Help at our small shelter in Tokyo, Japan. Learn the joy of animal welfare!




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 Min stay requested: at least 3 weeks

  • Description


    Our small shelter concept (20+ rescued cats and 2 doggies) animal advocacy group been hosting volunteers for a few years now. For 8 years we were based in Fukushima but have been assisting locals/online community to get involved within their own community rescue efforts since 2000. Recently, we have been blessed with an opportunity to relocate our shelter to Tokyo. We are thankful to workaway amazing travelers, because overall we have found hosting volunteers has been an amazing experience for both us (admin team) and the volunteers (300+) to come through our doors. Mostly thanks to a highly motivated volunteer attitude and we believe in continually improving areas that need it, so our animal RESCUE efforts can continue...

    We are looking for motivated volunteers who can take initiative and ensure safety of the animals and keep in open contact with admin (remotely) that the animals are cared for following admins guidelines/advice. 

    Our shelter is supported by donations and maintained by volunteers so we are only as strong as our weakest volunteer. Our volunteer program and shelter animals seek positive, attentive and self motivated volunteers with an attention to animal health, schedules, tasks, deep cleaning, improvement projects and repairs indoors/outdoors all which serve to improve the shelter atmosphere. We ask our volunteers also to have a greater sense of initiative and responsibility because admin is off-site but communicate remotely and weekly visits. So we rely on the willingness to take team leader roles with responsibilities in motivating the other volunteers and providing admin with frequent communication to ensure needs are met.
    We want to ensure this environment is pleasant, clean, and inviting for volunteers and visitors.

We help with rescue and re-homing of abandoned or stray cats/dogs. We also do our best to get the community involved and assist with TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) support for the spay/neutering of animals.

    Our social media efforts and our online community help with finding placements for fostering and adoptions which is essential to the success of our shelter. This network chain of outreach helps to maintain our small shelter concept (30 animals or less) by showcasing our available cats whilst growing a larger foster network. Done mostly on a volunteer basis, admin works behind the scenes help to organize spay/neuter campaigns as well as to provide online advice via emails and video chats to people who contact us in crisis situations about animal welfare issues in Japan. 

Following the earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan, we responded immediately, in order to provide animal rescue and sheltering assistance to evacuees needing help with pets. This led to our Fukushima base and shelter.
    Our organization has been featured on Animal Planet and in other international media. However, we still need your help to promote our activities and get the remaining animals adopted to make room for more in need.

    Fast forward 8 years in Fukushima, we are proud to continually improve our unique shelter experience allowing volunteers share time and energy to maintain our shelter house that has pets /people living under one roof.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Charity work
    Language practice
    Art project
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Language exchange if they are proactive and engage with the locals.

    Learn the joys of animal welfare and how to live with other amazing volunteers and animals under the same roof!

  • Help


    We have space to host up to 4 motivated volunteers, who are able to help ideally for 2-3 months or possibly longer and a willingness to serve in team leader positions, working in animal care, and assist with updating our social media. We like to give opportunity to travelers who love animals, express a positive "can do" attitude and want to assist in further shelter improvements even if they can only volunteer for a shorter time period. We will confirm placement, if accepted after our interview process. 
    Ideal candidates having a working holiday visa are preferred but not essential (tourist visa is ok too). We are seeking an on site shelter manager to oversee operations and remain in online communication with the admin team. Japanese ability and a driving license are a plus, but not necessary. Tourist visas mean a shorter stay, but good people are always welcome to join the volunteer team. 

We operate a small shelter concept.
    There are currently less than 30 cats split among the three dedicated cat rooms and 2 dogs that roam the rest of the living space inside and enjoy an outdoor fenced garden area. 

    Main duties of the volunteers:

    1. Tending to the animals and maintaining a routine we've established to keep daily/weekly/monthly schedule running smoothly. Cleaning and maintaining clean spaces is a major part of what volunteers do.

    2. Posting pictures/updates on our social media to help generate donations 

    3. Remaining in good communication through FB contact with off site managers for extra improvement projects, inventory updates and vet visit updates.
4. Always monitoring animal health, checking all animals are eating and healthy.

    English is the primary language spoken in the house so people looking for a language study might find they need to be more proactive in the community to gain any practice. Japanese ability is helpful but not necessary. 
Trains also make travel more accessible too for exploring on your free time or days off however we want to ensure that you are honoring your share of responsibility at the shelter/ ensuring 5hrs of dedicated service to the maintenance /animal care. Volunteers found not putting in the work required maybe asked to leave.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English (conversational level required, it's an English-speaking environment)

  • Accommodation


    We have a basic house that includes 3 dedicated cat rooms /1 bathroom which has a shower/Japanese style bathtub, full kitchen and laundry area. Beds are similar to a hostel sleeping space - all sharing one large room or you have option of sharing a cat room. Quiet time is 10pm-8am for a good sleep! Respecting others space and consideration is key to volunteer success!

The semi-private sleeping areas and public cat areas need to be kept tidy, including the kitchen, laundry, and bathroom as we get occasional visits (invitation/admin approved) from visitors. Greet all who come to the shelter kindly. It's important to be proactive and leave the place better than when you found it for the next volunteers to socialize/care for the animals!

    We do our best to help animals and respect all choices for food preferences, as such, vegan food basics (pasta/rice) are provided though volunteers are welcome to continue with any dietary habits they have.

    Free Wifi available
    2 bicycles to share

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Once accepted to the animal rescue programs Tokyo we will send maps and detail specifics of the program.

    The train is a short 10 min walk away from there all of Tokyo is your oyster to enjoy.

  • 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?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    5 hours, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 975578547852