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Would like
help us?

Coming to Happy Tails to lend a helping hand is very rewarding, but can be challenging both physically and mentally. The better you read through the provided info below, the better your experience will be here at this little cat & dog paradise on the island of Koh Samui, Thailand!

Preferred minimum for volunteers

4 weeks, residents 1 day/week

Must read before coming here.

This is not to scare anyone off, but to just give an important input as to what to expect. The better prepared you are, the better your experience will be for everyone at Happy Tails. Francoise needs your commitment - short-notice cancellations and people that are leaving earlier than planned are putting the dogs, cats and other humans in a very hard position.

© former volunteer, Romain Baud Productions


There is a lot of cleaning involved, all followed in a certain routine. Every single day. Sweeping, mopping, doing the dishes, cleaning dog poo, raking and lots more. Basically all of the work, except the cuddling, is physical work. Arrive in clothes ready to get dirty!


Please keep in mind that we are a sanctuary, which focuses on providing dogs and cats a safe home for the rest of their lives – those who have had a tough life before coming to us. We do not have a high turnover of animals. Adoptions to good homes are welcome though, of course.


The first days can be overwhelming, that is totally normal. Lots of names and things to learn, barking dogs in packs, the heat – try to stay attentive and ask questions, you will see that within a short time it will be so much easier already.


We need people who are committed to the cause. We are here for the animals - not to nurture our ego. You should be a team player that is easy-going, self-motivated, with common sense - time usually doesn't allow Francoise to give lots of feedback, she is busy with keeping everything up and running!


Being able to/learning how to drive an automatic scooter or motorbike is highly recommended. This way you can easily get to/from the sanctuary and discover the island during your free time. We can recommend rental places! Also, just fyi - a license from your home country is required for your insurance to cover an accident/hospitalisation.


The work at the sanctuary runs in shifts. The morning shift usually lasts from 9am to 1pm, the evening shift from 4.30pm to 7pm (shifts are subject to change). Depending on your capacity, we are grateful for every shift that you can help out with! If you need a house to stay in during your time here (see point 8), you will be here for one shift per day with 2 days off per week.



If you plan on just coming to Thailand to visit us, consider some days before and/or after for traveling/sightseeing only, so you won’t have to change dates once you are here. Also, if you fly directly from f.e. Europe or the US, you might need some resting time before starting.


If you are in need of accommodation, we can offer a bed in a shared house upon availability. It's located in close proximity to our sanctuary and the beach. The house is simple and not luxurious, wooden Thai style, surrounded by the jungle, in a Thai neighbourhood - being part of their community (no partying). Everything is quite open. Mosquito nets are usually provided, but you should be able to deal with insects! No air-con, just fans. Mattresses are quite hard, which is common in Asia. You'll most likely share your room with cats and another helper (unless you are a couple)! The south-west coast of Koh Samui, especially Thong Krut, is a quiet and less touristy area of the island. And in our opinion the most beautiful one! FYI: If you'd like to stay in our house, best to arrive one day prior (after 2pm) to starting working to get settled in.


You decided on this adventure and already know your arrival & departure dates? Great! Let us know via Facebook messenger (or email if you don't have FB). Please read through the PDF for more info! The dogs, cats and Francoise can't wait to meet you!






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