Join our rescue centre for stray dogs in the Sacred Valley of the Incas in Peru



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 Min stay requested: at least 2 weeks

  • Description


    Our new dog rescue centre is a grassroots organization located in Urubamba, which is centrally located in the Sacred Valley of Peru.

    A little background on how our centre came to be:
    A local vet named Fabrizio, dreamed of opening a dog rescue centre one day. Two travelers from Canada visited his practice in an effort to rescue a dog from the streets. The mutual love for dogs forged a bond between Fabrizio and the travelers that eventually resulted in the creation of the shelter.

    There is an alarming amount of dogs roaming all over the Sacred Valley. Many are homeless. Some have homes but are not well cared for. The streets are a very dangerous place for these vulnerable animals. Most are fearful and in poor health. Before our centre existed there was no resources available to help the roaming dogs. We felt compelled to help them which led to the creation of this rescue centre.

    The purpose of the centre is to rescue injured, neglected, abused and homeless dogs. We provide them with food, shelter and a caring environment. We focus our efforts on rehabilitation, sterilization and adoption.

    Many throughout Peru are indifferent to or loathe older dogs and mixed breed dogs. They only want puppies or pure breed dogs. Once dogs grow out of puppyhood, they are abandoned to live alone in rural areas or on the streets. We aim to change this mentality so that people value older and mixed breed dogs. Currently, many view their pets as disposable things. We want to cultivate a mindset that views pets as family members, to care for and love forever.

    We realize the importance of educating the local population on responsible pet care. We strive to open hearts and minds to animal welfare, focussing our efforts on adolescents and children.

    We help reduce the overpopulation of both dogs and cats. We regularly host sterilization campaigns. It is common for us to sterilize up to 100 cats and dogs in one day.

    We hope our efforts will result in pets getting the lifelong care that they need and deserve. As a result, we will see less and less dogs and cats roaming the streets.

    We are not associated with any government organization. We rely exclusively on the help of volunteers. Fabrizio helps fund the rescue shelter with the money he earns from his veterinary practice. We also rely on donations which are much needed for the project to continue.

    We could not do what we do without the help of volunteers like you! Now is a great time to get involved with us! You will acquire skills, experience, confidence and the deep satisfaction that only comes from volunteering for a cause that speaks to your heart.

    Our Rescue Centre is a registered non-profit charity organization in Peru with registration number N°: 2018 – 01141106. Fabrizio, the founder of the Rescue Centre, is a registered veterinarian and zoo technician (tuition number 5099 from the Veterinary Medical College of Peru).

    Here are some of the things we are presently doing to help dogs and what we are planning to do as soon as we have enough resources:

    1) Currently, we assess the condition of dogs on the streets and determine if they are injured and in any distress. We utilize all our resources to help as many dogs as possible by providing the required medical treatment, sterilization, food, shelter and rehabilitation methods.

    We plan to provide assistance to street dogs that cannot be placed in our centre by providing water and food dispensers and doghouses which we will place in strategic locations throughout the Sacred Valley.

    2) We are launching a Friends for Animals Club at various schools in the region. The purpose is to open children’s hearts to pets and all animals. We aim to foster a mindset of kindness and compassion towards animals rather than indifference and cruelty. We would like our efforts to translate into children doing more to protect and help animals. We will teach children how to be a responsible pet owner. They will be involved with walking, bathing, feeding, and playing with the dogs in the centre.

    3) We are starting a pilot project with the Friends for Animals Club with 2 schools in the local area.

    4) We are talking at school assemblies to raise awareness about proper treatment and care of pets.

    5) There are many parades and festivals that are celebrated in Urubamba and Cusco every year. As an action to help raise awareness for dog welfare, we try to participate in every parade. We march with our Rescue Centre banners held high for all to see. All our volunteers participate, each walking a shelter dog. It’s a first for Peruvians in the area to see such a sight in a parade.

    6) We are setting up an Adoption Program that will enable us to have our dogs adopted by people living in other countries.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities

    DIY and building projects
    General Maintenance
    Help around the house
    Animal Care
    Charity Work
    Help with Computers/ Internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Volunteers will be working with Fabrizio, the founder and veterinarian of the centre; as well with local volunteers and people indigenous to the area. Volunteers will have a culturally immersive experience while living amongst the locals. Urubamba offers an authentic look into the everyday live of the Peruvian people. You will have the opportunity to experience delicious local Peruvian cuisine. You will get to witness the cultural traditions, such as the vibrant and entertaining festivals that happen frequently throughout the year.

    Urubamba is a friendly town making it easier to create connections with local residents and for cross cultural exchange. It is less touristy and more peaceful than Cusco which creates a more intimate and authentic feel to the area.

