Bangkok, Thailand – Animal rescue groups race against clock to save animals

With hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the floodwaters affecting Bangkok, volunteers are working literally around the clock in aid of Bangkok’s other residents – dogs and cats.

People evacuating to temporary emergency shelters are not allowed to take their pets with them. Pet owners are forced to leave their animals behind in their houses, many on top of roofs and buildings to protect them from the flood but with no food or water.

In addition, Bangkok is home to thousands of street dogs and cats (some estimates quote 400,000 stray dogs alone) who rely on the local urban environment to survive. With floodwaters reaching up to 2m depth North of Bangkok these animals have nowhere to turn.

The TREAT clinic including veterinary and support staff evacuated on 2nd November with over 80 animals to temporary shelters set up at the WFFT wildlife sanctuary in Phetchaburi province South of Bangkok. Nonetheless, TREAT continues to work with numerous other animal welfare groups including Soi Dog Foundation, Wildlife Friends of Thailand, National Elephant Park and SCAD.

The logistical magnitude and physical requirements of this disaster are of a scale unimaginable. Stress levels are enormous as rescuers now encounter mostly animals starving and affected by water exposure, in severely weakened condition.

Getting transportation to places where boats arrive with dogs is very risky for trucks – often dogs caged and non-caged have to be taken from a large flat boat to small ones and then into trucks taking them to temporary holding places at the mercy of benevolent local Thais before being transported to our temporary shelters.

Most dogs and cats rescued are severely compromised requiring immediate medical care – local clinics are over-burdened though and many flooded out themselves. Supplies are dwindling in Bangkok and deliveries are not an option anymore – hours are spent scouting out places for medical supplies, food, cages, etc.

Emergency shelter and medical facilities are rapidly being expanded at Wildlife Friends of Thailand and the nearby Government Lifestock facility in Cha-am (over 500 dogs & cats), as well as at Thai Watana Panich (Bang Pu) facilities (approx. 150 dogs) near Bangkok – these numbers are certain to rise rapidly primarily due to the length of time vast areas stay submerged.

Rescued animals are being transferred to these facilities by large trucks, for the most part at night due to traffic conditions, better coordination with incoming boats carrying the animals and to minimize stress for them.

Furthermore, we have just been asked to assist with sheltering, feeding and medical care of over 650 animals brought in by the Bangkok Lifestock Department to the Cha-am facilities a few recently – these are all animals belonging to people who could no longer care for them – a massive undertaking, complicating logistics.

Volunteers and staff are working continuously to get as many animals as possible to safety, feed them and provide medical care. If there’s any possibility to leave animals where they are with a regular food and water supply, that’s organized too.

Additionally, intensive surgical sterilization sessions have begun by visiting veterinarians to prevent the extra stress on animals caused by females in season and more puppies from being born, of which there are huge numbers already taken in already…

Donations are urgently needed for cages, food, transportation, medicine, temporary shelter and of course veterinary help.

Temporary foster homes are urgently needed for both dogs and cats. If interested in fostering contact Tharinee Wipuchanin at 081 5512628 or pickapet4home@yahoo.com

Veterinarian and non veterinarian volunteers are urgently needed. At present TREAT estimates that volunteers will be needed from now through near the end of December. For non veterinarian personnel a minimum of a 10-day commitment is required. Direct all volunteer enquiries to margot.homburg@gmail.com

An emergency appeal fund has been established. Donations may be made to TREAT’s bank account listed below or on-line to any of the other organizations mentioned below:

All donations go directly to helping the animals in distress:

BANGKOK’S NEW LOW-COST/NONPROFIT CLINIC FOR STRAY AND UNWANTED ANIMALS

ACCOUNT NAME: FRIENDS OF TREAT ORDINARY PARTNERSHIP
BANK NAME: Bangkok Bank, Main Office Silom Road, Bangkok
ACCOUNT NO.: 101 866349 0
SWIFT CODE: BKKBTHBK

Links:

Soi Dog Foundation
Wildlife Friends Foundation
SCAD Foundation
Elephant Nature Park

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