7 June 2007

Rescue of dogs..... Mae Jo Chiang Mai

Karin & I were joined today by a volunteer Heather, who wanted to see how things were on the streets of Chiang Mai.

The day started with a visit to Kad Farang where we knew a couple of white dogs hung out around the area. Sure enough we found one of them and she looked very skinny & neglected. We gave her some food & noted that she was possibly sterilised already but as we had a full schedule today, we will return again soon with more food and after she becomes more approachable, we will be able to give her a proper assessment.

On the way to Mae Jo, we caught up with Tameer & Hannah, who is now starting to use her remaining back leg a little after hands on therapy & a lot of love & encouragement provided by Tameer.

Next stop was Maejo, at Wat Vivek. Here we made several feeding stops in the temple area, catching up with some of the regular faces.

Not too far away from here, we visited a building site where Karin had in recent weeks been speaking with a family living in a rundown bamboo shack, with several dogs & Karin had sterilised one of them. This week, when Carolyn, another volunteer visited the area during her temple feeding schedule, it turned out that the family had moved away and left the dogs behind.

One of the dogs had recently had several puppies and these were now just left to fend for themselves.

Today when we arrived at the shack, where we were joined by Carolyn & her brother who is currently in Thailand on holiday, we found only one little pup hiding under the floor in amongst the debris of life ( you name it, it was there!) and after a little encouragement and the friendly face of the recently sterilised dog, we managed to catch the pup & load it onto the truck. The mum turned up and we managed to catch her by putting food in a cage and then using rope, closed the door behind her and pulling the cage over on its side, trapping her inside. Sounds rough but she wasn't hurt and we hope she will benefit from our efforts. We also found a little brown cutie and we loaded her onto the truck along with the recently sterilised one. There being no sign of the other pups, we asked around for any sighting of them. We were directed to an area where the construction workers thought they might be but alas they were not there.

However, fate was playing with us again and we were somehow meant to visit this house. Asking the occupant & not trusting the answer, Karin looked around the back of the house & saw a wooden crate type box with a dog kept inside. The dog was not able to stand fully, there were faeces on the floor and it was dark & hot and made us feel extremely sad, angry and our emotions ran wild. We asked why the dog was kept here & the woman in the house said the dog ate chickens. We asked if we could take the dog away from them to help but she said we should return later & speak with the husband.

A neighbour, wearing a box type straw hat said one of his dogs was apparently not eating and we saw it had runny eyes , so we put her on the truck. The man in the hat said we should go with him to the village head ( who runs a local convenience store) who apparently needed us to help him treat his dog for mange. We gave one of the 3 dogs there a jab of Ivomec & headed off to look again for the pups.

No sign of them back at the construction site, we pressed on to Wat Gaset Mai, where we intended to give some food to the dogs and also collect 2 for sterilisation. This temple, as well as the previous one, has so many dogs, the true numbers are hard to count. To say that there are in the region of between 80 & 100 at the 2 temples would not be an exaggeration. Care for Dogs has previously carried out sterilisation of most of the dogs here but the 2 we wanted to catch today were shy & scared of people, so not easy to collect. After recent success with the blow dart, we thought we could put an end to the tiring efforts over the last couple of years to catch them.

The first one was no problem, we caught her unaware and after a little running around, the drug took effect and she fell asleep. The second one was a different story. To cut a long story short ( long, as in 1 hour walking around & around with her constantly barking and running off & maintaining her 20 metres safety zone, us hiding behind trees and offering delicious food) we failed to catch her.

So, back to the construction site and this time, a young school boy was there to help us. Unfortunately, it is not seen as acceptable in Thai culture to hug each other or show emotions in public but I do wish I could have given him a big hug. He is 11.

We found another 2 pups and eventually caught them, after a lot of running around and me taking a dive in a pond up to my waist, as long grass laid on the top of the water like a trap. Glad it was me not the puppies! Then we saw yet another puppy but somehow lost sight of this one and heard from the construction workers that there were in fact 2 more still to be caught. Oh well, Carolyn will go back tomorrow & see if she can catch them. Not content with a full truck of needy doggies, we also took along the father of the pups, who literally laid down in front of us, asking to come back to the shelter.

Time was now getting on so we returned to the dog in the wooden prison cell and this time we met a man who after some discussion, said he wanted to keep the dog for breeding as it was a special breed and showed us that he did take it out occasionally, by putting the dog on a chain and keeping it tethered to a post. Meanwhile 2 other dogs ran around free.

Karin & I played with the dog who was desperate for attention and both of us felt extremely agitated by the mans constant refusal to let us take the dog away, if he would not let it run free, like his other dogs. Eventually, after some negotiating, we paid him 1,000 baht and took the dog away with us.

Back at Kad Farang we caught up with the 2 white street dogs, who welcomed an unexpected meal and thanked us for stopping by.

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