“Many people now have dogs and cats as pets, but many people also still have no idea of how to prevent diseases among their pets from spreading, or preventing a huge rise in their reproduction. The consequence is that there are more stray dogs and cats on the streets, which are more prone to spreading rabies,” Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana said.
“So the Phuket City Public Health and Environment Division and the Soi Dog Foundation are together providing free sterilisation of dogs and cats and free rabies vaccinations to prevent rabies and reduce the number of stray dogs and cats in the Phuket Town area,” she added.
Mayor Somjai called on cat and dog owners to be responsible for the pets they care for.
“I want Phuket residents to be aware of the importance of rabies prevention and they should not have too many dogs and cats to look after,” she said.
“They should take their dogs and cats to have rabies vaccinations every year, sterilise their pets and at this time restrict the time their pets are allowed out of their houses. They should not let their pets out without care because rabies is now spreading,” Mayor Somjai urged.
“If people are bitten or scratched by a dog or a cat, they should immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and fresh water, use medicine to clean the wound, and seek medical advice as soon as possible.
“Also, if possible, detain the dog or cat for 10 days to see if the animal shows any signs of rabies,” she added.
Soi Dog founder John Dalley today told The Phuket News, “This is part of an ongoing maintenance campaign, with the help of local municipalities, to keep the stray population down and to keep rabies at bay on Phuket.
“The municipalities give us a place to do this and let local people know where and when they should bring their dogs along for neutering and vaccination.
“We have brought the island’s stray population down from an estimated 80,000 in 2003 to 4,000 to 6,000 (best estimate) today, and vaccinated most of the animals, thereby making the island rabies-free and controlling the dog population.
“But we need to maintain the number, and that means sterilising new dogs and cats brought onto the island by their owners,” Mr Dalley said.
“The sterilisations and vaccinations are being provided free of charge,” he added.
The campaign, which began last Monday (Mar 5), will conclude on Friday (Mar 16).
The sterilisations and vaccinations are available at the 4,000-seat stadium at Saphan Hin (see map below) from 9am to 4pm.
For more information, call 076-211570.