Connect with us


Phuket Opinion: Tough love for Phuket stray dogs



PHUKET: For the past 10 months, Weerasit Puthipairoj, 58, has been the chief of the Phuket Provincial Livestock Office. Originally from Narathiwat, Mr Weerasit has a master’s degree in Agricultural Development from the Prince of Songkla University Haad Yai campus in Songkhla.

Here, he talks about stray dogs in Phuket, the best way to deal with them and what to do if you are attacked by a vicious dog:

There are many stray dogs on Phuket because Thai tradition is to be kind to them and feed them. When you feed them, they stay nearby. The more dogs you feed, the more will come. This creates problems.

One problem with stray dogs is the possibility of disease. Phuket has been rabies-free since 2007. We want to keep it that way.

If you want to help stray dogs, the best thing to do is not feed them. Instead, call us or your local administration organization. We catch stray dogs and bring them to the dog shelter in Thalang, where we take care of them.

We neuter the dogs at the shelter, but we don’t kill them, as this is against our Buddhist beliefs. Right now there are about 400 dogs at the Thalang shelter. They are available for adoption.

We welcome contributions of food for the dogs, but not cash. You can bring us food or just drop off the dog food receipt and we can pick up the food ourselves.

Feeding stray dogs but leaving them on the street is not the best way to help them. One dog foundation in Phuket hires people to feed stray dogs on the street and at local temples. They even sterilize stray dogs – it’s true this can stop some of them from breeding, but the dogs are still living on the street.

We appreciate their efforts, but the best thing is to let us bring the dogs to our shelter.

Another problem with dogs on the street is that they sometimes attack people, but none of the people feeding them is willing to be responsible for them.

There was a legal case once that reached the Supreme Court – someone was attacked by a stray dog that was being fed by someone else. The victim sued the feeder. The judge finally decided that if you feed a dog enough that it doesn’t go away, you are the owner of that dog.

In another case, we once went to pick up a stray dog, and a man claimed to be the owner. I told him that I would take a photo of him and collect his ID information for our records, so that if the dog attacked someone, he would be responsible. Then he denied ownership.

If you have the misfortune to be bitten by a dog, the first thing to do is take care of your wound. Run a lot of water on the wound. Disease comes from the dog’s saliva, so the more you can wash off, the better. Then see a doctor.

If possible, take a photo of the dog that attacked you, then either let the owner know or file a complaint with the police.

If you are attacked by a dog on someone’s property, you can’t really blame the owners, since you were on their property. Compensation will be up to the owners – I’m not sure what legal rights you have.

You do have the right to protect yourself if you’re attacked by a dog, within reason. Again, if you are on someone else’s property, it might be a different story.

For our sakes and for the good of the dogs, let’s all work together to solve the stray dog problem in Phuket.

For more information call Phuket Provincial Livestock Office 076-285584 or 076-216934, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Economy26 mins ago

Thai baht plunges to 38 against US dollar for first time in 16 years

Thailand38 mins ago

Naga Fireball Festival is coming to Isaan on October 10

Tourism40 mins ago

Thailand’s weak baht could have a silver lining in the tourism industry, THA says

Sponsored1 day ago

Starting a business and obtaining SMART Visa in Thailand is easy with Startup Booster

Transport48 mins ago

Plane PA system emits moans ‘between an orgasm and vomiting’

Guides49 mins ago

Common Diseases in Thailand 2022

Thailand1 hour ago

Thailand’s Emergency Decree to End, CCSA Dissolved Sep 20 | GMT

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Video15 hours ago

Siam Paragon Bangkok International Fashion Week 2022

Thailand17 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Flash flooding to hit every region of Thailand

Thailand17 hours ago

Off-duty officer fires shots & fights with Bangkok cabbie

Thailand17 hours ago

Venomous snake emerges from parcel at sorting office in Thailand

Technology18 hours ago

Line Man Wongnai now Thailand’s largest tech startup

Thailand19 hours ago

Customer buys brand new Honda PCX motorbike with coins in eastern Thailand

Drugs19 hours ago

Drug chase ends in flipped car, 6 million spilled Yaba pills

Thailand20 hours ago

169 Thai police officers dismissed for serious violations

World20 hours ago

Edward Snowden received Russian citizenship

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11