We at Hua Hin Today are supportive not only of local businesses but also local arts, government initiatives and local charity organisations. I am a real animal lover so I decided I would contact a local animal charity to find out about their challenges and how they operate. I contacted Josette & Fran who by themselves operate Temple Dogs. They take care of the dogs of Wat Na Huay and Wat Wang Pong Temples in Pak Nam Pran.
Josette started the Organisation in 2005 informally by deciding to help the dogs in a Temple (Wat Na Huay) close to where she lived. Within two years she was also taking care of the dogs at Wat Wang Pong. She started by gaining the trust of the dogs by giving them attention and food. She was then able to get close to them and treat them against diseases, broken legs and other mishaps. Thankfully she soon met up with Fran who shared her generosity and now they take turns to visit one of the Temples each day. Fran was a great help to Josette and by 2012 they had 150 dogs under their care. At the Temples the Nuns and Monks sometimes feed the dogs rice but their means are limited. The ladies make sure that the dogs get an occasional dog kibble as well.
It is a daunting task to take care of 150 dogs. I don’t know how they do it as they fund much of this themselves. They do not house or feed the dogs on a daily basis but visit to treat illnesses and accidents, neutering and identifying other problems. Many of the dogs are abandoned at the Temples by people who simply become tired of caring for a pet or who can’t afford the expenses of taking care of a dog. The ladies neuter all females, treat blood parasites and give shots to the litters of puppies which are continually being dumped at the Temples. Many times Josette and Fran have thought of quitting when one of their dogs has been deliberately poisoned or run over but they feel they owe it to the dogs to continue.
I had a lovely weekend following them around visiting the dogs. Many of them are lonely and have only the love and companionship of these two lovely ladies. One such case was ‘Screamer’, a big brown dog that has been ostracised by the other dogs. There was no doubt how happy he was to get our attention. We also tried to catch a young puppy that had been dumped at the Temple recently. It had a collar that was way too small for her neck. We didn’t manage to catch her but Josiette assured me they will gain her trust soon and be able to administer her annual vaccination and remove the tight collar. I thought I would be frightened by the large number of dogs but then I saw the wagging tails showing the positive feelings instilled in the dogs by these two generous ladies.
We ended up bringing back a dog to Josette’s house that was not doing well. It looks like this little doggie has found itself a home because as soon as I saw her my heart melted. I knew that once she is feeling better she is coming to live with me!
On Sunday a kind veterinarian who sometimes volunteers time to administer treatment arrived. We travelled to two temples to catch small puppies for their vaccinations and to treat any illnesses. I returned home after two days following the ladies around and felt overwhelmed by the experience. However there was also a deep sense of satisfaction in seeing something well worthwhile being achieved. I loved watching the little puppies getting fresh water and lapping away eagerly, seeing dogs come running for their kibble treat and watching the doctor treat dogs that are ill. I will be visiting again soon to help out in any small way I can.
Temple Dogs is constantly struggling to manage. If you are interested in helping out here are some suggestions: Donations of dog food and medicines, Volunteering (you need a car), Dog Sponsorship and of course Adoption.
Temple Dogs has a surprising variety of dogs including puppies, special needs dogs, small dogs, big dogs and dogs that are already domesticated.