I started my blog with the hope that one day, when it grew up, it would become a non-profit. My goal is to grow my number of followers, and hopefully, be persuasive enough to transfer some of my followers onto worthy causes and eventually, raise funds to alleviate a part of the challenges they face. Awareness and fundraising. The two biggest challenges in getting a non-profit off the ground.
My Thai Street Dog Adoption Fund got off to a little bit of a slow start (I’m blaming spring break), but we are now one donation away from sending one dog to LIFE Rescue. Here is just a little bit more about how this will work.
The total cost to send a dog from a Thai shelter to California is approximately US$600. This cost covers the crate, a mandatory microchip, health checks and certification, documents and fees. The dogs do not require airfare. They travel as baggage of a flight volunteer, really anyone flying on the best route from Bangkok to LAX.
Pollux and Castor were Bangkok flood rescues. All we know about Bangkok Flood rescues is, well, that we don’t know very much. Thousands of dogs were rounded up during evacuations in the 2011 floods that ravaged Bangkok’s neighborhoods. Evacuees were not allowed to bring animals, so a large number of these dogs were once pets. The lucky ones were taken in by shelters in all areas of Thailand, the rest were subjected to the normal dangers of strays, fending for themselves on the streets, battling injury and starvation, or picked up to fill demand for neighboring countries’ dog meat trade.
One thing we do know is that flood dogs have been in shelters for at least 4 years. Pollux and Castor were chosen as our first two dogs to go to California. They are healthy, beautiful dogs who are very friendly with people and get along well with other dogs. I've also recently discovered that they are extremely trainable, and, like my golden retrievers, are motivated by human praise and attention. They are now pretty good leash walkers (we've eliminated the pull, but are still working on the "heel"), and Castor no longer greats people with a jump to the chest.
LIFE Rescue, the key partner in this project, is a beautiful shelter north of Los Angeles. They place an amazing number of dogs in homes (check out their Facebook page for this weekend's adoptions). Dogs do not stay in this shelter long. LIFE is bringing dogs from horrible situations from Thailand and Korea, direct from the dog meat trade, and placing them in loving homes.
K9Aid International, the other key partner, is another hard working non-profit, providing rescue, care, fundraising and adoption for shelters in several countries. They cover part of the costs and help get dogs through airports, and on to LIFE Rescue. If you are interested in my fundraiser, please take a look at both of these organizations to give more support.
So, back to my current task. Pollux and Castor have had their microchips inserted and their health checks have started. They will be ready to fly around the end of May. For these dogs, and many others in Thai shelters, their best, probably only chance of not spending their entire lives in a shelter, will be to get to LA. This makes more room for dogs in dire need in Thailand, meaning fewer dogs off the streets, and more dogs that are neutered, a small step in moving closer to a solution.
My initial goal is to get ten dogs out of Thai shelters to LIFE Rescue. As soon as we raise $600 and get Pollux and Castor successfully on their way, two more dogs will be chosen, once we hit another $600, the next two will go, and so on, and so on. My most widely read blog post hit close to 1000 people, so obviously, even a small donation from my generous readers, will have a huge impact.
For my upcoming birthday, please skip the card and donate the $5, skip the Stumptown french press for two and donate the $10, or the cake (I probably should skip it anyway!), and donate the $30. And for those of you considering the full spa day at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai, well you can send at least two dogs on their way!!
Not everyone can take a dog into their home. This is a great way for all you dog lovers to help in a small way with a huge impact.