Koh Lanta Animal Welfare
As some of you know from reading previous blog posts, SE Asia has a major problem with stray dogs and cats. They're everywhere and often more times than not uncared for. I would use the term travesty but I strictly reserve that term for the human condition some face in the ASEAN nations. As an animal lover however, it is very unfortunate to see. On Koh Lanta someone decided to do something about the issue by starting an animal rescue. Domestic dogs and cats are not treated or even regarded as pets as they are in the West. Though not entirely wild, they definitely are feral (this is not always a bad thing since feral cats are welcomed into some resorts to combat problems with various pests like rats and snakes). The rescue on Koh Lanta aims to tackle this problem through a rescue and adoption program. The adoption program they run also incorporates the required quarantines necessary to bring an animal back to Western nations. We met a wonderful young woman and her adopted poodle mix named Teddy who were just waiting on final vaccinations and quarantine to end before leaving back to the UK (Best of luck Issan and Teddy!). Koh Lanta also turned their rescue into a type of tourist destination. They give tours of their facility and even allow tourists to take the dogs on walks if they want. They also have a wonderful volunteer program that employs foreign tourists looking to do more on their travels than just lay about overdosing on vitamin D. We met so many amazing pups there. So many of them stole our hearts. If we didn't have two beautiful dogs (schmorgels as we call them - one of our naming things. I joked that our doodle Monty's mustache resembled the Swedish Muppet Chef. The Chef always speaks a line of gibberish that sounds like "Schmorgely, Borgl, Borg." Hence the name "Schmorgels" for our dogs) we would've taken one or even two home. Heck, they even have a volunteer program to fly the dogs to their adoptive owners in what ever country that may be. Since a Thai tourist visa is only 30 days, many people have to leave before the quarantine of their adopted dog/cat is over. Using tourists traveling back to the country of the adoptive parents as volunteers ("Hey, you're going to place X, wanna do me a favor?") they get around the need of shipping costs (cruel) or having the adoptive parents come back to Thailand. Keep up the good work Lanta Animal Welfare.