People are being urged not to abandon their pets at temples or face legal charges under the Cruelty Prevention and Welfare of Animal Act and the Wild Animal Reservation and Protection Act.
The Sangha Supreme Council of Thailand, the governing body of the Buddhist order (Sangha) of Thailand, received a letter from the Thai Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TSPCA) asking it to prevent people from abandoning their animals at the monasteries. The growing number of forsaken animals at temples has also prompted the TSPCA to promote better animal treatment and raise awareness of the legal consequences the pet owners could face for abandoning their animals.
To solve this problem, the Sangha Supreme Council of Thailand has instructed all temples to ban animal abandonment and trade on their premises. Anyone caught trying to do so may receive a maximum fine of 40,000 THB and a jail term of up to four years. Many of the dogs living in temples around Thailand are there because they were dumped there by irresponsible owners. Others are the offspring of animals living nearby that have no owners. The temples have always been a haven where dogs could be safe from being run over on the street or beaten, maimed or killed by irate locals.