Baan Unrak Thai Animal Sanctuary

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About Us

Veterinary Volunteers & General Volunteers

Who are we?

Based in the picturesque town of Sangklaburi, Thai Animal Sanctuary was started in 2006 by Gemma Ashford, who originally came here to Volunteer as a teacher. She was horrified by the number of street dogs and cats there were in the area and the terrible conditions they were in. She faced hard times, almost single-handedly trying to help all of the sick and injured animals of the town while trying to fund the building and upkeep of the sanctuary.

Now 8 years later, with the aid of volunteers from around the world, we are happy to say that things have slowly improved though we still have a long way to go. At the moment we have around 50 resident dogs who we care for and are looking to re-home. Our main focus at the moment is the regular sterilization projects we conduct to help reduce the number of street dogs making it a safer place for both animals and people. We provide medical treatment to all animals in the area as the nearest vet is a 4 hour drive away and most locals do not have the funds to pay for any treatment.

Who are we looking for?

As the sanctuary is run entirely on volunteers, we are in constant need of motivated people with experience in dealing with animals to dedicate their time and efforts to the project. Numbers here have ranged from 1-10 so the workload will vary accordingly.

Veterinary Volunteers – We are looking for people with veterinary experience to work in the sanctuary on a day to day basis to treat our resident dogs, deal with any cases that are brought to us or to go around town to treat street animals. We need vets, vet nurses and anesthetists during sterilizing projects. Conditions here are very basic and veterinary volunteers must be willing to work side by side and consider themselves as equal to non-veterinary volunteers. This will mean they need to clean up after themselves and be willing to chip in with other sanctuary tasks when needed.

General Volunteers – Volunteers who are experienced in dealing with animals are integral to keep the sanctuary going. Daily tasks include dog socializing, walking and training. The sanctuary needs to be kept clean and organized and general volunteers will often need to assist vets and vet nurses. We feel that most people with a love of animals and good work ethic will be able to find some way of improving the lives of the animals here. Just tell us your skills and we will be sure to make good use of them! There is also lots of behind the scenes / admin work to do in the areas of fundraising, promotion, adoptions, accounting etc. We are all volunteers here and want to make sure that any new members of the team will be beneficial to the project however long they choose to stay.

Food, Accommodation and Location We currently have a small volunteers house with 4 bedrooms. A basic room at the volunteer house costs just 100 baht (£2/$3) a night, for experienced volunteers staying on a long term basis we can consider reduced/free accommodation.

Alternatively there are many guest houses within a few minutes walk of the sanctuary which cost 150 – 250 baht.

Free basic meals are available in the school next to the sanctuary except for on weekends and during school holidays. Meals in local restaurants range from 30 – 90 baht.

Sangklaburi is on the Thai/Burmese border and is populated primarily by Burmese refugees. It is a unique town as, unlike other places in Thailand, it is not overrun by tourists. It instead attracts volunteers from around the world which come to help out in the orphanages and schools in the area. It is certainly not a party town and, while there are a couple of bars, the general atmosphere is quiet, relaxed and friendly. It truly is a wonderful place which is rich in both natural beauty and Thai/Burmese culture.

Please send us an email to for more info.