What We Do

EHF Vet Volunteers

EHF Vet Volunteers

Esther Honey Foundation Animal Clinic, Rarotonga, Cook Islands

EHF established and continues to support the only veterinary clinic for the Cook Islands’ thousands of companion animals. Since the Foundation established the Esther Honey Foundation Animal Clinic in 1995, hundreds of veterinarians and thousands of technologists, interns and animal advocates have traveled to the South Pacific island nation to treat more than 3,000 animals annually. Services are provided in return for donations.

EHF’s patients are primarily companion animals, but our veterinary teams have also treated pigs, goats, horses, birds, fruit bats, one seal and a hawksbill turtle. Since opening The Esther Honey Foundation Animal Clinic doors, EHF has

  • Treated more than 37,000 animals
  • Sterilized more than 14,500 animals

EHF Clinic Team Responsibilities

Volunteer Positions vary, but typically include a combination of the following personnel:

  • veterinarians
  • veterinary students
  • vet techs/nurses
  • college pre-vet interns
  • administrative volunteer

Volunteer position responsibilities are detailed in the EHF Application Protocol materials. Contact EHF for details: Click Here

Please note:

  • All volunteers work under the auspices and at the direction of the US office and the EHF Board of Directors and are required to adhere to clinic policies and protocols established by the Esther Honey Foundation in compliance and in agreement with Cook Islands authorities. It is expected that experienced veterinarians will supervise vet students and recent graduates.
  • All  volunteers share in the maintenance of the animals, clinic and EHF residence.
  • All volunteers, particularly veterinarian volunteers, are expected to remain on Rarotonga during the time that they are scheduled to work at the clinic unless prior arrangements are made.


Work Schedule: Volunteers volunteer from two weeks to a year. They agree to work full days, five days a week and to be available for emergencies. Maintenance and animal care responsibilities continue on weekends. Work, especially when there is an influx of fish poisoning patients, can be exhausting, but most volunteers find the rewards outweigh the demands.

Clinic Hours: The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8-5 with the feed and clean beginning at 7AM. The work invariably extends beyond 5 PM with evening feed and clean and medications. Saturdays, patients are scheduled for mornings appointments only. Sundays the clinic is open for emergencies,  in-patient care and clinic maintenance. Rosters allow volunteers where possible (Keeping in mind that unanticipated circumstances can intervene) to have two days off per week.

Blood recipient

Blood recipient

Resident cat & dog are important members of EHF Clinic Healing Team:

“This was a complicated but exciting procedure to perform at the clinic and careful preparation and a good clinical team were required,” wrote EHF veterinarian Becky Robinson.

“Craig, one of the clinic cats, was the blood donor and a blood transfusion was performed…”
Read more..