Maj Gen Thawatchai Srikaew of the Royal Thai Airforce presented the pet food to Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana at the shelter yesterday. Also in attendance were Phuket Provincial Office of the Department of Livestock Development (DLD) Chief Manas Thepparuk, Soi Dog Foundation founder John Dalley and various officials.
Mr Manas expressed his gratitude for the donation saying, “I feel deeply grateful for His Majesty’s kindness to the shelter. There are not many people who are willing to do such jobs and to dedicate their lives to caring for stray dogs.
“His Majesty donated a total of 1.2 tons of pet food – 60 sacks each weighing 20kg. In addition there are 30kg of medicine mixed into the food as well as 24 cans of pet food and 12 boxes of flea and tick protection.
“At present, the Phuket Stray Dog Shelter has a total of 813 dogs comprising 384 males and 429 females,” Mr Manas explained. “Also, Soi Dog Foundation have a total of 783 dogs comprising 387 male dogs and 396 females, as well as 225 cats.
“New strays are brought in all the time,” Mr Manas said.
“We still need ongoing donations of food and cash as the cost of caring for more than 800 dogs is well over the B1 million that we receive per year. That is not enough to cover the cost of food, treatment and staff. We need about B3 million a year,” he stressed.
“People can donate into a box at the Phuket Stray Dog Shelter,” Mr Manas added.
Gov Phakaphong spoke at the shelter expressing his gratitude for the donation and the King’s kindness towards the animals.
“I am grateful to His Majesty for his support of the shelter. Many of the dogs are disabled and many were abandoned. The shelter is located at 217, Moo 5, Thepkrasattri Subdistrict in Thalang on four rai of Royal Forest Department land and was founded in 2004.
“The shelter is managed by Phuket Livestock officials and supported by the Phuket Provincial Office and local administrative organisations,” the Governor noted.
“We hope the donation of food from His Majesty will set an example for others to follow. Great improvements have been made to the GDP and Soi Dog is pleased to have been able to assist the DLD and the Governor to this end. There is still much more that can be done, and we look forward to working hand in hand with DLD and the Governor in these efforts to improve things even further, as there is still much to be done and more funding is needed.
“We do believe that too many dogs are being taken there unnecessarily and overcrowding leads to outbreaks of disease and fighting. As with Soi Doig’s own shelter it should be used only for truly dangerous dogs, and those that cannot survive on the streets for whatever reason.
”The object of large scale vaccination and neutering is to return those dogs to where they came from to build up immunity and prevent the cycle of more and more unwanted dogs. Removing such dogs does defeat the object of this,” he added.