Paws and ponder: Annual military dog auction raises tails in northern Thailand

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Curiosity piques as the Department of Military Animals at the Army Canine Centre in Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima unveils its annual spectacle, the military dog auction.

Dog lovers and curious minds are in for a treat as we unravel why these heroic canines end up on the auction block.

Contrary to popular belief, these military dogs aren’t rejected. Instead, they are canines that, despite their noble lineage and parentage, didn’t quite cut national service. Whether being too friendly, exceeding quotas, or having a few extra pounds, these dogs are ready to trade their camouflage for comfy homes.

These remarkable dogs, born to purebred parents with documented lineages, are far from strays. Their pedigrees trace back to contributors of national service, spawning offspring that have become war heroes, bomb sniffers, trackers, and even guards for royalty. Each auctioned military dog is easily identifiable by an engraved ear tag, sterilised to prevent unsanctioned breeding, and has undergone basic training.

The military dog auction, an annual extravaganza organised by the Military Dog Centre, kicks off with bids ranging from 3,000 to 3,500 baht. While the starting figures are reasonable, the final bids can skyrocket, with the highest bid ever hitting a whopping 60,000 baht and averages ranging from 5,000 to 6,000 baht.

Surprisingly, these heroes are not priced beyond the reach of lower or middle-income citizens, classifying them as public dogs. The funds generated from the auction contribute directly to the Department of Military Animals at the Army Canine Centre, ensuring the needs of these loyal companions are met, reported The Nation.

Participation requirements

Adopting a military dog isn’t just an act of love, it’s a double-merit move. Officials reveal that the funds allocated to canine units are limited compared to the substantial expenses incurred in caring for these service dogs. On Saturday, January 27, 54 military dogs, including six Labrador Retrievers, 28 German shepherds, and 20 Belgian Malinois, will strut their stuff on the auction stage. These dogs, aged between one and six years, present an opportunity for new owners, with starting bids ranging from 1,500 to 2,500 baht.

Only those registered for the auction are eligible to participate, and the process involves submitting a copy of their national ID, memorandum of association or partnership certificate, and photographic evidence of the proposed home for the dog.

Eastern Thailand NewsNorthern Thailand NewsThailand News

Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

Related Articles