    Urubamba is in the heart of the Sacred Valley. It is a great traveler homebase, making it convenient to explore the Sacred Valley of the Incas. The area was significant for the Inca Empire, and is the home of some incredible Inca (and pre-Inca) archaeological sites, the most famous being Machu Picchu.

    There are many Incan and pre-Incan sites to explore in the area. Some Inca archeological sites to visit in the area include: Ollantaytambo. Pisac, Sacsayhuamán, Chinchero, Moray, Q’enco, Puka Puchara, Tambomachay and oh ya… Machu Picchu, to name a few.

    You will often hear Quechua being spoken in the area. It was the language spoken by the Incas. An astonishing 13% of the inhabitants of Peru still speak it. A significant portion of the population of the Sacred Valley speak the language.

    For volunteers that have an interest in learning Spanish, they can take Spanish classes in Urubamba. Volunteers will also be able to practice and improve their Spanish by speaking it with local volunteers , Fabrizio and employees of the rescue centre.

  • Help


    Here are all the possible ways you can help us:

    1. We need help with the everyday operational requirements of the shelter. This is the baseline mandatory work for all volunteers.
    - Our dogs have trust issues and have little to no experience being walked on leash. It is essential to be gentle and patient with them and help build their trust in people. They need to get accustomed to being walked on leash. They need to be socialized with humans and other dogs. This will increase their chances of a successful adoption.
    - meal preparation and feeding
    - Administering required medication
    - Many dogs are receiving unique rehabilitation treatments which we will need assistance with.
    - Cleaning (dog grooming, cleaning the shelter facilities and property grounds, cleaning the dog kennels, and cleaning your volunteer accommodation and communal areas)
    - Receiving guests visiting the shelter, showing them around, talking to them about the centre and answering their questions.

    2. We are in the process of building infrastructure on the centre grounds and need help with the construction of the following amenities:
    - A 1200 square meters green area divided into three sections.
    - A play area containing a pre-fabricated pool. This space will be utilized in the following ways: for social/playtime for the dogs. It will also be adapted for the purposes of rehabilitating injured dogs and ones that have underwent surgery
    - Another room is being build as a secure dog enclosure/kennel providing extra protection and shelter from the elements
    - Recovery room
    - Quarantine room

    3. Engaging with the local inhabitants to build awareness of dog welfare
    - We need help placing drinking and feeding containers and sheds in carefully planned locations in the Sacred Valley, in partnership with the local residents.
    - Collaborating with schools: Volunteers will give talks in schools about being responsible with pets (for volunteers who are comfortable in Spanish)

    4. Our website’s Adoption page needs to be regularly updated.

    5. Vet and vet nurse volunteers
    Will be involved in sterilizing dogs (and cats too. To help with overpopulation of cats and dogs in the area, we often do sterilization campaigns where we will spay and neuter up to 100 dogs and cats in one day). Will also help examine dogs and apply the required medications and treatments.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    Spanish: Fluent

  • Accommodation


    - We have two nice rooms with good new mattresses for volunteers in the main building. One bedroom has one double bed (perfect for couples or friends) and a bunk bed, and the other bedroom has a bunk bed and a single bed.

    - The main building contains a bathroom (with hot water)

    - We have an equipped communal kitchen where we provide some ingredients for you to cook your meals.
    Please know that because we are a local and small non-for-profit rescue centre, we have very limited financial resources and we can only offer basic ingredients: bread, jam, butter, coffee, tea, sugar, noodles, beans, rice, and potatoes (these basic ingredients will be the same for everyone, we cannot afford to cater to individual preferences). If you wish to supplement this with something of your liking, we are only 2 kms away from the central market of Urubamba where you can buy things for a very reasonable price. We are also right by a bus stop.

    - We also have a laundry room for clothing and bedding. Please bring your own laundry soap.

    - All volunteers will share domestic duties in the shared living areas.

    - Bed linens, covers, blankets and pillows are provided. Toiletries, including towels, are not provided. Please bring your own.

    - We have wifi throughout the centre.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    - Visit the Sacred Valley of the Incas:
    Incas (and pre-Incas) archeological sites (Machu Picchu, Pisac, Ollantaytambo...), colonial towns, Quechua villages, vibrant local markets.

    - You can go hiking and biking around Urubamba, or anywhere in this beautiful and peaceful valley.

    - Socializing with the friendly local population.

    - Take Spanish or Quechua lessons.

    - Day trip to world-renowned Cusco, the capital of the Inca Empire. There is plenty of cheap transportation between Urubamba and Cusco, about 1hr, each way.

    - Transportation within the Sacred Valley is simple, frequent and cheap with Collectivos (mini-vans). Our centre is adjacent to a bus stop.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 655693531742