Help at animal sanctuary in Germany in exchange for food and accommodation

Farm, animal sanctuary, Germany, animal shelter, volunteer, voluntouring, voluntourism, volunteering, project, team, vegan, love, pig
The Ziegenhain Gnadenbrothof needs (travel) Volunteers!

Volunteer at an animal sanctuary in Germany โ€“ Our project has already existed for 33 years and has developed to the present day with the help of many people who have really taken responsibility, both over many years and for a few months. The animals living here used to be in peril, which is why they have now got their place here with us! Only when people like you show real commitment and take responsibility, all of these animals can lead a beautiful life.


Currently, there are 46 animals living on the Ziegenhain Gnadenbrothof. They were all lucky enough to find a place with us due to a variety of circumstances.ย Some were brought in by their “owners” and some by people who noticed their threatening situation.ย We also found some ourselves or we were called for help.ย We receive requests every day to take in animals, especially large animals, but can only let as many animals live on the Gnadenbrothof as we manage to care for. We often have very special animals and need to provide medical treatment, which often means a sudden need of 1000de euros and other expenses.

That means there are as many animals here as we can care for and finance together.

Our mission

Our aim is for every animal to receive the care we want for ourselves or our family and friends. This applies in particular to medical care, as well as the implementation of operations and measures to maintain health or restore health. This means that sometimes 10,000 euros have to be raised in one month in order to be able to meet this requirement, for example, to simply bring a horse or another large animal to the clinic and have it operated on.

At the same time, all the people who help here also pursue their normal professional activities.


Nobody gets wages or anything for working here!ย Night shifts have to be done for weeks, which often pushes local people to their limits. At the same time,

  • Andreaโ€™s job is to bring all the money together,
  • Anja’s job to make our public appearance,
  • Siggi’s job is to do all the bookkeeping,
  • and then everyone has to go to work normally.

Also, the animals’ care during day and night must be ensured at all costs, which is where Ramona and Melena play a very important role. They can actually only come spontaneously, and if there are too few people from outside, sometimes before and after their everyday work they still have to do the entire yard work.

So I want to tell you as a reader of my text that you should seriously consider whether you want to come or not. The moment you agree to help, you are already seriously responsible, as we are counting on you from this moment on!

The daily routine

Now I’m going to describe a little how everyday life on the farm works. The following animals are currently living here:

  • 10 horses,
  • 4 sheep,
  • 4 pigs,
  • 7 dogs,
  • 4 cats,
  • 2 geese,
  • 3 chickens and 1 rooster,
  • 2 rabbits and
  • 2 goldfish.

Since we are a grace yard here, you should be aware that the animals are often actually disabled animals, some of which have to be looked after continuously throughout the day, and that we work in shifts. From the moment you received training, you have to work to cover as many hours as possible.

Some animals are disturbed and traumatised in some way. These animals are all here because their owners either couldn’t get on with them, could not benefit from them in any way, or lacked the money, power or know-how to carry out complex treatments. It is very important for the survival of these animals for people like you to come because without you people from outside (voluntourists)ย  the care of these animals is hardly feasible at the moment.

There is often only Andrea on the site and now and then someone else who comes to help for a few hours. Since Andrea works and goes on long work tours at least once a month for a week, you volunteers are currently existentially important for the farm and for the animals.

A few years ago there used to be significantly more volunteers, who unfortunately no longer live nearby, or only help from time to time due to changing life conditions or having now taken on other tasks for the farm.


Your tasks will be very complex, but first of all, I will explain the rough basic daily procedure:

  • The entire diet and pony enclosure is cleaned every day. That is about 3000 square meters, of which horse manure needs to be cleaned very thoroughly because horses who are on a diet like to eat every little bit of grass that grows and, if there were even the smallest bits of horse droppings, get a coli bacteria infection. So everything has to be done very precisely.
  • Then the area in and around the hall is cleaned. The hall serves as an open stable for the horses who are allowed to roam on the field of ten hectare as well as for the horses that can only eat soaked hay bobs because they can no longer eat hay and grass due to their age and tooth condition. They would simply starve to death on pasture with their mouths full since they can no longer chop and swallow grass.
  • From morning to night, someone has to check or pick up Leonie every 20 minutes. Leonie is a sheep which is currently struggling with the consequences of severe vertebral fractures, and after complete paraplegia in 2018 is now on a very good path. However, she still doesn’t get up on her own, so we have to go there every 20 minutes to check on her and lift her up so that her life is good and her condition improves.
  • In the morning, the entire house is always cleaned first. On the upper floor are the guest rooms and the cats, which of course can also go outside. But unfortunately, our cats don’t love it when guests come and stay with us. That’s why of having guests means that each morning, the upper floor has to be cleaned down into the hallway.
  • The area in the kitchen and a small living room also needs to be cleaned, as the dogs live there with us, and we attach great importance to our house being clean and smelling good. The house belongs to Andrea privately, and since she is a therapist and there is also a roommate, the house must be in a condition at all times at which clients can get in without there being embarrassing situations.
  • In between, there are tasks like bringing the geese to the meadow or back in the evening.
  • Pick up Robbie the pig, which is already over 20 years old, accompany him outside and serve him his medication and special food.
  • The chickens have to be fed and let out or let in;
  • the rabbits are cared for and checked.
  • Dog Anouk has paralysed hind legs, has to walk 5 – 10 km with a walker and help during the day.
  • The horses in the large paddock must be counted and checked on in the morning. It has to be checked whether everything is in order and if there is any abnormality.
  • Medications must be administered, med.
  • Application carried out and everything neatly entered in plans, as well as in the court book.

