Street dogs in Bangkok
Most of the 120,000 stray dogs in Bangkok are not aggressive, and many have been injured in traffic. However, strays occasionally attack people, and few have been vaccinated against canine diseases.
In the 1990s, more than 200 dogs were euthanized each day. In 1998, however, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals campaigned against the practice, which they argued violated Buddhist principles. The campaign generated substantial public outcry against the euthanization of dogs, and the city adopted a pro-life dog policy.
A recent regulation has forbidden the feeding of stray dogs in public places.
In September 2007, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration began a program of mandatory registration for dogs; the program was aimed to deter the abandonment of dogs, which could be traced to their owners. Requirements for such registration include the implantation of a microchip identifying the owner, rabies vaccination for dogs less than one year old, and sterilization; dog owners were required to register their pets before July 2008. Starting on July 4, 2008, dogs found unregistered may be sent to a dog kennel in the northern province of Uthai Thani and their owners may be fined up to 5,000 baht. Critics of mandatory registration have asserted that it has actually increased the number of strays, as dog owners who do not wish to pay for implementation are abandoning their pets rather than risking receiving fines.
Before prominent events, stray dogs have been rounded up and sent to shelters. This occurred before the 2003 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, when thousands of dogs were removed from the city and sent to the Livestock Development Department's animal quarantine stations in Phetchaburi and Sa Kaeo provinces. Stray dogs were again transported from the city in preparation for the king's 2006 anniversary celebration, with efforts focusing on areas near expensive hotels where royal guests stayed. These strays were sent to the kennel in Uthai Thani, where it was planned they would stay until their death.
In popular culture
The 2006 Thai movie Kao Niew Moo Ping by Siwaporn Pongsuwan focused on the relationship between a runaway girl and the stray dog she befriends.
- "Bangkok requires dogs to be embedded with microchip". Thai Press Reports (October 2, 2007). (Via LexisNexis.)
- "Who let the dogs out?" The Nation (October 13, 2007)
- "Bangkok clears stray dogs for upcoming APEC summit". Xinhua General News Service (September 9, 2003). (Via LexisNexis.)
- "Thailand Group Opposes Implanting Microchips in Dogs". Thai Press Reports (May 14, 2008). (Via LexisNexis.)
- "Dog owners in Bangkok need to register their canine pets". Xinhua General News Service (September 24, 2007). (Via LexisNexis).
- "Family dog registration begins in earnest". The Nation (September 25, 2007).
- "Stray dogs in Thai capital rounded up ahead of royal anniversary celebrations". Associated Press Worldstream (June 1, 2006). (Via LexisNexis.)
- "They call it puppy love". South China Morning Post (June 8, 2006).