Thailand has a big problem with stray dogs caused by abandoned pets and our region is no different. Solutions require responsible pet ownership with a coordinated, dedicated AND funded solution to strays.
Dogs of all sizes, shapes and descriptions roam the streets, alleys and beaches in search of food and shelter. Some form packs, others hunt solo looking for a handout or a misplaced scrap of food. Many of these dogs, especially the packs, will claim a street or stretch of sand as their turf that they will defend with their lives. Several country-wide surveys have been administered to determine what tourists like best and least about their visit to Thailand.
Stray dogs begging for food and being a general nuisance was the number one complaint, according to those surveyed. “We have a very serious problem with our abandoned pets in Thailand,” said Roger Lohan from Thailand’s SPCA. “More than 68,000 puppies alone are born annually on the streets of Thailand.” . Thailand’s revered king, Bhumbiboestl Adulyadej, adopted a stray of his own, to set an example about caring for stray dogs. In 2002, he wrote a bestselling 83-page book, “The Story of Tondaeng,”extolling the virtues of his beloved mixed-breed companion.
A temple dog on duty Dogs can usually be found in the compounds of Thailand’s temples where monks take care of them. Owners who can no longer afford to look after their pet dog may abandon it at the Wat in the knowledge that the monks will feed it. However monks are not vets and medical care often requires the intervention of others. These dogs are usually quite placid and you can safely walk around the temples without worrying about them, but they can become excitable when it comes to feeding time. It is also not unusual for the dogs to act as unofficial temple wardens.
CNVR Merely removing dogs from the streets or even taking a more radical approach of euthanasia is not a solution. Apart from offending the Buddhism call forbidding killing any animal unnecessarily, the result is a ‘vacuum’ that other dogs which may be more dangerous are likely to fill. The Catch – Neuter – Vaccinate and Release (CNVR) approach involves the capture, neutering, identification and vaccination of stray dogs and eventual release to the same
site. The rationale is to replace an uncontrolled, potentially dangerous population with a smaller, non-breeding and vaccinated one.
The CNVR approach is an internationally accepted way of dealing with the stray dogs but it requires coordination, dedication and funding. Stray dog organisations in both Hua Hin and Cha-Am provide dedication in spades but the other two ingredients are in short-supply with official agencies largely unable or unwilling to help. Complaints about stray dogs are frequently the subject of ex-pat conversations which do little to make a difference. It’s easy to find stray dog organisations which are on the lookout for volunteers and funding. Hua Hin Today will put you in contact with an agency that cares if you want to help make a difference, just send us an email: email@example.com.