Animal Welfare Volunteering in Ecuador

Dogs are pretty much the best thing ever.  Sadly, not all these very good boys (and girls) have happy homes and big bowls of food to go home to. Many dogs end up abandoned, abused, or born on the streets only to live a challenging, and often, short life.  Fortunately, our partner supports local shelters that take in these pups and other animals that need care.  As a volunteer on the Animal Welfare Volunteering in Ecuador project, you’ll help with all aspects of the shelter and work towards giving the animals the attention they need to become social creatures eligible for adoption.  Potential volunteers with veterinary training or experience are highly encouraged to apply, but anyone who cares about disadvantaged animals is welcome.

Individuals with veterinary training or experience are highly encouraged to apply, but anyone who cares about disadvantaged animals is welcome.

The Animal Welfare Volunteering in Ecuador project welcomes volunteers to join our amazing animal welfare program to make an active contribution to animal conservation by caring for stray and abandoned dogs and cats across the country.  The main objective of this program is to collaborate with refuges for domestic animals and animal shelters by providing to general care and welfare injured, abused, stray and abandoned animals, as well as helping to control the overpopulation of the urban fauna on the streets.​

As a volunteer in this project, you will be collaborating in a wide variety of volunteer roles, including, but not limited to:

  • Feeding
  • Bathing and brushing
  • Walking, playing, and socializing
  • Providing basic obedience training
  • Cleaning cages
  • Working with shelter staff in rescue operations
  • Assisting veterinary team in sterilization issues, treatments, drug administration
  • Helping animals find new homes​

Apply Now!

Staff member surrounded by dogs at a rescue center


Room & Board

Your project fee for projects in Ecuador covers your room and full board in a host family house.  Lunches are not included during weekends as volunteers typically use this free time to explore Ecuador and experience local restaurants.

  • Shared, single-sex room (occasionally a private room is available)
  • 3 meals per day during the week & 2 meals per day (breakfast & dinner on weekends
  • WiFi is usually not available at host houses, so purchasing a local SIM card for an unlocked phone is recommended
  • Tap water in Ecuador is not drinkable, so all water is boiled prior to drinking – alternatively, bottled water or the use of a camping water filter may be used
  • In the Andes region, hot water is available in host houses due to cold weather – in the coastal and Amazonian regions, due to the heat, hot water is generally not available but fans often are
  • Mosquito nets are provided



As with all GOAT Volunteer projects, there are 2 primary fees associated with volunteering: the application fee paid to GOAT and the project fee paid directly to the NGO after they accept your application.

2 weeks$480
4 weeks$780
Additional weeks (each)$150
Prices for projects in Ecuador are in US dollars; please check the current exchange rate for costs in your local currency (

Included: Private/shared room in host family home • Meals (3 on weekdays, 2 on weekends & holidays) • 24/7 local support • Airport pick-up

NOT Included: Flights • Airport return • Vaccinations • Visas • Travel insurance • Extra activities • Personal expenses • Bank/wire transfer fees

For project duration not listed, please Contact Us.


All projects incur a $250 application fee.  Please see the The Fine Print page for more information.


Trip Add-ons

Volunteers participating in all projects in Ecuador have the opportunity to take add-on Spanish language lessons.  Click the button below for more information.

Spanish Lessons


Special Considerations | Volunteer Teaching in Ecuador


For special considerations regarding all projects in Ecuador, please visit the Ecuador page.


Costa Rica is home to a significantly large stray dog population and volunteers on projects working with animals are highly encouraged to consider vaccination against rabies.  Rabies is found on all continents except Antarctica and is fatal if not treated quickly after a exposure.

Justin’s Advice: If you can get your rabies vaccinations outside of the United States, do so. In the US, this series of 3 injections costs about $1,000.  It’ll be a fraction of that in another country.

Placement Location

Our partner NGO in Ecuador supports a huge number of projects.  In most instances, placements will occur at the location most in need of volunteers at the time.  Occasionally, volunteers will be given the opportunity to select which location they prefer.

Language Skills

This project requires volunteers to speak English fluently and have at least a basic level of Spanish. For individuals interested in improving their Spanish language skills, classes are available outside of volunteering hours. Please see the Spanish Lessons page for details and pricing.