Welcome to the January Soi Dog Foundation Supporter News. We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. 2014 is shaping up to be another big year, with thousands more animals needing your help, the construction of the new hospital in Phuket and the continuation of the fight against the illegal dog meat trade. It is only because of you that this work can continue and we look forward to working with you, helping the dogs and cats of Thailand together in 2014.
John and Gill Dalley and the Soi Dog Foundation team.
What your support accomplishes, the story of little Hero – from despair to a bright future...
Hero came to Soi Dog’s shelter in late November in a horrific state after being attacked and left to die. For me, the story of Hero is a tremendous example of what your support accomplishes every day. Let Hero tell you his story...
Hi, my name is Hero and I would like to tell you my story of despair, followed by kindness and hope. I was ready to give up on life after I was brutally attacked by two men. I thought they were going to give me food when they called me over to them, but they grabbed me and started hitting me and attacking me with a knife. The pain was horrendous and I was bleeding everywhere, but I managed to escape. I found a quiet corner in a building where I planned to spend my last moments when a lady found me.
I was so scared of her and felt trapped, but I was too injured to run away. To my surprise she gave me food and a bowl of water and put powder on my wounds. She promised me she would find help. I did as this nice lady said and remained silent for the night and the next morning she came back with a man named Khun Sanae, who gently picked me up and put me in the back of his truck. I was so confused as I didn’t know where Khun Sanae was taking me but I soon realized he was trying to help me.
I was taken to a place called Soi Dog Foundation and was so frightened as I was examined by some people called vets. By the time I reached the shelter my legs were so badly swollen these vets had difficulty taking a blood sample from. I heard the vets saying I was very ill and most likely had septicemia. I don’t know what that is and I certainly did not like the medicine they gave me! One positive to being taken to the clinic was that they gave me a whole can of dog food while they were drawing my blood, which I ate within seconds.
Over the next couple of weeks, I received a lot of attention from the vets, including an hour and a half body scrub from Dr. Su. I felt so much better afterwards as I was less itchy. Dr. Su also told me that I have blood parasites and mange that would need to be treated after my septicemia is better. This really didn’t mean much to me, but what did mean a lot to me was that Dr. Su told me she would do everything in her power to make me better.
After spending about 5 days in the clinic, I was starting to feel better and was beginning to feel hopeful about my future. The people here were so kind and fed me a lot of delicious food. I was starting to gain weight and had a lot more energy.
I also had so many visitors, including John and Gill, who they tell me started Soi Dog Foundation. Without them, myself and dogs like me would not have a chance at being saved and I would surely have died. They also tell me many people called “sponsors” donate money to help dogs like me. John told me he had made me a sponsor dog and while I was not entirely sure what that meant, it made me feel special as sponsoring me not only helps me, but all the dogs Soi Dog cares for.
After about two weeks I was moved out of the clinic and into a bigger run. I was so excited as I was starting to feel better and wanted some more room so I could walk around, now that my wounds were starting to heal and I had more energy. I wasn’t allowed out which was a bit boring, but it was more interesting than being in the clinic as I could watch what was going on around me and my run looks out over a small lake. I was slowly learning to trust people, however if I didn’t know someone and they tried to come into my run, I would growl at them. This was because I was scared that they would do what those horrible men did to me.
I learnt quickly to trust Khun Pew, who looks after me. She gave me my yummy meals and kept my run clean and made sure I had somewhere nice to sleep. Although I sometimes didn’t like the things Dr. Su and Dr. Ead had to do to me, I knew they are doing their very best to be gentle with me and I appreciated that. Dr. Eugene also looked after me one weekend and he was also very careful not to hurt me. A man called Raymond was also visiting me a lot and taking lots of pictures, so slowly became my friend. I am not sure why he was taking so many pictures, but he said I had a lot of friends on Facebook and they all wanted to know if I was getting better. It sure was nice to know people cared about me.
