Distemper Epidemic Update
With Your Help We are Winning But The Battle Is Far From Over!
I wrote to you in early December of last year requesting your support in battling the serious outbreak of distemper. My thanks to those across the world who have helped these dogs! Pictured below is one of the many puppies saved through the help of our supporters.
This important work continues and our strategy is working to stem the outbreak, but help is still needed! Please read this letter carefully and consider helping today!
Fighting the outbreak of a disease as insidious as distemper is similar to fighting a massive forest fire. The current distemper crisis on Phuket is being addressed by creating massive firebreaks around effected areas. What this means is vaccinating en masse the dogs in areas surrounding where outbreaks have occurred so as to stop the spread of the disease.
This strategy is working however other areas where there have been distemper outbreaks must be addressed quickly in order TO AVOID A FULL OUT EPIDEMIC!
However, without immediate additional funding for expanding the treatment program the situation is going to worsen very quickly. The single most effective way you can help to stem this epidemic and to save lives is by helping us vaccinate these dogs. For $10 dollars a month (less than 33 cents a day) you can vaccinate 3 dogs. This results in saving the lives of countless more. For $20 a month (less than 66 cents a day) you can vaccinate 6 dogs. If you are in a position to help you can do so by clicking the link below.
On Phuket new cases have been found in Chalong and Bang Tao. Soi Dog has been quick to respond and treatment is occurring in these and surrounding areas. More disturbing, is that cases have now also been reported in the province of Krabi.
150 dogs (of which we know) have died from the disease with over half of these being puppies! These numbers would be significantly higher were it not for the treatment programs.
With your help we have vaccinated well over 1000 dogs already and the treatment program continues to expand. The financial and resource strains on Soi Dog have been extremely challenging and continue to be so. Soi Dog receives NO governmental aid and relies 100% on donations, mostly from individuals to fund this important work. Operating costs have more than doubled in the last few months.
There are many implications to this crisis which are not immediately obvious. Just one example: As quarantine at the shelter is vital to avoid infection in healthy dogs, emergency quarantine facilities have been set up. The laundry has been converted for quarantine purposes with at present 17 puppies being treated and kept there. Effective treatment of infected dogs is very expensive.
Further, in the case of these puppies, once fully recovered they will need to be kept as residents of the shelter as has happened with other puppies who have recovered from the disease. This of course increases the operational costs of the shelter.
On the bright side Otto Stoefka and his family have recently adopted 3 of the puppies which your support have saved. Heidi, Anda (named after the Andaman Sea) and Susi are pictured below. Our heartfelt thanks go to the Stoefka family, pictured below with their newest family members.
One of the most effective ways you can help the animals in our care is by sponsoring one of them. Hope, pictured below was recently rescued while literally being skinned alive! On New Years it is considered fortuitous to eat black dogs by workers from northern areas of SE Asia who come to Phuket for work.
Hope was found at a Burmese workers camp being skinned alive and fortunately was found in time by Soi Dog. She is now safe at Soi Dog and will make a full recovery. Hope is one of many dogs who show why your sponsorship is so important in helping us to keep the promise to all the animals in our care.