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Work With Township Cats and Dogs



This animal rescue centre has been making a difference to the lives of dogs and cats in need for over twenty years. The centres mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home domestic animals, as well as provide veterinary services to the poorer local communities. All the animals cared for have been either abandoned, abused or neglected. Following rescue, individuals are rehabilitated using best veterinary and animal behavioural practices to prepare them for adoption into new homes. The centre also plays a vital role in re-uniting lost animals with their guardians and carries out veterinary outreach and humane education in low income areas.

This pro-quality life centre has a full-time veterinarian on site and veterinary assistants who focus on sterilizations and treatment of injured animals. The feral cat project sterilizes over 300 cats alone a month. One of the core aims of the onsite clinic is to control the unwanted births of dogs and cats in low-income areas, and sterilisation of all treated animals is mandatory. Sterilisation drives, including door-to-door canvassing, have resulted in fewer unwanted puppies and kittens . The clinic staff operate two Mobile Clinic vans that, on a pre-arranged schedule, serve the low-income areas offering primary healthcare for animals in these communities as well as free sterilisations, which is carried out at the centres hospital.

This centre is dedicated to improving the lives of neglected, abused, and unwanted homeless animals and being a volunteer means being the best part of a homeless animal’s day!

In my time as a volunteer I got to work with everyone there, from the clinic staff to the kennel manager. It was a lot of fun. I had the opportunity to train dogs, take care of the feeding, do maintenance in and around the kennels, participate in rescuing the animals and, one of the best parts of it, got to cuddle lots of dogs. I loved being there and keep coming back for the good-hearted people and the amazing work. It really is a special place and volunteering there makes you feel like part of a big family with lots of fur babies.

Kira From Germany

Trip highlights:

Help cats and dogs get proper healthcare

Aid injured animals with their recovery.

Assist Vets in the clinic

Assist animal welfare officers with mobile clinics in townships

Assist with rescues (We’d be very happy for assistance from the volunteers however feral cat rescues happen in the evening not during the day also, on weekend.)

Assist with animal adoption

Assist with animal stimulation

At a Glance

Project duration:  2 to 12 weeks.

Location of project: Cape Town

Arrival airport: Cape Town International, South Africa.

Working hours: 5 days per week Monday to Friday 08h00 until 16h00

Getting to the project: Short mini bus taxi ride caught straight outside volunteer house

Requirements: minimum age 18.

Accommodation: Comfortable shared accommodation in a volunteer house with shared facilities. Couples and single rooms can be accommodated upon request and availability.

Food: Excluded. Volunteers buy and prepare their own meals

Airport pickup: Included on the arrival day before 16h15

You will need to organise: Flights, insurance, visa's, return airport transfer

Please note:  Worm Tablets to be taken before arrival

Your Role

As a volunteer you will receive exposure to a vast variety of cases that you would not normally be exposed to in private practice, making a great working for potential veterinarians, vet nurses, animal welfare officers or companion animals enthusiasts.

As a volunteer you will assist with:

- Assist at the centres hospital – prepping animals for surgery

- Assist animal welfare officers on mobile units

- Caring for animals in recovery and ensuring their environment is hygienic

- Marketing, fundraising and public relations assistance

- Helping with day to day running of the clinic/hospital

- Assist with animal husbandry and feeding

- Cat and kitten socialisation 

- General maintenance, such as gardening, building and painting

Please take note that volunteers may not perform any surgical procedures or diagnose animals.

We would welcome volunteers with the following experience:

- ANYONE who loves animals
- Veterinary qualification
- Marketing and public relations
- Website development and electronic newsletters
- Building, painting and project management



Day 1 (Monday) – hello and welcome!

Arrive at Cape Town International Airport (airport code CPT) where you’ll be met at the airport and taken to our volunteer house in Fish Hoek. You’ll need to arrive before 4.15pm so that you’re in time for orientation at 5pm. The journey from the airport to Fish Hoek takes about 45 minutes and you’ll see the magnificent Table Mountain on the way! Orientation will take you through what you can expect from your project, dos and don’ts and how to stay safe. It’s also a great opportunity to ask any burning questions you’ve got. Afterwards you can relax and prepare before your first day at the project.

Note: If you aren’t able to arrange a flight to get you into Cape Town before 4.15pm then we recommend you fly in a day early. We can arrange an early airport pickup for you including one night’s accommodation. Please give us a call for more information.

Day 2 (Tuesday) – Meet the Team at the centre!

This morning our team will be on hand to make sure you know where you’re going and get you settled. You’ll head off to the centre to meet the dedicated staff and volunteers. The centre is always super excited to have someone fresh and ready to help

Days 3 to 5 (Wednesday to Friday) – get stuck in!