You have to imagine it a little bit like in an animal hospital. You really have to concentrate very well and always write everything down well. Abnormalities have to be noted in the book, every medication administered has to be signed off and so on and so on.

All basic tasks can be done in 5 hours if you are fit and focused.

More information

So, these are a few little things that I can tell you what to do here, and it would go beyond the scope of explaining all the tasks to you now because that would not help here. Almost every animal needs special care, great attention, and it is important to us that you are very focused and ready for action – but above all, have the ability to do so.

It is important to us that you are mentally and physically in good order, as we simply cannot afford to accommodate people with mental or physical impairments. We ourselves have such a high workload that we have to do to secure the life of these animals that it is important that you really come with strength and energy and above all with the right ideas.

We need you who come from outside:
  • 1) to do justice to all animals permanently
  • 2) to get out of here or
  • 3) to be able to cure an illness or
  • 4) just to take a break for a short or a long time.

I ask you to consider carefully whether you are really interested in caring for homeless and sick animals because that is what they are originally. We take care of animals of strangers who would not otherwise be here. At least this is the case for most animals.

You should be aware that you are not coming and helping “US”, you are coming to work for the animals. You are as important and after a while also a responsible person as we are. When you arrive here, it may be that one of us has been on duty here alone for weeks, just waiting for someone to finally arrive from outside. When you come, someone will go out of their way to enable you to do all the tasks perfectly. We have great medical and therapeutic know-how. It will then be important that you really write everything down, as sometimes the smallest mistakes here can have fatal consequences. It is really really sick animals to a large extent and many different types.

From the moment you accept…

From the moment you accept, you have existential meaning for life or death for individual animals. Every volunteer is not just “ALSO” here, every Volunteer has an important meaning here immediately – from the moment of acceptance.

I decided to put the text in this way because I can no longer tolerate people accepting and actually playing with it, not being serious, actually wanting to have vacation and fun, or are mentally battered and unstable, or even after the collapse on a dung cart because her back doesn’t take it.

We looked forward to living with someone for weeks, making decisions about that person’s coming, and then something like that. This makes the sensitive system on the ground falter, or almost cause it to collapse. This is where actual animal life depends, but also the lives of the people who otherwise do all of this on a voluntary basis, and who then align their entire private and business life accordingly when help is approaching.


You will learn a lot here.

  • 1.You will learn a lot about the care and about animals in general.
  • 2.You will learn a lot about medical care from a wide variety of animals.
  • 3.You will hear a lot about the assessment of laboratory values, X-rays, and rehabilitation of serious illnesses.
  • 4.You will learn a lot about special foods and if you pull it through you will become very, very strong.

A few years ago there was a volunteer who came three times a week to help. He travelled 160 km each time and again. After three months he had lost 35 kg and was fit like a sneaker. Yes, that’s how it can be if you really put your strength into it.


I want you to think carefully about whether you want to come. Right now people really got us into trouble: Psychological problems, physical problems, etc. etc. You have to think about that beforehand.

If someone has such a bad physical constitution that it takes eight hours for tasks that a 10-year-old child needs 2 hours, there can be no argument that someone has to work too much! We do not want to and cannot do that. We had so many great people here last year – really really great, and I know that it can go really well and powerfully.ย That is why I decided to change the text so that it does not tempt anyone to get an image that is too pink. Even at the risk that I will scare off a lot of people, which I would really be sorry for the good people.

Now that you’ve read all of this and maybe really want to come, I think we’re really looking forward to you. With warm regards from the Hof team and of course from our animals.


We are vegetarians, so you cannot eat meat here!

COVID-19 rules

Please remember to follow proper hygiene rules and wear the mask due to the epidemic.
We have employees with previous asthmatic illnesses.
We are also responsible for ensuring that the people who meet here move on Corona – safe ground.



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Author: Voluntouring staff

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2 thoughts on “Help at animal sanctuary in Germany in exchange for food and accommodation

  1. Hello,
    I would like to come and help. I love animals and am very caring. Do you need help right now?

    Best regards,

    ich wรผrde gerne kommen und helfen. Ich liebe Tiere und bin sehr fรผrsorglich. Braucht Ihr grade Verstรคrkung?

    liebe GrรผรŸe,

    1. Hello dear volunteer!
      This is the comment/reference section of the host announcement. The hosts might not (be able to) read this section. To get in touch with them, please use the contacts you can find in the “Contact Details section” at the end of the same announcement.
      Thank you and good travels ๐Ÿ™‚

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