The Soi Dog Foundation (www.soidog.org) has completed a campaign to sterilise stray dogs in Phuket to create a healthy, sustainable canine population on the island.
In cooperation with the Province’s local authorities, the Soi Dog Foundation has sterilised and vaccinated more than 15,000 dogs and 2,000-plus cats on the island of Phuket during the two years of its mobile clinic program, preventing them from reproducing and protecting them from rabies. The mobile clinic, which started in June 2012, is a part of the foundation’s effort to humanely reduce the stray dog and cat population and keep Phuket free from rabies.
The clinic is set up at different locations, often on the grounds of Buddhist temples, schools, and government buildings, and sometimes under a tent. The program is not only for the sake of the dogs – it also benefits local communities by reducing dog bites and other problems caused by strays. Soi Dog Foundation co-founder and vice president John Dalley said, “Our current three-year program in Phuket implemented in close cooperation with the local governments has had a large impact on the stray animal population.
The situation on Phuket has already vastly improved from when we first started.” The second phase of the program will re-visit every area of Phuket to catch those dogs which have not yet been spayed or neutered, the foundation said. The second phrase is expected to be complete in 2015, after which only low level of maintenance sterilisations will be needed and the population will continue to decline. Soi Dog will then shift its attention to widespread sterilisation programs in Bangkok and other areas of Thailand to address larger dog problems. With the issue of stray dogs firmly on the agenda in both Hua Hin and Cha-Am, the obvious question is; can a Soi Dogs Foundation ‘model’ be implemented in our Region?