At XploreAsia we believe that small changes make a big difference, and leaving a positive impact in the local community should be the cornerstone of every successful organization. Giving back always feels good. XploreAsia proudly supports several non-profit organizations. We actively encourage our employees and participants to take part in various volunteer opportunities close to their hearts and make a positive difference wherever they are.
Here is part 1 of a series of stories and advice from our staff about the volunteer work that they have done, and continue to do. If you feel inspired by these stories we will be happy to give you more information and suggestions on volunteering in South East Asia.
Making a Difference In The Lives Of Street Dogs
RESCUE PAWS has been the centre of XploreAsia volunteering activity for years, as stray dogs are a huge concern not only in Hua Hin, but in Thailand in general. This is an issue that needs a lot of attention and is close to the hearts of many of our team. Our Senior TESOL Instructor, Jaco, is one of the founders of Rescue Paws. We are grateful for all of his work and dedication towards making a difference in the lives of street dogs in Hua Hin.
How and why did you get involved with Rescue Paws?
I arrived in Thailand in 2010 on Koh Samui. There I saw the plight of dogs in Thailand, and rescued my first dog. When I moved to the town of Hua Hin, I realized the extent of the problem was much larger. I had many stray dogs in my immediate area that I started to feed. In October 2013, The Global Work and Travel company owners came out and they also saw the huge problem we were faced with. Hundreds of street, and beach dogs. Together, both organizations started a fund to feed these dogs. We went out with XploreAsia students and found even more packs to feed. Almost immediately we noticed the difference that was being made, and they along with XploreAsia donated money to build 12 kennels and equip a very basic clinic.
What are the main activities/operations of Rescue Paws?
The mission for Rescue Paws is to over time get the beach, temple, and street dog population under control. We hope that in time we will see a decline in the stray dog population. Our motto is sterilization, vaccination, and education. It does not matter how many sterilizations we do, we need to educate the nation before we will see a real decline in numbers. Apart from all the wound care, parasite treatment, vaccinations, cancer treatments, and deworming we do, we also go to schools and into the community to educate the locals on proper animal welfare and the importance thereof.
What difference has Rescue Paws made to the lives of street dogs in Hua Hin?
Even though the decrease in street dog population and improvement in their health is a slow process, Rescue Paws has made a dramatic impact in the last 4 years. Since opening their doors, they have given over 3500 vaccinations to prevent future sickness, provided over 766 sterilizations to prevent future street dogs, and performed over 14,000 other medical treatments that have saved lives of many street dogs. Additionally, Rescue Paws is feeding an average of 750 dogs a week, and have given 129 rescued dogs new homes.
Could you share one of the most memorable moments while working with Rescue Paws.
There are countless heart warming, and breaking stories I could share, but 2 of my favorite ones involve Milo and Katinka, 2 street dogs that I adopted while living in Hua Hin. Milo was a poisoned and paralysed dog that suffered from major neurological issues. He was with us for 6 months in the kennel and got healthy through continuous massages, assisted walking and aqua training in the ocean. Katinka was found upside down in a drain. She was also poisoned. She was fully paralyzed and blind. Also, through the continued efforts of Rescue Paws she has recovered and is living with me.
How can others help and make a difference?
There are so many ways people can help. It could be anything from liking and sharing our RescuePaws Facebook page, to adopting a dog and donating money. Every little donation helps and makes a big difference in the lives of street dogs in Hua Hin. To get more information and ideas how to help, have a look at Rescue Paws’ home page.
Additionally, there are countless Volunteer opportunities in all different parts of Asia and if you are interested, XploreAsia can help you find just the right one for you. Get in contact with us and we would love to chat with you more.