An animal activist in northern Thailand has made a public appeal on Facebook people to adopt cats and dogs abandoned due to the lockdown. Cats and dogs have been abandoned amid theCovid-19 lockdown in Thailand’s Chiang Mai province.
Save Elephant Foundation in Chiang Mai already had more than 1,000 cats and dogs under its care before the Covid-19 outbreak hit. Now the numbers of abandoned cats and dogs at the Foundation have surged to nearly 2,000. Prompting the management to post on social media asking for help from the public.
Chairwoman of the Foundation, Saengduen Chailert said many pet cafes had closed their businesses and abandoned their cats and dogs. Some 70 cats at the shelter suffered serious illnesses, she added. This has caused heavy burden to the Foundation.
She also said that over 700 dogs are from breeding farms that went out of business. The numbers kept increasing and more of them fell ill, said Saengduen. She said we need your help to find homes for many rescued dogs living at Elephant Nature Park. If you are interested to adopt a dog, we can assist you with transportation worldwide.
You can esquire about animal adoption of donations by Clicking Here.
Soi Dog Foundation overwhelmed with Cats and Dogs
Meanwhile, in southern Thailand on the Island of Phuket the non-profit Soi Dog Foundation that has been helping street cats and dogs in Thailand since 2003, says its also seeing a rise in animal abandonment. Channel News Asia reports about how the foundation discovered a dog named Ozzy.
He was dying when he was found in a forested area of Phuket last month. His ageing body was weak, dirty and infested with ticks. His paw pads were bright red from inflammation. Two bullets were also lodged in his chest and back leg.
The dog did not even flinch when Soi Dog Foundation rescuers tried to save his life.
“We could see he was in an enormous amount of pain,” said Sam McElroy from Soi Dog Foundation. “Ozzy had given up hope. This poor boy, 10-year-old probably, went into the jungle to die.”
But Ozzy is one of the lucky few street dogs in Thailand that made it to an animal shelter.
Cats and Dogs Simply Abandoned
The Covid-19 crisis has not only affected people but also made it harder for nearly “two million” cats and dogs abandoned to survive on the streets.
Many of them risk starvation as those who usually feed them are unable to move around as freely. Due to the nationwide curfew and closure of various business venues. At the same time, the economic impact has put pressure on many residents.
“Community feeders have been the front line of relief, using their own personal resources and stretching themselves unbelievably, but they too are being impacted by the economic slowdown,” said Keren Nazareth from Humane Society International (HSI). The HSI is a global animal welfare organization that rescues and protects cats and dogs in different parts of the world.
“HSI is urging governments across Asia to take proactive steps for their street animals. Above all to avert great suffering, distress and deaths,” she added.
Earlier this month, Siam Commercial Bank’s Economic Intelligence Center (EIC) estimated the number of unemployed in Thailand would be in the tens of million this year. The country is “stuck in an unforeseeable economic turmoil” caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
Thai households also struggling
In its April report, EIC said about 60 per cent of Thai households don’t even have enough financial assets to cover three months of expenses.
For stray cats and dogs, the travel restrictions has greatly limited the help they need to survive. A number of them rely on caring members of the public. Who feed them food and water, while others feed from scraps left out by restaurants and small food vendors.
But as the Thai government tries to control the outbreak, many restaurants and food stalls have been forced to close.
However, what this has meant for the millions of animals living on the streets is a sudden lack of their regular food and water supply from local communities. This can quickly lead to animals starving,” Nazareth said.
he COVID-19 pandemic has a profound impact on abandoned pets in Thailand. Besides those on the streets, cats and dogs in animal shelters have also been affected.
Lockdown Stopped Donors and Adoption
Soi Dog Foundation is one of the facilities facing cancellations from regular donors. Although a drop in donations is expected during the health crisis, its operations director McElroy said the situation has proved “very difficult.” Especially for non-profit organisations that do not receive government funding.
“We can only hope that the downturn doesn’t last too long. We are continually looking at innovative ways to raise funds but they are also difficult during this period,” he told CNA. Adding the pandemic has also produced “a severe knock-on effect” on the shelter’s population.
Last year, more than 400 animals at Soi Dog were adopted overseas and 500 others found new homes in Thailand. This year, however, the facility is facing severe overcrowding.
Travel restrictions imposed to control the global pandemic have stopped adopted cats and dogs from travelling to their new homes abroad. At the same time, the local adoption program has slowed down due to economic uncertainty.
“We are full and are having to find money to create more space within existing grounds. Above all to cope with the inevitable continuing intake of new cats and dogs.
The problem is the people, not the animals
Thailand has a large population of stray animals. Last year, there were nearly two million of them on the streets nationwide. An increase from some 800,000 in 2018 – according to Theerawut Suwathanathao from the Animal Welfare and Veterinary Service Division at the Livestock Department.
“The main cause of this problem is the owners’ lack of responsibility. People abandon their pets when they can’t take care of them or don’t love them anymore. The problem is the people, not the animals,” Theerawut said.
Since the COVID-19 crisis emerged in Thailand, Theerawut said provincial livestock officials have not reported an increase in abandoned pets. But according to McElroy from Soi Dog Foundation, there have been some cases of abandonment. He said the pet abandonment could have resulted from financial problems.
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