Vet on the Go cares for displaced dogs in Thai floods

Tearfully recalls shocking conditions and Asian meat trade
January 16, 2012

Despite her return to the Cape Region, local veterinarian Dr. Jaine Weise still chokes up when she talks about her recent trip to Thailand.

Far from a recreational adventure, Weise embarked on mission to Bangkok as one of many veterinarians who answered a call for volunteers from animal-welfare groups like the World Vets Organization after ongoing flooding in Thailand left thousands of animals stranded and starving.

“There were more than 600 dogs rescued; many were pets. The owners were evacuated, but they could not take their pets,” she said. “So they [Soi Dogs volunteers] literally went out in boats and rescued dogs that were floating, swimming, in temples and hanging on to anything that floats. They went on this adventure to rescue the dogs.”

Soi Dogs (Soi is Thai for street), is a rescue organization in Thailand that was founded in 1999 to help spay and neuter feral street dogs and cats that were otherwise systematically poisoned by the government. As flooding continued to affect more areas of Thailand over 2011, stranding more animals, Soi Dogs played a prominent role in enlisting the help of other worldwide organizations as they took to boats to rescue the dogs.

With hundreds rescued, Weise said the volunteers at Soi Dogs had their hands full trying to manage the sheer number of canines that were brought into the shelter, quickly giving injections to prevent female dogs from going into heat and hurrying to neuter male dogs and prevent fighting.

When the vets arrived, Weise said they spent a lot of time spaying and neutering the animals, as well as giving vaccinations, treating wounds, malnutrition and infections.

Worst of all, Weise said she encountered the grisly truth of the meat trade in Asia, tearing up as she recalled the boats that would gather hundreds of dogs to take back to Vietnam for food.

“Vietnam imports 1,000 dogs a day to eat. I was there; I saw the dogs in the meat trade,” Weise said. “Who needs to eat a dog?”


For more information about Dr. Weise’s local businesses, visit Cat Hotel at or Vet on the Go at or call 302-645-2287 or 302-231-8115

For more information, to sponsor a dog, or contribute to relief efforts in Thailand, go to Soi Dogs Foundation,, World Vets: or the Thailand SPCA: or Wildlife Friends Foundation, Thailand:

Tammy Le, owner of Tammy Nails in Rehoboth, is originally from Ho Chi Mihn City, Vietnam. She agreed, many Vietnamese and other Asian cultures eat dogs, but her family does not. She recalled not one, but two of her dogs that fell victim to the Vietnamese meat trade in the last 20 years.

“I had two dogs; it happened two different times. The first time, my dog died and they dug it up. And they poisoned my Kiki; she was small. She was a Pekinese,” Le said. “They don’t care about dogs; they just eat whatever is on the street.”

She also said families won’t typically eat their own dogs. Mostly, the practice is left to those who are extremely poor, but she also noted that in many Asian cultures, dogs have a job. They are often not treated as personal pets; instead they function much like goats on a farm, cleaning up table and food scraps in a culture much different from America.

Nevertheless, Weise said she hopes to return to Thailand one day and work with Soi Dogs again in the future.

“Street dogs are common in any developing country; they are everywhere in the Dominican Republic,” Weise said. “They are a result of poverty and do not have a great quality of life.”

Since making her return to the Cape Region, Weise also said she has been busy with her two local businesses, Cat Hotel, a boarding facility for cats in Lewes, and Vet on The Go, her mobile vet office that also serves as a  spay and neuter van across Sussex County.

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