Care for Dogs

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Chiang Mai, Thailand

Care for Dogs Chiang Mai Reviews

hoofinnit hoofinnit
24 reviews
Well Run Dog Shelter Offers Great Volunteer Opportunity Jun 06, 2014
I spent a week in Hang Dong (outside of Chiang Mai) volunteering at the well run shelter called Care For Dogs. I felt the organization truly has the best interest of the dogs at heart. Their slogan (which I love) is "Saving one dog won't change the world, but surely the world will change for that one dog." The volunteer program is well organized and loosely structured, which I appreciated. While they showed you around and gave you ideas for jobs which need to be done, you could choose what you would like to do throughout the day. There are lots of jobs to choose from such as bathing, de-ticking, socializing with the dogs and puppies, walking, grooming, and picking up poo. They encourage lots of interaction with the dogs as many of them are shy. Morning time is when most of the walking is done and I found this really enjoyable in the quiet rural setting. They are flexible with the hours you work as well. In addition, I met some lovely people who were also volunteering.

It was interesting to see that many of the healthy dogs are kept together in a common area where they have formed little packs. While there are squabbles, for the most part they all seem to get along. I found it a nice alternative to having dogs separated in solitary cages. The work is quite physical but rewarding at the same time. It is free to volunteer, though you are responsible for your accommodation and meals. If you send a letter of interest about volunteering the staff at Care4Dogs will send you a packet of information with nearby hotels. Some are within walking distance and will give you a discount if you tell them you are volunteering.

The area of Hang Dong is quite rural and while I did not have transport and it worked out fine for me, most people did have transport unless they were staying at the pricier resort right across the road. The restaurant at Nugent Waterside where I stayed closed fairly early in the evening but there was another little restaurant which was less than ten minutes walk. Nugent Waterside also has cottages and little houses with kitchens.
Out for a walk
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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LMTaylor LMTaylor
3 reviews
Caring for homeless dogs in Chiang Mai Jan 26, 2009
Care for dogs is a non profit organisation set up to tackle the growing problem of homeless dogs in Chiang Mai. The shelter is situated 10 mins drive from Chiang Mai night safari and is home to around 100 dogs & puppies. The shelters main aim is to sterilise as many street & temple dogs as possible, thus reducing the number of unwanted puppies and dogs wandering the streets. They also rescue abandoned & mistreated dogs, re home puppies and help look after many dogs at various temples around town.

There are three paid Thai workers, the rest are long term volunteers that have dedicated themselves to helping so understandably the shelter is always looking for animal lovers that are willing to lend a hand and volunteer for a few days (or weeks!). Volunteers help with the many aspects of looking after so many dogs; there is bathing, walking, health checks and of course plenty of playing with the puppies & dogs to be done!

We decided to volunteer for a few days before heading on, we ended up falling in love with the place and stayed 5 weeks. The staff are wonderful, the work they do is amazing. Some of the dogs come into the shelter in very bad conditions, often hit by cars after wandering into the road. Mange is another common problem, causing awful skin problems but is highly treatable, seeing the change in the dogs is amazing and so rewarding to be a part of. Every dog at the shelter has a story to tell, like Kazim who came into the shelter suffering from TVT, a highly contagious STD. He is now blind in both eyes but has recovered from TVT (the only cancer that is 100% treatable) and now spends his days chasing frogs at the shelter.

We have loved every second we have spent at the shelter and if the quarantine laws in England were less stringent we would of adopted several dogs without hesitation. Spending so much time with the dogs has allowed us to see their personalities shine through, and gain the friendship of a few shy members. It will be a very difficult day when we have to move on.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
LMTaylor says:
hi, thanks for your message!

Where abouts in Thailand are you thinking of visiting? We started in Bangkok as we had heard it was the most 'Western' and a good place to start if unfamiliar with Asian culture but actually really disliked it. It was Western but in a bad way, everyone trying to sell you things, tuk tuk drivers are REALLY pushy and there are alot of scams. My best piece of advice would be to trust your gut, if it feels wrong then dont do it.

We however loved Chiang Mai, in the North. It is a lot more laid back, people dont hassle you anywhere near as much and if they do try to sell you something a simple no is enough.

A few simple words of Thai also help a lot with peoples impression of you. Sawadee Ka means hello, Kopen Ka (thats how it sounds, cant remember how it is actually spelt) means thank you.

One thing you will see being offered everywhere are tours. Tours of temples, markets, and ALOT of animal places. Elephants are the national symbol and there are hundreds of trekking camps and 'shows'. If you like animals do not visit any of these tours. The only humane elephant place in Thailand is a sanctuary called Elephant Nature Park. We spent three days volunteering there and can say hand on heart it is AMAZING! They rescue ill treated and abused working elephants, once at the park they never have to work again, if you have the chance I highly recommend a visit, their website is I have also written a review on travbuddy about them.

Care for dogs is also an amazing place, you've seen the website so I can assume you've read about the work they do. We were planning to spend maybe six days in Chiang Mai total, as soon as we visited the shelter we fell in love with it and ended up volunteering for five weeks! In that time we helped look after sick puppies, go on vet runs, I got to give vaccination injections and so much more I could bore you with!! We honestly wanted to adopt so many of them and if the quarantine rules wernt so strict in the UK we would of!

In terms of staying places, most places are guest houses, there are not many hostels but there are a few. A bit of bartering can often get you a slightly lower price, but not always. Local transport is a songtow, a red truck that is used like a shared taxi.If a monk gets on expect him to get preference! Tuk tuks are more pricey but will take you straight there, be sure to barter for the best price!

We had no problems regards safety, just make sure you take normal precautions, dont get drunk and walk anywhere by yourself, dont flash cash about and be wary if anyone offers you 'help'. if it seems too good to be true it normally is.

Any other questions you may have been sure to ask away!! We loved our time in Thailand and hope you will do too!
Posted on: Oct 19, 2008
lmori says:
I came here from the care for dogs website, and your blog was helpful. I was wondering if you had any advice to give on traveling to Thailand (where to stay, transportation, what to see, safety, etc.) I've never been to Thailand, and I'll most likely be traveling alone on a grant from my school, so anything you can help me with would be great. Thanks!
Posted on: Oct 18, 2008

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