Are you flying from COSTA RICA to CANADA or the USA?
Then you could be the key to saving a street dog's life!
We are always looking for flight parents who can help us bring rescued street dogs from Costa Rica to forever homes in North America! Please think about participating in this simple and fun way to give a dog the chance for a new life!
You buy your own ticket, but we take care of all the necessary arrangements and costs for the dogs.
A representative from Charlie's Angels will meet you at the airport with the dog, a crate and all the necessary documents and will assist you at check-in.
Once you arrive on the other side, you will be met on arrival by the adoptive family or a volunteer from our partner rescue organization.
Please email us your itinerary and we will check if your flight can carry dogs.
We are always looking for temporary foster homes for our rescue dogs!
Our Rescue Centre is often on full capacity, and for some dogs or cats a foster home situation
works better than being at our rescue facility.
Can you help?
Do you live in Perez Zeledon / Costa Rica?
Are you a dog and / or cat lover and you have the possibility, space and time to have a temporary house guest in our home?
Are you in Costa Rica only temporary but you would like to enjoy the company of a dog or cat?
Are you looking to adopt a dog, but you aren't sure what kind of dog fits best for you? Fostering-to-adopt is a great way to see if a dog is right for you before committing to adoption.
You want to be involved in our rescue organization and this is an easy way to to contribute your assistance?
then please contact us!
The animal comes with everything you might need and our team is always here to assist you with any issues.
We can provide: food, toys, a bed or basket , a crate, leash collar, cat litter box, treats, etc.
We will take care of any medical issues that the animal might have during the foster time with you.
YOU WANT TO VOLUNTEER FOR US?
Please read this first, if this sounds like a good gig for you, then please contact us!
Rescuing and caring for animals is a very rewarding experience but it can be a lot of work depending on the particular health condition of the dogs.
You will need to be willing to get up bright and early to go on beautiful mountain hikes with our dogs but you will also have plenty of play time with the pups during the day, get to explore the beautiful area and meet like minded people.
We work as a small and dedicated team of animal lovers who all have the same goal and want the same thing: to rescue and change the lives of homeless and neglected animals.
The Charlie’s Angels Rescue Centre is located in a tranquil and remote mountain village, close to the Chirripó National Park, about 2o minutes from San Isidro (Perez Zeledon) by car. The property is nested in a typical and authentic Costa Rican neighbourhood. The property has a large garden with flowers, fruit trees and all sorts of exotic plants. Our rescue dogs live in large partly roofed outdoor compounds right next to the house. Some dogs live inside the house like pets. There is also a cute little cat called Lemon who lives with the volunteers in the house. She is very independent and loves to cuddle.
We try to limit the number of dogs to 20 but we often have more. In this respect we expect our volunteers to be flexible, if we have an emergency case that needs urgent shelter.
Once the animals are ready for adoption, we usually find homes for them in Costa Rica, but also in the States and Canada. The accommodation provided for our volunteers is a spacious, single story bungalow with 4 bedrooms, a large fully equipped kitchen with a dining table and everything you need to prepare your meals (microwave, fridge, 6-burner oven, coffee machine, rice cooker, blender) and 2 bathrooms with warm water showers. Up to 6 volunteers share the spacious house and bathrooms. Single volunteers might have their own room and couples can also be accommodated in the bedrooms provided.
Taking care of rescue dogs and cats whilst they are recovering is one of the most fulfilling things you can do, especially when you see traumatized and injured animals transform into beautiful, healthy, loyal, loving and playful family members. Receiving updates from our adopters is absolutely wonderful. It’s the most rewarding thing when you see “our babies” snuggled up on cozy sofas with their loving and caring human at their side.
Decent wifi, towels and bed linen are provided for the volunteers' use, a washing machine is also available.
The sunny morning walks with our dogs are absolutely gorgeous. You will enjoy the views of the Chirrió mountains, take long and leisurely walks on mountain trails or along the river far away from tourist places, in one of Costa Rica's most beautiful areas. Inhaling the cool, fresh air and the exercise will get you fit! You will be working with beautiful dogs and cats, volunteers, foster families, dog lovers and vets.
