Apr 25 2013
Visitors to Ko Tao are sometimes a little perplexed by the notion of beach dogs or street dogs, who often have names but no specific owners. They’re well looked after, well fed, sociable and roam with abandon.
Years ago when I was first here the dogs tended to look a little scrawny, mange was rife and poisonings were frequent — now I’m happy to say that things have changed a lot, due in no small part to the work done by the Ko Tao Animal Clinic. Jae, the vet, has done an extraordinary job of getting the animal population under control. A programme of neutering and education ensures this control continues and locals let her know when they see kittens and puppies who will shortly need the snip too.
The clinic is a not-for-profit endeavour run by the Noistar Thai Animal Rescue Foundation, a UK-registered charity and a member of the World Society for the Protection of Animals. Jae will not charge for treating strays, which means you can let her know about any animal who needs help or bring it in without having to foot a bill. She will ask for a low fee when treating animals owned by locals, which usually just covers the cost of the drugs.
Owning two cats and a dog at home ourselves, and giving homes to two further cats and dogs at our dive centre, we are thankful that Jae offers her skills to this small island. Naturally, we give her a donation on top of what she asks for when she treats our animals.
Raising money for the clinic is ongoing task; many businesses around the island have a collection box, so if you love animals and can spare a few baht, please consider contributing. If you have some time, pop up to the clinic, pet the animals and buy a T-shirt too! If you’re reading this before leaving for Ko Tao, find out if there are any unwanted veterinary supplies at your local clinic — anything would be welcomed.
And if you see an animal in need — please call the number below!
Ko Tao Animal Clinic
Off the island’s main road in Mae Haad (leave Mae Haad heading towards Chalok and turn left as if heading for Tanote Bay or Ao Leuk; the clinic is away from the turn on the left)
T: (0810) 905 372
Open Mon-Sat, 09:00-17:00
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