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Thailand's Discarded Animals

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I've traveled to Thailand three times to help a struggling make-shift shelter improve the conditions for the animals in their care.  The facility, known as the Wat Suan Kaew "Dog Condo", is not even close to being what a refuge for animals should be.  It is located on the property of a Buddhist Temple, a place where people frequently drop off unwanted dogs and cats.  With no spay or neuter program, of course the population continues to explode as new arrivals come through the gate daily.  The animals are all confined within the walls of an area about 1/3 the size of a football field.  The majority of the estimated 1,200 animals are free to roam.  But this means sick, injured, newborn puppies and frightened animals suffer considerably.  What the group of volunteers I was with accomplished during the three trips did make a big difference, but so much more help is needed.

Autumn and Me
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Didn't Come Home Empty Handed

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Every dog and cat at Dog Condo deserve a home and to be loved.  The hardest part of being in this "hell on earth" was facing the fact that the majority of them would never leave the place that condemned them to a short and miserable life.  We had to remind ourselves throughout the day, that at the end of our time at Dog Condo we would leave behind the new friends we had made, which was a harsh reality.  If we could not save all the residents, we were determined to save at least some though.  The airline limited how many animals could fly on the plane with our team or we would have rescued more.  We ended up using every available space allocated in the cabin and cargo hold. Below are the lucky 13 that got one-way tickets to the U.S. and the amazing life that awaited each of them.  




Baby Girl


Bangkok & New Friend







There were other dogs and cats that we got out of Dog Condo who were either seriously injured or extremely sick.  They were in no shape to travel to the U.S., so we found a veterinary hospital that agreed to care for the Dog Condo patients in hopes they would get healthy enough to eventually make the long journey.  Cole was the only one who did.  His recovery was remarkable.  We believe it was his will to live that saved him and lots of TLC.

The remaining animals were either humanely euthanized after everything had been done to try and save them.  The rest found wonderful new homes with families in Thailand.

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Chiang Mai


Mai Lee




Cole - At Dog Condo







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Cole - 2 Months Later

Image by Chris Lawton