Animal Shepherd Farm Sanctuary

Learn about animals, permaculture and sustainable farm-living at this animal sanctuary, a lovely hilltop retreat in the countryside in the magical town of Amealco, Mexico

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Instagram @animal.shepherd

We are a registered charity 501 c 3 animal sanctuary and we are powered by 🌱

About Us

Hi everybody. Thanks for reading my profile. My name is Ryan. I am a plant-based activist. I am European and I Love animals. Trying to live as simply and peacefully as I can. I came to Mexico 10 years ago and i saw so much cruelty against animals si I decided to stay and make a difference. My eco-project is a small no-cage no-kill animal sanctuary. I live off the grid in a sustainable way in a little farm outside the city of Queretaro in the magical town of Amealco.

Sinplicity is the beauty of life.🌱

I founded and run an animal sanctuary where I rescue and rehab abused Animals. Today more than 100 abused and neglected animals rescued from the streets call me home. Living life in total freedom.

I have always felt at ease and connected to animals. I knew it early, found my calling when I was a kid. Fighting for the animals is my life’s mission. Animals keep me grounded and happy. There is so much cruelty, abuse and abandonment going on, It’s heart-breaking and I decided to do something about it, not just words or excuses....I am a “take action” type of person. So I founded and run an animal Shelter where animals live free and happy. There are no cages.

Come and help me care for the animals I rescue from the streets.

Animals are amazing. It is a lot of work, but definitely a rewarding way of living, It is their planet too, we have to learn to co-exist with nature and the wildlife.

What I need from you

I need volunteers who are animal lovers (both cats and dogs) and are comfortable with basic outdoor and farm work. Vegetarian/ vegan is preferred.

I am looking for physically strong people that wants to roll up sleeves and get dirty, people who enjoy being outside and do things with their hands and love contact with nature. Looking for people that have experience in outdoor work, gardening, organic farming and carpentry or other DIY projects. Previous experience in a shelter or farm is a plus. and this is because this work is very hard, and physically challenging - thank you for your understanding

IMPORTANT: This is a basic worldpackers farm stay; one of the current objectives is to make the place more liveable so we can accept future volunteers and even create a teaching space. But at the moment it is rough and ready. The house is not always the cleanest due to the amount of work there is to do and some of the cats and dogs have free reign of the house in the evening.

You will need to keep an open-mind, be resilient and be respectful of the animals and the current circumstances of the project where animals and humans are sharing indoor and outdoor spaces. Your room is shared with cats but can be off limits to the dogs/ cats if you desire.

If you come the only requirement is a digital copy of your passport and to pay the fee in advance at the beginning of each week.

For all applications we have these screening questions. Please explain If you are comfortable with:

1- A simple, minimalistic lifestyle?
2- Being out of your comfort zone?
3- Doing outdoor chores?
4- Basic accommodation – a simple mattress in your room and basic internet?
5- Chilling in the house in the evenings with the cats and dogs?
6- Sharing a table with cats as we all eat dinner?
7- Are you okay with farm noises and dogs barking at night?
8- Able to wake up early (6.30am M-F) and be punctual when arriving at the project?
9- Tasks require hard physical effort. Are you ok with that?
10- Are you either vegan or vegetarian? Cause is the preferred option at the farm.
11- Are you aware you are responsible for your own food expenses? We are a small project we cannot afford to give free food.
12- Do you have previous experience with outdoor tasks or working in a farm or shelter?
13- we expect volunteers to stay during weekdays at the premises of the farm as much as possible and just going out to buy food or important issues. This is for safety and security reasons. This is a basic farmstay. We expect volunteers to enjoy life inside the farm, volunteers can go to the city every weekend.Are you okay with that ?
14- Are you okay with a small fee of 10 US$ per day per person to cover basic essentials during your stay?

15- Pick up point: To get to the farm volunteers should take a bus from Mexico City to San Juan del Rio Querétaro. Then they should take another bus to Amealco. Then a mini van to the pick up point or walk with your backpacks for around 45 minutes 1 hour (give or take) to get to the property or you can take a cab/van to get in here. This is s nice walk in the middle of the countryside surrounded by a nice scenery. Are you okay with that?

Another place when you Can wait to be picked is here. But we cannot guarantee we would be Able to pick everybody it depends on the workdload at the farm🙏🏻

Amealco Cultural Centre Venustiano Carranza 140. Centro CP 76850, Amealco de Bonfil, Querétaro

If you are okay with all of that we will get along just great and the project will be a good fit for you.

IMPORTANT: When submitting your application of interest to me please send your Whatsapp number and your Instagram account in case we need to organise a video chat to discuss the next steps. We reply to all applications within 48 hours where a whatsapp number is included.

I am asking for no more than 25 hours help a week (5 hours, 5 days).

About the Area

Volunteer near gorgeous woodland walks and enjoy the company of dogs, cats rescued from the streets.

The super-chilled site is surrounded by woodland where you can catch a glimpse of squirrels, sparrow hawks and glow-worms. You can always stroll down to the village nearby or explore the rather lively town of Amealco. At night you have spectacular glowing views of the landscape around.. Watch wildlife that isn’t a fox or pigeon.

