Saving dogs from meat trade cruelty

Gaynor Lee from New Springs with her dog Koda, who she rescued from Thailand from the Asian dog meat trade
Gaynor Lee from New Springs with her dog Koda, who she rescued from Thailand from the Asian dog meat trade

A WIGAN woman who adopted a Thai rescue dog is raising awareness of the appalling canine cruelty in the Far East’s meat trade.

Gaynor Lee, from New Springs, adopted Koda who was plucked from a life on the streets of Thailand suffering with a broken leg by charity the Soi Dog Foundation.

Gaynor first became interested in the charity’s work after being horrified by online accounts of the Asian dog meat trade, which sees animals stuffed into tiny metal cages and suffering horrific torture including being boiled alive in huge vats of water.

Having adopted Koda around a year ago Gaynor decided she wanted to see the charity’s work for herself and has just returned from a stay in Phuket volunteering at a Soi Dog Foundation rescue shelter.

Gaynor, 40, said: “It was absolutely amazing and I really want to promote the work the Soi Dog Foundation does.

“There’s about 500 dogs at the shelter and they’ve neutered thousands of animals as well as making the area around Phuket rabies free, which is a major thing in an Asian country.

“I started campaigning about 18 months ago. I saw the charity on Facebook and the pictures were the worst things I’ve ever seen in my life.

“I started sponsoring a dog and the more I thought about it the more I wanted to do.”

Gaynor spent around £750 bringing Koda across to the UK and says the process was straightforward with the Soi Dog Foundation carrying out blood tests, injections and neutering.

Once the blood results are clear the dogs have to wait in Thailand for three months before being flown to Amsterdam by a volunteer and introduced to their new owners straight off the ferry at Harwich in Essex .

She said: “It’s really very simple. You pick the dog you want to rehome off the website and send the money and that’s all you have to do.

“People think it’s quite complicated but it really isn’t. It sounds quite a lot of money but a lot of bills are included in that and it’s not about the money anyway.

“All the owners of rehomed dogs in the UK have a big meet-up once a year. It’s like a family.

“Rehoming abroad is their only chance because Thai people don’t really see dogs as family pets like we do.”