Save Elephant Foundation LogoCamp Thailand Logo







Although dogs and elephants may not find themselves sharing the same space in the wild, the Save Elephant Foundation provides a loving home for both species at Elephant Nature Park (ENP) in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. ENP Dogs began as a result of catastrophic floods in Bangkok towards the end of 2011. In rented boats navigating the river of streets, “ENP Dogs” began as a result of catastrophic floods in Bangkok towards the end of 2011. In rented boats navigating the river of streets, ENP volunteers rescued dogs trapped on rooftops and desperate for help. Many dogs were too afraid to board our boats and were given fresh water, food and medical treatment to survive on their own.

Of the 2,000 dogs pulled to safety, 155 were brought to Elephant Nature Park to begin their second chance at life. Large ‘dog runs’ were built with all kinds of things for the dogs to climb on, swim in, and play amongst. A small animal hospital was constructed and a full time vet and clinic manager have been employed to care for ENP’s new family.


Since the floods, many new dogs have joined the family, several of them puppies or pregnant mothers who’ve come from the surrounding communities and have suffered malnutrition, disease, abuse and neglect. ENP Dogs has also saved many dogs destined for the illegal dog meat trade in Laos or Vietnam.

Currently ENP is home to over 400 dogs! Caring for all these wonderful animals is a full-time job, and we need your help! The project accepts weekly volunteers so if you love dogs and are hard-working, they would love to have you!

Click on the following Youtube link to see a short video:

Click on the following link to see reviews on “Tripadvisor” about the programme

Volunteer with Dog Rescue

Location: Chiang Mai province – Northern Thailand

Nearest Airport: - Chiang Mai (CNX)

Duration: One to Four weeks


What will I be doing?

Volunteering with Elephant Nature Park Dog Rescue Project provides an opportunity to truly make a difference in the lives of so many animals. The minimum time commitment is one week, but some of our dog volunteers have stayed with us for months. Volunteers work in the dog shelter from 8am to 5pm each day, with a 90-minute break for lunch.

When you arrive at the project the first morning is spent exploring the park and our projects.

The daily schedule includes:

  • walking dogs who are caged while in treatment three times a day
  • feeding dogs twice a day
  • cleaning cages and other areas
  • removing ticks (don’t worry – they’ll teach you how to do this)
  • socializing with the dogs

One of the most important factors in preparing volunteers for their placement and creating a successful volunteering experience is trying to manage people’s expectations. This is not always easy as people come with different backgrounds, attitudes, goals etc. and due to the nature of the work no two experiences are ever the same.

ENP dogs tries to manage expectations by giving you as much information as possible up front. The vast majority of the volunteers have an amazing and life-changing experience but this is largely up to you and whether you're willing to get in and have a go.

Volunteers need to be in good physical condition due to the nature of the work in a hot and humid environment. No specific skills are required other than enthusiasm and commitment! At times, the work can be emotionally difficult so it is best to be prepared for this.



Working at the Dog Rescue Project – Volunteering can be a challenging process that involves many unpredictable factors. You may find it emotional and it is likely your experience will leave a lasting impression on you. It’s not the type of environment where you’ll be given direction all the time so we encourage you to use your initiative and don’t just wait for things to happen. You need to be flexible and try to adapt to the local environment.

It’s not a holiday – Although you may be volunteering as part of your vacation, it’s important to recognize that being a dog volunteer won't be a typical holiday. The work can be challenging and draining, although volunteers usually find that the rewards far outweigh any hardships. It’s also not realistic to judge the experience by the same standards you would usually apply if travelling to tourist resorts.

The benefit you bring – The contribution you are making through the time and money you are committing is making a huge difference to so many lives.

When the project runs - Dog Rescue Volunteer positions runs from Sunday - Sunday.

Accommodation and food

You will be living on site in comfortable accommodation sharing with at least two other volunteers. Here you will fall asleep to the sounds of elephants calling. Enjoy large buffet style meals with many different dishes to choose from. Vegan and vegetarian food is always available and all dietary restrictions are catered to.

What is provided?

  • Transport from Chiang Mai to Elephant Nature Park and back (Camp Thailand can arrange your return transportation to Chiang Mai)
  • Clean, convenient accommodation on site
  • Three delicious meals per day, served buffet style with a large variety of choices
  • Internet connection - generally available

What do I need?