Food is not provided!
The volunteers have to shop their own groceries and prepare their own meals. Our large kitchen is equipped with everything you need.
Type of help we need:
Animal care / training
Help in the house
We are looking for:
Unconditional dog lovers who want to be here to help us with our rescued animals
Mature, tidy, self-sufficient people, able to use their own initiative
People with a good experience in animal welfare
Enthusiastic people who embrace the idea of being involved in an animal charity project
People with a certain fitness level as you will have to go on daily hikes in a hilly environment
This Volunteer position will not work for:
People who don’t understand that this is a non-profit charity organization, responsible for the care of rescued animals
People who don’t want to get their hands dirty (you don’t have to love picking up poo but you have to do it)
People who don’t want to get up early in the morning
People who cant prepare their own meals
People with chronic health conditions that may interfere with the care of the animals
You have one day off per week, but you will have free time throughout the day. However, the dogs are our main responsibility so they need walking first thing in the morning, feeding, given medication if needed, tracking vaccination and de-worming dates and making sure that they are clean and cleaned up after. They must have access to fresh water, be fed, have no fleas or ticks and remain in a safe environment.
Long term volunteers (those who stay more than 3 weeks) are welcome to go on a weekend trip providing at least two volunteers remain on site.
What type of responsibilities would the volunteer have?
To give all dogs love and attention with lots of playtime
To feed them twice a day, make sure they have water and are clean and safe
To keep all areas free of excrement and wash down the kennel area daily
To keep the dogs free of fleas and ticks (they are given medication which works very well)
To take the dogs on daily walks each morning and afternoon and regular toileting for the younger or crated dogs when necessary
To make sure the dog beds are clean
To help with vet visits and assist with our local spay & neuter clinics
To give us regular dog updates via Whatsapp or email when we are away
Wherever possible, to help us by promoting us on social media by tagging and sharing our posts and fundraisers
To provide your own groceries, cook your own meals and keep your private space clean
To help keep the volunteer house clean and tidy
Are there other employees or volunteers for the project?
Our manager and volunteer coordinator live permanently on site .
Charlie’s Angels founder, Tania, lives in the area, provides transport when required for the dogs and drops by as often as possible
A cleaner who comes twice a month
Up to 4 volunteers plus Centre Manager live together in the volunteer house.
Travel Health Insurance
We insist that our volunteers have their own travel health insurance. Our charity is not able to cover any volunteer medical costs if injuries happen on our property, during dog walks or whilst interacting / working with the animals.
Every volunteer is 100% responsible for their own medical costs if incurred.
We have a 5 day trial period, after which we decide if the volunteer can stay or not but we do reserve the right to ask a volunteer to leave if the relationship is not working.
If, at any time during their stay, a volunteer doesn't follow our house rules or instructions on how to handle the animals, or, if we have the impression a volunteer might be a danger to the project, we have the right to ask volunteers to leave the property with 24 hours notice.
We have a strict zero drug tolerance. Any volunteer consuming drugs will be asked to leave the property immediately.
Moderate drinking at appropriate times is accepted ie volunteers are welcome to drink a glass or two of wine during meals or a couple of beers after work in the evening. However, getting drunk on the property is not permitted.
We only accept volunteers over the age of 25 years with prior experience in dog care.
What else ...
There is a mini supermarket within walking distance and the next village, Rivas, is just a few stops away by public bus. There is also a bus to San Isidro, a larger town with lots of shopping options and a weekly farmers market. The bus stop is located directly in front of the house.
"In May 2018, I was very lucky to volunteer at this animal rescue in Rivas, Perez Zeledon. The rescue house is clean and safe and set in the beautiful mountains of central Costa Rica. Waking up bright and early and taking the resident dogs for a good long hike up the mountain trails is a great way to start any day. After walking, all dogs are fed and any other house keeping is taken care of, depending on what is happening that week, perhaps visits to the vet or the rescue of other animals in need. There is definitely time for exploring this beautiful country, and depending on the number of volunteers that are around, arrangements can be made to do that, as long as the pups and Lemon the resident kitty are taken care of . I would definitely volunteer again and would recommend this experience to anyone who would like to gain some first hand knowledge of dog rescue and perhaps even save a dog as well. I fostered and decided to keep one of the lovely pups I met when I was there, and now Mia is living the big city life in Toronto."
