Gill’s Diary, a weekend in Bangkok………….
Note: For adoption enquiries about any of the dogs in this story please contact Cindy Amey at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to donate towards the flood relief efforts please click here.
I flew up on Friday late afternoon with 27kg’s of medical supplies – thankfully Thai Airways ignored it!
Down to S71 & approx 13 puppies in cages, we fed & watered them, & cleaned up the pees & poops. Then all the planning for Dog island evacuation began, trucks ordered for the day, volunteers were rounded up & given instructions as time & place for set off. Then to Paragon with merchandise for Mandy & the other volunteers who are there for the next 3 weekends raising money & awareness, great guys who were working so hard!
Then to meet K. Pilaiwan, who herself is homeless at the moment as her house & business premises are flooded. She wanted to help in the rescue & has many contacts, along with her own party of volunteers. After back to the hotel & by this time it was about midnight, 2 further hours doing e-mails& bed at 2 am
Up at crack of dawn & down to S71 to meet the trucks & volunteers, after 1 hour stopped at a Garage & McDonalds to pick up more volunteers & a take away coffee for sustenance, 2 hours later after ploughing through flooded roads & picking up stranded people & dropping them off on our way, we arrived at Phuttamonthon Buddhist Park, where dog Island & the bridge are situated. The boats were unloaded, engines attached & off we went, the truck from WFFT was on the way with cages to load the dogs into & be sent to safety & vets for treatment. Thirty minutes later this is the sight that greeted us.
Once on the island we found it awash with media, totally unexpected & to be honest just too many of them. The Thai Royal Army were already on the bridge along with vet students from a local university to try to assist those most in need. I then started to single out dogs in the most need of treatment & there were3 that would have to come back to BKK with us, we Named them Sweet Pea, Minnie & Phutta.
By this time it was about 1 pm & we were getting worried that it would be too late to get the dogs off the bridge. After several phone calls we then found out that the truck with the cages on could go no further, the water was too deep, the RT Army truck went to find them &offloaded all the cages on to their truck. By the time they got back it was too late to start transferring all of the dogs.As the WFFT truck was still in the same position we decided to do 1 run of dogs & the boats took 26 to dry land in 2 very large catching cages &one of our trucks took them to the WFFT truck & they were taken to Cha Amarriving late at night, where they received any necessary medical treatment & all will be sterilised.We also removed Sweet Pea, Minnie &Phutafrom the island to take to Bangkok. So 29 dogs in all evacuated, well better than none, but never the less it was just so disappointing & we all felt so deflated. The Boats had their engines removed & were dragged on to dry land for the night & the empty cages stacked near by ready for the next day. Boat engines & people on to the trucks & the long, wet, bumpy, seriously uncomfortable journey started.
Minnie on my lap for the boat trip back to the trucks
On the way back phones never stopped as we tried to find 2 further trucks to take the all dogs to Cha Am the next day, the trucks had to have sides that went up a fare way to prevent the escape of the dogs. Eventually they were found, & we were all to meet at 7-30am the next day to get all the dogs off the bridge to safety.
Back in Bangkok & it was just about 9pm, we needed a vet urgently for Sweet Pea, I felt if left overnight before seeing a vet we may have found her dead the next day. The other two although sick did not have anything that was life threatening. From looking at her on the island I was convinced she had blood parasite (in advanced stages) along with severe pneumonia, she was so weak, her whole body shook with her coughing & her chestrattled enormously, the nasal discharge hung in strands from her nose making breathing even more difficult.
Sweet Pea After a nasal clean up!
We found a 24-hour vet & she has been there ever since in an Oxygen tent, receiving treatment for the diseases I had suspected. She is due further blood tests tonight & if improved can come out of the tent & go on oral medication.
Sweet Pea curled up in her oxygen tent
We then grabbed a quick bite to eat & back to where we were staying & as usual a further 2 hours of e-mails we went to bed at 2-30am
Up at 6am & down to meet the volunteers & the trucks, all were loaded up with every cage we had. Again we stopped after ¾ of an hour to pick up more volunteers. Off we set again & the same as the day before, ploughing through deep water & picking up people & dropping them off along the way. By 11am we were there. The engines were attached to the boats & the R T Army were ready for the off. We loaded the boats with as many cages as they could carry& all but a handful of volunteers boarded too. The handful that remained started to put wire mesh all round the trucks sides to prevent dogs from escaping then eagerly awaited the arrival of the 1st dogs.
The convoy of boats set off. Upon arrival we unloaded the cages on to the bridge. We then set about filling the cages with the friendly dogs that were easy to catch, they were placed on board& all the boats went back to drop off the dogs & bring back more cages. Other teams were in the water or on surrounding Islands picking up the elusive ones.
KhunRuen (the lady who cares for the dogs) was a Godsend as she could pick up a lot.
Once the easy ones were caught & removed the hard task of getting the wilder ones began, most of these were living on a small island attached by a makeshift bridge made of polystyrene. A large plastic curtain was strung across the bridge at 1 end, this was lowered as dogs were driven across the bridge & then raised again to keep the dogs in until they could be caught in dog catching nets. I had to attend to dog bites that people sustained as well as first aid to 3 dogs.
This was not a disappointing day! This raising & falling of the curtain happened again & again until all the dogs were removed, but there were still a handful evading us by swimming from island to island. We managed to catch 6 of these, but then had to stop as it was now dusk& the 30 minute boat ride back was done by torchlight.
The last dog to leave
It was a very eerie feeling leaving the empty bridge & now total silence………
Once back on land we found 1 truck already gone & the remaining truck was being loaded with the last few dogs. We were also handed a cage with 3 young cats in, they had been dumped near 1 of the trucks during the day, and they were to be taken back to Bangkok with us.
Boats, engines dog catching equipment all packed up on to the 1 remaining truck, but the only problem no room for any people. The R T Army came to the rescue & took us all back to Bangkok, exhausted but with very happy hearts. …………….
Khun Ruen is still feeding the couple of dogs left behind so they will be fine as now with risk of disease has been averted.
Yes you’ve guessed it a bite to eat 2 hours of emails!
We had a lie in & did not get up until 7am, coffee & straight on to the e-mails. I was due to fly back to Phuket at 12-15, so I thought loads of time to visit Sweet Pea & see how she was doing. It was only a short distance away, so I thought 10 minutes in the car, easy. We set off but needed petrol first, this only took 10 minutes, then off to the vets, we joined a traffic queue& sat, & sat & sat, until 10-30, there was no way I’d get to see her & catch my flight. A U turn was done & I collected my case & went off to the airport, I was so disappointed. I wanted to stay so much but I had to go as the shelter does not run it’s self, I also had a string of meetings & appointments in the coming week, along with continuing to coordinate the emergency supplies that were being organised.
Not quite the normal weekend in Bangkok!
There are also 7 other dogs that were so sick they were taken off the bridge a few days before this evacuation. All are doing very well & I have heard that Noddy is going to the UK! He arrived inPhukettoday! Darling boy – waggy tail & just like Sweet Pea & Twiggy to die for! We had such cuddles & I was kissed so much – tears came to my eyes when thinking about all the others………….
Noddy now destined for the UK
We believe that Noddy, Sweet Pea & Twiggy are siblings approx 5-6 months old
If anyone would like to give Sweet Pea, Minnie, Phutta, Twiggy, or Ginger their forever home please contact email@example.com
If you would like to donate towards the flood relief efforts please click here.