Cape Town Vet Project

Cape Town Vet Project

South Africa

This project is open to anyone with a love of animals and a passion for helping with their rescue, rehabilitation and treatment. Join our dynamic team to make a real difference to animals in beautiful Cape Town. The shelter houses approximately 300 animals at any given time and the on-site vets serve animals from surrounding disadvantaged townships, with a static and a mobile clinic.





  • Gain valuable experience in veterinary care and animal welfare.

  • Take a hands-on role in the kennels.

  • Rehabilitate animals to enable them to be adopted into a loving home.

  • Observe or assist with surgeries and clinic treatments alongside the resident vet.

  • Assist with crucial pre and post operative care for cats and dogs.

  • Live like a true South African by exploring the many game reserves, mountains, restaurants, live music events and world-class beaches.

This project is open to anyone with a love of animals and a passion for helping with their rescue, rehabilitation, treatment and care. Join our dynamic team to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home animals that are lost, abandoned, abused and neglected .


You will live in a lovely area of Cape Town, and spend your days between two different rescue shelters, each with onsite vet clinics.


  • Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha, is based in a poverty stricken township, so you can get in to the heart of the community and make a huge difference to animals in need.

  • TEARS animal shelter is based in Cape Town's Sunnydale suburb and can have over 300 rescued dogs on site at any given time. They have a second property that deals wholly with all the rescue cats.


Between the two locations, you will see an amazing variety of cases and benefit from working alongside two separate teams. Both locations serve animals from surrounding disadvantaged townships and have mobile clinics that travel out to animals in need daily.


While the prime focus is the rescue of domestic animals, the shelters also rescues terrestrial birds and wild animals. The shelter is pro-life and animals are only euthanized on the advice of a veterinarian, when they are incurably ill, with no hope of recovery.


If you are a vet student, this is the perfect opportunity for you to work alongside highly qualified veterinarians and veterinary nursing staff who will be happy to share their knowledge with you. If you aren’t studying animal or veterinary science, you’ll still be able to assist on multitude of levels and gain some amazing work experience.



Your daily activities will be tailored to your current interests and level of training. All volunteers work side by side with a passion and commitment to the animals in their care. Students in clinical years of vet school will assist with surgery, however this is not a surgery training course, so you should not expect your days to be solely based around surgery. Volunteers are encouraged to participate in all aspects of the project, including medicine, animal rescue and inpatient care. As with all placements, the more you put in to your time with us, the more you will get out of it. 


Those with no veterinary training who are coming to make an impact as animal rescue, rehabilitation and care volunteers, you will carry out the below jobs. Also, if you are interested, you will be encouraged to shadow and learn from the vet and nurse team as well.

  • Feed dogs and cats

  • Grooming animals in the rescue center

  • Giving TLC to strays

  • Help teach the local community about welfare and animal rights

  • Walk dogs, socialise them and play with them

  • Learn to do basic medical checks, like temperature and heart rate

  • Help give basic medications like tablets

  • Learn to help the vet/nurse team with tasks like restraining dogs and cats for injections


As well as the above tasks, you will work hands-on within the kennels and hospital to:

  • Carry out routine health checks and assist with medicating patients

  • Triage animals coming to the hospital

  • Help with pre and post op preparation and patient care

  • Help pack and sterilise surgical kits and prepare for surgery (catheter placement, intubating)

  • Develop nursing skills like anaesthetic monitoring, bandaging and monitoring pain in post surgical patients


As well as the above tasks, you will get experience with carryout out:

  • Vaccinations

  • Sterilisations (spay and castrate)

  • Soft tissue surgery (e.g. lump removals)

  • Orthopaedic surgery

  • Non surgical fracture management

  • Consultations

  • Wound care and closure

  • Diagnostics- blood, smear and crush samples

  • Dealing with tick borne diseases



You will be staying in a fully-furnished house situated in Muizenberg, just 3 minutes away from the beach. This area is one of the major tourism attractions in Cape Town and a surfer’s paradise.


The area is filled with vibey bars, cafes, and amazing restaurants, and you’ll be based just opposite a major grocery store for you to do extra shopping should you need.The volunteer accommodation is a cozy, safe home shared by volunteers and staff. It boasts 10 bedrooms, with 6 to 8 people sharing each large room, a central lounge and dining area, a living room with some comfortable couches for socializing and relaxing, preparing for your next day or chatting with fellow volunteers, as well as a spacious backyard in the sun to relax, or to enjoy a South African Braai.


It is the perfect base from which to explore this incredible city



The volunteer house and two clinics you work with are  are based in Cape Town, at the southern tip of South Africa. A bustling, historical and cosmopolitan place renowned as a top tourist destination in it's own right, there is something for everyone in Cape Town.


Framed between oceans and mountains, Cape Town is surrounded by incredible natural beauty, with Table Mountain, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, being a highlight.

Volunteers always make the most of their free time, and you can go shark cage diving, climb table mountain, swim with seals, take wine tours, horse ride, or explore the museums and historical sites of the city. ​


Want to know what’s included? Great news, it is pretty much everything! Including your:

  • Pre departure assistance with planning and flights from one  of our destination specialists

  • Transfers to and from the airport on arrival and departure

  • Induction and training on the project

  • Accommodation in a lovely area of the city

  • 3 meals a day

  • 24 hour project coordinator


Not included in your fee

  • Personal health insurance

  • Flights to and from project

  • Visas, (free to many nationalities

  • Wifi  (50 rand per week in the volunteer house)

  • Laundry (80 rand a load)

2 weeks     £ 935

3 weeks     £ 1,210

4 weeks     £ 1,485

5 weeks     £ 1,760

6 weeks     £ 2,035

7 weeks     £ 2,310

8 weeks     £ 2,585

9 weeks     £2,860

10 weeks   £3,135

11 weeks   £3.410

12 weeks   £3,685


13 and 27 January | 10 and 24 February | 9 and 23 March | 6 and 20 April | 4 and 18 May | 1, 15 and 29 June  |  6, 13, 20, and 27 July | 3, 10,17, 24 and 31 August | 7 and 21 September | 5 and 19 October | 2,16 and 30 November.


We want you to join us in South Africa, to help the animals and have the adventure of a lifetime. Sound good?

Just email us, follow the 'book now' button or the 'contact us' page and we will be in touch to discuss your project further. Don't forget to check out the project leaflet at the top of the page to find out more.

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