Due to living in a place where animal welfare stems to the RSPCA actually owning a product called the ‘goose bag’, to rescue geese that are trapped in dams, it may seem hard to believe that there are countries where thousands of stray dogs and cats roam the streets every day. In Thailand, particularly, the stray epidemic could arguably be described as out of control. Thankfully, there are people out there, inspiring people, that are desperate to help.
In 2007 Theresa Chi, a resident of Laem Mae Phim, decided that something had to be done. She began to feed the strays around her house and, in time, began to take them to the vet to sterilise them. Sweden-born Chi then had to travel back home to help her daughter that had, sadly, become ill during her pregnancy, meaning that she had to employ people to help her cause. With the help of Soila, Sandra and Jenny, Dog Rescue Thailand was founded in the densely stray-populated Mae Phim area. Thai residents Khun Aod and hid wife Khun Oh manage the daily work at the shelter, with the others regularly checking in. Jenny, also from Sweden, stated that ‘we run the organisation from Sweden and take it in turns to travel to Thailand.’ This organisation takes in dogs off the streets, offers them veterinary care and provides them with life-saving food and water every day. The group also travel around the city each day, feeding other animals that they do not have room for. There are hundreds of dogs in this shelter, and their care requires volunteers to be around 24 hours a day. With very few animal welfare laws in play in Thailand, these animals would be helpless without this foundation, scavenging for food and shelter. Take a look at your own dog or cat, maybe both, residing by the fire with full bellies and think about how terrible it would be for them to no longer have you, or anything.
However, sadly, this dream is about to come crashing down; the owner of the land that the shelter stands on no longer wants to rent it out. This means that the hundreds of animals will become homeless and hopeless once again, with no one to take care of them. Jenny and the rest of the team are now looking to buy a plot of land of their own, to build a new shelter to house their dogs, where they will ultimately be in charge of what happens. A fundraiser has been put in place, in order to encourage the public to get involved with helping these selfless people find a new and permanent home for their animals. All animals deserve a chance, especially as all of us have the power to help them.
Photo credit: Flickr