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A permanent solution for Thailand’s straying dogs

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A permanent solution for Thailand’s straying dogs | Samui Times
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Anyone who has spent time in Thailand will be familiar with the sight of soi dogs roaming the streets. But just how serious is Thailand’s soi dog problem and what can be done to solve it?

This week, ThaiVisa spoke with Anders Guldenskold, the founder of Inezorganisation and Green Pattaya, an environmental activist and Rotarian that takes care of up to 800 injured dogs and cats in Sriracha.

A permanent solution for Thailand’s straying dogs | News by Samui Times

Anders says there are more to soi dogs than only the annoying nightly barking and rabies contamination risks.

Anders told ThaiVisa how he feels there are actually many positive attributes to soi dogs.

Anders believes the much maligned soi dogs are actually misunderstood. He even credited soi dogs with helping to minimise crime, saying their presence on the streets and outside properties actually keep away would-be intruders, making it nearly impossible for anyone to sneak around without being recognized.

To some, labelling soi dogs as the restless protectors of Thailand’s streets may be a step too far and with stories featuring regularly in the news of people being attacked by soi dogs, such as the 6 year old Finnish boy who was hospitalised after being brutally mauled by a pack of soi dogs while playing on a beach in Krabi last month. There is an argument to say it is people who need protecting from the soi dogs.

Anders also added that another positive of soi dogs is that they help to keep rats away. Rats are renownedly far more dangerous for people in terms of carrying and spreading diseases.

According to Anders, the fear from rabies is more or less exaggerated when compared to other riskier things that people spend lesser time thinking about, such as cars accidents and motorbike accidents.

If you compare the statistics, there is only around one case of rabies bites every 4 months and people that actually die from rabies are much less than that, whilst on average around 60 people per day are killed on Thailand’s roads.

So what is the answer to tackling the soi dog problem?

While building more dog shelters in Thailand is often cited as one possible solution to help keeping dogs off the streets, the building of more shelters only makes the soi dog situation worse, says Anders.

Instead of building shelters, Anders says sterilization should be the focus in order to help reduce the numbers of soi dogs Thailand.

Every charity should spend more money on sterilization instead of feeding the problem by gathering all the dogs in shelters and giving them room to multiply.

In addition to that, putting dogs into shelters means that the organization has to feed them, because they are no longer able to look for their own food on the streets. This makes it an unjustified cost that also could be saved and used to sterilize soi dogs.

Anders is equally against the veterinary euthanasia solution, saying he would never kill a dog whether he is in a Buddhist country or elsewhere, only if the dog is suffering from a serious disease and is no longer able to enjoy life, for example as a consequence of cancer.

He added that Bali is the proof that culling is not the solution. The authorities tried to solve the street dog problem by killing all the dogs on the island but they still keep coming back since it is impossible to kill them off. The culling prozess is not only ethically debatable but also very costly.

It seems like the only smart way to get rid of the soi dog problem on the long run is sterilization. In combination with regular rabies vaccines for the temporary limitation of the risks, Thailand should be well-protected from this serious issue that has been making its streets unsafe for way too long now.  

This article was written by Sara Mellouk,

Sara is an intern at ThaiVisa The Nation in Thailand, coming from Morocco, currently doing her Bachelor’s Degree in Germany in Economics and Media science.

Thai Visa

A permanent solution for Thailand’s straying dogs | News by Samui Times
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