An overall truly wonderful experience! Everyone was very welcoming, and the accommodations were comfortable and clean. The work was always enjoyable and the morning hikes with the dogs were a beautiful way to start the day. It's clear that all of the animals are very loved and well taken care of. It was a valuable learning experience and I loved every minute of it.
I stayed at this place for four weeks in early 2019 and absolutely loved it there. All the dogs were lovely and the accommodations were beautiful. In order to volunteer here you need to really love and want to spend time with the dogs. There is a lot of work that goes into their care but a lot of joy to be found in it too. The daily hikes in the area are gorgeos and feeding time is fun too, though it can get hectic when there are puppies around. These are the main tasks but there is always something to be done or someone to cuddle if you're willing to helpout. All the dogs at the rescue center are sweet and fun though they all have unique personalities. Be prepared, some of the dogs arrive in rough shape and some have quite severe disabilities. Through the work of the shelter the dogs are able to heal, when possible, or live out their lives in comfort when healing isn't an option. I really enjoyed my time spent here, I fell in love everyday with the dogs and I want to thank Tania and Penny for all the work they do, it's an incredible labour of love. Please please please go through all the information closely and understand that the work is real and important.
SYLVESTER & CARLA (Poland & Italy)
Perfect example of how a rescue centre for animals should be organised. The dogs who getting there are one of the luckiest in the world. It is also amazing to whiteness all the process from rescuing homeless animals until an actual adoption and sending them to a new home. Angels are extremely effective in that matter and even during 3 weeks we could experience it more then few times. Big up and long life for the center!
MOLLY & JACOB (UK)
We stayed here for a month and would’ve loved to have stayed longer. Really rewarding experience, the work they do here really is making a huge difference to these dogs lives and it’s great to be part of it. Tania and Charlie were more than welcoming and we had everything we needed, we left with good friends. San Isidro is just a short bus ride away and the location of the house is lovely & picturesque. Highly recommend this workaway if you’re a dog lover. QUEZAL & EASTON USA We stayed for about 3 weeks and loved it! Working with the animals is a pleasure and there’s always something to do. Who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by pups?The detailed daily schedule made it easy to plan other activities in our off time. There were 21 dogs there when we were there which is great to see just how many they can save! Tania & Angus are very welcoming and helpful with anything you may need :) We are convinced we will be adopting a pup one day!! FARDAU, NL I left this place a few days ago and already miss all the doggies (and Lemon) so so much! What a lovely rewarding experience to be able to help these sweet little souls and find them a forever home. Every day we woke up early for the morning hike through the amazing landscapes, fed the dogs afterwards, and then made sure the puppies also got their exercise and daily dose of cuddles. We even built a puppie parlour with bathtub and helped with the construction of an agility course. What else can I say, I met some wonderful people here, worked hard and fell in love with every dog :) never a dull moment!
