The Soi Dog Foundation recently conducted its annual vaccination campaign at the Phuket Stray Dog Shelter in Thalang, also known as the government pound.
A team of Soi Dog vets, community outreach staff and rescue workers, alongside a representative from the Phuket Provincial Office of the Department of Livestock Development, came together to ensure that the 735 Resident dogs at the government-run facility received life-saving vaccinations against six diseases, including rabies, distemper and parvovirus.
“Annual vaccinations for shelter dogs are a must and should be standard in all dog shelters,” said Dr. Alicja Izydorczyk, International Director of Animal Welfare at Soi Dog.
“Distemper and parvovirus are extremely contagious, and both are very common in Thailand, killing hundreds of thousands of dogs each year. If the dogs in a shelter are not vaccinated regularly, there is a very high risk of an epidemic which can easily kill half of the dog population in the shelter.
Soi Dog has been providing veterinary care to dogs at the Phuket Stray Dog Shelter for over 15 years. In addition to the annual vaccination campaign, the foundation sends veterinarians to the shelter on a weekly basis and outreach staff on a daily basis to ensure that all dogs housed there are sterilized, dewormed, protected against ticks and fleas and treated for all health problems, the most common being dog bites, fungal and other skin diseases, diarrhea and cough.
All dogs with more serious illnesses are transferred to Soi Dog Hospital in Mai Khao for further treatment.
All of this comes at a cost, and the non-profit organization allocates around 2 million baht each year for veterinary treatment and prophylaxis for the dogs at the shelter. Receiving no government funding, these costs are covered by generous donations from generous animal lovers around the world.
Caring for dogs at the Phuket Stray Dog Shelter is an important part of Soi Dog’s community outreach program which exists to provide care and treatment to street dogs and cats within communities around Phuket.
Soi Dog’s three community outreach teams each consist of a veterinarian and veterinary support staff who roam the island to provide prompt medical treatment to animals that have been reported sick or injured. Among its many benefits, the program helps ease the burden on Soi Dog’s ever-busy dog and cat hospitals. He also helps teach basic animal first aid to those who care for dogs and cats in the community through incidental learning and designated workshops.
“While Soi Dog cares for animals from all walks of life, whether they live on the streets or in facilities like the government pound, it is also the collective responsibility of the community to come together to help the animals of Phuket and beyond,” added Dr Alicja.