Ko Samui is so big, we've split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Ko Samui as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don't know where to start? Read an overview of Ko Samui's different areas.
Samui Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation has been improving the lives of Ko Samui’s animals for 13 years, and is a cause well worth supporting. Their main shelter is in Taling Ngam, where homeless animals are housed until a new home can be found for them, and where quarantined animals will go. A second, smaller clinic is located in Chaweng, where locals can bring their animals to be sterilised and treated.
Since October 2007, volunteers from Samui Dog and Cat Rescue have been doing the rounds of the temples, feeding strays and treating them. Animals are dewormed, fed, vaccinated, treated for mange, and any other medication required is administered. We’ve seen this process, and it’s lovely to watch. The animals know the volunteers are there to help. The ‘therapists’ carry a little book with all their patients listed in it, knowing exactly who needs what. We’ve even seen an elderly arthritic dog getting a regular massage by the volunteers.
You’ll find so-called soi dogs all over Thailand — soi means street in Thai. These aren’t strictly speaking strays as we would know them in the west; the dogs aren’t owned by one household, but belong to the neighbourhood, so to speak. They go from door to door, for company and a snack, and most are well-loved and well-fed by the community. It’s a difficult concept to comprehend for many Westerners, but generally speaking, these dogs are happy. They form little packs, and are seldom aggressive, always looking for a scratch behind the ear or titbit to eat. Some even have collars and name tags, but when you ask who they belong to, you’ll seldom get the same answer. Unfortunately as these dogs don’t have one owner, the job of sterilising them and treating them for mange lies on the shoulders of the Rescue Centre, who neuter and spay about six animals per day at their clinics. Sterilising the animals helps to keep the population under control in a humane way, and ease the lives of the poor female dogs and cats who otherwise end up bearing litter upon litter.
Samui Dog and Cat Rescue is run solely by donated funds and help from volunteers. Should you feel like giving back to the island during your visit, contact them to see how you can help, either with your time, or by donations. The centre also helps find homes for the animals, and even assists in relocating animals abroad, should you want to take your new best friend home; there are many happy cases of Samui soi dogs now basking in the lap of luxury in homes abroad.
By Rosanne Turner
Last updated on 6th March, 2015.