Koh Lanta is an exotic and tropical island located in the Krabi Province of Thailand. It is somewhat secluded and is a popular backpacking and resort destination due to its relaxed nature and beautiful wildlife. One of the key points of interest on my 2nd trip to Thailand was doing some volunteer work, so I decided to volunteer at the Lanta Animal Welfare Center!
The Lanta Animal Welfare Center is a non-profit charity that saves animals from injuries and abuse, and then aims to release them back into the wild where they were found or to give them to proper homes. Due to the location of Koh Lanta being far away from the mainland of Thailand, this is sometimes difficult so they are accepting both volunteers and donations. Anyone visiting Thailand can come here and help out. There is no cost for doing so (though donations are encouraged), so all it costs is your time!
Below is a video of the main are of the center that I captured:
A typical visit to the center usually starts out with a tour so you can become acquainted with some of the animals and hear their stories. For example; according the the official website a dog was injured by a coconut falling from a tree and lost the use of his back legs. Fortunately nurses were able to cure the spinal injury that he suffered from, and now he can walk again!
The founder of this Welfare Center was able to fund it by cooking at a restaurant for many years and using the profits to build the cages and medical areas within it. As of now, approximately 15,000 animals have been sterilized and saved thanks to the help and support of volunteers. They also have mobile clinics where workers are sent to other parts of Thailand to treat animals that can’t make the way here, and also for the purpose of sterilization and vaccination. Unfortunately the Thailand government does not give any aid to animals, so workers here are trying to spread awareness and hopefully receive some funding in the future.
After the tour, you are free to walk around Kitty City and pet the cats, or take a dog out on a walk! I took a puppy named Hailey around the beach and went running with her. There is also a Kitty Cafe where I bought a delicious cupcake. All money spent here goes towards maintaining the center, and the food here is very delicious.
For those who are interested in working here, Job Opportunities are sometimes listed on the website, but it is easiest to come in-person and start volunteering first. If you are interested in donating, please see the Donation Page. I hope that more backpackers decide to stop here, because it really is rewarding and meaningful to everyone. ♥