Stray Dogs in Thailand

If you’ve been to Bangkok, you probably came across packs of stray dogs. Why are there so many stray dogs in Thailand? According to the Disease Control and veterinary board, Thailand has over 8.5 million dogs. Every one in ten dogs is a stray dog. From probability, we can assume that half of them are female. If each female gives birth to a litter of eight, you can imagine how fast the stray canine’s population can grow. Who is responsible for the three hundred stray dogs roaming the streets of the country’s capital?

Buddhists are partly to blame for their kind-hearted actions of feeding the strays. Poor infrastructure has played a part too. With their short gestation, this means that their population is ever growing. It’s time the government came up with “birth control” for these rabies carriers. They may get hit by cars creating a not so pleasant scene. Why are they so many? Veterinary services are not as much as we would love. They are too limited to break the dogs breeding cycle. Stray dogs will continue to reproduce until they are sterilized.

Back in history, both public and private organizations tried to contain the dog population through euthanasia and sterilization. There was a public outcry from animal rights activists. They argued that this treatment to the dogs was inhumane. This campaign was then abolished. A pro-stray dog mentality was then adopted.

The capital city’s administrative unit started a program that made it mandatory to register a dog. They required that each dog had to be sterilized, and a microchip implanted. This chip would be used to locate the owner. Moreover, each dog had to be vaccinated. With these reforms, they hoped to control the stray dog population.

However, this plan went South. Instead of discouraging stray dogs, this plan worked against them. How was this possible? Many dog owners did not want to pay for their pet’s immunization and chip implantation. They ended up abandoning their dogs in fear of being fined for not registering them. The result was an increased street dog population.

Pet owners are a source of this ever-growing menace. Irresponsible pet owners do not neuter or sterile their dogs. However, this is not their wish. With a limited budget, it’s sometimes impossible to take care of their animals. Some of them are so cruel that they dump their dogs once they give birth. Animal activists are having a hard time saving these dogs due to their weak financial muscles.

Even though pet owners are capable of feeding their dogs, it’s hard for them to neuter them. Neutering one female dog costs as much as 2500 bath. Surgery is expensive, and they have to stay in the hospital for a few days after that. Raising such a hefty amount can be difficult let alone making transport arrangements to the veterinary.

Even though Thailand faces one disaster after another, I think the stray dog population is within their control. As much as I love dogs, it’s better to euthanize these stray dogs humanely. Donors are willing to support the government in neutering. If the government could lower neutering and vaccine costs, it would be easier to control the stray dog population.





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