You’ll start getting to know how the centre runs, you will be shown the ropes by the dedicated staff and volunteers. The cats and dogs are on different sites – however very close to each other.

Days 6 and 7 (Saturday to Sunday) – it’s the weekend!

Spend your free time as you please. Cape Town offers so much to do. There are loads of stunning beaches to choose from, where you can get a tan and relax. Or you could visit the city, climb Table Mountain, check out a penguin colony, go wine tasting or pop in to the many fascinating museums and art galleries. Alternatively you could just chill at the volunteer house in the garden or around the swimming pool.

Following weeks – keep up the good work!

Your weekdays will be spent assisting in the clinic, working in the community with the mobile clinic, feeding, cleaning, walking dogs. You’ll learn more about the community and can even get involved in fundraising or other activities. And any extra time you spend at the centre is always much appreciated.

Your last day (Monday) – goodbye, we’ll miss you!

It will be sad to say goodbye to your newfound friends but you’ll have so many special memories to take back with you. The return transfer from Fish Hoek to Cape Town International is not covered within your project fee but our regular transfer company will be able to organise the journey. Budget around £25/R350.

About the Project

The seeds were planted when three ladies visited a local township over 20 years ago with a bucket of tick dip and a packet of de-worming tablets. It was the desperate state of the dogs and cats they found in this impoverished area that motivated the ladies to begin to dream of starting an organisation that would alleviate the suffering of the animals they were trying to help, but on a much larger and more effective scale.

At this time the plight of domestic animals in the area had reached a crisis point. Mange was rife and many animals were skeletal – their guardians living in abject poverty, sometimes unable to feed themselves. De-worming, vaccinations and sterilisation were unheard of. Female dogs suffered from malnutrition and were unable to feed their puppies; many died.

The ladies started a clinic in 1999, treating animals for fleas, mange and tick infestation. They handed food parcels out, and identified animals needing veterinary attention. Sterilisations were treated by local vets. While working in the poorer areas the ladies began to accumulate unwanted and stray animals and desperately needed facilities in which to house them. They began by renting kennels for their rescued dogs. Cats, kittens and puppies were housed at the one of the founder’s homes. The centre was later able to move to rented premises and has grown into an established and sustainable non-profit organisation.

While you're here


Our volunteer house in Fish Hoek will be your happy home for this trip. It accommodates up to 18 to  people ( volunteers only) in dormitory-style, same sex rooms with bunk beds, a maximum of six people per room. There are three bathrooms with hot, running water, showers and regular flush loos. There’s also a lounge area, lush garden and barbeque. You’ll be only a short distance from the shops and beach. You’ll find lockers at the accommodation to lock your valuables away but please remember to bring a padlock and keys with you! You’ll need to pay R1000 deposit when you arrive which will be given back to you when you leave if everything’s still as you found it.


You’ll be self-catering while in the house. The kitchen has everything you need from cookers, loads of fridge space and microwave to toaster, kettle and kitchen utensils. You can eat at the dining room table or lounge on the balcony. There’s a barbeque outside or, as we call it in SA, a braai, which is the best way to cook on a warm evening. You can also grab takeaways at the many spots in the town, about 10 minutes’ walk away.

Note: While in the house you will be responsible for keeping the place clean so please tidy up after yourself, especially in the kitchen. Budget around US$65 per week for groceries, as prices are similar to home.

Facilities and the area

We have WIFI at the house – R100 per person per week.

Washing can be done at the laundry down the road: simply drop off your clothes and pick them up later!

Cape Town has a temperate climate but winter is still chilly so pack warm jumpers and even some cosy socks as SA doesn’t have central heating.

Bedding is provided but bring a sleeping bag for away weekends and extra warmth.

Bring along a towel

Fish Hoek’s main street is only 10 minutes’ walk away where you’ll find a supermarket, serviced laundry and internet café, as well as banks and other shopping. The beach is just a stone’s throw beyond that!

Bars, restaurants, more shopping and more beautiful beaches are only 10 minutes drive away.

Fish Hoek is on the train line and trains are a great way to travel but they stop running at 7pm.

Taxis to Cape Town CBD cost around US$30/ R350 each way.

Advice & Safety

Throughout your programmes you will have the support and guidance of the programme co-ordinator and team. You will be provided with competent assistance and help with any questions or advice you may need during your stay and someone will always be available in case of emergency.

What you get

Expert help-desk

We're always available to offer support and guidance before, during and after your trip.