It’s advisable not to leave the property after 7 pm due to security and safety issues. Volunteers can visit the city of Queretaro which is 50 miles north one weekend and then on the next explore the natural park areas and natures round the farm.

About the work with animals at the farm

I currently need help in 7 projects that I do:

1. Housekeeping/ cleaning The Farm - daily basis
2. Making compost - daily basis
3. Animal feeding and cleaning - daily basis .
4. Bio-construction & Farm Renovation- . Looking for carpenters and people with bio-construction skills (bamboo, wood, palm trees etc)
5.. Gardening and forestry - all year round.
6. There are also openings for those who are interested in managing our social media channels and creating videos photographs and other social media content.Also we have opportunities to decorate with graffiti, murals and paints
7. Yoga retreat. We also have openings for yoga instructors to use our farm as a yoga retreat. We can run outdoor/indoor yoga workshops. If you have skills please get in touch.

The working day starts at 6:30am to 9:30am. I expect volunteers to rise at 6am ready for work at 6:30.

I am really grateful to you for reading my profile page. I am accepting volunteers from the ages of 18 and older. I can accept also couples. Thank you so much.

Winter is cold - summer is rainy and hot, think twice before you write to me :)

I also want to mention that there are squirrels in the farm. They are harmless, but they are big!!


- Indoor bathroom with shower and flushing toilet (shared)
- spectacular panoramic views of the landscape around the farm)
- Simple private room included which has a mattress, internet with wifi and electricity.
- Basic outdoor compost toilet (100% eco-friendly) and outdoor bucket shower.
- Well water for drinking and washing hands.
- Camping is available (tents and hammocks included), farm lodging

Food is not included. Volunteers are responsible for their own food expenses. They can cook and use the kitchen and common areas.

The site is surrounded by a wire fence; and trained dogs.


We are a small non profit funded through donations and personal savings. Pandemic has made survival very hard for charity/ NGO projects like us. For this reason we require a small donation of 10 USD per day, per person to cover the cost of the volunteer‘s stay (water, internet, electricity)

We kindly ask volunteers to pay just one week's fee in advance at the beginning of every week.

The fee must be paid directly to the person in charge of purchasing food for our charity/NGO.

Thanks for your cooperation 🙌🏻


Please read well my profile before writing: this is no free vacation in Cancun beach, this is hard work and helping animals in pure contact with nature.
Not for the faint-hearted.
This is basically traveling with a purpose. This project is all about helping animals. Please put your needs and your comfort behind for starters, animals come always first, it is called unconditional love. Compassion and altruism should move the world and not materialism and selfishness. The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all injustice. Animal lives matter too.

I am an outdoor person. Love being out in the fresh air...waking my dogs or just going for a nice long and Sunday trek somewhere.

Also, i need Ito add that I have lots of you MUST love animals....if you are not a TRUE animal lover ....then definitely my project is not the one for you.

All I am asking from you is to keep an open attitude and try to learn from this lifestyle. Be prepared to be out-f-your-comfort-zone. I live a simple life. A farmer life, an off-grid life. I put others before self. It is natural. Animals and the planet always come first. There is life outside the system :)

Don’t forget: Altruism is always more important than tourism. Give back to others and helping is the meaning of life. Travel to make a difference!!!
Thank you so much.
Stay safe!!

We are a registered charity 501 c 3 Animal sanctuary. We expect volunteers to be respectful and open minded. We offer regularly courses about permaculture, eco living, compost, bio construction and animal welfare to schools and the community.


(3 reviews)3

Staff & Host


Hours & Tasks




Learning & Fun




Ryan is doing an amazing job taking care of all the cats and dogs he rescued. He’s dedicated for them and you can truly see it spending time with him in his farm. The animals are well-treated and receive a lot of love and care. All the projects he wants to develop in the new place he will go soon are very interesting and have a real changing impact. If you love taking care of animals and be in touch with nature, this volunteering is made for you!

over 2 years ago



To the next volunteer: get ready to have a one of a kind experience.
Stepping in the sanctuary you ll get what caring for dogs and cats is. Ryan is the kind of person that our current world needs urgently. Not anybody would have the strength to save and shelter a great number of dogs, cats (and soon cows and piggs) by their own.
As a volunteer it s been a crazy experience to be around dogs all day long. You ll get to feed them, clean after them and most surely to have some merited kiss and caress time.
Enjoy your stay at Ryan s☀️☀️☀️

over 2 years ago



Animal Shephard was an amazing and eye opening experience, learning about the operations of an animal shelter for dogs and cats. Ryan is environmentally aware and aims to have his farm off grid, so along with taking care of cats and dogs, volunteers are encouraged to contribute/help with environmental projects. Be prepared to get your hands (and body) dirty, so bring outdoor clothes and good pair of shoes/boots! I helped construct a biodegradeable compost area along with an undercover dog shelter. Other duties included fixing the fenceline and moving soil to fill in eroded areas of the yard.

almost 3 years ago

Perfect for you if you're looking for

Contact with nature

Vegetarian / Vegan


Contact with animals