Soi dogs and cats in Thailand


If you’ve ever been to Thailand you know that many images burn themselves into your mind. You’ll never forget the sights, the sounds, the smells, or the hundreds of stray dogs and cats you’ve encountered.

It’s estimated that in Bangkok alone there are well over 300,000 stray dogs and cats and the population is growing. As a tourist you will run into them everywhere because they gravitate towards the places they know they have a chance at food….and food is everywhere. You’ll also see many at the various Wat’s (temple’s) because owners who can no longer care for or no longer can afford to care for their animal will leave them with the monks knowing they will care for them.

It is an important part of Buddhist belief that one earns merit by providing food (and other necessities) to the monks and in turn the monks will share what they have with those less fortunate. The dogs and cats definitely are less fortunate.

Sometimes you will see the dogs in packs and others just roaming around by themselves, sleeping where they can and begging for food whenever there’s a chance. Most of the dogs I’ve seen have mange and scabby patches where fur used to be. Some seem perfectly healthy and would love a good ear scratch from you but I wouldn’t suggest doing so. Although I’ve made friends here and there (usually near a food cart) with some of the dogs and I’ve helped a cat or two enjoy a good purr it’s not a good idea to pet or feed them as you don’t know their disposition and that can lead to a bad vacation all around.

Rabies is prevalent in Thailand and it’s estimated that there are between 200-300 rabies related dog bites a year just in Bangkok so stop and think before you decide to pet or feed a stray dog or cat in Thailand…it’s not worth the risk.

The images of the temples, markets, cultural shows, and beautiful women will probably outweigh those images you bring back of the dogs and cats that have no real place but you’ll never forget them just the same.

If you have been to Thailand or are going in the future and want to help there are two non profit volunteer based organizations that do a lot to spay, neuter, and feed the various strays of Thailand as well as adopt them out to good homes. Money always helps as they receive no government funding but they are always in need of volunteers to help with the work as well. Links are posted below .

More pics posted in the gallery.

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