Last week, Soi Dog Foundation completed a campaign to sterilise stray dogs in every area of Phuket, in order to create a healthy, sustainable canine population on the island. With cooperation from the province’s local authorities, Soi Dog Foundation has sterilised and vaccinated more than 15,000 dogs and over 2,000 cats throughout Phuket in the two years of its mobile clinic programme, which prevents them from producing homeless puppies and kittens and protects them from rabies.
The mobile clinic, which started in June 2012, is a part of the foundation’s effort to humanely reduce the stray dog and cat population and keep Phuket free from rabies. The clinic is set up at different locations, often on the grounds of Buddhist temples, schools, and government buildings, sometimes under a tent. The programme is not only for the sake of the dogs – it also benefits local communities by reducing dog bites and other problems caused by stray dogs.
Soi Dog Foundation co-founder and vice president John Dalley said, “Our current 3 year programme in Phuket working closely with the local governments has had a large impact on the stray animal population. The situation on Phuket has already vastly improved from when we first started there 10 years ago.”
The second phase of the programme will re-visit every area of Phuket again to catch those dogs who have not yet been spayed or neutered. It is expected to be complete in 2015, after which only a low level of maintenance sterilisations will be needed and the population will continue to decline. Soi Dog will then shift its attention to widespread sterilisation programmes in Bangkok and other areas of Thailand to address larger dog problems.
In addition to spaying and neutering animals, Soi Dog Foundation is investing a lot of effort to stop the dog meat trade both in Thailand and neighbouring countries in the past year. John Dalley stated, “Although fighting the illegal dog meat trade and caring for the thousands of dogs rescued from it had a huge impact on our operations last year, sterilisation remains our prime focus. Large scale sterilisation is the most successful method of controlling a dog or cat population, particularly in a country like Thailand, where mass euthanasia is contrary to local beliefs”.
In 2013, Soi Dog Foundation sterilised a record number of 13,568 dogs and cats in Thailand including 8,876 dogs in Phuket alone – both records for the foundation.
About Soi Dog Foundation: Soi Dog Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation established in 2003, is a legally registered charity in Thailand, the United States, Australia, the UK, France and Holland with the aim to help the homeless, neglected and abused dogs and cats of Thailand. John Dalley, co-founder and vice president, is available for interview.
For more information please visit www.soidog.org or www.facebook.com/SoiDogPageInEnglish