HALEY & SCOTT (USA )
Holy puppy love!!! My boyfriend and I originally intended on 3 weeks here... we then extended an extra week because we weren’t ready to say goodbye! In our month at the center, we helped get 8 dogs rescued and adopted into new families!!! It is physically impossible to be sad at this place when you are given puppy kisses all day long :) After working at some “unorganized” places, the rescue center was a breath of fresh air. We had a schedule starting bright and early... when the pups are up... you get up! 7 a.m. hikes with the fur babies through the beautiful mountains of Rivas was our favorite! There was downtown/personal time between the hours of 1-6 HOWEVER we couldn’t stand being away from the pups for that long. We built a doggie obstacle course in our free time because we were there to help the animals in anyway we could. The given work was by no means diffickut. it honestly just took a little bit of time management and common sense and the work was easy! Charlie (the vetenary nurse on sight) is a human angel. Her love for the dogs amazed us everyday and we learned so much from her in such a short time. If you are lazy, hate picking up poop, and don’t have a love for animals... this is NOT your gig. However, if you have a good heart, good intentions, and the desire to save animals lives forever... you have found the perfect Workaway! Rivas, Costa Rica is so lucky to have Tania & her Dog Rescue!” We will definitely return back to the center once our schedules clear up a bit... and possibly to get a puppy of our own! FURever Changed, Haley & Scott
I stayed for two weeks at the rescue. To be surrounded by all these dogs (and lemon the cat!) who were all so lovley and taking them for walks everyday in the beautiful mountains was such an amazing experience. The work was shared evenly amoungst the other volunteers who stayed there during my time which left plenty of time for lots of puppy cuddles! These dogs are all incredible and all deserve loving homes, until they find these homes they are in great hands staying here. I especially miss the most gorgeous puppy manny with his playful personality and the amazing sonny. Not to mention- after travelling on a shoe string budget to be staying in a place with my own room, a big bed and HOT WATER was incredible. Thank you! :)
MELISSA & ANTHONY (MEXICO & USA)
I spent a month here and I'm so grateful to have met such loving and amazing animals and people. This is a small rescue with approximately 10-15 dogs and a very cool cat named Lemon. It requires proactive, hard working, caring and of course, animal loving volunteers! During my time at the rescue there were 5 puppies who were approximately 4 weeks old when I arrived, and about 10 other dogs who ranged in age from about 4 months to 6 years old. The dogs at this rescue were either abandoned, neglected or abused and require a lot of love, attention and often times, training. The founders of this organization do a great job of finding forever homes for all the dogs, so I was able to witness 4 adoptions--a truly heartwarming and beautiful experience. As a volunteer my duties included, early morning hikes with the dogs, smaller walks throughout the day, feeding the animals twice a day, cleaning kennels and picking up after the dogs, lots of play time, caring and providing medication to the dogs that were sick and/or injured, taking the dogs the vet for vaccinations or when necessary, maintaining the home clean, and communicating with other volunteers and the organization's founders regarding the health and progress of each dog. The hike is literally right around the corner and has different trail paths which are all beautiful. The property is large and has several fruit trees, such as bananas, mandarins, jocotes and coconuts. The accommodation was clean and comfortable. There is a bus stop which is pretty timely right in front of the home which goes to the nearest town Rivas (about a 15 min bus ride or 30 min walk) and to the nearest biggest city, San Isidro del General (about a 40 min bus ride). San Isidro has a really great farmer market (feria) on Thursdays, with a lot of great produce for really good prices. Overall, I had a really great experience. I fell in love with every single animal at this rescue, each with their own story and distinct personality and attributes. I learned and was inspired by fellow volunteers from around the world and was amazed by the passionate locals working every day to rescue abandoned, abused and neglected animals, while educating the community about responsible pet ownership. This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to disconnect (wifi is very basic, but honestly, you won't want to be on it very much while you're there) and enjoy the beautiful nature and animals.
