How we are helping stray animals in Cambodia!
Walking around streets in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh, you will meet many stray dogs and perhaps spot a stray cat or two. These animals have no home an no one to takes care of them. They roam the streets in search of food; Most of them sick and in desperate need of medical attention. But with no owners, they are left to fend for themselves. There is a huge need to help stray animals in Cambodia.
Cambodia is home to roughly 5 million dogs, the majority of these being strays. This number is so high as people are forced to desert their pets due to not having the capacity to care for them. This, paired with a lack of access to neutering facilities, means that the population of cats and dogs grows at an uncontrollable rate.
These animals then suffer with a lack of food and no access to medical attention. As the streets become overcrowded with dogs and cats, diseases start to spread. This is not just harmful for the animals; it can also impact human lives. Overcrowding, animal attacks, and lack of food leads to a negative attitude for people who live around these strays.
What needs to change?
Countries in Southeast Asia have little to no animal protection laws; meaning that the suffering of these animals is intensified. Animal abuse is common in these countries. Additionally, roughly 30 million cats and dogs a year are taken for the meat trade industry. People lack empathy with these animals, leading to cases of them being tortured and abused.
In addition to outright abuse, there is a lot of misunderstanding in these cultures on how to properly treat and care for animals. Many people wrongly believe that pagodas are a safe place to leave unwanted animals. When the reality is that the monks and caretakers at the pagodas do not have the resources to care for them. This then leads to overcrowding, the spread of disease and malnourishment.
There are also issues surrounding the veterinary care that is available for these animals. Vets in Cambodia study how to care for livestock such as cows, pigs and buffalo. They are then unable to perform simple procedures on dogs and cats due to a lack of training.
Trying to change and remedy these situations is a mammoth task; one that requires a lot of time and patience. This is where our partner at the Cambodia Cat & Dog Welfare project step in.
Ending the suffering
Globalteer's partner works to help reduce the suffering of any and every stray animal in Phnom Penh through education and medical care.
Their primary focus is to change perceptions and gain support from the community to tackle the overpopulation of stray animals. They involve the community with spaying and neutering programmes. They also educate them and ultimately help them care for the animals in their streets.
One way of doing this is by regularly visiting the pagodas in Phnom Penh. They help assist the monks and caretakers with caring for the animals. Recently, a group of veterinarians visited the Preah Chan Rangsei pagoda to spay, neuter and vaccinate the stray cats and dogs living there.
The project also works to educate the local community on responsible pet ownership. And the importance of adopting, rather than buying from pet shops. They also treat & rehabilitate animals they see in the communities or at pagodas that require urgent care. These animals are then able to be adopted from them. Otherwise they are placed into foster care whilst they are looking for their forever home.
No animal deserves to live a life filled with suffering! But this is the reality for stray cats and dogs in Cambodia. Thanks to the hard work of everyone at the Cat & Dog Welfare project 11,000 animals have been rescued, treated, and rehabilitated over the last 4 years. People in these communities are beginning to see the love, affection and happiness that these animals can bring into our lives.
Find out more about the project and learn how you can get involved here.