Are you interested in becoming a vet? Would you just like to know what it's like to work with dogs and cats in a clinic environment? Then you should volunteer as a Veterinary Volunteer in a local vet clinic in Costa Rica..
- Age requirement: 18+ years
- Working Schedule: 6-7 days a week for 8-10 hours a day
- Language requirement: Spanish on a basic to intermediate level is a must (you’re working with non-English speaking vets)
- Costs: The first week of the project fee is $449, for each additional week the fee is $149 per week. Most of your payment goes into your host family. Parts of your payment will go to the project to support dog and cat rescue, spaying and neutering of dogs and cats, and for animal food. A part goes to Green Life Volunteers’ support and services.
- Accommodation: Host family or own apartment / housing
- Food: 2-3 meals daily in your host family
- Location: Puerto Jimenez, Osa Peninsula, Southern Costa Rica
- We offer: 24/7 emergency telephone support
- Optional: A letter of recommendation and certificate at the end of your internship
Green Life Volunteers is looking for a veterinary student or animal lover to help out at a rural vet clinic in Puerto Jimenez, on the Osa Peninsula. The Osa Peninsula is a remote, rural, and economically challenged area. The vet clinic is the only one in a large rural area, and thus they are always very busy. The vet does not have enough money to employ enough assistants, but there are plenty of dogs and cats (and other animals) to take care off on a daily basis. The vet also organizes spaying and neutering clinics almost on a weekly basis, when he offers spaying and neutering for a cheaper fare and where assistants are always needed. Local volunteers will assist on castration clinics as well as dog and cat rescue volunteers. Despite the spay and neuter fares, a lot of animals still do not get spayed and neutered, and animals up on the street and unwanted offspring is commonly left abandoned on the streets.
Your assistance is needed around the vet clinic. The vet is happy to train you so that you can even take care of some patients or assist the doctor with procedures and surgeries. The project would be great for a vet student, or someone interested in becoming a vet student – since you may be able to use your volunteer time as credit or as an internship experience. The vet clinic also works closely with Green Life Volunteers to run the GLV dog and cat rescue project, and you are encouraged to help out with that project as well during your veterinary volunteer time.
Volunteer’s responsibilities include:
- Assist the vet with procedures and incoming patients
- Help at spay and neuter fares
- Translate if foreigners come into the vet who don’t speak Spanish
- Take care and talk to incoming pet owners
- Help with the dog and cat rescue project
- Help in the pet shop part of the clinic selling, stocking and labeling products
- Clean cages, back clinic areas, and general maintenance of the vet clinic
- Help to clean equipment the vet uses and needs during surgeries
- Help with castration clinics
- Prepare dogs/ cats for the vet (weighing of animals, measuring temperature etc.)
An ideal volunteer on this project has a passion for animals and is older than 18 years. Furthermore, Spanish on a basic to intermediate to advanced level is of advantage, since the vet and incoming pet owners may not speak or understand English
As a veterinary clinic volunteer you’re basically an intern to the veterinary doctor at the clinic. You’ll be helping with everything needed around the clinic and you’ll help in surgeries. Many volunteers have used their experience at the vet clinic as internship experience for studying veterinary sciences and for becoming a vet. A lot of universities would give you credit for doing an internship at our vet clinic.
Furthermore you’ll learn so much more than at a vet clinic in the states, Europe or other parts in the worlds, where you often aren’t even allow to touch animals until you’ve already studied for several years in the field. This is not the case at our vet clinic – where you can get hands on experience, are allowed to handle animals from day one, and assist in surgeries. This is a great opportunity for gaining a good insight into the veterinary field, and an amazing experience to prepare yourself for a future career in the veterinary field.
The costs for this project are:
- First week’s fee: $ 449
- Every Additional Week: $ 149 (It does not matter many weeks you choose, this fee stays the same)
Not included in our costs:
- National and International flights
- Travel insurance
- Visa costs
- Additional travel
- Any additional food or snacks besides the host family meals
- Other personal expenses
The Veterinary Volunteer project’s Handbook. Here you can find more detailed info on the project and volunteering.
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Veterinary Intern Reviews
Melissa was a Veterinary Intern for 3 months in 2015, she was 20 years old during her internship. This review was published on Abroad Reviews by her August 4, 2015. "I first encountered GLV after searching online for pre-veterinary internships abroad. Even after doing...
Kathleen - Volunteer at the Veterinary Clinic and the Local Private School in Puerto Jimenez Age: 61 From: United States Review written via personal email. My time volunteering in Puerto Jimenez was fabulous. You could not have chosen a more wonderful family for me...