After about three weeks at the shelter I was allowed out of my run into a play area during the day and guess what, I was in there with two other dogs and finally had some friends to hang out with. It felt so good to have some company. Next door there were some old dogs and I would say hello to a couple of them, although most of them would just sleep all day! We were all put in our own runs at night, but that was ok. As I was still recovering, it was good to get some rest. My wounds were improving each day and I definitely felt like I was putting on some weight from all the tasty meals I was given. I even started to grow some new fur, which I was extremely proud of and I was starting to feel handsome once again.
These days I am happy to report that I am feeling better by the day and growing fur at a rapid rate. I am still a bit nervous around people I don’t know but am getting regular visits from the staff and I have discovered I really like cuddles. Belinda who works in the office near my run comes to see me a couple of times a day. Sometimes I get a bit scared and growl at her, but once I realise she is my friend I wag my tail and get very excited to see her. She gives me cuddles and scratches behind my ears and when she stops, I tell her not to by giving her my paw or licking her hand. She is very patient with me as are Raymond, Khun Pew and all the vets. I do not know what will happen to me in the future, but hope I can stay here as the people are so nice to me. Maybe one day I can live like some other dogs I have seen who actually live in houses and look after the people they live with.
I am so grateful for all that Soi Dog's supporters have done for me but I do worry about the other dogs out there who are suffering. Perhaps you may like to consider sponsoring me or one of the many other dogs here at Soi Dog, so that more dogs like me can be helped?
The fight to stop the illegal dog meat trade continues...
In August 2013 a conference was held with government representatives from Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia to discuss ways to fight the illegal dog meat trade. It was agreed upon at this conference that these representatives would provide recommendations to their governments regarding enforcing the laws against the dog meat trade. A follow up conference is planned to be held in Bangkok mid-February where discussions will continue. The main goal of this upcoming meeting is to form an action plan to ensure the participating governments follow through with taking action against the dog meat trade.
Meetings are also planned with the Royal Thai police to seek further cooperation towards increasing enforcement actions against dog smugglers. Soi Dog Foundation will finance the widespread circulation of a poster informing people that eating, killing and trading of dogs in Thailand is illegal and encouraging to report suspected smuggling activities.
Agents have toured the Laos/Vietnam border crossings where Laos border guards say no dogs have crossed since April. We are treating this with skepticism as have had reports of pickups in Laos being spotted. Meetings are being planned with the Royal Thai Police to get backing for interceptions of dog snatchers. Soi Dog will finance a large poster campaign offering rewards for information leading to arrests.
With new shelters being constructed at Buriram in northern Thailand, all dogs rescued from the dog meat trade will be moved to this custom made facility by mid-January. Caring for these dogs costs in excess of $45,000 per month and your continued help is needed. Please consider joining the Magic 1000 Club, a fund designated specifically to caring for the thousands of dogs living in the Buriram facility. You can join the Magic 1000 club by clicking here Join The Magic 1000 Today
Thanks to you a sterilization record set in 2013!
Thanks to you a record 13,568 dogs and cats were sterilized in 2013, including animals in Phuket, Bangkok and thousands rescued from the dog meat trade. This astounding number prevents the birth and suffering of hundreds of thousands of puppies and kittens who would have otherwise been born. In Phuket alone, the mobile clinic covered all of the island’s 16 municipalities and 8,877 dogs were sterilised.
Sterilization is the only strategic, effective and humane way of addressing the root cause of street animal suffering - overpopulation. Soi Dog's supporters have sterilized nearly 60,000 street dogs and cats preventing the needless suffering of millions of more animals.
My heartfelt thanks to you for making a difference in the lives of dogs and cats like Hero.
US Residents - Soi Dog is a registered charity in the USA and your donation is tax deductible to the full extent allowed by US law.
United Kingdom Residents - Soi Dog is a registered charity in the UK and your donation qualifies for HMRC gift aid.