  • A full passport valid for the duration of your stay.
  • Insurance (covering your placement time and any planned independent travel).
  • Transport to Chiang Mai city (Camp Thailand can arrange this for you)
  • Any additional costs such as trips, snacks, entertainment (allow a few hundred Baht per day depending on lifestyle).
  • A visa is normally not necessary for under 30 days from most western European countries.
  • No compulsory inoculations are necessary although do check with your doctor to make sure polio, typhoid and Hepatitis A&B jabs are up to date
  • Cash for any additional costs during your stay such as snack and souvenirs from the gift shop.
  • B. There are no ATM's in the area area.

Leaving the Dog Rescue Project

When it comes time to leave us (many people want to stay forever) on Sunday the transport departs the park around 3:30pm and you will be in the Chiang Mai City by 5:00 pm. If you have to leave earlier please contact our volunteer coordinators to arrange this.

All About Your Volunteer Position

08:00am - 08:30am Sunday pick up at your Chiang Mai City Hotel oryou must be at the ENP office at 07:40am.
Returning: Chiang Mai city on Sunday afternoon.
What to Bring: Overnight bag with change of clothes for 7 days, Hat, Sunscreen, Sandals/Flip Flops, Shoes for walking, Towel,Camera, Bug Repellant, Flashlight

Seasonal: rain gear (June - October), warm clothes (Nov - Feb)

Operational Months: All Year Round.


What is included
Transportation: Transport from Chiang Mai City to the project and back.  N.B. Camp Thailand can arrange return transfers to the nearest bus station and a

return coach ride to Chiang Mai City for 4,900 THB.

Accommodation: Clean, convenient accommodation on site.
Meals: Three delicious meals per day, served in buffet style with great amount of choice.
Other: Internet connection - generally available.


Bookings close: Camp Thailand needs to receive your payment during the first week of your Camp Thailand programme to confirm your place..


Volunteer Contribution: 5,000 THB per week or part of a week if you are making your own travel arrang arrangements to ENP.

Please add a further 4,900 THB, so 9,900 THB in total for up to one week if you require Camp Thailand to make travel arrangements and bookings for you.

Visit the ENP Dog Project website by clicking on the following: to learn more about the project and volunteering opportunities.

About the “Save Elephant Foundation”

Camp Thailand is proud and honoured  to be able to be partnered with the “Save Elephant Foundation”. We donate 5% of our merchandise sales to Save Elephant’s Foundation’s Surin Project and we sponsor and support an Elephant in the Surin Project in the name of all of our Camp Thailand participants and staff. You can encourage others to do the same.  Save Elephant Foundation is a Thai non–profit organization.

About the “Save Elephant Foundation” Founder

Sangduen “Lek” Chailert was born in 1962 in the small hill tribe village of Baan Lao, two hours north of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. Her love for elephants began when her grandfather, a traditional healer, received a baby elephant as payment for saving a man’s life. Lek would spend many hours with her newfound friend, named Tongkum (Golden One), resulting in a passion that would shape the rest of her life, as well as the lives of others.

Save Elephant Foundation

With a love and respect for her country’s national symbol, and the knowledge that they were becoming endangered, Lek began advocating for the rights and welfare of the Asian elephants in Thailand. In an industry steeped in tradition, advocating for positive change in the ways domestic and wild Asian elephants are treated has not been an easy battle. However, with hard work and determination her voice is now internationally recognized. In addition to several documentaries produced by National Geographic, Discovery, Animal Planet and the BBC, Lek has also won many honorary awards.

Lek’s mission continues to affect others as her voice is heard throughout the world. Her story and voice have made an impact in the minds of all who give their lives to animal welfare and conservation. Lek’s mission to save the Asian elephants continues to expand. She has formed the Save Elephant Foundation and a dedicated team works tirelessly by her side to protect the Asian elephant.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton invited Lek to Washington, DC in 2010 to honor her as one of six Women Heroes of Global Conservation. But, the accolades do not end there. Lek was named one of Time Magazine’s Heroes of Asia for her work in conservation in 2005 and the Ford Foundation’s “Hero of the Planet” in 2001.

Lek has earned two honorary degrees from Rajabaht Chiang Mai University – a PhD in Sustainability and Conservation and a PhD in Veterinary Science. Finally, the National Geographic documentary Vanishing Giants, highlighting Lek’s work with the Asian elephant, was recognized by the Humane Society of the United States with the Genesis Award in 2003.

Today, Lek continues to be at the forefront of elephant (and other animal rights causes), raising international awareness and encouraging other countries in the region to follow her lead, as well as helping provide sustainable alternatives to local villages. At the same time, she maintains special relationships with the animals she rescues. Most days, she can be found at Elephant Nature Park spending time with the rescued herd.

Contact Information: