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Animal Welfare Groups Step Up Campaign in Laos

Animal welfare groups in Laos have stepped up their campaign to promote protection of animals and public awareness about animal care. For example, the Animal Rescue Center Laos was established with the following objectives:

-Providing a shelter for rescued animals, in particular dogs, horses and cats
-Providing a laboratory and clinic for diagnostics in cooperation with a certified and registered veterinarian
-Providing facilities for workshops for veterinarians, pet shop owners, pet owners and breeders and conducting those workshops
-Establishing a kind of a small zoo with domestic animals to provide education to local children
-Providing commercial boarding facilities for dogs and cats (Dog and Cat Hotel) as a way to subsidise the Animal Rescue Center

Animal Rescue Center Laos

The group explains the challenge of rescuing stray animals in the streets of Vientiane, the capital of Laos:

In Vientiane, where we are operating right now, it is not that easy to make a difference between stray dogs and those belonging to people… In fact, most dogs belong to someone. Even if you see some dogs roaming, it is mainly because Lao people usually just open the gate in the morning and let the dogs out.

Some other dogs belong to temples. This is where it gets tricky: Although the monks often care a lot about the dogs, they don’t have sufficient funds for vaccinations, vet visits and treatment

In the future, once the center is built, we will have an area for cats, horses, rabbits, hamsters and other small domestic pets.

After rescuing and rehabilitating injured animals, they seek the help of individuals who are willing to adopt or provide a home to these animals. They broadcast their appeal through their website, Facebook, and Twitter pages. For example, the group is looking for someone to adopt this rescued kitten:

Kitten Needs a Home
This kitten was found near Home Idea and brought to us, because the founder could not keep it. It is a app. 4 week old boy, quite strong, with beautiful coloured grey stripes. If you can give this cat a new home, please contact us as soon as possible!

Another animal welfare group is PAL or Pet Awareness in Laos:

PAL is a grass-roots, volunteer operated project with a vision to improve the welfare of cats and dogs and associated human health in Lao PDR through greater social responsibility and support for veterinary care.

It organized Laos’ first ever spay/neuter and vaccination drive:

This drive will be a small but crucial contribution to improve animal and human health. The drive will provide for better human health through the decrease disease factors in which the community is exposed. Anectodal reports from local and international veterinarians working in Lao PDR, many domestic dogs and cats are severely malnourished, unvaccinated and covered with external parasites (ticks, mites, fleas etc).

The group Paws 4 Thought also organized a vaccination campaign in Ban Sibounhuang, Laos

Vaccination in Ban Sibounhuang, Laos. Photo from Facebook page of Paws 4 Thought

Another campaign involves the stopping of the illegal dog meat trading. Kayleigh Andrews writes:

This disgusting trade is increasing in Laos, There are now many dog meat restaurants in Vientiane…..many of these dogs were peoples stolen pets.

It's not so much the eating that concerns me (although I'm a vegetarian) It's the terrible cruelty and suffering theses animals go through. Don't even get me started on the human health risks and spread of infectious disease caused by this illegal trade.

Through Facebook, a dog meat center was exposed.

“This is one of the places where dog meat is sold in Vientiane.” Photo and caption from Facebook page of Animal Rescue Center

Pitiphone Sitthikoun I've heard, and seen, people trading dogs for blankets, instant noodles, etc. Those dogs are likely not theirs (probably dognapped)

These animal welfare groups are mostly social enterprises whose long term goal is to educate the public, including policymakers, about the importance of prioritizing animal protection in society.

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