Soi Dog Foundation - general statement
'As communities around the world learn to live with the presence of COVID-19, we wanted to assure you that the health and safety of our staff, visitors and volunteers is of great importance to us.
This also includes, of course, all volunteers and supporters representing Soi Dog in countries around the world.
We assure you that here in Phuket, the animals are always our priority and we are doing everything in our power to ensure that they are not adversely affected by the situation, whether within the sanctuary or out on the street.
In areas such as adoption, volunteering and sanctuary population, the situation is certainly proving to be a challenge, but one that we will never let get the better of us.
As daily life looks different now, and exposure to news and social media channels are at their highest ever, we see it as the perfect opportunity to continue sharing the stories of Soi Dog and keep the orange flag flying!
Stay safe everyone, and enjoy any extra time you get to spend with your beloved dogs and cats.
We would like to extend our good wishes to you all in these trying times and thank you for your continued support'.
— from all at Soi Dog Foundation, Phuket.
Soi Dog Foundation official statement on COVID-19 and the risk to animal health
There have been no cases of suspected COVID-19 infection found in dogs or cats in Thailand.
To date, there have only been a handful of cases worldwide of dogs and cats found to be infected with SARS-CoV-2. The majority did not show any symptoms of illness; some presented with mild respiratory symptoms. All bar one made a full recovery, a geriatric canine in Hong Kong who tested positive and died, though this was likely due to an underlying disease.
Based on the experimental and natural exposure information gathered so far, infection of dogs and cats is most likely associated with exposure to an infected human. It is difficult to infect dogs and cats with SARS-CoV-2. Clinical illness is unlikely and self-limited when it occurs, and no documented cases of long-term shedding at levels likely to infect humans.
There is no evidence that dogs and cats play a role in spreading the virus. Therefore, there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals that may compromise their welfare. Furthermore, in these unprecedented times when millions of people are self-isolating in their homes, the benefits of the company of a pet cannot be underestimated, especially for people coping with mental illness.
Note that the canine coronavirus (which can cause mild diarrhea) and the feline coronavirus (which can cause feline infectious peritonitis) are widespread in shelter environments around the world, though are NOT associated with the current coronavirus outbreak. All dogs at Soi Dog Foundation are vaccinated against canine coronavirus.
With regard to the precautions taken against the spread of the virus among humans, Soi Dog Foundation is closely following the advice of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Author: Dr.Alicja Izydorczyk MRCVS
International Director of Animal Welfare, Soi Dog Foundation
Sanctuary Visitors and Volunteers
The sanctuary is open as normal to visitors and volunteers and restrictions are relaxed.
As a guest of Soi Dog, you will be given all of the relevant information by our team of coordinators upon arrival.
Please email email@example.com for more information.
Please note that, due to many flight cancellations in response to Covid-19, we are unable to use flight volunteers and are limited to using cargo options to fly adopted dogs to their forever homes at the moment. However, we are still taking enquiries and registrations of interest. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Additionally, a number of our dogs are already located at our partner rescue organisations across the USA and Canada. If you are interested in adopting from them, please email email@example.com
To find out how you can support us at this difficult time, please click here.
Advice for pet owners
As stated above in Soi Dog's official communication from the Director of Animal Welfare, there is currently no evidence that companion animals could be a source of infection to people. As we read heartbreaking stories of unnecessary pet abandonment during the outbreak, it highlights the importance of following the advice of professionals.
A reliable source of information can be found on the World Small Animal Veterinary Association website. WSAVA reassurances for pet owners during the outbreak can be found here and advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can be found here.
Updated: April 28th, 2022.