Thorough project briefing materials

Once you’ve booked you'll receive a full pack of all the information you need for the project. It contains general information about volunteering, your specific project and South Africa as well as advice on safety, visas and inoculations.

Airport pickup

Don’t worry about arriving in a new country on your own. We’ll be there to welcome you and take you to your accommodation.

Arrival orientation

Soon after you arrive you’ll attend a thorough orientation with our team. It covers everything you need to know about your next few days, dos and don’ts and your safety. You can ask any questions and find out more about the fun stuff to do around Cape Town and South Africa.

Accommodation and meals

Accommodation is included with all projects and meals are included with some. We only use locally-owned and operated accommodation so that part of your placement fee is filtering back into the local economy. Most projects offer homestay, guesthouse or shared volunteer houses as standard accommodation, but some offer the chance to upgrade to a more comfortable living standard.

24/7 emergency support

We’re always on hand in case of an emergency.

After you've booked

  • You will receive a welcome email confirming your booking
  • You’ll receive a full project pack with all the info you need
  • You’ll be asked for any extra info if we need it – such as doctor’s notes for medical conditions, or maybe a CV on some projects
  • You’ll need to pay if you haven’t paid already (at least 90 days before travelling)

Then the fun starts!

Next you should:

  • Book your flights
  • Arrange suitable travel insurance
  • Get a visa for your trip if it's needed
  • Visit a nurse or travel clinic for advice on inoculations and malaria prevention
  • Start packing and come and join us!

*Remember to keep our contact details in a safe place in your hand luggage in case you need to contact us during your travels.

About South Africa

South Africans are patriotic and passionate about their country. And it’s not despite the country’s famously troubled history – it’s because of it! The people of this democratic country are so proud of how far they have come from the dark days of Apartheid and it makes us grateful for the diversity of cultures and languages that make up our amazing rainbow nation.

South Africa is a country of diversity in so many ways. It’s not a big country but travelling across the length and breadth of it, you’ll encounter an incredible range of climates and landscapes. There’s beautiful Cape Town, with its Mediterranean feel, pristine white beaches, sparkling oceans and magnificent Table Mountain providing the craggy backdrop for every setting. Travel east along the Garden Route with its picture-postcard coastal villages and you’ll eventually reach Durban and surrounds, a tropical area where the sun shines almost every day, the sea is warm and the surfing is fantastic! Then there’s the rugged Drakensberg mountain range, a place of rich Zulu heritage, spectacular views and jagged sweeps of peaks.  Further north you’ll hit South Africa’s famous ‘veld’ or bush where you’ll find Africa’s big five and many thousands of other species of animals, hiding out in landscapes that are lit at sunset by the most vivid orange, pinks and purples.

There are so many things to see and do here that you’ll need years. But if your time is limited, here’s our top five must-dos:

Game viewing

You can’t come to Africa and not experience the amazing animals, the wild and beautiful African bush and the chorus of an African dawn. Kruger National Park is the most popular choice but there are a host of other parks in the northern parts of South Africa and the Free State as well as KwaZulu-Natal, offering a range of options from the most luxurious accommodation with chefs at your service to DIY game viewing and camping.

Adrenalin adventures

Adventure is the name of the game in this crazy country and if it’s outdoors and adrenalin-inducing, you’ll find it here. From the highest bungee jump and highest commercial abseiling in the world to shark cage diving, downhill mountain biking, trail running, walking safaris, big wave surfing and multi-day hiking, there’s something for ever thrill seeker.


South Africa has thousands of miles of glorious coastline, with Blue Flag beaches and hidden gems dotted along its length. There’s beaches for the glamorous, where you can go to see and be seen, beaches perfect for families, beaches for walking, beaches for swimming and beaches for watersports. There’s probably beaches which have never been trodden by a tourist before. Go on, we dare you to find it!

Nightlife, restaurants and entertainment

No holiday would be complete without a few good nights out and South Africa knows how to entertain. With so many cultures making up our population, there’s loads of delicious food on offer full of every fresh ingredient you could think of. There are pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes to suit every taste. South Africa is famous for its wonderful wines and there’s a craft beer revolution happening right here. Pack your dancing shoes!

A taste of township and culture

South Africa has a rich, tumultuous history dotted with dismal lows and incredible highs – and full of astounding stories from amazing people. It’s what makes South Africa the colourful place it is. Museums of every shape and size document the various aspects of our human and natural history, arts and culture – you’ll find them all over the country. Or why not take a township tour and experience the true heart of South African culture?  If you’re visiting Cape Town, come to Kommetjie and visit Masiphumelele with the Township Sisters, our special Volunteer and Explore partners, and help support the sustainable development of this vibrant township.


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