Lanta Animal Welfare
Koh Lanta, Thailand
August 26 - September 10
By: Rachel Grandon
Lanta Animal Welfare is a volunteer-run dog and cat clinic on the island of Koh Lanta. The woman who started it all, Junie, quit her job and moved to Thailand to end the suffering of thousands of homeless, abandoned and injured animals.To date, they have sterilised and treated over 15,000 animals and continues to educate the local community on the importance of sterilisation and vaccinations for their local animal population.
During my time at Lanta, multiple cats and dogs were dropped off at the clinic each day (sometimes by the litter), and all needed immediate medical attention. Due to the volume of animals brought it, it is physically impossible to house each one and adopt them to loving families. Unfortunately, that is just the situation in Thailand at the moment, pet ownership is not similar to what we consider it here in the Western World. We would return animals to their households or to the area they were retrieved, unless that area proved to be unsafe or dangerous.
Animals that are too severely injured to leave the clinic will be rehabilitated and out up for adoption. These are the resident animals that I took care of on a daily basis. We walked a number of dogs on trails to the beach, conducted aqua therapy with injured dogs needing special attention and worked to socialize these once “pack dogs” into adoptable in-home pets. The daily work was challenging and many times discouraging - with the lack of resources and complete dependence on donations, you cannot save every animal that comes through the doors. The overpopulation of cats and dogs on the island was at times upsetting, but it made me realize why Junie started the clinic in the first place (she still lives on the property today).
Here are some success stories of animals finding their furever homes: