PETA calls on Pattaya to stop dropping off dogs at Tony’s Shelter

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Editor;

I thought you might be interested in the below letter which PETA sent to Pattaya Mayor Itthiphol Kunplome asking him to immediately ensure that no more animals are dropped off at Tony’s shelter by the city until conditions at the shelter have been improved. Repeated visits to the shelter by PETA representatives have revealed sick animals suffering without veterinary care, emaciated animals, and severely overcrowded conditions.

The Honorable Mayor Itthipol Khun-pluem

Dear Mayor Itthipol Khun-pluem,

I hope this letter finds you well. As you might know, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia – an affiliate of the world’s largest animal rights organization, PETA U.S., which has more than 2 million members and supporters – is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals. We have written to you before about the inadequate conditions for animals at Tony’s shelter in Pattaya and are writing again today to further address some concerns that we had about the city’s decision to leave animals there with you.

On the occasions that we have visited Tony’s shelter, the pens were extremely crowded, and the animals did not appear to be separated by age, gender, or health. The biggest problem appeared to be sick and injured animals who were not receiving veterinary care and were left to suffer. During the visits, we noticed that many dogs were suffering from mange and that others were extremely emaciated. We respectfully ask that the City of Pattaya immediately address the issue. Leaving animals at an inadequate shelter makes you as responsible for their suffering as Tony himself is.

Confining animals to an environment that can’t meet their physical and psychological needs and providing them with limited exercise and care can lead to kennel stress. “Kennel stress” is a condition that is common in animals in animal shelters, in which the physical and mental frustrations of confinement lead to abnormal, neurotic, and even self-destructive behaviors – and this is an even bigger issue at Tony’s because of the sheer number of animals dropped off by the city on a daily basis. The sad but true reality is that the only way to avoid kennel stress is to ensure that animals who have stayed at the shelter for a certain period of time are humanely put out of their misery. Please use your influence to ensure that Tony’s shelter implements a euthanasia policy.

Thank you very much for your time and attention to these matters. Please contact me on +852-6718-4282 (Hong Kong) or at AshleyF @PETAAsiaPacific.com to discuss how we can help Pattaya improve the situation for stray animals in the city. We look forward to a response from you.

Sincerely,

Ashley Fruno

Animal Sheltering Specialist

PETA Asia

Tony responds:

Dear Sirs,

I would like to thank you for the opportunity to respond publicly to the comments made by P.E.T.A. When I started this operation, some 7 – 8 years ago, I was dismayed at the number of stray, sick and injured animals on the streets of Pattaya and surrounding district.  I felt something needed to be done about the situation, so set up the shelter. This was originally at the far end of Jomtien and 4 years ago, relocated to a larger area in Plutaluang.

The City brings us animals daily and they also supply about 30% of the food we need, for which we are very grateful. I personally make up the deficit. Regarding donations, cash can lead to many problems so we would prefer food, materials or medical supplies, these are our highest priorities.

On top of the number of animals the city brings us, advertising for help and donations has only meant that more members of the public bring us animals, to the point where we now, sadly, are in the situation where we have to refuse to take any more and can no longer advertise.

I can personally assure you that all the animals we have are taken care of to the best of our abilities. Any shortcomings related to the facility are due to lack of funds and we do our best to minimize them. At my own cost, we even have a veterinarian on our payroll to take care of our dogs.

P.E.T.A. say they left medicine, etc., for us and that it was never used. We are not aware of anything being given to us from them. We reiterate that we have repeatedly asked for assistance with food and medicines which they have never given to us.

Their offer of help is based on insisting that we adopt a euthanasia policy. As Buddhists, this is, of course, something we can never do.

The shelter is open to the public and I invite you to visit us and see the conditions for yourself.

Yours faithfully,

Tony