Among the hustle and bustle of Bangkok’s streets it is hard to miss the amount of stray animals that have made these sois their home. Some are lucky enough to gain a morsel or two from kind passers-by or business owners but, sadly, most are reliant on their ability to scavenge. So common is the sight of stray animals that their existence becomes part of the expected – if you walk these streets you are certainly going to encounter stray dogs and cats along your way.
Though the majority of these animals are so used to humans that they ignore people going about their business around them, stray dogs in particular can be unnerving to anybody visiting the city. It is unwise to try and predict the response of a stray animal and approaching a stray dog, no matter how seemingly placid, should be avoided. Despite generally being used to the presence of people, an approach may be deemed a threat and the dog’s response will reflect this conclusion. Not all stray animals have had pleasant encounters with people and, in light of the fact that some people use violence or even poison to eradicate the problem of strays, a wary attitude adopted by soi dogs and cats can be forgiven.
Despite the seemingly impossible task ahead, a number of charities and individuals work tirelessly in order to do all they can in answering the problem of Thailand’s stray population:
“Catch, Neuter, Release” drives by animal charities throughout Thailand have helped to manage the number of stray animals within given areas to a degree. The amount of animals on the streets and the ongoing need for funds pose huge hurdles to these drives however. Adoption programs have also helped in tackling the problem but, again, funds and space to home strays awaiting adoption hamper the work being carried out…
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Despite the warning given earlier about approaching stray animals, individuals have successfully rescued and adopted soi dogs and cats themselves. This involves an element of risk to the rescuer – both in the animal’s response to its new environment and in the vet bills amassed in nursing the animal back to full health.
As the writer of this article I have first-hand experience in rescuing a soi cat myself and, though the story ends happily, the journey getting there was sometimes upsetting and indeed expensive. In deciding to adopt a soi dog therefore, and not being brave/daft enough to approach a random stray myself, a different avenue to adoption was sought and found through Tharinee Wipuchanin (Carrie), founder of ‘Pic-A-Pet4Home’ based in Bangkok…
The process of rescuing a stray animal through Pic-A-Pet4Home (or indeed other rescue charities in Thailand) is straightforward:
You provide details about your circumstances and the type of animal that you are looking to adopt, they make possible matches before suggesting a visit that hopefully results in a healthy animal finding its “forever home”. Pic-A-Pet4Home allows the placed animal and adopting family a trial period in which each ‘gets to know’ the other and help is at hand if problems arise. Animals can be returned if it becomes clear that the match is not right for both parties but, due to the initial hard work made in making the ‘correct match’, such situations are rare.
Animals adopted through Pic-A-Pet4Home/other rescue charities have been checked by a vet and are up to date with worming medication, flea/tick repellant, vaccinations and (if old enough) they have also been neutered.
Rescued soi dogs and cats looking for new homes can be found in the ‘Lifestyle’ section of the Bangkok Post online or in their ‘Brunch’ complimentary magazine every Sunday and the variety of animals range from the very young to OAPs.
Rescue charities also have their own websites that often include a gallery of animals seeking homes.
If you are based in Bangkok you can contact Pic-A- Pet4Home directly by calling 08-1451-2233 or 08-1551-2628 – Carrie speaks excellent English. Alternatively, you can email [email protected]. The Pic-A-Pet4Home website is currently written in Thai but the fourth option down on the Homepage list takes you directly to the gallery section of the site.
Soidog.org is also another fantastic resource site that rescues thousands of dogs and cats each year.
If you have just rescued a cat or a dog and are looking for a new home we at Rent Bangkok Condos can help you find the perfe