The shelter consist of a Cattery and a Kennel area. Each run by their own manager and a team of dedicated local volunteers who reports to the Shelter manager. On average we have 80 dogs and 20 cats in our care. We are also greatly assisted by our foster carers who look after animals for whom there are no space at our kennels.
We work a morning shift (9.00 am – 1.30 pm) and an afternoon shift (3.00 pm – 6.00 pm). These times can change depending on how many animals we have in our care. The daily duties consist of cleaning kennels and the cattery, feeding, providing fresh water and medicines and bonding.
The common language in the shelter is English, but people from all over the world work here. You must be able to speak, read and write English to a high standard to understand instructions.
Our shelter is located 100 km north of Almería and 200 km south of Alicante on the South East coast of Spain. It is close to villages like Mojácar, Los Gallardos, Vera and Garrucha and about 10 kilometres from the coast. The location is fairly remote (very little is within walking distance). If they do have time and if you ask them in advance our team of local volunteers are willing to take you to a supermarket, the beach or a market on your days off if you don’t have your own transport. When nobody is available, you may need to get a taxi to and from the shelter. Approx fee to the beach is 16 €. We also have a few bicycles available at the shelter which can be used to go shopping in the nearest village of Turre.
You can fly to Murcia and then catch the 72B bus to Cartagena
then change to the VAC-228 to Vera bus station
where we can pick you up. The bus travel time to Vera is about four and a half hours, and the fares should be around €10, or we can arrange a pickup at the airport for 30€ per one way (fuel/parking costs). You have to pay directly to the person picking you up.
You can fly to Alicante and from there take the bus (www.alsa.es
) to Murcia and from Murcia to Vera bus station where we can pick you up (costs of the bus ticket approximately 15,00 € ).
You can also fly to Almeria. That is nearer to the shelter and for € 25,00 per one way (fuel costs) we can pick you up from the airport. You have to pay directly to the person who is picking you up. There is also a private bus connecting which connects with flights from the UK, Belgium and Holland (see http://www.exclusiveairportshuttles.co.uk
) and takes you from Almeria airport to Los Gallardos for 18 €.
If possible we would like you to arrive at and depart from the shelter between 8.30 am and 7 pm! Outside these hours there will be no manager available to greet you and it will be more difficult to find somebody to pick you up and take you shopping.
The weather, while usually mild in winters, can be unpredictable with cold nights and heavy rain. Summers months are hot.
For more information and annual temperatures and precipitation, click here
We have two mobile homes (Casa Lady and Casa Henry) which you might share with other volunteers. We also have a touring caravan (Casa Ariana) and a separate small studio (Casita Vista).
We have two shower rooms with a sink, shower, toilet, washing machine and refrigerator.
You can stay in the accommodation when you work 5 days a week. Costs of tickets, groceries etc. are at your own expense. We do ask a contribution of 15,00 € per person per week for water/electricity/maintenance/reparations etc. for the accommodation that needs to be PAYABLE IN ADVANCE.
During a normal working week you will usually get 4 shifts off each week, either full days or part days, depending on the number of animals in our care and how many volunteers we have.
The minimum stay is 3 weeks and we now ask for a deposit of 50€ of which 25€ will be used to thoroughly clean the accommodation once you have left and the other 25€ will be refunded, provided there are no major breakages or misuse of appliances. Please note, if you leave earlier than originally booked, you will not receive a refund.
- Bring plenty of suitable work clothing (you will get wet and dirty)
- Bring good solid waterproof shoes (no flip flops!)
- Consider bringing earplugs (the dogs can bark at night)
- We advise you to get a tetanus injection in advance
If you would like to receive mail, it can be sent to:
< < your name >>
PAWS-PATAS is a working shelter, volunteering for us is not a holiday. It is hard work, especially in the heat of the summer!
The shelter is not connected to mains water and water is delivered to us by a truck as and when needed. Although we take every precaution not to run out of water it might happen occasionally that we are without water for a short period of time. Make sure that you have bottled drinking water at all times.
Volunteers will be trained in the way we expect them to work. Although we welcome suggestions and questions we expect all volunteers to work to our protocol and standards and to treat our staff with respect. They are also volunteers who give their time all year around to help our animals!
If you enjoy meeting new people, care about the welfare of animals, have common sense and initiative and are willing to work hard and get dirty, you will fit in fine! Not only will you be a great help to us, you will leave with memories to last a lifetime and like many of our volunteers, will want to come back again and again!