Wonderful experience. The joy of spending time with the gorgeous, affectionate animals being given a second chance. As the numbers of animals actually staying at here are kept to a manageable level I was able to give each and every animal the attention he/she deserved and received so much affection from them in return. The other volunteers, headed up by the volunteer co- ordinators Wanda & Sly were great company and so compassionate for the wellbeing of the dogs and cats. Morning walks with the dogs were good exercise both for them and for us, taking us to great views of the area. The volunteer house was really good, clean and comfortable..... and we even had running hot water in the kitchen! Well done Tania and team xx
WANDA & SLY (FRANCE)
Me and my boyfriend spend 2 month in the dog rescue center. It was for us the best volunteer experience of our lifes! The house is really comfortable and quiet, the area is full of amazing places to see (Chirripo, nauyaca waterfall, cloud bridge, dominical...), we had our own big and nice bedroom and was sharing the bathroom and the (hudge and full equipped ) kitchen with the other volunteers. We've learn a lot about dog behavior even if we are already dogs lover! We start in the morning with a beautiful dogwalk in the amazing costa rician moutain, feed the dog and feel free in the day to teach them fews things or going around. You have to feed the dog in the evening too. These dogs come from some bad places, or get abused in their life, and all they want it to have more love from humans. It was an amazing experience for us.. Full of emotions and good vibes to be in this amazing place doing a really good thing. Tania was really wonderfull with us, open mind and helpfull. She's always there for this big familly. This is a small dog rescue center, we are not more than 5 or 6 volonteers in the house, and we was more than happy to contribute to the bills. They are doing all they can do to help the dogs (and cats!) in a bad situation. You need to be a animal lover to go in this place, this not about work but about heart. We will definitely come back, so see you soon and thank you for everything!! Charlie, OZ A rewarding heartfelt experience, beyond words. These beautiful dogs who have suffered so much, but are so full of unconditional love. This place is a well run, very professional dog rescue, that provides volunteers with excellent comfy accommodation, hot water shower, great kitchen facilities. You will not be disappointed and it will be a workaway that you will not want to leave. Thanks Tania
Such a beautiful, meaningful and heartwarming experience! With 4 other volunteers I helped taking care of 9 dogs, 5 puppies and a cat. All the animals had either been found on the street or had been mistreated. In the 2 weeks I volunteered I could see how the life of the different dogs transformed for the better. Some dogs gained weight and some got a lot more happy and social.
Every day we walked the dogs in the beautiful mountains, we fed them and we gave them medication. We had a lot of spare time to get to know all the dogs, play with the puppies and relax by ourself. I also got the opportunity to take a day off and hike to the beautiful waterfall Nauyaca, which I definitely can recommend! I was heartbroken when I left the place, the volunteers and the dogs.. Especially the dog Sonny who I wanted to adopt so badly! :( I am so thankful for this unforgettable experience and hopefully I’ll be able to come back one day! Love Sofie
Located 1000 m above sea level, nestled in the lush and peaceful mountains next to Pueblo Nuevo, this place must indeed feel like heaven to the lucky rescued dogs who find a temporary home here. The shelter hosts max. 15-20 dogs at a time, so neither the animals nor the humans are stressed and everybody gets to sleep at night (unless the local critters climb the roof). Though emergencies will always find a place here, the center is never too crowded and every dog gets enough attention. Apart from walking (a lot), feeding, cleaning and trips to the vet, you can spend quality time with your favorite furry friends, like a shared siesta in the sun, running with them to burn energy or even serious dog training. Every dog has its own story, you might help to mobilize a fractured leg, slow down the eating (former street dogs tend to inhale their food), teach fighting siblings to get along or simply hug them nonstop to re-establish their faith in humans. I trained 5 puppies to walk on the leash, which felt like showing kids how to ride a bike, hilarious. Most of the time, I trained the bigger dogs to walk relaxed on a loose leash. I formed a particularly strong bond with a smart black beauty, who would stay glued to my leg off the leash after just a few hours of training. It was a tough good bye when I finally left, but I know she'll find a good home, due to the relentless efforts behind the scenes. A few things to keep in mind: You will hike a lot (starting at 6 am) and the days are long, so you should be reasonably fit. And this is a non-profit / welfare organization, hence you have to buy your own food. To get fruit and veggies, you’ll need to go to Rivas, which is a nice 30 min walk (if you avoid the toasting mid-day sun). The bigger dogs will be happy to join you, I often combined my food shopping with leash training. There’s also an internet café in Rivas, if you need to organize your travel (WiFi at the shelter is a bit weak). I spent a splendid month in this authentic, non-touristy area of Costa Rica, and though Charlie, the shelter’s first rescue dog and its namesake, passed away recently, this place continues to save lives, and you can be part of this mission for a while.
Are you traveling alone or with a partner? Each person who is applying should fill out a separate questionnaire.
Please also include a photo with your application.