- Posted December 11, 2011 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Eye on Thailand
Dog's rescue organization. Phuket
Founded 2003 by UK retirees John and Gill Dalley and a Dutch ex patriot Margot Homburg on Phuket. John and Gill were shocked at the condition of strays
Nearly all had wounds and mange and it was a situation getting out of control. The majority of the thousands of puppies and kittens died from injury, disease and starvation. So together they started to sterilize the animals taking them to local vets.
One year later double tragedy struck. In 2004 Gill recovering a dog she had darted from a flooded water buffalo field was infected with a rare bacteria. In a coma for 2 months and given little chance of survival she recovered but both lower legs had to be amputated and she suffered impairment to the use of her arms. 3 days after release from hospital the tsunami hit Phuket.
Dedicated volunteer and Gill’s best friend Leone Cosens were killed going to the aid of tourists.
Far from being the end for the foundation. A huge operation was put into action. Over the next 3 months with the assistance of over 50 volunteer vets and nurses, SDF volunteers, including Gill who at that stage was still confined to a wheelchair, worked around the clock, holding multiple mobile clinics throughout the region. Thousands of animals were treated, fed, sterilized and vaccinated to prevent outbreaks of disease.
With the situation returning to normal the Foundation continued to grow. Margot left Phuket in early 2006 suffering from total exhaustion but John and Gill continued and today SDF is recognized as one of the fastest growing charities in Asia. It is at the forefront of introducing animal welfare laws into Thailand and is actively fighting the illegal smuggling of dogs to Vietnam for the dog meat trade.
Phuket has now been named Thailand’s first rabies free province and with over 34,000 animals sterilized the number of strays has reduced and continues to fall.
In 2008 Gill was named as "Asian of the Year". The first and only foreigner to receive the award by Singapore based news channel CNA. In 2011 at the Animal Asia conference in Chengdu China, she was named as the Asia Pacific regions first "Canine Hero" and donated the $10,000 award to the Foundations' land appeal.
Soi Dog is a registered foundation in 6 countries including the UK, USA and Australia and it is the largest and finest shelter and hospital complex in Asia. It's long term ambition is to establish throughout Thailand.
Soi Dog Foundation provides tourists and local residents to visit the shelter and experience a heart warming experience with the dogs. With the program "Be a Hero For One Day" Soi Dog allows anyone (kids under 16 accompanied) to work and interact with the dogs giving them a bath, play around or go for a walk, while learning the basics of the Foundation work. The suggested donation for the experience is only U$ 10.-
For more information visit www.soidog.org