Animal Shelter Volunteering in Sri Lanka

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 and cats end up abandoned, abused, or born on the streets only to live a challenging, and often, short life.  Fortunately, our partner supports a shelter that takes in these animals that need care.  When participating in animal shelter volunteering in Sri Lanka, 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.

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

The Animal Shelter Volunteering in Sri Lanka project is all about caring for abandoned dogs, cats, and other animals. Animals are often found or dropped off at shelters, some of which were born on the streets or became separated from their owners. The caring individuals at the shelter work to better the lives of these animals.  Most of these animals don’t get the attention they require due to the overwhelming number and limited staff, so volunteering to spend time with them helps improve their lives and chances of getting adopted, as you will be helping to socialize them.  The volunteers are able to spend time with them, clean the cages, bathe them, clean around the shelter, feed them and look after any sick dogs & cats.

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Room & Board

All projects in Sri Lanka are based out of a basic hotel rooms based in the city or village in which the project is located.  Local transportation to/from the project site is included.

  • Shared, single-sex hotel rooms (max 3 volunteers) with en suite washrooms and air conditioning
  • Tap water in Sri Lanka is not drinkable, but filtered water is provided
  • 3 meals per day provided at the hotel
  • WiFi is not typically available in the hotels, so volunteers are encouraged to acquire a local SIM card (assuming they possess an unlocked/international phone) if they wish to have internet access



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.

1 week$340
2 weeks$680
4 weeks$1,300
Prices for projects in Sri Lanka are in US dollars; please check the current exchange rate for costs in your local currency (

Included: Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated) • Location orientation • Shared accommodations in local hotels (usually not more than 3 per room) • 3 meals per day • Project training • Project donation • 24/7 emergency phone & in-country support

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

For custom lengths of stay not listed, please contact us for pricing.


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 Sri Lanka have the opportunity to take advantage of island life and earn an additional PADI Open Water Diver certification.  The course can be taken as a stand alone program or added to the week before or after a volunteering project.  Click the button below for more information.

PADI Certification


Special Considerations | Animal Shelter Volunteering in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

For special considerations regarding projects in Sri Lanka, please visit the Sri Lanka page.

Rabies Vaccination

Sri Lanka 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.  All of the dogs at the shelters have been vaccinated for rabies, so the risk of exposure at the shelter is low.

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.