Become a volunteer.
Volunteering at Happy Tails sanctuary 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 commitment
Travelers 3 weeks, residents 1 day/week
In need of accommodation? Please read point 9 below.
Must read before coming here.
This is not to scare volunteers 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 volunteers 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 volunteers 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. Also, just fyi - a license from your home country is required for your insurance to cover an accident/hospitalisation.
The volunteer work at the sanctuary runs in shifts. The morning shift lasts from 9am to 1pm, the evening shift from 4.30pm to 7pm. Depending on your capacity, we are grateful for every shift that you can help out with!
If you plan on just coming for volunteering, 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.
There are bungalows to rent in close proximity to our sanctuary for an affordable monthly rent. While Koh Samui is one of the more expensive islands in Thailand, you will still find accommodation with affordable prices everywhere. Especially the south-west coast of Koh Samui, Thong Krut area, is less touristy and therefore cheaper than other parts of the island. What does simple accommodation in Thailand usually look like? It's not luxurious, wooden Thai style, often surrounded by the jungle, in a Thai neighbourhood. Everything is quite open. Mosquito nets are usually provided, but you should be able to deal with insects! Rooms with air-con are often more expensive than those with just fans. Also as a side-note, mattresses are quite hard, which is common in Asia.