Animal SOS

Volunteer Tourism

Recently, SOS Animal acquired land measuring around 27 hectares in the municipality of
Santarém where he intends to start a new pioneering project in Portugal: an animal sanctuary and
plant that will provide shelter to several species, providing them with all possible well-being and a
life with respect and dignity.

What is our objective?

In addition to this project aiming to provide a safe shelter for several species of
animals, our objective is to reforest the space and restore the ecosystem with species
of native trees and shrubs, in order to promote the biodiversity of local flora and fauna.

SOS Animal Sanctuary:

Given that SOS Animal does not have any state support, we count on the help of volunteers to carry out this project.

Our volunteer program is aimed at people over 20 years old, in good physical and mental condition, who share the values of SOS Animal and who have the desire to contribute to this unique project in Portugal.

  • Cleaning the territories of resident animals;
  • Implementation of environmental enrichment adaptation to resident species;
  • Socialization of resident animals;
  • Cleaning and removing invasive species from the property’s water lines;
  • Tree planting;
  • Treatment of beds;
  • Maintenance of the property’s infrastructures and buildings;
  • Cleaning the drainage system;
  • Deforestation;
  • Forestry maintenance;
  • If you have knowledge: electrical, plumbing or other work;
  • Other works not mentioned according to the organization's needs.

Volunteers can collaborate with our project in two ways:

Volunteers without overnight stay

We request a minimum commitment of once a week, and you must indicate your availability each month. Preparing volunteers for the tasks to be carried out in a project like this requires an initial investment of time on the part of the team.

For this reason, we ask that potential volunteers reflect on whether they intend to remain as volunteers in the long term, as only in this way will it be possible to truly benefit from your help.

Volunteers staying overnight

Volunteers will be accommodated in facilities at the sanctuary.

For this type of volunteering, we ask for a minimum stay of 12 nights, with the volunteering start and end dates defined by SOS Animal.
Volunteers will work approximately 8 hours a day, with two days off per week.

The volunteers' work will be supervised by the team, but it is assumed that, after some time, they will have the ability to be autonomous in carrying out tasks, being able to work alone.

Tasks are chosen according to the needs of the moment, the number of volunteers available, the season and weather conditions.
All volunteers must speak fluent Portuguese and/or English.

Volunteer Code of Conduct

  • Do not feed the animals without instructions from the team;
  • Do not disturb the animals;
  • Respect the instructions of team members;
  • Contribute ideas, suggestions and constructive criticism;
  • Be able to accept constructive criticism regarding your work;
  • Treat team members, as well as other volunteers, with respect and empathy;
  • Use the sanctuary’s tools and infrastructures with zeal and care;
  • No smoking in the sanctuary except in the designated area;
  • It is prohibited to consume drugs;
  • It is prohibited to consume alcohol during working hours. Outside working hours, alcohol consumption should be moderate.
  • It is not permitted to light fires throughout the sanctuary area;
  • Volunteers must be vaccinated against tetanus.

Failure to comply with the rules of the code of conduct will result in withdrawal from the SOS Animal volunteer program.

Volunteers can collect images/sounds in the sanctuary, however, these must be for personal use only, and their dissemination (social networks, blogs, etc.) is not permitted.
If you intend to publish the images/sounds, you must request authorization from SOS Animal.

Volunteers will have to sign a liability waiver with this information before beginning their collaboration with our association.

Volunteers staying overnight

The volunteer house can accommodate up to 6 people, without gender separation in the rooms. The kitchen and bathroom will be shared by everyone.

The house is equipped with a refrigerator, stove, oven, microwave and coffee machine. Volunteers will have access to a washing machine. Sheets and towels will be provided weekly.

Thank you for wanting to be part of the SOS Animal family.

Pricing 2023

1 Person (room with 2 bunk beds) – 27 euros
1 person (double room) – 33 euros
2 people (double room) – 37 euros
1 person (single room) – 30 euros
Entire house (up to 6 people) – 150 euros

At the time of registration, a payment of 50% of the total amount of the stay (non-refundable) will be requested.
The remaining amount will be paid when the volunteer arrives at the sanctuary (in cash or by bank transfer).

The overnight stay does not include meals. The consumption of meat and fish is not permitted in the sanctuary.
Volunteers can order food from an online supermarket and delivery will be made to the sanctuary. Upon arrival, you should bring food for approximately 3 days, as delivery may not be immediate.

Volunteers must keep the house clean and tidy daily. House cleaning will be done once a week.
The night volunteer program runs from January to November, and arrival and departure dates are defined by SOS Animal.

Volunteers must arrive at the sanctuary on the first day of their participation by 2:00 pm. The meeting point will be at the entrance to our property. The address will be sent after confirming the appointment.

Our recommendations

If you are not Portuguese, but reside in the European Union, you must bring your European Health Insurance Card.

All volunteers must have personal insurance that covers personal accidents and medical emergencies.

We also suggest that you bring:

  • Flashlight;
  • Reusable water bottle (note that the water in the sanctuary is not suitable for consumption);
  • Plug adapter, if they are not the same as those in Portugal;
  • If you have the possibility, bring your own transport.