Sweetpea was neutered after she had 7 puppies. She lives in the market area in Wat Wang Pong, together with her daughter Baby I. She has a special friend Khun Nu, who takes extra care of her and Baby I. Sadly Baby II, who lived with them, passed away recently due to blood-parasites. Her other pups were all adopted.


 It is my intention to neuter all females in both temples. They have to be approximately 6 months old or more. I know that not everyone agrees with this and that in some cases people even get puppies as young as two months neutered. I am of the old school and prefer for the dogs to be more mature.


To catch the dogs is not a problem generally, especially if you have befriended them since they were very young. To TOUCH the dogs is one of the  lessons I like to teach the people in the temple-grounds (and elsewhere). I know numerous Thais, mainly women, who love to help the templedogs by feeding them. But they just throw the food on the roadside, often in plastic bags, for the dogs to help themselves. And they don’t take the time to stroke or pat a dog. It is so much more rewarding to have a dog come up to you, who knows that you will touch him, on top of feeding him. There is a deep fear in this country of every streetdog being a biter. Nothing is further from the truth. If you slowly approach them and take time to talk to them, they very soon learn to trust you and will let you touch them. I tell people to try and pick up a puppy without fear, so later on they can easily be caught. The bigger dogs are often craving this physical affection. Of course there are dogs who don’t like to be caught or even touched, most likely because of previous physical abuse. These dogs can be caught with tranquilizers.


In the beginning I used to take a dog to the vet for neutering, but this is very expensive, as an average size dog will cost about Baht 800,-- to be neutered at a clinic. Since I am not a charity organization, I could not afford to continue paying for this. But over the years and through contacts I have been very lucky and other charities have helped to neuter many of my dogs. We, for instance had a visiting team of Danish vets, who came to Huahin and neutered for free. One of the major hospitals in Huahin had a policy to neuter one streetdog for free each day. I had some dogs done that way. But now the  neutering of my temple-dogs is done for free by a charitable organization, called Dogchance, which was set up by a wonderful dog-loving Thai lady, called Khun Pym, and her clinic in Huahin accepts dogs without owners every two weeks, when the vet comes down from Bangkok for the weekend and on average they neuter about 50 dogs in two days. The dogs can stay at her clinic for a week if necessary to receive aftercare. I prefer to take them back to the temples after one or two days, as I can administer the antibiotics myself or ask other carers to do so. I have learned to take the stitches out myself, but I do not vaccinate. Many other doglovers can inject, but it has always been a stumbling block for me. I just cannot put a needle into a dog! But with the regular visits from the vet to the temples and with the assistance of other doglovers, I now have them vaccinated on the premises, or in serious cases, I take them to the vet by car.


Another bonus at Dogchance is that they will treat all cases of VG at their clinic in Ratchaburi, a town about one hour’s drive from Huahin, where they have another clinic and kennels for homeless and handicapped dogs. Please visit their website www.dogchance.com for further information.


At this moment I can say that all adult females at both temples have been neutered apart from the latest abandoned ones. In the case of Wat Na Huay there are no new ones and in Wat Wang Pong there are two new females inside the compound and some fringe-dogs (outside the boundaries). With so many new litters of puppies, I am just waiting until they have been fully vaccinated and are old enough. It is a never-ending business, but it does become easier as the number of pregnant dogs within the temples has dramatically decreased.


18 November 2009