Nueng and Brigitte (We used to transport our animals like this but now they are chauffeured in one of our air-conditioned vehicles!)
12 years ago Dr Somsak personally picking up a dog for castration.
Dr Somsak, Brigitte, Mäo and Ge
Dr Somsak and Danny van Urk from the Netherlands
Our first clinic in North Chaweng
Inside our first clinic
A monk paints magig signs on the door for good luck
ABOUT OUR FOUNDATION
KOH SAMUI - A PARADISE?
Yes, but not for dogs or cats! Koh Samui is a tropical island in the South of Thailand, approx 25 km across, with many beautiful beaches, thousands of coconut palms, 25,000 inhabitants and several hundred bungalow resorts and hotels. There are also hundreds of stray or soi dogs ('soi' in Thai means street) begging for food. Most of the soi dogs live in small packs and remain within their territory. This territory is defended by the whole pack and it is very hard for new dogs to join a pack. You can find our homepage under the name www.soidogs.org also.
Until April 1999, there was no vet on the island and medical treatment for animals was impossible. Countless sick or injured dogs and cats died wretchedly and were completely ignored as they lay by the roadside. Even small bite wounds can prove lethal because, in the tropics, flies deposit their eggs in the cuts with the resulting maggots eating their way deeper and deeper into the animal. All it takes is a thorough cleansing and some powder and even large injuries infected with hundreds of maggots can heal quickly.
Dogs have puppies twice a year. Mongrels are particularly fecund and litters with ten puppies are not uncommon. If only five out of ten puppies survive, that 10,000 living pups per year from 1,000 bitches. Before we started in April 1999, in an effort to curtail the number of soi dogs, the government carried out mass poisonings and the problem was solved for a time. For the tourists who had to witness this, their holidays were ruined. Even dogs with owners had two litters a year and the Thai people, not knowing how to deal with puppies, took them to the temple. There, the dogs were fed by the monks with some rice and other leftovers but, if there were too many, the government also poisoned these dogs. As the majority of the Thai population is very poor, and the only vet at that time was on the mainland, travelling there with a dog was not feasible. The average salary is about 5 Euro a day; the price for a castration is about 30 Euro.
When we started helping the dogs on Koh Samui, there wasn't much of a cat problem as dogs eat cats (sad but true). As our work with the dogs progressed and their numbers fell, and the cat population grew. As a result, we had to address the cat problem so we started to neuter and look after the cats on the Island and this work continues still.
HOW THINGS GOT STARTED
In the summer of 1997, I (Brigitte Gomm) got to know Danny van Urk from Holland on the beach where she was treating some dogs. Danny was living on the Island and, for several years, had been trying to help the animals there. She gave anti-baby injections, treated dogs with mange (mange causes dogs to lose their fur and leads to compulsive scratching), dewormed the animals and took care of injured ones as much as she could. Unfortunately, without a vet, there was not much she could do for dogs with serious injuries. My husband and I were very happy that some-body was trying to ease the animals' suffering and we decided to help Danny realize her dream of having a vet for stray dogs and cats on Koh Samui. Thanks to the help of many animal friends who were also not able to stand the misery of the animals on Koh Samui, we founded the Dog Rescue Center Samui in April 1999 and opened up a small clinic at the end of Chaweng Road.
The opening and blessing of our first clinic in North Chaweng
How we went along...read:
AIMS OF DOG RESCUE CENTER SAMUI (DRCS)
We kindly ask you, dear animal friends, to help us achieve our aims. Koh Samui should also become a paradise for dogs and cats, not one just for humans. Soi dogs can have happy lives on the beaches and in the resorts but they must have their rabies injections, live in stable packs, get medical treatment when required (eg after an accident), and be prevented from breeding.
On the 27. November 2011 we changed from being an organization into an official Foundation.
DOG AND CAT RESCUE SAMUI FOUNDATION
Of course Sud (Theerasud Chaichalremwong) is still our President. Khun Ying from the Montien House is also part of the board. 500,000 Baht had to be transferred to the Foundations account and the government expecting updates from now on.
We will have to pay a monthly fee of 5 % of social charges for every helper because we are a Foundation now.….