Soi Dog Foundation urges governor to reopen Phuket Stray Dog Shelter amid welfare concerns

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The Soi Dog Foundation urges the governor to reopen the Phuket Stray Dog Shelter due to animal welfare concerns

Soi Dog Foundation supports volunteers at the Phuket Stray Dog Shelter in Thalang who filed an official complaint with Governor Narong Woonciew last week about their ongoing ban on helping at the shelter.

After ignoring their previous complaints to the Phuket Provincial Livestock Office (PPLO) and increasing concerns about the welfare of the dogs at the shelter, volunteers took the matter to Phuket City Hall last Friday (July 2nd).

Soi Dog shares their concerns and urges Governor Narong to take action. Like the volunteers, Soi Dog has been banned from helping in the Phuket Stray Dog Shelter ؘ – also known as the government dog shelter – since January this year.

The decision was communicated in writing to the foundation by the Phuket Provincial Office of the Department of Livestock Development (DLD). The letter states that while responsibility for the shelter will be transferred from OrBorTor (the tambon administration organization) to OrBorJor (Phuket provincial administration organization, or PPAO), external assistance will not be allowed.

The letter also indicated that Soi Dog would be contacted in case dogs require emergency treatment. however, no such contact was made.

Soi Dog has been supporting the Phuket Stray Dog Shelter for many years. Their veterinary team, community outreach team and animal rescue officers work together to ensure that all dogs housed there are neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, protected from ticks and fleas, and treated for other health problems. In the last year alone, they carried out over 4,600 treatments on site and took over 250 dogs into their own animal shelter in Mai Khao for further care – all at Soi Dog’s expense.

Without the help of Soi Dog or local volunteers in the understaffed and underfunded shelter, concern for the well-being of the more than 1,000 dogs living there grows every day.

In March Soi Dog raised the problem with the DLD in Bangkok, which then gave them permission to visit the shelter to vaccinate the dogs, as they do every March. However, the DLD provincial office in Phuket has continued to refuse entry to Soi Dog staff due to COVID-19, despite the fact that the visit meets all disease control requirements, the local population is largely vaccinated and the Phuket sandbox program is now underway. The dogs’ vaccinations are now many months overdue, putting them at real risk of developing deadly infectious diseases such as parvovirus and distemper.

Soi Dog urges Governor Narong to fulfill his duty of care and stop the potential suffering of the dogs at the shelter by taking the simple step of reopening the shelter and accepting the volunteer assistance.