Hua Hin Dog Rescue (HHRDR) was the forerunner to Headrock Dogs Rescue and was set up by a French couple sometime in 2003. They managed it for 2 years but ill health saw it handed over to an English mother and daughter team. The name change to Headrock Dogs Rescue took place in 2008 one year before Thep and myself took over the management.
That year over 30 dogs arrived in Bang Saphan from Hua Hin away from the clutches of their local Government Dog Pound where HHRDR had a temporary site. The shelter was given 10 days notice of closure by the management who announced that any of HHRDR’s 75 dogs who were not adopted would be taken into their Pound. Several large shelters in Thailand were approached asking them urgently to take 4 or 5 dogs or 6 or 7. Care for Dogs in Chaing Mai took in over 16. I was the Adoptions Manager and successfully found homes for many older dogs leaving 30 of the youngest. Thep and myself couldn’t let them be taken by the Dog Pound so we brought them to Bang Saphan where we’d just moved to.
Dogs arriving from Hua Hin
Our plan was to get the 30 dogs adopted during one year and any remaining dogs would be sent to a shelter who agreed to take them. We were successful in finding homes for over 20. However during that year the locals started to dump puppies at our site almost every week so our plan to close Headrock Dogs Rescue at the end of a year never finalized!
The Lung Por (Abbot) of a beautiful Temple nearby contacted us to ask for our help with his very sickly dogs and puppies suffering from a wide range of diseases. Death was almost a daily occurrence and he couldn’t bear to see the suffering. 7 years later we’re still working at the Temple helping to keep the dogs and puppies healthy.
Fast forward to 2017. HRD Rescue is still run by Thep and myself with the help of Thep’s cousin and a stream of wonderful volunteers who’s devotion and hard work is invaluable. We have 50 dogs as our Centre (2017) and a constant stream of tiny abandoned puppies all of whom we find homes for. If it wasn’t for the ceaseless work finding loving homes for our dogs and puppies we would have over 900! Thep being Thai is an invaluable asset with adoptions.
The Temple now has over 85 strong and healthy dogs with the dog loving nun caring for nearly 40 with our financial and medical assistance.
2014 saw major developments to the Headrock Dogs centre. We have always kept building to a minimum due to lack of financial resources and the need for all donations to go towards the dogs’ health but we have been able to build 4 puppy pens and a shelter which the dogs love.
However, we were experiencing terrible problems with fleas as the dogs love to lie in the same soft earthen area as the fleas. At this time we began to have a lot of support from a wonderful 4 woman Australian team involved with Soi Dog Australia. They were able to raise enough money to concrete the area where the dogs lie! These women have subsequently started an organisation called K9Aid which supports small organisations like ours and has made such a difference to our funding and ability to care for the dogs both at our Centre and in the Temple.
One Saturday morning a large lorry concrete mixer arrived and by the end of the day the area was transformed. It would have looked pristine and perfect had the workers not had a lunch break giving the dogs the opportunity to inspect their new floor! Foot prints were left everywhere exasperating the workers who had to re-level their work and keep the dogs away. It was not totally successful, but what can you expect with 38 dogs around sniffing around!
At the beginning of 2015 we received further funding from K9Aid supporters and were able to build a small structure where we can store medicines and wash our hands! It was divided in two and the other half provides a storage facility where we can keep the dogs’ food. This simple structure has made a vast improvement to our efficiency.
Building still continues when we have raised funds available. In 2016 a wonderful supporter Lesley Scott did a sponsored 10 mile hike with her little Dachshund Maggie in the Scottish highlands, in the snow! These 2 heroes raised over 700.00 pounds enabling us to build 2 much needed sick rooms which have been in constant use since their completion in February 2017.
We were called in by the Lung Por ñ Thai for Abbot – of Wat Tam Ma Rong in February 2009. The dogs that live at the Temple were in appalling condition from mange and other diseases, and puppies being abandoned at the Temple is an ongoing problem. The monks residing at the Temple are great dog lovers and they were saddened to see these animals in dreadful condition and in pain, hence the call to Headrock Dogs for help.
The initial programme was to clear the rampant mange problem. Some of the dogs were covered with bloody sores on almost hairless bodies, they also had infected eyes and swollen paws. One or two were near to death. We injected them every ten days as well as washing them in mange treatment shampoo. Over some four or five months we were greatly heartened to see how all the dogs responded to the mange treatment. Initially the sores healed and slowly their coats began to grow back, their eyes became clearer and their swollen paws became strong and healthy again.
Well on the road to recovery we then started a vaccination programme injecting the stronger dogs initially with Hexadog and waiting for the weaker ones to improve before vaccinating them as well. It became a joy to visit the Temple and see the healthy dogs running and playing and come running over to greet us. The mange control programme has to be maintained so we give anti-mange treatment every month or six weeks. If a dog looks in bad condition the treatment is given every two weeks until the condition improves. Sadly because the dogs have been infected so badly with mange their skin never completely recovers making them particularly vulnerable to new attacks.
Temple work is never 100% successful and requires a lot of patience. We are very lucky to have the support of the Lung Por and his second in command. On seeing the tiny new puppies we discussed the need to touch them regularly so theyíd get used to a human hand. The mothers trust the monks although they keep their distance and watch. We hope this strategy will allow us to catch the puppies when they are growing so they can be vaccinated and eventually neutered.
We have been able to maintain a puppy care programme with the support of monks and volunteers and are happy to report that the death rate of abandoned puppies has been kept to a minimum. We have been careful to keep them away from older dogs who sometimes kill puppies and who also carry viruses such as Distemper and Parvo until they are old enough to be vaccinated. We now have a small specially built pen to keep them safely away from older dogs and puppies. They remain in this pen until they have had all their vaccinations and are strong enough to look after themselves.