As he bounds down Koh Lanta's Long Beach, Dok Dek, a barrel-chested bundle of canine affection, looks about as happy as any animal can. His obvious love of life, digging and...well...everything, belies what he's been through. He came into Lanta Animal Welfare as a very different dog. It's hard to love life when someone's poured boiling oil on your head.
Dok Dek's ordeal is just one example of the many cases that Lanta Animal Welfare, a charity based on the Thai island of Koh Lanta, deals with every day. "The primary focus of Lanta Animal Welfare is sterilisation," Jon Corke, the charity's General Manager explained, "but part of it is education. We're trying to educate the locals that we're trying to do the same thing; we want to reduce the number of stray animals too but our solution is sterilisation."
The charity was founded by Junie Kovacs who, on coming to Koh Lanta and opening Time for Lime; the first Thai cooking school on the island; quickly realised that something needed to be done for the huge number of stray dogs and cats present. To this day, the profits from Time For Lime are the lifeblood of Lanta Animal Welfare. It is this money, along with the generous donations of individuals and local businesses, that has enabled them to treat over 5,000 animals since opening their doors in 2005.
For this work to continue, Lanta Animal Welfare needs your help. Please go to LantaAnimalWelfare.com to see what you can do or visit them on Facebook at facebook.com/LantaAnimalWelfare.
The music is "Lullaby for M" by Nicole Reynolds.