| Apr 24, 2020
Impact of the Coronavirus on the Stray Animals
By Dr. Perley-Ann Friedman | Global Giving Project Lead
Scrabble needs a foster home until she can travel
Here on Koh Lanta, and in the rest of the world, we are in the middle of a global pandemic. Coronavirus is sweeping the world, causing many issues for every type of organization, and this includes Lanta Animal Welfare.
In January when news broke of the virus, like everyone else we hoped that we would not be directly affected. Thailand has minimal cases and was not yet a high risk area. As we are a nonprofit charity, we rely heavily on the compassion and generosity of volunteers to run our centre and save rescue animals from the worst kind of hardship. We receive volunteers from all over the world and without them we can't feed the 100+ animals, nor can we care for those in critical condition, or even take them all for walks. It is just not possible.
Impact of travel restrictions
Due to travel restrictions we have had our incoming volunteers cancel, and the volunteers that were with us returned to their countries. Without volunteers, and without the visitors that support us and donate, the animals suffer. We are now trying to care for all the animals with our staff and managers. This means that 7 people are now doing the work of 25.
We’ve had to close our Centre to protect our medical staff. This means that we have no visitors coming to meet the animals and hear the rescue stories. Without visitors we get no onsite donations to our cause so that more animals can be saved.
Situation for stray animals
The situation for stray animals here is worsening. Our animal rescue catchers are restricted from traveling to the south end and adjacent islands. We are also planning an outreach program to provide food for animals and help our community care for the strays that now have no-one else. We need to encourage locals in these areas to feed the strays and ease the suffering of those injured.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak the animals are facing a potentially devastating future. Here on Koh Lanta, there are so many street cats and dogs that desperately need food and care. The tourists have now left, and the Centre has closed to the public. We receive no donations, but the demand on our rescue activities is higher than ever. We have no volunteers and cannot accept any outside help, as the risk is too high of virus spread. We are really struggling.
Please consider donating here, or with our other projects, to help us get through this pandemic. Your gift will buy additional medicines, cages and more food supplies to accommodate more strays
The next few months will be crucial for stray animals in Thailand. They need help until COVID-19 declines and businesses can reopen as the strays rely on them to survive.
Even Sparky is making an appearance
We can even see the effects of this situation on our doorstep. Sparky is a known stray that lives on some barren land locally. He was rarely seen until now, but over the past few weeks he has become weak and now visits our door to receive the food that amazing and selfless people like you provided him.
Every day this is becoming more common around the island and further afield. The bars and restaurants have closed, meaning beautiful dogs like Sparky are beginning to roam from their territory in search of food. This can lead to attacks from people, poisoning, dog fights, starvation or worse.
Hard times for us all, especially for the stray animals
We must continue through these hard times. With no news on when restrictions could be lifted and more calls and messages daily about abandoned and starving animals, we need to act now and continue to do as much as our funding provides.
The government has provided no funding and unfortunately never will. This means all of our support comes from the generosity of animal lovers like you.
If you can help, please do it now before it's too late for them. We do not want to turn any desperate animal away.
Sparky was rarely seen until now
Trying to feed the many stray kittens in the area