Search “things to do in Mozambique” and you’ll find art galleries, national parks, beaches, islands, coral reefs, churches, seafood eating, and even a train station. “Visiting an animal shelter” doesn’t make any of the “Top 20” lists, but if you travel to meet new people, to learn about other cultures, for adventure, for tranquility or to lend a hand and give-back, then volunteering at Mozambique Animal Protection Society’s shelter is a chance to experience all that and more!
Meet new people, make new friends
The MAPS shelter attracts volunteers from all over, including Mozambicans, expats who live in Mozambique, and visitors to Mozambique. If you have taken the step to spend some holiday time at the MAPS shelter, you have a good foundation for a friendship with others who are doing the same.
Learn about other cultures
MAPS local staff and volunteers can provide insights into attitudes in the country about cats and dogs, and are a great source of general information about the country, the people and their cultures.
You never know what a day at the shelter will bring. When I was last there, the university’s lone donkey joined me on a dog walk and then decided to partake in the kitty food at one of the feeding stations.
Lend a hand
Combining travel with volunteering is increasingly popular. If you are an “animal person,” the MAPS shelter is a perfect place to volunteer. The dogs and cats are always so grateful for the attention.
If you have space in your luggage, please consider carrying something from the MAPS Wish List:
Blankets (old or new)
Towels (old or new)
Collars and leads (medium to large sizes)
Dog and cat brushes and toys
Dog food (dry)
Cat food (wet or dry)
Cleaning agents (Pine Gel)
Dish washing liquid
Fly traps and bait
There’s no better exercise for your body and mind than a few hours spent walking dogs!
Some of the dogs and cats you will meet at the shelter have been traumatized. They just need someone to quietly sit with them and make them feel safe. It can be a challenge to get a cat or dog to trust again, but so worth it when they do.
Practice a language
Are you learning Portuguese? Practice on the non-judgmental cats and dogs!
The Mozambique Animal Protection Society operates a small shelter with about 30 dogs and feeding stations for free roaming cats. MAPS has large outdoor kennels; each kennel holds several dogs. The indoor kennels, all with a small outdoor run, hold one dog and are for the less social dogs, older dogs, injured dogs, or others who prefer to have their own space. The shelter is clean, bright, and cheerful, and the cats and dogs are obviously well cared for.
Volunteers are always welcome to walk, bathe, and groom dogs, socialize cats and dogs, and help with other tasks around the shelter. MAPS staff assist volunteers by putting dogs on leads and getting them out of the kennels for walking and will provide information about each animal’s personality and preferences.
Mozambique Animal Protection Society
Located on the grounds of Faculdade de Veterinária UEM
Av. de Moçambique
Call +258 84 343 5450
Note* MAPS greatly appreciates an email message or phone call before you visit.
By Karen Menczer, Founder & Director of Animal-Kind International