Touchdown in Thailand
April 14, 2022
After a long few years of life being firmly on pause, the UK-based contingent of Jai Dog Rescue headed out to The Farm earlier this month and brought our wonderful supporters along for the journey.
Lending a paw
No two days are the same in the world of dog rescue. But here on The Farm, some daily rituals are sacred, like sunrise pack walks through the mango groves and cooling off with a dip in the on-site lagoon. The team on the ground work incredibly hard to make sure all 70+ residents are well cared for: from collar and lead training with the puppies to grooming some of our fluffier residents, trips to the vet for annual boosters to afternoon enrichment, it really is a full-time job…one that our UK team were only too happy to get involved with!
But we didn’t want to shy away from the grittier tasks – after all, that’s the reality of dog rescue! Each morning, our team helped re-dress wounds, administer medication, and dispense lifesaving IV fluids to the dogs who just need a little extra TLC.
Lynx doesn't let his disability hold him back, which is why his dressings need changing daily!
4 legs or 2 wheels, everyone enjoys our sunrise pack walks
Sunday enjoying her weekly shower
The most important meal of the day, according to Goh Goh: all of them!
IV fluids are essential for dogs whose kidneys need a helping hand
Having witnessed Thailand’s stray dog problem for ourselves, it was fortunate that our trip coincided with CNVR clinic day: the only proven, sustainable and humane method of reducing stray dog populations. Being able to observe the entire process from start to finish – catch, neuter, vaccinate, release – was an invaluable experience for our UK team who not only lent a helping hand on the day, but were able to meet the lovely local team who help catch and release the dogs we treat. Their support meant we treated 37 dogs, bringing our monthly total to 161 lives improved: we call that a successful day in the office!
Life on the streets
We might’ve created our very own doggy paradise here on The Farm, but the true scale of the problem is never far from our minds. Whilst in Thailand, our UK team were lucky enough to join two feeding routes:
The Wat Phrammani Temple is a stone’s throw from The Farm, in rural Nakhon Nayok. If you visit during the day, when temperatures are at their highest, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this area doesn’t have a stray dog problem. But come evening, when local feeder Toi begins his nightly feeding rounds, dogs start to appear from every direction, emerging from the leafy undergrowth that borders the road.
Here, Toi feeds roughly 70 dogs every day, using his own money to fund food, medical care for those who need it most and, where possible, their sterilisation. Some of the dogs we met were in a bad way and Toi knows that one day soon when he begins his rounds, they simply won’t be here. Others were much friendlier than you might expect and revelled in all the attention, but sadly there’s a sinister reason for this: it’s likely they were once “pets” abandoned here by their families.
Local feeder Toi is greeted by street dogs who have come to recognise and trust him
Stray dogs emerge from the undergrowth at the sound of Toi's arrival
Toi tells us that many dogs won't survive long on the streets
It's likely this friendly boy was once someone's family member but has since been abandoned
Wat Tavor Nimit Temple
Thailand is famous for its temples, so our team were honoured to visit Wat Tavor Nimit Temple accompanied by another incredible local feeder, Sumneung. Keeping cool in the shade of the vines or sunbathing in front of the most intricate, decadent statues, everywhere you look there are stray dogs.
Here, Sumneung cares for over 200 dogs feeding them chicken soup and rice twice a day, every day. Many of these dogs have been abandoned by people who know they will be well cared for, either by the Monks or by local heroes like Sumneung. Given how rural this temple is, abandonment is all too easy.
A tiny puppy is separated from the rest of the pack
Over 200 dogs live at Wat Tavor Nimit Temple, many of whom have been abandoned
Some dogs only trust Sumneung, and were too scared to eat while we were there
Even at the temple, poor health is rife
While dogs are generally well cared for here in Thailand, with cases of deliberate abuse being thankfully rare, some locals go above and beyond for the street dogs in their area, just like Toi and Sumneung. It was our honour then, whilst visiting The Farm, to host a community forum and meet more local feeders and rescuers who share our mission of transforming the lives of Thailand’s street dogs.
The aim of the forum was to hear their stories and opinions on what is needed most to help burgeoning stray dog populations in rural Thailand. Keep your eyes peeled for more introductions coming soon, but in the meantime, we’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who attended this forum: it was an honour to meet the local community and to be working alongside their selfless efforts.
Local feeder Sumneung, surrounded by the dogs she cares for
L - R: Jeu, Toi, Toi, Chaluk, Na and Oui are all local feeders and rescuers
Rescue never sleeps
Thanks to our ambitious 5-year partnership with Battersea, the number of dogs visiting our CNVR clinic has never been higher. As wonderful as this is, it comes with the inevitability that more dogs will equal more rescue & rehabilitation demands: our team are treating more injuries, infections, and broken bones than ever before.
The UK-based contingent of Jai Dog Rescue spent little over a week on the ground in Thailand and, in that time alone, witnessed 3 emergency callouts to dogs in desperate need of help:
Palika's owner thought she was "on heat" but she quickly deteriorated and was diagnosed with Pyometra
Pirate came in for routine neuter and vaccinations but it was immediately obvious that all was not well
Snow was brought it with a badly infected injury close to her eye, likely a puncture wound from another dog
We’re pleased to report that all 3 dogs have since received the treatment they needed and have been enjoying some much-deserved R&R while they heal.
Your role in rescue
Just like Pirate, Palika, and Snow, our UK team have now returned home but we know it’s only a matter of time before another influx of emergency rescue cases come our way. There’s a lot of moving parts when it comes to dog rescue – vets, feeders, rescuers, volunteers, dog catchers, and more – and we’re reliant on the generosity of our donors to keep those parts, well, moving!
Whether it’s £1, £10 or £100, we’re so grateful for whatever you’re able to donate.
Please, give what you can.