Are Soi Dogs Better off on the Street in Thailand?
I read a fascinating article from a farang expat in Thailand a few months ago.
The read had me thinking.
Even though the various organizations and individuals who rescue soi aka street dogs in Thailand have their hearts in the right place, the dude posed an interesting point.
He feels soi dogs belong on the streets of Thailand. Few soi dogs need saving he feels for these very reasons:
- soi dogs enjoy living on the streets; generations of soi dog breeding programmed many of these guys and gals to treat the street as home, or, their territory
- soi dogs feel free on the streets, being able to go where they please
- Thai folks and ex-pats regularly feed a high number of soi dogs in Thailand; in some cases these dogs are treated like pets, save making their home a few feet or blocks away on the street
- spaying and neutering soi dogs is becoming more common these days; this is thinning the soi dog pack for future generations
Care Is OK Of Course
You will see Thai and some ex-pats feeding soi dogs morning and evening. Peep plates filled with either dry food or tender meat pickings from street stalls.
In many street dog cases, receiving ample food is not an issue.
Other street dogs stay fat and happy off of garbage pickings. It is what it is.
Of course dogs with severe medical problems should be treated by vets.
Caring for soi dogs is awesome.
Displacement or Confinement Can Be Jarring
Kelli and I lived in Pak Nam Pran Thailand for a month.
We enjoyed spending time in this quiet, off the beaten path community on the Gulf of Thailand.
Kelli and I befriended 2 soi dogs and a soi cat; Bebe, Penny and Noisy Norman.
The street dogs chilled inside the house for a bit. We fed them daily.
But the split second we closed a dog, preventing their freedom, Bebe and Penny flipped the eff out.
At around 9 PM the dogs headed out to the streets to sleep for the night.
The dogs were happier, more comfortable and free on the streets.
Being on the streets exposes soi dogs to:
- being hit by motorbikes and cars
- fights with other soi dogs
- a greater risk of sickness and disease
- abuse from fucking deranged human beings
Most people who try to make soi dogs home dogs attempt to save the dogs from these risks.
I get it.
Seeing Bebe and Penny, and Biscuit in Koh Lanta, head to the streets at night tugged at my heartstrings. The first few days after our bonding, I woke with my stomach in my throat, feeling nervous I’d see our beloved little buddies laying dead by the side of the road.
The dogs were fine, save a little sickness experienced by Penny, remedied by a motorbike trip to the vet in Hua Hin.
The Main Issue
The main issue with trying to house a soi dog is that these dogs are happiest, freest, most comfortable and flat out bred to live outside of a home or fenced in property.
Even if risks rise a bit on the street, a lifetime of misery, all because of your farang guilt and sense of importance, believing that you saved a sentient being that never needed saving, is not worth it for these little furry friends.
I am an animal lover.
I cried more when my beloved Tyler died 2 decades ago than I did when my grandma died.
But…..if you really love something/someone/some sentient being, you will set it free.
Soi Dogs in Thailand
Do you feel soi dogs are at home on the streets of Thailand?
Or that street dogs should be taken from the street to be placed in a home?
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