Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation [SDF] has been granted important full charitable status, including tax exemption, in the United States, opening up potentially huge opportunities to raise funds for its ongoing operations and to secure the future of its Mai Khao dog shelter.
Commented Soi Dog Foundation Vice-President, John Dalley: “This is another great honour for the Foundation. It opens up further potential for the development of Soi Dog Foundation in Thailand. The United States is currently the second largest source of funding for SDF after Australia. We look forward to further growth with the establishment of SDF, USA.”
Said Marcelo Cacciola, SDF Ambassador for the USA East Coast: “The legendary generosity of the American people presents a great opportunity for Soi Dog Foundation to gain more support from individuals and corporations while saving lives. Soi Dog’s awareness campaign-Be a Hero For A Day-projects the Foundation’s spirit, encouraging people from around the world to get involved and be conscious of the important impact that anyone is capable of.”
SDF Still Needs Funds For Shelter
Mr Dalley emphasised, that although the majority of the money has been raised, SDF still has to raise USD$115,000 by October this year, or face losing the Mai Khao shelter, home to more than 250 dogs supported by a staff of four vets and 15 other staff members, including dog catchers and shelter personnel.
The shelter land would pass to commercial interests if the funds are not raised and SDF would be forced to move off Phuket. Mr Dalley fears moving from Phuket, would result in an explosion of the island’s dog population.
Race Against Time.
He said: “We are eternally grateful to our loyal supporters in the United States, and around the world for their unwavering commitment. The tax free charitable status of SDF in the United States will help enormously.
“But it is no exaggeration to say that we are in a race against time to raise the necessary funds to save the shelter.”
Soi Dog purchased half the land on which the shelter is located in 2009 but must purchase the other half by October or face losing the land.
Management continues to be carried out by volunteers at their own expense both on Phuket and around the world, ensuring all funds go directly to helping the animals.
Sterilisations are now over 33,000 [dogs and cats] on Phuket and neighbouring provinces. Many dogs at the shelter receive treatment for wounds and injuries. Soi Dog only keeps and re-homes dogs that have been subject to cruelty and abuse and therefore cannot be returned to the same situation.