Established in 2003, Soi Dog Foundation’s mission is to “improve the welfare of dogs and cats in Asia, resulting in better lives for both the animal and human communities, to create a society without homeless animals, and to ultimately end animal cruelty.”
After retiring from successful careers in England, John and Gill Dalley relocated to the west coast of Thailand, an island paradise where they had married and vacationed over the years. The Dalleys were ready for a radical lifestyle change and both wanted to contribute to the Phuket community.
John and Gill noticed the number of stray dogs and cats living on the streets of Phuket (estimated at 70,000 at the time) and were shocked by the appalling health conditions. Many were emaciated, covered in sores, and infested with parasites and maggots. Some were living with severe injuries caused by traffic accidents, dog fights, and human cruelty. The Dalleys wanted to help but were overwhelmed by the scale of the problem.
In their quest to find a solution, the Dalleys encountered Margot Homburg. Margot, while living in Bangkok, had worked with a local veterinarian to sterilize stray dogs and had set up a charity called Soi Dog Foundation (Soi=Street). The Dalleys joined forces with Margot, deciding that mass sterilization offered the best long-term solution to the escalating street dog and cat problem in Phuket.
John, Gill, and Margot set up sterilization clinics throughout the island and took on the roles of dog catchers and veterinary nurses. The trio formed partnerships with volunteer and low-cost veterinarians and nurses who performed the sterilization operations. Thus began a small but effective operation.
In 2004, two enormous challenges threatened the Soi Dog Foundation. While rescuing a dog from flooded field in September, Gill contracted a rare form of septicaemia, which ultimately resulted in several months in a Bangkok hospital and the amputation of both lower legs. On December 22, Gill discharged herself from the hospital and returned to Phuket. Just four days later, the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami struck the island, taking 225,000 lives and displacing over a million people.
After spending several days assisting with the human crisis, Soi Dog volunteers (with Gill in a wheelchair) turned their attention to the enormous challenge of rescuing and feeding the stranded/abandoned dogs. The massive effort did not go unrecognized, and in the months following the disaster, Soi Dog was inundated with offers from vets and volunteers allowing them to launch multiple clinics. This led to new partnerships, grants, and growth opportunities, and the Soi Dog Foundation is now a not-for-profit, legally registered charitable organization in seven countries.
Making a Difference
Soi Dog Foundation is serving the street dog population in many ways:
• Rescue and Treatment – up to 150-200 dogs and 100 cats are in treatment at any given time
• Sterilization and Vaccination – to date, Soi Dog has sterilized & vaccinated 173,000+ dogs and cats
• Ending the Dog Meat Trade – in Vietnam, approximately 5 million dogs are slaughtered each year for human consumption…Soi Dog is working with partners to end this barbaric practice
• Community Outreach – teaching the community to administer basic first aid and identify signs of sickness and injury
How YOU Can Make a Difference
To learn more about Soi Dog Foundation’s mission and the incredible work they are doing, visit the Soi Dog website and Facebook page. Please consider supporting Soi Dog by making a donation, sponsoring a dog, purchasing Soi Dog merchandise, or hosting a fundraiser birthday party. Together, we can help Soi Dog Foundation accomplish great things.
4Knines Gives Back
4Knines founders, Jim and Maggie, believe in giving back. For every product sold, 4Knines donates a portion to the ASPCA. Each month, 4Knines makes a donation to a non-profit nominated by 4Knines Facebook followers while also shining a light on the organization via 4Knines social media channels and the 4Knines website.