by Mike Pullen
Alas, as the majority of us get older, we realise that due to various reasons such as a lack of opportunity, resources or our own limitations, we were never destined to achieve the heady heights of our dreams and we settle into a normal happy life with our families and a steady job.
As part of their project to teach their pupils about community role models, good citizenry and becoming involved in community welfare, Soi Dog Foundation has been invited by various schools to come and do a talk about the work that the foundation does with the help of its Thai and international supporters. This was when the realization set in that a person does not necessarily have to be famous or be the best at anything to become a role model within their community. By living a good life and being a good citizen that cares about the community that they live in, anybody has the capacity to be a local community hero and a role model to their children in their own way.
One of the ways to become a community hero and improve the lives for both the animal and human communities they live in, is to adopt a rescued dog or cat from a shelter. When you adopt an animal from a shelter you are saving two lives, the life of the animal that you adopted and the life of the animal that is going to take its place at the shelter.
You are also providing an animal with the second chance they deserve. Many have been rescued from horrific circumstances such as cruelty, neglect and abandonment, or quite simply their owners were no longer able to look after them due to illness or a change in situation. Shelter staff work tirelessly to nurse animals back to health, rehabilitate disturbed animals and do everything they possibly can to ensure they are prepared to go to a new home. By rehoming a pet you can give an animal that has been abandoned through no fault of their own a loving, stable home, and help to stop the overpopulation of stray dogs in your community.
Your personal and civic decision to adopt a companion from a shelter will also help towards putting the horrific puppy mills out of business. Most puppies and kittens sold to unsuspecting consumers in pet stores, online or via classified ads come from puppy mills. Puppy mills are factory-style breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of their animals, as some animals from puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care, and are often very sick and behaviourally troubled as a result. The mothers of the animals are kept in cages to be bred over and over for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever joining a family. After they get too old, breeding animals are simply discarded – either killed, abandoned or sold at auction. Puppy mills will continue to operate until people stop supporting them. By adopting, instead of buying a pet, you are setting an example and can be certain you are making it harder for these businesses to operate.
Adopted rescue dogs have the ability to lift your spirits, resulting in an improvement in your quality of life through improved benefits in your physical and emotional health. It is a very fulfilling experience to save a life and watch it blossom and flourish with love, care appreciation and respect. The joy and gratification to be derived from saving a dog in need are boundless, making you a happier person, leading to a happier family environment, a respected member of your local community and a hero that your kids can look up to.
Soi Dog’s shelter has a variety of healthy pets just waiting for their local hero to take them to their loving forever home. Interested potential adopters can call Charoenkhwan Pongpradith – Thailand adoptions co-ordinator at 098 868 0058 or email firstname.lastname@example.org during the week to schedule an appointment. Further information and pictures of our wonderful animals looking for a loving home can be found by visiting the Soi Dog website at http://www.soidog.org/en/adoptions/