Animal Caretaking

Animal Caretaking
Animal Caretaking

Introducing our new, six-week animal caretaking internship in Caye Caulker, Belize!

This intensive training program offers students hands-on experience in animal care, socialization, behavior, and rescue as you participate in the daily work of a local cat sanctuary. The internship provides a unique opportunity to work in Belize's first and only no-kill cat sanctuary for abused and abandoned animals.

Pending availability, there may be an opportunity to observe procedures in the spay/neuter clinic and to shadow a veterinary technician, if one is available. Otherwise, you will shadow P.A.W. Cat Sanctuary’s founder and director, Madi Collins.

The internship will include a weekly reflection with your mentor and an experience report, due on your fourth week of the project. You are also required to outline your goals and objectives on a weekly basis during the first three weeks, and discuss this at your weekly reflections. This will help you to choose an area of concentration during your fourth week at the sanctuary.

P.A.W.S. interns provide enormous help to the animals at the sanctuary—and at the same time, you’ll gain an interest in animal care, building a lifelong commitment to animals in need.

You'll volunteer with P.A.W. Cat Sanctuary and Humane Society, a local organization that provides spaying and neutering services and promotes humane education in Belize. The sanctuary serves as a haven for abandoned, abused, and neglected cats and dogs on the island.

Photo courtesy of drterdal.


This program is located in Caye Caulker, Belize, a beautiful island just off the mainland. At six miles long by two miles wide, Cay Caulker’s community is tight-knit, yet welcoming of tourists and travelers.


This program lasts six weeks. For the first week, you’ll focus on general observation and learning care techniques for domestic cats in two onsite catteries. For the second week, you’ll add the third cattery, and in the third week the fourth cattery and clinic catteries will be added to your schedule.

During these weeks, you’ll complete written reflections and an experience report on the observation of cat behavior and personalities, in order to implement any proposed changes or improve the living conditions of the sanctuary’s cats. Your ideas and suggestions will be discussed in-depth with the sanctuary’s director during your fourth week. For the rest of your stay, you’ll focus on your proposed project in addition to feeding, bonding, and caring for the cats.


You'll stay in the Volunteer Cabana, which sleeps three people at a time and is located just at the shoreline on the beach. This includes:

  • One single bed and a bunk bed set
  • Coffee machine and microwave
  • Bathroom with running (not heated) water attached to the outside of the building

Click here to learn more about where you'll stay!

Cost Breakdown

This program may have a Reservation Fee, which is included in the total cost and is due once you commit to the program, with the remaining Program Fee balance due 30 days before your arrival date.

6 weeks:     $862 Longer:     +$123 per week

Volunteers may choose to stay in one of the available suites for an additional $36 per night.

Click here for full details about your program costs and how your Program Fee is used.

Sign up now to volunteer for this project! - Volunteer Global

Note: All listed prices are in US Dollars.

How To Sign Up

Signing up is a three-step process:

  • Fill out an Inquiry Form. Please note: submissions must be made at least 4 weeks prior to your prospective start date.
  • A member of the Volunteer Global team will get in touch with you to confirm program availability for your chosen dates, and schedule an interview if needed.
  • Once your interview is complete, you will be notified to submit your Reservation Fee to reserve your program and schedule. Your final Program Fee is due at least 4 weeks prior to in-country arrival in order to reserve your placement.

Important Note

This is a pilot program. As part of our program development process, we ask our first groups of participating volunteers to provide additional feedback to assist us in ensuring the most rewarding experience possible in cooperation with P.A.W. Animal Sanctuary for their associated programs.

Registration must be completed at least one month prior to your program start date, so...let's get started!


  • 18 and older
  • Good health
    • Must have an interest in working with animals - specifically domestic cats
    • Must not have any cat-related allergies
    • Must be comfortable feeding and handling cats to provide daily care
Country: Belize

Type of Work: Animals & Wildlife

Duration: 6 weeks or longer
Fee: From $862
Sign up now to volunteer for this project! - Volunteer Global

Your Program Fee Covers:

  • Registration and pre-departure interview
  • Volunteer handbook (when available)
  • 24/7 U.S.-based staff support
  • In-country housing and certain amenities
  • Training and guidance from host group
  • Host program needs, such as tools or supplies for your project
  • Post-trip thank-you packet
  • Monthly newsletters

Unless explicitly stated otherwise, it does not cover your flight, passport/visa, vaccinations, transportation while in country, exit fees, meals, or personal expenses. Click here for full details about your program costs!