Help dogs and cats of Phuket, Thailand and beyond!
Soi Dog Foundation is a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping street dogs and cats around Phuket, Thailand and beyond, spaying and neutering them to avoid proliferation and rescuing injured and abandoned animals. The foundation has become a well-known and respected institution, working every day to improve the life and situation of stray dogs and cats in Phuket, Thailand and eventually outside the country.
The project started modestly in 2003, created by a British couple, John and Gill Dalley, and Margot Homburg, a Dutch expatriate. The entire project, now located in Mai Khao, was a true labour of love and went through many challenges before it became the well-organised and recognised non-profit organisation it has become today.
the CNVR project
One of the main ways Soi Dog Foundation improves the stray dog situation and dogs life quality in Phuket and Thailand is through the CNVR process: Catch – Neuter – Vaccinate – Return. Vaccination includes rabies, distemper, hepatitis and parvovirus. Dogs are returned to where they were originally picked up once they are considered safe to go.
The size of the foundation facilities is what surprises the most on a first visit. People often imagine stray dogs’ shelters as sad or even scary places, a bit old or run down. And yes, at first, we were a little nervous about visiting, worried about being face to face with badly injured animals, but Soi Dog Foundation is an immense and highly organised project set in modern, spotless buildings, shelters and hospitals. Dogs and cats look healthy, and the scariest thing you will see is a cat missing an eye or with three legs.
The system is highly organised, and each dog and cat receive a name as they arrive, are checked for physical condition and diseases, then dispatched and treated accordingly. It’s truly impressive.
Guided tours are available at 10 am and 1.30 pm, and obviously, people are not allowed to walk around alone. The visit is very enlightening but casual and fun. You can ask many questions, and the guides are very knowledgeable and able to describe every step of the rescuing, neutering and healing process. Once again, the size of Soi Dog is jaw-dropping. Animals are strictly divided by size and behaviour, and dogs or cats with contagious diseases are kept in separate shelters.
All the shelters are vast and clean, and the animals seem happy to be together and even more pleased to see when a staff walks in. The team at Soi Dog is surprisingly big and alert. Someone walks in to separate the dogs whenever a fight starts, and things stop quickly. If not, the bad boy will be temporarily isolated. Every dog we saw looked very healthy, and the cats even looked a little fat; it must be hard for them the day they must return to the street (unless they are adopted, of course)
Every day, some travellers coming to Phuket on holiday decide to dedicate a day or more to help the dogs. This dedication is quite remarkable. Their mission is to walk the dogs around and play with them one by one. The dogs sure look happy, and the volunteers enjoy the moment. There are some playgrounds and even a swimming pool!
Volunteers walk and socialise with dogs and cats, helping them trust people and learn how to walk on a lead. Volunteers work from 9 am to 4 pm, with a one-hour lunch break and a minimum of 1 day of volunteering.
The system also records which dog needs to be walked or already had and which dogs need to be taken to the pool! Their behaviour is recorded, so everyone knows any behaviour or special care the dogs or cats need.
You, too, can help!
This operation is big and costly, and the team running it is amazing and dedicated. The work to complete each day is enormous, whether at the foundation or in mobile units going from place to place to rescue or neuter animals. In addition, Soi Dog is fighting the terrible dog meat trade in Vietnam, Cambodia and South Korea. The operation is very transparent, and you can see how much money has been donated, how it is used, and how many animals have been rescued, neutered, and adopted. Phuket 101 is, of course, a monthly sponsor, but everyone who loves Phuket, cats and dogs can do their little part too!
Soi Dog Foundation Info
Location: Mai Khao Beach
Address: Moo 4 167/9 Mai Khao 10, Mai Khao, Thalang District, Phuket 83110
Hours: 9 am – 11:30 am, 1 pm – 3:30 pm (closed on Saturday and Sunday)
Phone: 076 681 029
Adopt a dog or a cat: https://www.soidog.org/content/adopting-overseas
Sponsor a dog or a cat: https://www.soidog.org/sponsor-a-dog
Soi Dog Foundation Map