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care for dogs
"Saving one dog won't change the world, but surely the world will
change for that one dog."
I signed up for a two week volunteer program at a shelter called Care For Dogs which had been prearranged months before. After having to use our visa at our last visit for the wedding in Khanom, we only had a 30 day visa so I had to unfortunately change it to a week.
Care for Dogs is a private shelter, started by a German couple years ago. As suggested by the name it only offers it’s services to dogs, the reason being not having cats and dogs mixed in the same confined space. There was a small team of very nice people, the local veterinarians, Dr New and Dr Meow and a veterinary nurse, Dasha from Russia. Then there was Guy, June and Manida, who were also locals, and David from Germany who dealt with the accounts and management. Additionally there were various locals who took care of the shelter dogs.
The shelter took on both vet related volunteers and shelter dog volunteers so both Max and I were able to help out here. Max preferred using his handy man skills to build ramps and paint and draw art on walls.
Whilst we were there we met a couple from the Uk, Jess and Issac, who had volunteered for two weeks already and had decided to stay on for another to continue looking after the shelter dogs. Hailey, a Uk vet nurse, volunteered for a week like myself and we worked together most of the time. We would take it in turns to neuter dogs, the most common procedure at this shelter.
Care for Dogs is sponsored by Dogs Trust and during that week they had a guy fly over for a thorough inspection to make sure everything was up to standards, asking what drugs they use for procedures, and evaluate the use of previous equipment they had funded, such as the anaesthetic machine. It was a great thing to see as other shelters I have worked in don’t have the facility to offer the standard services that shuld be available so it was nice to see that at this clinic they had support and could offer a better service.
The premises was split up into sections; isolation, TVT dogs, puppies and the main middle enclosure where the majority of dogs were kept.
The volunteers stayed at a homestay a 2 minute cycle away, each of us having a large ensuite room with a fridge, microwave and kettle and private outside area with a sink. It was slightly isolated but there was a restaurant conveniently across the road which we all ate together for dinner.
Every lunch time Dr New would drive a few of us to a different restaurant where we would usually eat from around 60-80p. One of the nights about 20 of us went for a BBQ buffet, which was a DIY style BBQ.
‘Where’s my rice…i can smell it’
‘Where’s my rice…i can smell it’
The crew at the BBQ buffet
The atmosphere at the clinic was great, there was a lot of banter and colleagues often met up for dinner or extra curriculum activities. On the Friday we finished the volunteers, Dr Meow and her girlfriend and Guy ate at The Good View, a big restaurant set up on stilts on top of a lake with delicious food.
The Sunday after we left we visited the Puppy Adoption Fair held at Central Airport Plaza in town which gives the shelter a chance to show the public a few of their puppies and lovely adult dogs in hope for adoption. They have a thorough adoption process to make sure that the puppies or adult dogs are going to a loving home which is ready to handle a dog. Guy interviews adopters and will decline many if he feels they are not prepared for the responsibility a dog requires. Post home visiting is also part of the process.
Puppies waiting for adoption at the Puppy Adoption Fair
Jesse with one of the puppies up for adoption.
Looking smart with his bandana!
The week passed too quickly and we both had a great time there, wishing we could have stayed for longer. This is definitely a shelter I recommend and would go back to myself. The employees are all extremely nice and welcome you with open arms. Like I mention later we even met up with them for Songkran celebrations the following week.