Shelter staff took Mr Theerapat on a tour of the facility, including the puppy run, cattery, dog hospital and off-lead exercise areas, and discussed the foundation’s large-scale spay and neuter programme which has seen over 480,000 dogs and cats neutered and vaccinated since its founding in 2003.
Mr Theerapat, who is a keen wildlife biologist and conservationist, and who previously served as the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, said, “Stray animals are part of our communities, and everyone should ensure that the dogs and cats in their neighbourhoods are vaccinated and sterilised, as keeping these animals healthy will keep our people healthy too.
“The stray animal problem is not just one person’s duty,” Mr Theerapat emphasised. “Everyone can help to monitor the animals in their area and report them to the relevant agencies if they need to be sterilised or are suspected of carrying rabies.”
In addition to his role in the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Theerapat serves on a “Disease-free Animals, Save Humans from Rabies” project working group. The project, initiated and chaired by HRH Princess Chulabhorn, brings together government agencies, private sector organisations and NGOs with a view to eradicating rabies from Thailand through vaccination and sterilisation. The project also encourages owners to vaccinate their pets and raises awareness of rabies prevention.
“We are partnering with people and organisations across the country which is a great sign for creating a better community,” he said.
Before leaving to continue meetings with the Prime Minister and Cabinet ministers across the island, Mr Theerapat was presented with items of Soi Dog Foundation merchandise and made a kind donation towards the foundation’s work.
Soi Dog Foundation has collaborated with the Thai government on a number of animal welfare issues in the past – such as abolishing the country’s dog and cat meat trade and responding to natural disasters – and hopes the Permanent Secretary’s visit is a sign of a continuation of this collaboration.