Veterinary & Animal Welfare Project - Thailand

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About

The Veterinary volunteer programme is located on the picture perfect, beach-laden islands of Koh Lanta, off the Andaman coast in south Thailand. A laid-back traveller’s haven, thousands of tourists flock here each winter to enjoy the endless golden beaches, the vibrant blend of various Thai cultures, crystal clear waters and much more. As in many parts of Thailand and in tourist areas particularly, an over-population of cats and dogs is a major problem.

The organisation you will be working with was set up with the aim to control the cat and dog population in a humane way through an extensive sterilisation programme. A big part of this programme revolves around local education and outreach, as many local methods of controlling the animal population are incredibly painful and cruel, including poisoning, drowning or knifing.

Since its inception in 2005, the organisation and the work they carry out has had a tremendous effect on the animal population of both Koh Lanta and outlying islands, with over 8,000 sterilisations carried out. As awareness continues to grow, more and more animal owners turn to the clinic to help treat their pets or bring in injured animals from around the island.

Apart from running a success sterilisation clinic, the organisation also organises mobile spay & neutering clinics and programmes on Lanta and nearby islands, run awareness classes in local schools and organise various activities to raise money to ensure the continued operation of all programmes.

If you are a qualified veterinarian or vet nurse, your help will be invaluable to help treat and rehabilitate the many animals in constant care at the centre!

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Olivia
4/10
No, I don't recommend this program

False adverstising-and no refund yet!

When I signed up I applied for three weeks, the elephant sanctuary, forest conservation and the cycling tour. When I arrived they switched the cycling tour to the first week so I had some people to go with, which was helpful! When we eventually arrived at the national park (6 hours in the back of a truck! But not complaining!) it was beautiful and the rooms were lovely. However from here things started to deteriorate. We did hardly anything in this week that was advertised except visit (empty) farms, which we did after riding for hours and hours along the main highway with our guide driving a truck ahead and waiting for us to catch up. When we got lost we suddenly realised we weren't even given a contact number for the guide and waiting for nearly an hour for her to show up again. When I say the farms were empty it was an absolute joke. The flower farm was the worst-it was barely even constructed yet! There was no tour around any of the farms, we showed up, looked at the gift shop and left. We were all under the impression we'd be going into the national park, seeing as we drove for 6 hours to get there, but when we asked our guide said 'no no, national park all around'. We did a lot of complaining and eventually one day we did go in but we spent an hour pushing our bikes up a huge hill to reach the park then everyone was told to get in the truck and we just drove to a couple of view spots. We asked to take the nature trail around the park but apparently this was not possible, and even if we had been able too we hadn't been prepared with any water or lunch so we had to turn around again and back down to the main road. We were late leaving to bangkok on friday as our driver didnt show up in time to take us to the bus stop so after getting up at 5am we had to wait an hour for the next bus anyhow. Our cycling tour in Bangkok was nice enough around China town but only an hour long, not the full morning as advertised and the next morning we were supposed to have another look around town but instead we were expected to leave at 10am back to the main house in Singburi. I stayed behind and had a great time by myself! The next week was the elephant week and this was also somewhat disappointing as we were not able to do a lot of the program again but this was largely due to bad weather conditions. My third week was supposed to be forest conservation but this was in the same house as the cycling week and though lots of fun evening activities and a nearby bar were advertised, none were present and I noticed only 2 other chinese girls would be attending the week so it might not be much fun. Also having spoken to the people doing the week whilst I were there they seemed to be planting a banana plantation, which didnt seem much like conservation to me! I rang Phil and asked to cancel the last week but he said I would not get a refund. I looked through global nomadic website and saw the week touring the temples in Cambodia so asked Phil if I could do the 'temple week' in Cambodia he said fine and I asked him to email me the itinerary so I could check it was the same, he did not until I arrived in rural cambodia to do 'temple conservation' which I couldnt even do because there was nobody else doing it so I was told I could teach English, which I really did not want to do. In fairness to Phil I emailed him and he emailed back saying I could leave and get a refund but technology failed me and this was sent to my spam folder so I did not see it until much later. I did however leave on Thursday morning after giving it a shot for two days and I did tell Phil the situation but was no reply. In fairness this is not all global nomadics fault as it is their local partner's trip as the Global Nomadic director tells me but that is what seems to be the problem here, all these companies, you don't really know who to contact when something goes wrong, who's to blame here. I spoke at length with the director who first offered me the £150 placement fee back which was inadequate, then their local partner offered another £250 making it up to £400. That was in September. Have I seen the money yet? Nope!

Response from Global Nomadic

We work with a local provider in Thailand who receive many volunteers each year. We both do our best to provide the best experience possible and what is described on our site. In this case Olivia did not get the experience she signed up for and apologize about this. We have refunded Olivia a percentage of the fee paid and have investigated this thoroughly with the provider in Thailand. We are doing everything we can to avoid this again in the future and will be updating all of our project descriptions with them.

We have many happy clients who we have sent away, as you can see on our Chronicles - https://globalnomadic.com/. Yet unfortunately things will sometimes go wrong and the best thing we can do is own the mistakes and do everything we can to avoid similar situations in the future, which is what we are doing. We therefore welcome all comments, good and bad so that we can live up to our values to offer quality placements with the best possible support and assistance.