Areas drying up with huge numbers of animals found starving and in need of medical care
Bangkok, Thailand — 23 December 2011
The TREAT clinic in Bangkok is back from flood evacuation and in service again! Thankfully, the water level at the TREAT location remained below the 1-meter level, enough to keep the building dry and all equipment undamaged. Staff plus 135 rescued dogs, a monkey and a rabbit returned from the emergency shelter at WFFT (WFFT Wild Life Sanctuary) on 20 November after 3 weeks of encampment and very hard, non-stop work.
Upon returning to the TREAT's premises, new temporary shelter accommodation had to be set up in the garden for the dogs still in our care – keeping them caged up was not an option so we created two large tent enclosures for them – hay was purchased from far away due to the spread of the floods and bales were used to give the dogs the ability to seek solitude or to look out over "their world" as well. Those dogs still in need of medical care were kept in separate cages to continue their treatments.
Many of the over 600 dogs and cats rescued and sheltered by TREAT's collective efforts with Thai organizations WFFT (WFFT Wild Life Sanctuary), SDF (Soi Dog Foundation), ENP (Elephant Nature Park) and SCAD as well as KINSHIP CIRCLE from the USA have now been able to return to their owners or places of origin where food supplies have been restored. Unfortunately, most animals in TREAT's care are street dogs fully dependent upon food-handouts and cannot return until that has been completely restored. For TREAT to keep these dogs on the premises of the clinic prevents us from doing the work we are supposed to do for other animals in need – our front garden is not suitable to house over 100 dogs. Another emergency shelter set up in the Bangpu area run by ENP have agreed to take in those dogs in their care for now.
NEW PHASE – FINDING WHAT THE FLOODS LEFT BEHIND…
A new, very sad phase in this tragedy is now clearly emerging. Many people refuse to take animals back or care for those that survived while their neighborhoods were temporarily abandoned being flooded with meters high water levels. It was impossible for all dogs to be rescued – the greater Bangkok area has about 400,000 street dogs alone, not to mention the owned animals. The scale of suffering dogs and cats have gone through while being abandoned in flooded areas is now becoming more clear every day. Many dogs and cats have drowned from pure exhaustion not being able to reach any dry area; many dogs and cats died simply from starvation after having managed to get to a dry area but without any access to food; many dogs, cats and other animals and reptiles died from having been abandoned in locked homes which ended up being submerged; many dogs especially died from injuries trying to climb onto walls and ledges cutting themselves on sharp objects – commonly walls are built with large pieces of glass cemented in on top to prevent burglaries.
Now that people are returning to their neighborhoods, it becomes clear that many dogs and cats also survived, miraculously, but are incredibly thin and malnourished, suffer from skin disease due to being in water most of the time and other injuries; large numbers have been displaced looking for food sources and are becoming a nuisance to people. These animals are now in great need of immediate help. Understandably so, people's focus in flood-damaged areas is on re-starting their lives, cleaning up and repairing their homes many not willing or able to spare money or effort for the animals. Thankfully, kind souls step in nonetheless, including those who lost most of their belongings and whose houses are in total disrepair too – these are the people now calling out for badly needed assistance to help these dogs and cats.
TREAT can fortunately be of help again, taking in animals for treatment as well as performing badly needed sterilization surgeries in order to prevent puppies and kittens from being born in even worse circumstances than they would have been without the floods – with mothers not strong enough to care properly for their young and creating an overpopulation the people cannot deal with. Additionally there are large numbers of puppies and kittens whose mothers perished and need human hand feeding if mothers whose offspring died cannot step in as surrogates.
Environmental destruction is massive in the areas hardest hit North, North-West and North-East of Bangkok with literally tons of garbage everywhere – anyone who lived on the ground floor with no access to higher-ground evacuation or storage lost everything with homes left in total disrepair. It's going to be a long, long time before these areas are back to some sort of normalcy. It's incredibly difficult for people and animals alike.
Specific projects TREAT is currently involved with, working hand-in-hand with other organizations are Wat Suan Kaew in Nonthaburi (approx. 1000 dogs and 500 cats) and Muang Ake in Pathumthani, one of the largest sub-urban communities submerged for many weeks by 1 to 3 meters of water -- UNIMAGINABLE (about 150 strays left on the streets and over 400 dogs and cats provisionally sheltered).
Donations can be made to TREAT's bank account listed below :
All donations go directly to helping the animals in distress