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Animal Caretaker

Our Animal Care Director is taking a personal leave of absence for 8-12 weeks, beginning May 8th, 2023. We are looking for a hard-working, self-motivated person to cover her position and assist with daily animal care, farm chores, and weekly sanctuary tours. You will need to be able to work independently, but also as a team, and be able to take direction from a supervisor.



Responsibilities will include feeding the animals per their feeding schedule, scooping poop, maintaining pasture fencing, cleaning animal yards, and many other aspects of animal care and farm maintenance. You will also help with weekly guided tours.

The farm work is physically demanding (lots of walking and moderately heavy lifting {up to 50 lbs}). You WILL get sweaty and dirty! When I say you will get dirty, this is most likely a new level of dirty that you can't even understand until you live here. If you don't like being sweaty and dirty, please do not apply.


  • We require a MINIMUM STAY OF 12 WEEKS. If that is not your intention, do not apply.

  • Applicants must be at least 23 years old, mature for their age, and here for the animals above all else. If that's not you, do not apply.

  • Farmed animal experience is a must. Preferably farm sanctuary/rescue experience. Volunteer work counts as experience. References will be required and verified. 

  • This is a WORKaway program, not a VACAYaway program. Your main focus while here WILL BE the animals. If you want to explore all the Big Island has to offer, we highly recommend planning to come early or leave late and spending some time (at your own expense) exploring the island.

  • A plant-based diet is required while living on property out of respect for the animals who live here. That means no consumption of meat, dairy or eggs.



Located on the Big Island of Hawaii in beautiful Naalehu, Big Island Farm Sanctuary is a very rural, 25-acre, off-grid, animal rescue, offering a life of love and happiness to over 100 farmed and friendly-feral animals in need of sanctuary- including horses, cows, goats, sheep, pigs, turkeys, chickens, dogs, and cats. Through interaction and education, we help people learn the truth about animal agriculture, make a meaningful connection with the animals commonly called food, and show people how they can help stop the needless suffering of animals and the devastation to our planet, all while improving their own health.

The location of our sanctuary is known for its wind (so much so that massive windmills are built nearby that supply power to 18,000 homes a year). Some days the wind is a light breeze, some days it's absolutely ruthless, most days it's somewhere in between. Wind in an animal farm setting means dirt and dust flying around. Get used to always finding a little dirt in your ears. ;)In addition to wind, you will experience rain and occasional flash floods, so mud is a regular thing here as well. There are beautiful days here, of course, but I feel like you need to understand the worst before committing. We also have flies, spiders, small scorpions, centipedes, lizards, geckos, mice and rats. It's not like there are a TON of them, but they do exist and you will see them from time to time while living here. None of them are poisonous and we do our best to use deterrents, not kill traps or poison. Remember, this is off-grid farm life. There is nothing glamorous about it, so if glamorous is what you're looking for, please do not apply for this position.

While there may be some opportunities to explore the island, we are specifically looking for hard-working, animal lovers who would be content spending a fair amount of their free time bonding with our animals- not people who want to do minimal work at the sanctuary just to be in Hawaii. If your goal is to see as much of Hawaii as possible, we highly recommend planning to come early or leave late and spending some time (at your own expense) exploring the island.


You will work 25 hours a week in exchange for housing and a weekly food allowance. Because of past experiences lending our vehicles to work traders, we will not have a car for you to drive. We will make a trip into town once a week for grocery shopping and laundry and you are welcome and encouraged to join us. We occasionally throw in team beach days, but again, this will be about working with (and for) the animals, not about site-seeing. The perfect candidate for this position is someone who thoroughly loves animals, even to the point of wanting to spend much of their free time bonding with them.

Your sleep space will be an older camper van with bedding provided. You will share a "common area" (kitchen and bathroom) with everyone who lives here.

We live completely off-grid (minus having WIFI), meaning we use solar power for electricity and the water is trucked in. Because water is a huge expense of ours and it's possible to run our solar reserve dry, everyone is expected to follow a very minimalist lifestyle, using as little water and electricity as possible. There are no long "hotel" showers or running electronics for long periods of time. While you can use your laptop, phone, etc., this is a wonderful opportunity to get outdoors more, read books, and spend time with the animals.

Our sanctuary property is just minutes from South Point and Green Sand Beach- two popular tourist attractions. There are two small neighboring towns (Ocean View and Naalehu) that include grocery stores, coffee shops, a few restaurants, gift shops, and a laundromat. We do not have on-site laundry machines.

You will receive a weekly food allowance of $100 to cover your food costs. You are welcome to use the kitchen to cook/prepare your meals, and we have enough fridge space for everyone. Remember, it is required that, out of respect for the animals living here, you follow a plant-based diet while on the sanctuary property.

Not vegan? That's okay! We warmly welcome anyone willing to be open-minded to living a vegan lifestyle while here, and learning all the ways it benefits the animals, the environment and even your own health. We are happy to share menu ideas and help you in any way necessary. Our nearby grocery stores have some vegan options available and our bigger towns (Kona and Hilo) have plenty of places to buy vegan food.

Due to living in a high-risk fire zone, there is no smoking of any kind allowed at the sanctuary.

There are also several businesses nearby that you may be able to work for- understanding that your sanctuary schedule comes first and that you will be responsible for finding transportation to and from an outside job.

Stage 1: 20-30 minute video interview with our Animal Care Director
Stage 2: 20-30 minute video interview with our Founder
Stage 3: 6 day, onsite working interview. If you get this far, you will need to book a flight for no later than May 8th with an open ended return date. We will pick you up at the airport.
Stage 4: Job Offer. If all goes well and we find you a great fit for our team, we will extend a Job offer to you and help you make plans to get to Hawaii! Congrats!

I know this may sound like a very strict position, and it is, because lives are at stake. However, with the right person there are also plenty of opportunities for fun and laughs. We are very easy going people as long as we're not being taken advantage of.

The sanctuary is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of race, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, protected veteran status, disability, or age.

The job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required for this position. Duties, responsibilities and activities may change or new ones may be assigned at any time with or without notice.

Any photos or videos taken in the scope of helping her at and/or related to the sanctuary are considered work product and intellectual property of the sanctuary.

If you don't meet the following requirements or are just looking for a free ride in Hawaii, don't apply. I will not hesitate to send you home at your expense.

Let’s Work Together

Please give us a paragraph or two about why you would be the perfect fit for this job. If we like what we read, we will reach out to ask for a resume and schedule an interview.

Thanks for submitting!

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