vulnerable dogs in  Sri Lanka with a level of care that gives them the best chance to survive and thrive. The main goals of this animal care program is 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 that the clinic you will be working in helps with. 

Dog Care Volunteer Gallery

What is involved

On this Dog Care Volunteer Project in Sri Lanka volunteers will work a morning or afternoon shift Monday to Friday assisting the shelter and clinic with various day-to-day tasks that are key for the successful running of the operations. Dedicated local exprts and teams will be on hand to guide you always. We request you to be a little flexible with what you do each day and not expect a strict structure.

Some of the activities you will be involved in include assisting with feeding, socialising of the dogs and spending time with sick and injured dogs (this will be the main focus), dog brushing and checking the dogs for ticks, nail cutting and ear cleaning, helping out with cleaning the dog boxes if needed, assisting in their intake of medicines if needed and other day-to-day tasks as appropriate.

If you are a veterinary student, tasks given to you will depend on your 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, e.g. holding the dog while wound cleaning, injections, examination. You may also help with washing the dogs and with the morning feeding. Depending on your level of sophistication, you might also assist during castrations and wound sutures.

Some details

2024 2025
Jan 28,24 Jan 5, 12, 19, 26
Feb 4, 11, 18, 25 Feb 2, 9, 16, 23
Mar 3, 10, 17, 24 Mar 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Apr 7, 14, 21, 28 Apr 6, 13, 20, 27
May 5, 12, 19, 26 May 4, 11, 18, 25
Jun 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 Jun 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Jul 7, 14, 21, 28 Jul 6, 13, 20, 27
Aug 4, 11, 18, 25 Aug 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
Sep 1, 8, 15, 22 Sep 7, 14, 21, 28
Oct 6, 13, 20, 27 Oct 5, 12, 19, 26
Nov 3, 10, 17, 24 Nov 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Dec 1, 8, 15 Dec 7,14

What your first week looks like

Arrival day

dog care sri lanka
Your arrival weekend will be relaxed. We will pick you up from the airport and bring you to your accommodation. Depending on your time of arrival, our team will meet you and take you to your accommodation and brief you on the area. The next day you will be taken to the project and given project training before you begin volunteering.


Dog Clinic Sri Lanka
Your project coordinator or a member of the team will be taking you to the project and after introductions you can get started. Whilst lunch is given at the project site, breakfast and dinner will be the accommodation and prepared by yourself. In the evenings most volunteers spend it either exploring local sights or relaxing at the accommodation.


Biking in Galle
Our local team will suggest many activities for you to do! Your weekends will be free for you to explore Sri Lanka. We highly recommend you to utilise your time so you can get to see more of the country that you are visiting. We usually make recommendations based on past volunteer experiences. Its always better to book excursions in country with other volunteers.

Weekend activities

Iconic Train Rides

Train Ride Ella to Hatton
Ranked in the top 10 train rides in the world- the journey from Ella to Hatton is a must do!

Yala National Park

Yala Natioanl Park Sri Lanka
Spotting Leopards, Elephants and other wildlife in their natural habitat is absolutely phenomenal !

Surfing In Lanka

Surfing in Sri Lanka
With some world class beaches and waves, Sri Lanka is undoubtedly a top surfing destination!


Sigiriya Rock
Visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO Heritage Site in the Central Province.

Testimonial Videos

Choose an Inspiring Volunteering Destination

Cambodia will allow you to explore the heart of Southeast Asia, a nation replete with lush natural landscapes from dense forests to rice paddy fields, bustling cities, and the majestic architectural remnants of the great Khmer empire dotting every bit of the country.

The charming city of Phnom Penh is the capital and also serves as our base of volunteer operations. Volunteering Journeys Cambodia volunteer abroad projects include Teaching English, Working with NGO’s, helping Special Needs individuals, and Medical & Nursing Internships. Whether you are a gap year student, career breaker or a family or a mature volunteer, you can apply to any of our volunteer in Cambodia projects.

Learn More!


    Our newsletter

    Stay updated with the latest news on what we are upto. Promise we won’t spam your inbox!

      Our brochure

      To get an overview of all our destinations and programs you can download our latest brochure