Dog Chance
Offering Thailand's Street dogs a Second Chance
Through Immunzation, Neutering and Adoption Program

Life is tough for the street dogs of Thailand. It is hard for anyone who hasn't visited Thailand to understand the full scale of the stray dog problem .It is not just that hundreds of thousands of dogs are living on the streets [Bangkok alone has a conservative estimate of 150,000 strays] but it is the condition in which they are forced to live. Frightened, riddled with parasites , hairless with mange, most are hungry, many are starving, and hundreds live with fractured bones or are paralyzed because of car accidents. It is a national tragedy, and adding to Thailand's disgrace is the fact there are no humane shelters, no effective SPCA-type organizations as yet where animals can be taken or abuse reported, no well-run Government adoption facilities, no animal rights, no sensible laws governing pet ownership and certainly no animal law enforcement, no educational programmed or Government campaigns, and sadly euthanasia is practiced only rarely due to religious beliefs.

Shamefully, Thailand numbers among those countries labeled internationally as 'cruel to animals'. This label may have stuck due to Thailand's lack of action, funding and know how in tackling animal issues rather than by active abuse, but it is nevertheless harmful to the country's image. Gratefully though,in2001 Thailand's dog-lovers received a large bone from Bangkok's new Governor, Mr.Samak Suntornavej: there were to be no more mass exterminations [Cruelly administered by strychnine poisoning].Instead mass neutering was proposed with an initial target of 100,000 sterilizations per year in Bangkok alone. The policy is well meaning, but in program is rather barbaric. Meeting targets is often the drive behind the daily sterilizations at the Bangkok Metropolitan's Din Daeng Dog Pound, not the welfare and well-being of the dogs.

No funding is available for medicines to aid recovery, no treatment given for illnesses, no isolation facilities for dogs obviously suffering from contagious diseases [distemper, parvo virus, mange] and no vaccinations other than for rabies. The dogs are piled onto wheelbarrows, dumped in holding pens, and left to lie in their own urine, blood and faeces. Many trample over other sedated dogs as they stumble back into consciousness. Not surprisingly, many wounds get infected. Some dogs die. The programme will have to be radically altered before any civilized society can accept it as an effective and humane solution to Thailand's street dogs problem.

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