Farm Animal Rescue & Sanctuary on Big Island Hawaii, USA


United States

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This listing is a Last minute host. They have let us know that they are looking for help immediately as well as at other times of the year.

 Min stay requested: 1 month or more

  • Description


    We are a newly incorporated nonprofit farm animal sanctuary located in Laupahoehoe on the beautiful east coast of the Big Island, Hawaii. Our purpose is to prevent cruelty to animals by rescuing animals from situations that are abusive, endangering, or neglectful, and to provide sanctuary for rescued animals. Due to the recent volcanic eruptions, our little sanctuary grew fast over night! It is now home to 55 animals and counting including goats, sheep, cows, horses, chickens, pigs, cats, and one dog. We have a mix of feral and domestic animals, babies to great big (300 lbs +) pigs. Each and every one loves attention and will be super excited to welcome you to the sanctuary!

    We are looking for a pair of experienced, full-time live-in animal caretaker volunteers to assist with the daily animal care (which includes lots of love and cuddling!). We are looking for volunteers with prior animal experience who can commit to three (3) months to ensure you have time to get oriented, get to know and connect with all the animals, and provide some continuity on projects. Every one of our animals is a cherished part of our family, and we prepare healthy meals for them 2-3 times per day, clean and maintain their shelters daily, and are always working on projects to expand the sanctuary to best serve the animals here and in the broader community. Animal care takes 5-8 hours per day, so it is possible for this position to be filled by one dedicated volunteer, but to ensure Workawayers have time to explore the rest of the island we are hoping to find a pair traveling together or will try to schedule two volunteers for the same period.

    Our big goal for the next year is to develop an outreach program including sanctuary tours for school classes and all ages, and we would love to find volunteers who want to be actively involved in the program. We are also looking for our live-in volunteers to get involved in our social media presence and/or help on construction projects like building tiny homes for our animals, a special needs animal barn, fence maintenance, etc.

    We look forward to welcoming you!

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Animal care
    Charity work

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We think we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, on the Hamakua Coast of Big Island Hawaii. On days off you can explore the lava fields, white sand beaches, swim with turtles and manta rays, go on breathtaking hikes with Meet-up groups in the area (or connect with our wonderful day volunteers of all ages to explore with). Hawaii is rich with stunning natural beauty and traditional Hawaiian cultural events like Hula dancing, ukulele and slack-key guitar concerts.

    We are a Nonprofit Animal Rescue and Sanctuary. We are relatively new to sanctuary management and currently working to grow the organization. We would love your involvement in all areas such as practicing your social media marketing skills, learning to lead sanctuary tours and other outreach programs, learning or putting to use grant writing skills, and other projects you might want to explore. You will also have the opportunity to work alongside me and learn how to care for all aspects of a farm animal sanctuary including pasture management, healthcare, and enrichment and other ways we holistically care for the animals.

    Our sanctuary is founded on a profound compassion for all animals, and we aim to provide the most loving safe haven possible for these truly special beings. We do not keep livestock or breed stock, nor do we employ working animals. We love sharing this special opportunity to connect with farm animals in a totally positive way, where their personalities and natural behaviors are encouraged to shine. We feel confident that these animals will enrich your life as they do ours.

    We are originally from Sweden and have traveled extensively. We will love sharing travel stories with you and hearing about your adventures!

  • Help


    Thank you for considering volunteering with us! Animal care is centered around feeding, grooming, and cleaning, a fairly set scheduled of a breakfast shift from 7:00-9:00am, a lunch shift from 11:00-1:00pm, and a dinner shift from 3:00-6:00pm. The work is physically challenging (lots of walking and moderately heavy lifting) but very accessible. You will need to be able to work independently, but we all work closely here as it is our home as well as the sanctuary, and we want to be with the animals all day every day too! There are also several lovely day-shift volunteers who will manage much of the feeding and cleaning chores on their given shift, and team up with you on special projects. Our animals thrive with love and affection so chores are balanced with plenty of time to be close with the animals.

    In addition to the animal care you will have the opportunity to support outreach programs such as sanctuary tours, manage our social media presence, and help on construction projects like building tiny homes for our animals, a special needs animal barn, fence maintenance, etc.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Swedish

  • Accommodation


    Volunteers have a fully equipped guest cottage to be shared by 1-2 live-in volunteers. There is one full size bed and a small futon in the cottage, so we can accommodate multiple volunteers traveling together as long as everyone in the group is committed to the full-time volunteer position.

    Occasionally we will have family or guests coming to stay in the volunteer cottage for maybe a week or two at at time, in which case you will get that time completely off to explore the island, make a trip home, or visit a neighboring island. There are beautiful places to camp on all the islands and we will do our best to give as much notice as possible so you have time to plan for these times off. One of our exciting projects for the upcoming year is to add a tiny home to the property that can be dedicated to volunteers so there will not be the need for these weeks off to accommodate other guests.

    The volunteer cottage is very close to the main house (our home), and it is important that we find volunteers with similar lifestyles to our to ensure a good fit. We are quiet and respectful, and we enjoy working together during the days and having peaceful time on our own in the evenings once the work day is finished. We love sharing some meals and getting to know our volunteers and sharing this beautiful life together, but we are also looking for someone who can be independent in their off-work hours. The property (and Big Island in general) is a peaceful place of stunning natural beauty, but not a ton of social activities, so volunteers should be okay with peacefulness and a small network of people to connect with and of course quiet time with the animals.

    Food is not provided with this position, and will be one of your only expenses while staying with us. We do ask that all volunteers maintain a vegan diet while on the property, in respect of our rescued dairy calves, pigs, and other farm animals. You will have tons of resources and support in this here if needed! Volunteer candidates will ideally be vegans who can also explain why these types of animals need the sanctuary we are providing them, but we can also help you learn about the issues and support you on the food front if you are not 100% there yet. We have good vegan basics at the local country store, and a fantastic chain of natural foods grocery in the bigger towns where you can buy the best vegan foods.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    We are looking for volunteers with prior animal experience who can commit to three (3) months to ensure you have time to get oriented, get to know and connect with all the animals, and provide some continuity on projects. We need volunteers who are mature, responsible, and professional, starting morning shift by 7:00am every day, interacting with guests and overseeing day shift volunteering, and having the patience to overcome challenges that may arise (knowing that we will be right alongside you finding solutions together!). There will be a 1-2 week trial period to ensure it is a good fit on both sides.

    We also have a huge need for live-in volunteers to support our social media platforms by posting regularly to our Facebook and Instagram pages. We have the most beautiful models in town to practice your photography on!

    Volunteers must be appropriately licensed to drive a car in the U.S., as we make daily trips to the country store to pick up scraps for the piggies' dinners. The truck can sometimes be used by volunteers for grocery shopping and exploring the island on days off (schedule permitting, as there is sometimes only one vehicle here in which case it needs to remain onsite for sanctuary chores and in case of emergency).

    Animal care coverage is needed at least six days per week, but if two volunteers are coming together we are happy to overlap one of their days off per week for both to explore the island together.

    We are a completely volunteer run organization, no paid positions available. We sincerely appreciate the time our volunteers generously donate to caring for the animals and supporting our cause, and hope that you feel well compensated by the love they will shower you with every day.

    Please absolutely no smoking, drugs, or excessive drinking on the property.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 652779239118