While we were in Chiang Mai, Thailand last winter, we had the privilege of learning about the Care for Dogs Foundation. This foundation is doing amazing things for the lives of hundreds of dogs and dog owners living in Chiang Mai.
The hands and feet of the Care for Dogs workers & volunteers are constantly busy. They serve as a rescue facility for injured dogs with over 200 dogs at their facilities (as of January '14). They treat & care for dogs that have diseases, cancer or have been injured from car accidents or abuse. A huge part of their mission is seeking to stop the spread of diseases and overpopulation of temple and street dogs through immunizations and sterilization. . Any and all dogs they find on the Chiang Mai streets, they sterilize and immunize, if possible. In May 2014 alone they sterilized over 400 dogs. They also act as an adoption center for abandoned dogs and puppies. Another huge part of their mission in Chiang Mai is to educate Thai people through schools and community outreach, on the importance of caring for, immunizing and spaying their dogs. You can read more about their objectives here.
If you've ever been to Thailand you no doubt noticed the dozens and dozens of street dogs. Street dogs, beach dogs, temple dogs, stray dogs, they're every where. Dogs are dumped off in the streets and abandoned. Many are ran over, poisoned or abused. Some are watched over by compassionate neighbors or shop owners that lay out food for them at night but most are left to scrounge for food and shelter on their own. Some roam around and some stick to specific store fronts, corners or temples, where they might find some food. Most are extremely nice and just like any dog you'd love to take home with you, just a little dirtier, in need of tender, love and care & definitely a bath! But there are always some that have been previously abused and are now quite aggressive. Because of these more aggressive street dogs, I've always had an overarching view towards all street dogs, which was as follows; they are all ready to attack me at any second, they all have mange & most definitely on the verge of rabies. Our time at Care for Dogs changed my view towards all street dogs. Of course they should all be approached with caution but most, you will see quickly, are longing for love and attention. Also, always, wash your hands after loving on them!
We saw every sort of rescued dog at Care for Dogs. We saw the super friendly, the more standoffish, the "I'll bite your face off if you try to pet me, though I don't have rabies, but please take me for a walk," the puppies, the diseased but super cute, the diseased but not super cute, and so on. We saw every personality and they were all wonderful. Even the standoffish or aggressive ones, once you hear their stories & all the terrible things they've gone through, you can't help but want to hug them but you don't of course, because you like your hand.
Not only do the majority of the workers and vets volunteer or work for very little, but they know these dogs, all 200, as if they were their very own pups. They can tell you which dog went through what, all their names, and how each particular dog has grown, changed, started trusting, went from not being able to walk to walking, etc. They truly love and care for these dogs.
Like Care for dogs on Facebook to read some amazing stories and to stay up to date on what Care for Dogs is doing in Chiang Mai. Though we don't live in Chiang Mai, I love reading the stories of progress they've seen. It's so encouraging.
Check out these amazing transformations. It's unbelievable to see how with the right care a dog's life can completely change.
We were so encouraged by the work Care for Dogs is doing and we loved spending time with some of these dogs. We saw first hand the great need they have for more laborers and resources. Think about volunteering for a week or a few months at Care for Dogs next time your backpacking around South East Asia! Not a backpacker? Think about sponsoring a dog for one month or donating. Or you can even just buy a t-shirt! If you live in or around Chiang Mai, consider adopting one of these fur balls! I found this sponsorship page especially awesome because almost every dog on there we met & spent a little time with while at Care for Dogs!
Thank you Care for Dogs for how you are serving and loving the dogs of Chiang Mai!