Volunteer & internship at a dog shelter in Zanzibar, Tanzania
The shelter is a small on the edge of the Arusha National Park, which was founded in 2012 by two Germans. The shelter takes in injured and abused street dogs, treats them and then places them in responsible hands. In the first year, more than 100 dogs were brought off the streets and placed in a species-appropriate home. Often also cats are taken into the shelter until they have found a good home.
The shelter is the only one of its kind in Arusha. With an estimated street dog population of over 100,000 dogs in Arusha alone, it is understandable that the shelter is constantly overcrowded. For this reason, Mbwa wa Africa plans to build a larger animal shelter in the future, which can offer more dogs a safe haven. A suitable piece of land was already purchased and in the first phase the construction of a veterinary clinic is planned. Mbwa wa Africa is also carrying out systematic castration and vaccination campaigns to put an end to the government's current practice of regularly shooting street dogs to control the population. The biggest challenge of the shelter is to find a new and above all appropriate and safe new home for the dogs. For most people in Tanzania, dogs have less the status of a family member than that of a protective dog. As a result, they are often kept on chains or locked up during the day so that they become particularly aggressive at night. For this reason, the team is always happy when their dogs find families or future owners all around their world that are willing to adopt a street dog from Tanzania.
Many of the dogs are traumatized and require special attention and care. Orphaned puppies are sometimes also taken in and need to be fed and cared for regularly. All dogs are walked twice a day, and helping hands are always needed here too. The care of sick and injured dogs, as well as the teaching of basic commands are among the tasks of volunteers.
Tipical day as a volunteer
A normal day at the shelter starts at 9 o’clock. One way takes about one hour so you should leave your hostel at round about 7.30 o’clock to use the public transport and a motorbike taxi to arrive the shelter. The transport will cost you about $5 per day.
At the shelter you have many different tasks, every day is different. Usually you start your day with taking the dogs for a walk, they try to walk every dog twice a day, which is not always possible because of the amount of dogs they have. After you take care of the injured dogs, give medicine and nurse them or train the dogs and their behavior to socialize them so they’re have a better opportunity to get adopted, doing physio for example in the pool with disabled dogs, washing the dogs and puppies, feed the puppies, help to vaccinate, build new beds/games for the dogs or repair the wheelchairs. Your working hours are variable. You are always welcome.
There are also helping hands needed for the systematic castration and vaccination campaigns.
Accommodation: You will stay at our volunteer house with other volunteers together. At the volunteer house their are 6 dorm rooms, 4 bathrooms (western toilets and almost always warm showers), a big communal rooms and an outside area for sitting together and enjoying the leisure time with fellow volunteers.