HELP THE STRAYS ON THE BEAUTIFUL ISLAND KOH PHANGAN (THAILAND)
In need of a good excuse to stay longer on Koh Phangan? Read about my visit to the only foundation on this island where they take care of the wild animals and strays. Don’t leave Koh Phangan without a bit of your love and help!
The strays of Koh Phangan
If you fall in love with Koh Phangan, you fall in love with it completely; with his parties, but even more with his stunning beaches, the jungle, the vibes and last but not least: the animals. The happy looking stray dogs always welcome you on their streets. They stick by your side and want to be your buddy for as long as possible. You could repay their affection, by helping at PhaNgan Animal Care for Strays (PACS). Life for strays is all about surviving. There are many sick and injured dogs out there or dogs with skin problems. They need help and PACS gives that to them.
The way to the foundationGoogle Maps showed me the way, while I went there by bicycle. It was an easy ride. PACS is located in the lovely Westcoast with his spiritual spots, not far from the Freeway Bar and at next to the hospital of Baan Wok Tum. The clinic is open to visitors from 10 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday.
Welcome to PhaNgan Animal Care for Strays (PACS) and their mission
A cheerful lady welcomed me. She turns out to be Helen, the woman that works at the clinic with her husband. Together with the staff (mostly short-term volunteers), they are helping out the animals in need.
PACS is a small, non-profit centre for strays, mostly cats and dogs but also wildlife in need of nursing care. As you can read on their website, their mission is:
1) Keep Koh Phangan rabies free through vaccination.
2) Control the dog and cat population through neutering stray animals and promoting the neutering of owned animals.
3) Provide free nursing care to the islands stray, temple and wild animals.
4) Educate the public about responsible pet ownership.
Meet the hairy patientsEven though it was busy and they didn’t have much volunteers, Helen was happy to introduce me some of their patients.
DogsThe dogs stayed in a peaceful area, recovering from treatments. I could only smell the scent of cleaning and hear the sound of some barking dogs to get our attention.
One of these dogs is Heat. The name says it all! Because guys would fight for her and get injured, they let her stay here while she is on heat! After that, she will get released.
Muesli got his name because his wound was the size of a breakfast bowl. Since my visit, he has now been released back to his area where the locals look out for him and give him food.
I felt sorry for Lola. She suffers a heavy fungal skin problem that causes baldness. She has already been treated here for some months and it seems there is a little bit of improvement. Apparently while many make a full recovery, some have underlying conditions that make it hard for them to heal, despite all the medication and care.
Snoopy, the black and white dog, was suffering from tick fever and ended up having kidney failure too. Sadly, Snoopy never got to experience what a real home is like before he crossed the rainbow bridge.
Shags, the long-haired brunette with multiple wounds in her back has healed since my visit and been released back to her area. She has many human friends who feed her. Her Italian friends call her Chica and came to visit her regularly while she was recovering at the clinic.
CatsIn the cat area, three little kittens climbed all over me. How is it possible to leave this place anyway? Since then, all of them have been homed and are happy and healthy!
Pet of PACSSomebody told me to say hi to the Notorious B.I.G. I expected a staff member, but when Helen brought me to him, I looked in the eyes of a notorious ‘PIG’! This moody pig seemed not to be aware of how lucky he was. He supposed to end up as meat but got saved. Now he is PACS pet, able to run in a big yard with another dog, who was running away from his moody showers.
NursingWe walked by the nursing room, where the vet was really busy. A friendly man who worked in the garden made a fire nearby. Unfortunately, not all animals could be saved. At least they would not suffer any longer and died in the hands of people who did everything to help them with all their love. That explained the fire. May those souls rest in peace.
How can we all (tourists and locals) help?Take care of animals in need
Treat the strays with love and care in a way you know that it’s helpful. When in doubt, contact PACS for some advice before you take the wrong actions.
When you stay for a longer time in Koh Phangan, you can make yourself useful as a volunteer. I’m sure you will not regret it!
Prevention is better than cureIf animals don’t get help on time for a little wound or a little skin problem, it will get worse and they will suffer a lot. Please don’t wait before it gets worse and visit a vet! When you catch it in time, often it can be cured quickly and easily.
Help to bring animals to the clinic
PACS is in big need of people who are willing to bring animals to the clinic, so that animals all over the island can be reached before their condition becomes serious.
Help with finding a new home, or take an animal home yourself
Maybe you can become a foster parent or use your network to find loving homes. Or fall in love with one of the animals yourself and gain a new family member.
DonationsYou can make a donation in many forms: ask your vet for old medicine or collect money in your network by fundraising, for example.
Leave Koh Phangan with a bigger heart
You will leave this Island with a good feeling, after giving some of your help and many animals will thank you! Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time for volunteering, but I hope I helped a bit by writing this article.
For me it’s always painful to leave this magical island but I will be back. See you later Koh Phangan and his PACS!
ContactTake a look at the website of PACS for more information: