The following letter is excerpts from Soi Dog Foundation, on the front lines fighting to stop the illegal dog meat trade, which transports innocent dogs from Thailand to Vietnam and Southern China:
Since the Trade of Shame campaigns start in August 2011 more arrests of smugglers have been made than in the preceding 15 years! BUT, this has presented another enormous challenge, how to care for the literally thousands of dogs recovered during these arrests.
Significant efforts have been made by numerous individuals and small groups to treat and rehome these dogs located in grossly inadequate holding facilities in the isolated areas of Buriran and Khemmarat in north east Thailand. Some of the lucky dogs have been adopted in Bangkok and Soi Dog has, or is in the process of sending over 40 overseas to new homes. However a far more comprehensive approach is needed to save the lives of thousands of others still there and those that will arrive in the future.
As the Trade of Shame campaign expands more arrests will occur and until the trade is stopped this problem will only worsen. Only with your help can these dogs be saved!
Soi Dog has sent a team to the Buriram and Khemmarat holding facilities and the situation is NOT good. The findings were shocking. At Buriram we found only 20 sick dogs remaining of the close to one thousand (1,000) that had previously been there.
At a meeting with the manager at the Buriram facility, he told us the other dogs (excepting the relatively small number of dogs pulled out for adoption), had either died or ran away due to the condition of the fencing. As the area is a known catching area for the dog meat traders it is logical to assume that many of the ones that ran away were probably caught again by these people and have since completed the tragic journey to Vietnam.
At the Khemmarat facility approximately 1,000 dogs remain, but they are dying at the rate of around 10 per day. The dogs are not segregated or desexed, so puppies are already being born there. There is no qualified vet on site and the staff, although well meaning have no training in the management of dogs. Seriously ill dogs are being put in a separate building to die.
Whilst Soi Dogs efforts are focused on stopping the trade we must also continue to address the wefare of these dogs. The scale of the problem is massive and well beyond our normal operating budget. Please watch this short video to gain a better understanding of the urgency of the situation and to find out how you can help.
Soi Dog has organised a private veterinary team to go to Khemmarat in the next 10 days to desex and vaccinate all the animals, taking essential medications and providing basic training to the staff there. Soi Dog is providing the funding of separate buildings, properly fitted out as hospital and isolation units. In addition, funding will be provided for building separate containment areas so that dogs who have been desexed can properly recover with less chance of secondary infections.
The cost alone for the desexing of all the dogs and the vet teams will be in excess of 500,000 Thai Baht (approxiamately US$16,000.), with the building work considerably more expensive. This is why your help is urgently needed today!
It is inevitable that more dogs will be saved as the Trade of Shame campaign gathers momentu, later this year. Will you please help save the lives of these dogs by donating today?
Bringing and end to the dog meat trade will take years and it can be done, but only through ongoing support. Please join us in this mission by donating as generously as you can today. It is only with your support that the dog meat trade will be stopped!
Soi Dog Foundation
USA residents: Soi Dog is a registered charity in the USA and your donations are tax deductable to the full extent allowed by US law.
UK residents: Soi Dog is a registered charity in the UK and your donations qualify for HMRC gift aid.