Some time ago when I was in Morocco, I witnessed one of the most horrific acts of cruelty toward an animal I’ve ever seen. I was walking on the beach and in the distance noticed a group of 10 or so Moroccan boys standing in a circle, fascinated with whatever was in the middle. I assumed they were playing some sort of game, as Moroccan boys often do on the beach, in the hope of catching the attention of some passing foreign girls. I continued walking toward the boys, envisaging I’d join in on their game once I reached the circle. When I got within a few metres of the circle, I saw something so distressing that a feeling of rage fused with despair instantly enveloped me.
There was a tiny brown puppy limping toward the boy that was calling it. When it got close to the boy, he kicked sand into its eyes. After this, another boy started calling it and filled with optimism once again, the puppy confusedly changed directions, before making its way toward the new boy. The worst part came next, when I noticed that its back two legs had been snapped and were flailing out to one side, as it dragged itself forward, carried by only its front two legs. In the hope of rescuing the puppy, I did what I could to try and take it away and convince the boys that what they were doing was inhumane. But in the end, I was outnumbered, unable to get my message across because of the language barrier and fearing for my own safety, so I left. I’ll never know what fate had in store for that puppy. But I decided then that at some point I’d contribute a portion of my time to assisting with the inconceivable plight of homeless dogs in developing countries. Two of the main reasons the situation is so rampant are because 1) people in developing countries don’t always view animal welfare in the same light as in developed countries and 2) even if people want to care for an animal, often they simply cannot afford to.
I’ve spent this past week working at a sanctuary for dogs that have been rescued from the streets and unfavourable owners called Care For Dogs, which is located in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. The organisation, which is funded entirely by the generosity of strangers and sponsors, currently houses almost 200 dogs; bringing them back to good health and showing them that although they may have endured trauma in the past, there are people that care for them. The hope is that in time the dogs are either adopted by goodhearted people or taken in to live at any of the various Buddhist temples in the region, to be cared for by the Monks. If you’re thinking of doing some rewarding voluntary work in Thailand and have true empathy for all dogs (not just well groomed, well behaved ones; as some of these dogs will never win a “Dog of the Year” award) then you can go to www.carefordogs.org for more information.
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- rainbowhill said: That’s awesome. And at the same time disturbing, that some cultures have not developed the same respect for our furry friends. So good to hear your story.
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