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Galapagos Community Dogs & Cats

San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Community Dogs & Cats
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Support for Street Dogs and Cats

Project Information

Volunteer Type Veterinary Students, Medical Students and Graduates

Cost of Project From $630 AUD

Duration 4 weeks - 12 weeks

Start Dates Quito orientation: Monday - Friday.
Project start: Monday - Friday, all year

Work Roster Weekdays, morning & afternoon

Age Requirement 18 years of age


Many of the environmental issues facing the Galapagos originate from a potentially controllable source - human beings. Migration, tourism, over fishing and the introduction of non-native species all contribute to the great number of issues and problems facing the fragile environment of the Galapagos. Many of the species introduced like rats, dogs, cats, and goats are not rare or deadly in themselves, but when placed on fragile Islands where life took years to adapt, the effects are dramatic.

Feral dogs, most likely introduced to the Islands as pets of early settlers, have been a threat to tortoise eggs, native iguana species and even penguins. While both domestic and wild (feral) cats are aggressive predators that attack native wildlife including birds, lava lizards, and juvenile iguanas in areas of the National Park as well as in populated areas.

Local authorities have unfortunately introduced poisoning initiatives in an attempt to control the wild populations believing that this method will eventually eradicate the destructive wild cats on the islands. This method has been used in many countries and is a slow and painful way for these animals to die and does not discriminate between wild animals and domestic pets.

The main objective of this project is to control the population of introduced animal species (dogs and cats) through steralisation in the urban area of San Cristobal Island and to provide technical veterinary assistance in the agricultural zone to local communities. This provides a valuable means of developing vital, influential community relations between the project and the local population.

Volunteers also conduct information and education campaigns on responsible pet ownership.

  • Your Contribution

By contributing to the project, you will be bettering the lives and living conditions of the dogs and cats of the region while educating local pet owners.

  • A Typical Day

Volunteers work alongside a veterinarian providing veterinary medical care for introduced species in the urban area including.

Every day will be different depending on the needs the community and the vet. Volunteer tasks may include:
*animal care such as pre and post operation, operation assistance and general care of the animals in the veterinarian's care,
*veterinary support and assistance to livestock during local farming community visits,
*support in administrative and logistics,
*support in the maintenance of facilities and equipment,
*school or community projects or education sessions

  • Skills Required

Volunteers must be students or graduates of Veterinary or Medical Studies due to the nature of the project and be able to assist with operations on dogs and cats and other animals as required.

  • Challenges

Whilst this project seeks to educate locals about how to be responsible for their dogs and cats, the way in which animals are given freedom to roam and mate may be difficult to understand. It is important that you apply your thoughts and opinions to contributing the project within the cultural and educational guidelines of the project.

  • Accommodation

Homestay - You may choose to stay with a family which is a great opportunity to learn about the interesting culture of Galapagos. All families are located within walking distance from the veterinary office which is the volunteer main base.

Shared house - The volunteer house is located near the capital of San Cristobal, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and overlooks the Port itself with lovely views of the island and the beaches. The house has two shared rooms and is fully self-contained.

Both accommodation types have a full kitchen, hot water, electricity and bed linen. Two volunteers share each room and there is a Laundromat nearby to wash clothes.

  • Meals

It is the volunteer's responsibility to purchase their own food and drink. There are many hotels and restaurants in town to eat at or local shops to buy groceries.

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