PEP welcomes volunteers!


Perros en Puerto A.C. (PEP) was formed in August 2008 to help the stray dogs of Puerto Escondido, Mexico. PEP is a non-government, non-profit organization depending on donations and funding from other sources. With currently over 100 dogs PEP needs a lot of help with the daily work, such as feeding and walking, maintaining the shelters and finding new loving homes for our dogs. We also take care of our rescue horse Tornado.

The new shelter was opened in February 2018 to accommodate the growing number of street dogs who need a home but we are still in the process of fixing and adding to the new construction.


What to expect

The shelter is divided into three sections, and each section is again divided into enclosures, each housing between 2-5 dogs. The dogs sleep, eat and play in their own enclosures and are taken out at least once a day for exercise. This is done one group at a time. Whilst the dogs are out, their enclosure is cleaned of dog poo and the water bowls cleaned and filled. When they return from their walk, the dogs are given their food. This has a specific order and each dog has a specified amount of food.

Puerto Escondido is hot all year round and the shelters are outside, some have only little shade and can be dusty during the dry season. The rainy season from May to October can be very humid and wet. You will most likely be doing active, manual work so be prepared to get hot, dirty and sweaty!


Here is a list of the daily tasks

  • Assisting with the daily walks
  • Cleaning each enclosure of dog poo whilst the dogs are out walking
  • Cleaning and refilling the water bowls
  • Giving the dogs their food - this will involve learning names, feeding order, and quantities
  • Giving the dogs love, cuddles and affection!
  • Assist with administering medicine or accompanying dogs to the vets
  • Help with rescuing or collecting stray dogs that are in need of help


What to wear/bring

  • Clothes that you don't mind getting dirty or potentially ruined
  • Loose, cool, comfortable clothes that provide some protection from the sun and you are comfortable doing physical work in
  • Trainers or sandals that you don't mind getting dirty
  • A cap to protect your head whilst working in the sun
  • Water
  • Sun cream
  • Please don't wear jewelry


Working Hours

The dogs at the shelter are taken care off 7 days a week.
Morning shift starts at 8.30 am – 1.30 pm with a break for breakfast at 9.30 am
Afternoon shift starts at 3 pm – 6.30 pm (only available for volunteers who are familiar with the dogs)

As it takes a few days to get to know the routine and more importantly to get to know the dogs, we give preference to volunteers that can commit to a minimum of 3 weeks. You are not required to work both shifts or work every day. The only requirement we have is that you commit to the days you sign up for and notify us ahead of any changes you would like to make.

Meals are not provided and you will need to make your own way to and from the shelter. We have long term volunteers with their own transport who can give you a lift to and from the shelter.



The dogs we work with have been rescued from the street, many have been mistreated and as a result are wary of humans. They are not aggressive but can be rather shy the first time you meet them. Some have psychological problems and traumas.

During your first week you will always be accompanied by an experienced volunteer when entering the shelter, until you get to know all our 4 legged friends and feel comfortable.

Please always treat them with respect! Approach calmly, get down to their level and let them sniff you before touching them – earn their trust! Some will jump up but they just want to play and be loved and with time you will be able to give them the attention and affection they deserve!



We are on GOOGLE Maps.

We are located in Fracc. La NOPALERA, Camino a Malucano, Puerto Escondido. It is only about 7 min ride/drive from the turnoff to Col. Marinero opposite side of Zicatela. The Colectivos that come our way you catch at the entrance to Marinero and they have one of the following names written on the front:


Lomas Bonita

El Cameron


A ride on a colectivo is about 12 pesos each way. You can also take a taxi from town but they are more expensive (100+ pesos each way). Just tell the driver you want to get off at the Refugio Canino en La Nopalera. They know us.



We do not provide accommodation. There is a variety of accomodation available. Try Facebook, booking.com oder Airbnb.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us! 🙂