Soi Dog Foundation's Community Outreach programme sees two teams travelling around the island to places where street dogs and cats congregate, typically temples and beaches, providing the basic medical care they need and teaching the carers and feeders of these community animals how to administer basic first aid to dogs and cats, and how to identify signs of sickness and injury. Almost 7,000 animals were treated by our Community Outreach teams in 2020.
With so many individual animal lovers and various temples feeding and caring for homeless street animals, this programme will see these compassionate people trained in basic animal care and first-aid. This is in addition to our food programme, providing these animal carers with regular supplies of dog and cat food each month.
The objective is to get animals treated before the sickness or injury progresses to a more serious stage which, ultimately, reduces the suffering of the animals and frees up space in our dog and cat hospitals for very serious cases that require full-time veterinary care.
At Soi Dog Foundation, we believe that people's attitudes towards animals are formed at an early age. If more people grow up with empathetic attitudes to dogs and cats, there will be fewer cases of cruelty and neglect.
To guide this, Soi Dog devised an education programme for schoolchildren, starting at primary school age. The initial rollout of the programme was in 2017 and the addition of the Soi Dog Humane Education Centre at the sanctuary in 2020 now allows for further development of the programme. It is our aim that the humane education programme can be integrated into the schools curriculum in Thailand.
An important component of the Soi Dog education programme is the teaching of the 'Five Freedoms', from the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW). Conceived in 2000, UDAW is a proposed agreement to recognise that animals are sentient, to prevent cruelty and reduce suffering, and to promote standards on the welfare of all animals, including companion animals.
- Freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition.
- Freedom from fear and distress.
- Freedom from physical and thermal discomfort.
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease.
- Freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour.
Our education initiatives don't stop there. We also receive vets from neighbouring countries who can spend time learning from our own team of fully qualified vets. The varied and complex range of surgical and medical cases encountered here often provide more experience than most vets anywhere in the world can attain in a lifetime of practice. Learn more about veterinary volunteering at Soi Dog here.