PHUKET: A Phuket expat who lost his dog at Nai Harn Beach last Sunday has raised concerns over dog-snatching at the popular tourist area.
Frank Lamine wrote to the Phuket Gazette earlier today reporting that he had heard of one local dog owner paying 3,000 baht to get his dog back.
Mr Lamine lost his 10-year-old white Maltese terrier “Micky” at the beach last Sunday.
A ‘Lost & Found’ advertisement in the Phuket Gazette‘s classifieds has yet to yield information about where she might be.
“During my efforts to get some information from locals at the beach, I learned that I am not the only one who lost a pet at that place. There is another request for help, pinned to the trees,” said Mr Lamine.
“There are people almost daily at the beach with their own dogs who report similar stories,” he added.
Mr Lamine explained that his encounter with the local dog owner who paid 3,000 baht to get his dog back alerted him to the prospect of a dog-snatching gang operating in the area, stealing dogs and then collecting any rewards offered for their safe return.
In a response posted on Facebook, John Dalley of animal-welfare charity Soi Dogs (www.soidog.org) said, “I assume you have put reward posters out? Certainly there is a history of people taking dogs and then returning them for rewards, also they can sell pedigree dogs.”
Mr Dalley also highlighted the gruesome prospect of dogs in Phuket being snatched for the dog meat trade.
“We know gangs are now operating over a wide area and ‘rumor’ has it they are also operating here – though have no concrete evidence of this yet,” said Mr Dalley.
“Over new year [holidays], we do have concrete evidence of dogs being used for food at labor camps, but they generally go for black dogs and not Maltese types, so that is highly unlikely,” he added
Mr Dalley encouraged Mr Lamine to check the Soi Dogs Facebook page, more particularly the recent photos.
“You will see [that] many dogs of this type have been intercepted in recent raids as [they are] popular in Vietnam and China. Do check that yours is not amongt them. Many of these are now in Bangkok at our center there,” he said.