Why am I going?
A few issues arose at the end of 2016 with one being the end of my shop’s licence at Frankston Bazaar and with it came a sense of “wanting to get away and do something” that saw me searching on my phone late one night for a purpose. I was looking at some of the worst case scenarios for animals. I am not sure why I put myself through this but in doing so I came across information about the dog meat trade in Asia. Yes I know people eat animals here in Australia and I know there is no difference between the eating of a dog or a cow. But the image of dogs all bundled together in sacks ready for slaughter at who knows where, stuck in my mind and I could not erase it.
Although I had previously known about this trade and felt helpless I knew I would not be brave enough to front the issue head on at the meat markets but what I did discover late that night was that a shelter in Thailand, called Soi Dog, takes many of these dogs who have been rescued from these horrendous markets with many more come from brutal lives on the streets of Thailand.
Soi Dog means Street Dog and there are certainly plenty of street dogs in Thailand and this no-kill shelter cares for up to 400 animals (both cats and dogs) at any given time.
So I have decided to volunteer for a month starting on 18th March 2017. The job of volunteers, who come from all over the world, is socialise with the animals, encourage them to trust and receive human love and affection. Tasks include brushing and walking the dogs and in general preparing them for their adoptions (which happen right around the world from Switzerland to the UK to the US but unfortunately not to Australia as our quarantine regulations are very strict).
Some might ask why help dogs in Asia when dogs are being put down or living horrible lives in puppy farms here in Australia. For me Soi Dog is not just a shelter but works hard to lobby for end to the live dog meat trade. Sadly every year tens of thousands of dogs are inhumanely transported from Thailand to neighbouring countries where they are butchered by cruel and barbaric methods. However, the Soi Dog Foundation is actively working to end this appalling practice. Soi Dog aims to set an example for the Asian region on how to humanely reduce the number of unwanted dogs and cats through spaying and neutering .
So for me it is not just a matter of socialising with rescue dogs in Thailand but contributing to the work of raising awareness and encouraging change in the region.
And simply this is something I felt I could do.
Please check out the stories about Soi Dog at www.soidog.org
If you would like to know more about any of this please don’t hesitate to email me at any time at email@example.com
And when I return at the end of April 2017 hopefully I will have some Soi Dog merchandise and fairtrade handcrafts for you here at the Kind Choices on line shop!
12 March 2017
Rawai, pictured above, was chained up at a restaurant at Rawai beach. The photo on the right shows a month later on his way to recovery. (I have deliberately not shown the worst cases that Soi Dog see as I know even this is very distressing for many readers).