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We are both a UK registered charity and a Sri Lankan NGO, started in 2014 by UK Veterinary Surgeon to help the Sri Lankan street dogs. We offer a wide range of veterinary services to our patients including both emergency and non-emergency treatments, vaccinations and neutering. We aim to provide UK standard veterinary care for street animals in need and started operations in Sri Lanka due to the huge overpopulation of street dogs, (estimates are 2-3 million!), often with extensive injuries or severe disease. Over the last five years, we have treated almost 7,000 animals in need and we look to increase this number in a dramatic way in the near future.
We are still a small charity, though we're working hard to make a real difference here in the Southern Province of beautiful Sri Lanka. We rely heavily on volunteer staff to work alongside our contracted team members and a key thing for us is ensuring the right fit for our small team. For us, this means people who are resilient, proactive, not prone to stress, and, generally, just all round good eggs! We work hard, but we also like to have a good time and are a social and relaxed bunch.
Our veterinary hospital is based on the South Coast in Kapugama, which is a tiny village about a 20 minute drive from the city of Matara, less than a 10 minute drive to Talalla Beach and about 3.5 hours from Colombo. We're living in a pretty remote area - close enough to lots of beautiful beaches, but we definitely stand out in our little village! Our core team is a mix of international and local staff and we have plenty of interaction with our local community. The biggest thing you'll learn about is the heritage of Sri Lanka's amazing street dogs and why we do what we do!
We need people who are comfortable with dogs and happy to get their hands dirty! Roles include...
> Administrators - we often have extra administrative tasks that we struggle to find time to do. We'll be honest - some of them are a little tedious, but your help is invaluable, plus you get lots of hands-on time with the dogs!
> General spare pairs of hands - we won't lie; there'll be a lot of picking up poo! But you'll also get to take the dogs for walks, bath them, spend time with them and we may have other general maintenance projects we need a hand with too.
And of course all of our volunteers get to spend plenty of time with the dogs!
A COUPLE OF THINGS TO NOTE:
- Volunteerships are a minimum of two weeks.
- All volunteers must ensure they have their up-to-date Rabies vaccinations.
- Please note that if you would like to volunteer in a clinical capacity, (vet, nurse or animal care assistant), we ask that you please apply through our website. This is to ensure we are getting the right skills and levels of experience required, as well as making sure we have the right people filling the right positions when we need them!
English and Sinhala
We provide a volunteer house for our volunteers to stay in. The house has five bedrooms, (one is a small dorm for shorter term volunteers) and two bathrooms, and while it's fairly basic, it's seen as a pretty lush house around here. The house is a 20 minute walk from the hospital; to get to the beaches, restaurants and supermarket, you need to either walk to the main road, (about 30 minutes) and catch a bus or you can tuk. If you're brave enough to ride a scooter, (which a lot of the team does - you can hire one for 10-15,000R per month), you have a lot of independence. If scootering isn't your style, the busses are good and we have a tuk driver who is available most of the time, though tukking everywhere can work out to be a bit pricey if you're doing it all the time.
In regards to food, we tend to eat out too much, (local food is cheap, but Western food can be a bit pricey), but people do also cook. There are some good supermarkets in Matara, and the volunteer house has a passable kitchen, (not too common in Sri Lanka!) We also provide towels, linen, mozzie nets and a daily food allowance.
There are a ton of beautiful beaches within 20-30 minutes of where we're based, including Mirissa, Hiriketiya, Madiha and Weligama. Tangalle and Unawatuna are just a bit further away and gorgeous Talalla is less than 10 minutes from us. There are several great restaurants and a couple of good bars in these areas, as well as amazing surf spots, yoga retreats, temples and general chilled out vibes! You can see elephants, crocs and peacocks in Udawalawe, visit Secret Beach near Unawatuna, head up to mountain country in Ella and at the right time of year you can go whale watching in Mirissa. Or you can just spend your days off chilling on the beach with a Lion beer in hand...
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week