In the Thai province of Chonburi, southeast of the capital Bangkok, an animal shelter epidemic has been severely affected: A drastic reduction in foreign visitors and a 40% loss in donations threatened their ability to sustain themselves for the next few months, The news agency told Reuters.
Fighting for its financial survival, the shelter takes care of 600 dogs and feeds more than 350 people who live on the streets – a daily expense of $ 1,300. 27 of these puppies are handicapped, most of them accident victims.
Even without the motion of their hind legs, these dogs roam the entire area of the shelter, barking, howling and waving their tails everywhere. They move with the help of wheelchairs, which are tied to their body, support the back and allow them to run at high speeds as well.
“They run so fast that we humans can’t reach them,” shelter worker Christopher Chidichimo told Reuters. “It’s almost as if they don’t know they have a disability. When you put them in a wheelchair for the first time, it seems like there’s no learning curve.”
Using a wheelchair, dogs with physical disabilities participate in a daily walk in Chomburi, Thailand – Photo: Ethit Perowangmetha / Reuters
The shelter, run by a foundation called The Man That Rescue Dogs, was built by a SWED who moved to Chonburi in 2002 and became so frustrated with the deteriorating condition of abandoned animals that they started taking care of them after work.
On Thailand, It is estimated that according to the 2017 survey there are more than 800 thousand stray dogs and cats – a number that could reach 5 million in 2037.
Employees and dogs with physical disabilities take part in a daily walk in Chomburi, Thailand – Photo: Ethit Perowangmet / Reuters
At the shelter, volunteers dedicate special care to physically disabled dogs, which includes exercise and physical therapy sessions. But since the onset of the epidemic, campaigns to sterilize animals and become impotent have been completely suspended.
Employee takes care of a disabled dog at the ‘The Man That Rescue Dogs’ Foundation in Chomburi, Thailand – Photo: Attitha Paravongmetha / Reuters
Disabled dogs at ‘The Man That Rescue Dogs’ Foundation in Chonburi, Thailand – Photo: Ethit Perowangmetha / Reuters
Dogs during a daily outing in Chomburi, Thailand – Photo: Ethit Perowangmetha / Reuters