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Tri-Help for Phuket’s Forgotten Four-Legged Friends

✦Doing something to help those less fortunate is something that is always respected, admired and welcomed.

Doing so to help those that have no discernible way to help themselves is a genuinely heart-felt gesture that speaks volumes about the person committing to the cause. There are stray animals the world over but in the paradise island of Phuket, Thailand, it is an especially prevalent issue. That’s why we salute the endeavour that one man is soon to embark on.

Long-time readers of Brilliant Online will no doubt be familiar with the name Robin Wilson. Our erstwhile editor did much in the early days to help create a viable platform for us to subsequently launch and flourish, and his contributions are greatly appreciated. On Sunday, November 19, Robin will be donning his running shoes to race in the Laguna Phuket Triathlon to raise money for the Phuket Thalang Animal Hospital, an establishment that does much to support the many stray animals on the island.

Over 1,200 people from more than 30 countries from all over the world will be competing in the hugely popular event, now in its 29th year. Robin will be competing in the Sprint category of the event, which comprises a 500 metre swim followed by a 20km bike ride and a 6km run.

“I won’t be trying for a fast time, I’ll just be happy to get round in one piece – and even happier if I manage to raise a substantial sum to help the animals,” Robin said. “I hope Brilliant readers will support me in helping to bring some hope to the plight of Phuket’s desperately helpless cats and dogs,” he adds.

“Countless stray and abandoned cats and dogs live in the shadows of the popular Thai holiday destination of Phuket so I hope this endeavour can help them by raising funds to support the wonderful work the team at Thalang Animal Hospital do,” Robin told us.

The Thalang Animal Hospital offers medical care to stricken animals, as well as conducting treatments and administering sterilisation, such a key strategy to containing the ever-increasing number of strays on the streets of the island. They also welcome animals in need who have been brought in by various volunteer-led groups across the island, who generally work of their own accord to lend a helping hand. Many of these volunteer groups also arrange fostering and adoption services to help secure the animals a loving and safe home. Once a volunteer has taken the stricken animal to the hospital, they can then receive the necessary treatment required, and it is the efforts of people like Robin who help contribute to the hospital’s coffers to allow this to happen.

A Snip in Time, Saves Two Million

“Pivotal to the work of the hospital and the various volunteer groups is the ongoing sterilisation programme - vital to break the cycle of more and more unwanted kittens and puppies being born on the streets,” Robin explained. “To put the need for this in perspective, it is estimated that just one pair of unsterilised cats running rampant can multiply into more than two million unwanted cats in just eight years!

“These various volunteer groups not only help prevent more unwanted cats and dogs being born into misery on the streets but also transform the lives of those already there,” Robin adds. “One example of many is orange and white cat Chi Chi, rescued from the street as a tiny kitten by one particular volunteer group. Chi Chi’s story is an especially desperate one as he was not only abandoned and left helpless but was blind with chicken pox infections in his eyes. To say things didn’t look good is an understatement. However, after being rescued, he underwent a dedicated treatment programme and a long recovery process until he finally regained his sight. Chi Chi was then fostered and subsequently secured adoption into a loving home where he’s now living his best life.”

Chi Chi's remarkable transformation from being rescued off the streets to him living his best life now in his forever loving home.

There are countless other similar examples, Robin informs us, but funding is often the true Achilles heel. It is why Robin is calling on kind-hearted readers of Brilliant Online to dig into their pockets to donate whatever they can to help the many volunteer groups and the team at Thalang Animal Hospital to continue their fantastic work.

“In just a few weeks since I launched the campaign donations to the appeal now total over 12,000 Thai Baht (approximately AUD 527), a figure that continues to rise,” he said. “Even the smallest amount can go a significant way to help. For example, 500 Baht (AUD 21.66) will sterilise a male cat, 860 Baht (AUD 37.25) will sterilise a female cat and 380 Baht (AUD 16.46) will vaccinate a cat. It is easy to donate via the campaign website and all currencies are gratefully accepted. Ultimately, it all adds up and makes such a difference.”

We have collectively been through some strange times in recent years, with COVID-19 in particular impacting the way we live and the way many of us view the world. We saw during that time of unparalleled adversity how humanity dug deep to help those who needed it and a generosity of spirit arose. The stray dogs and cats of Phuket will be hoping that even just a fraction of a similar reaction can be realised to back Robin’s upcoming challenge and help them achieve a healthier and happier life.

To donate to the cause please visit the campaign page here.


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