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Rescued but not safe

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Sad but true: Many of those dogs rescued from gangs smuggling them to butchers abroad are dying in overcrowded shelters here in Thailand.

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Many of these dogs rescued from smugglers in Mukdahan on Saturday are likely to die in overcrowded shelters, as authorities struggle to cope with the dogs already under their care. WALLAPA TREEPRAKORN

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Rescued but not safe

Over the past year thousands of dogs have been rescued from smugglers trying to ship them out to neighbouring countries where dog meat is popular.

But while these dogs have escaped the butcher, their fate has not been much better here in Thailand.

Authorities say more than 700 dogs have died as thousands of others struggle to survive in overcrowded shelters in Buri Ram and Nakhon Phanom.

In the latest incident, 550 dogs were seized from a dog smuggling gang in Mukdahan's Wan Yai and Muang districts on Saturday. The dogs were being moved from a house near the Mekong River to the pier.

Authorities originally planned to move the seized dogs to animal quarantine offices in Buri Ram and Nakhon Phanom, but officials there said they could not receive the dogs due to congested conditions at the shelters.

Buri Ram animal quarantine head Phaisan Phatthanadechakun yesterday said the shelter had been taking care of about 1,100 seized dogs. He said receiving more dogs would only worsen the overcrowding.

At least 700 seized dogs transferred to his animal quarantine unit had died since last August, he said.

Only 100 of them have been adopted by people so far.

Mr Phaisan insisted the authorities had tried their best to take care of the dogs, which were vaccinated and provided with good-quality food. However, some give up eating and continued to die, probably due to the hot weather, he said.

Now, at least one dead dog has to be taken out of Buri Ram animal quarantine every day, Mr Phaisan said.

Some died of illness and starvation as they cannot eat dry pet food.

Quarantine staff are now feeding the remaining dogs rice mixed with chicken ribs in a bid to bolster their appetites, Mr Phaisan said.

The Nakhon Phanom livestock office also refused to accept the dogs confiscated in Saturday's crackdown as its animal quarantine facility was already extremely crowded.

The Livestock Development Department has now decided to transport the latest batch of rescued dogs to the animal quarantine in Ubon Ratchathani's Khemarat district.

Adapted from a story in today’s Bangkok Post.

rescue – to save a person or animal from a dangerous or unpleasant situation ช่วยชีวิต
smuggler – a person who takes things or people to or from a place secretly and often illegally  ผู้ลักลอบขนสินค้าหรือคนหรือสัตว์เข้าและออกจากประเทศอย่างผิดกฎหมาย
overcrowded – with too many people or things in it  ซึ่งแออัดยัดเยียด
shelter – a place where people are protected from danger or bad weather; a temporary place to stay ที่หลบภัย  ที่พักชั่วคราว
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
struggle – to try hard to do something that you find very difficult พยายาม
cope – to deal successfully with a difficult situation  รับมือกับ
neighbouring – located or living near or next to a place or person  ติดกัน, ที่อยู่ใกล้เคียง, ที่ตั้งอยู่ใกล้เคียง
popular – a situation in which someone or something is liked by many people เป็นที่นิยม, เป็นที่ชื่นชอบ
butcher – a person whose job is cutting up and selling meat in a shop/store or killing animals for this purpose คนขายเนื้อ,  คนฆ่าสัตว์ขาย, คนชำแหละเนื้อสัตว์
fate – the things that happen or will happen to someone ชะตากรรม
survive – to continue to exist รอดพ้น
incident – something that happens, usually something bad เหตุการณ์
seize – to take control of by force or official power ยึกครอง
pier – a platform sticking out into water which people walk along or use when getting onto or off boats ท่าเรือชนิดยื่นออกไปในน้ำ, สะพานที่ยื่นออกไปในน้ำ
originally – the situation that existed at the beginning of a particular period or activity, especially before something was changed อย่างเป็นอันแรก, โดยแรกเริ่ม
quarantine – a situation in which a person or animal that might have a disease is kept separate from other people or animals so that they do not catch the disease กักบริเวณ จำกัดบริเวณ
due to – because of เนื่องจาก
congested – too blocked or crowded and causing difficulties แน่นขนัด
conditions – the circumstances or situation in which people live, work or do things สภาพการ, สถานการณ์
transfer – moving someone or something from one place, vehicle, person or group to another การย้าย
adopt – to take someone else’s child/animal into your family and legally make him or her your own รับเลี้ยง
insist – to keep saying very firmly that something is true ยืนกราน ยืนยัน
vaccination – to give someone a vaccine, usually by injection, to prevent them from getting a disease การฉีดวัคซีน
starvation – the state of suffering and death caused by having no food การอดอาหาร
rib – one of the long curved bones that are in your chest กระดูกซี่โครง
bid – an attempt to do something ความพยายาม
bolster – to make something stronger or more effective ทำให้เข้มแข็ง
appetite – a desire for food ความอยากอาหาร
livestock – animals such as cows, sheep, chickens and pigs that are kept on farms ปศุสัตว์
confiscated – officially taken away ถูกยึด
crackdown – strong action that someone in authority takes to stop a particular activity การใช้กำลังเข้าปราบปรามของเจ้าหน้าที่
facility – a building used for a particular purpose โรงงาน, สถานบริการ, สิ่งก่อสร้าง, สิ่งอำนวยความสะดวก
transport – to move people or things from one place to another  บรรทุก, ขนส่ง
batch – a group of things or people dealt with at the same time or considered similar in type ชุด, กลุ่ม


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