Dog pound strays to wrong site

THALANG: Completion of Phuket’s first large pound for stray dogs will be delayed for at least a month – and the chief of the Phuket Livestock Department plans to lodge a complaint with the Phuket Provincial Public Works Department for not building the facility to his specifications. Sunart Wongchawalit, Chief of the Phuket Provincial Livestock Office (PPLO), told the Gazette he visited the site of the Sunak Niwate Dog Shelter this morning and was disappointed to find that it was not in the area of Bang Kanoon forestry plantation that he had originally specified. Instead, he said, the site was bisected by a canal and overgrown with high grass and bamboo. He had arrived expecting to see work on the flat, cleared piece of land he had chosen for the project. “I can’t imagine how to build it there,” he said, adding that work on the two million-baht facility covering four rai may need to start again from scratch. K. Sunart told the Gazette that there hadn’t been any negative feedback from local residents about the project because of its remote location. He also said that work on the pound, funded by the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization, began 26 days behind schedule, pushing back its expected completion date to January 22, 2004. “The construction company initially told us that they could complete all the buildings by December,” he said. The project, which has come under fire from some local animal rights groups as mere window-dressing and inadequate to solve the island’s stray dog problem, is designed to hold 1,000 unwanted animals. Estimates of the number of strays on the island range as high as 13,000.

Phuket News
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