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Amber Abroad: Part 7: Dog Shelter In Thailand Has Rescued Hundreds Of Dogs From Heartbreaking Pasts

Written by: Amber LaRock
Amber LaRock is a writer and reviewer for iHD. She is a Licensed Vet Tech with 12 years of experience in the field, and she now creates informative content for pet parents.Read more
| Published on August 11, 2021

My current adventures have brought me to the beautiful country of Thailand, where I have been graced with the introduction to so many passionate animal welfare organizations. My travels have opened my eyes to so many impressive efforts that I just wouldn’t have known of otherwise, and I’m on a mission to share their life-changing work with you! First up, the beautiful island of Phuket!

A dog shelter in Phuket, Thailand is going above and beyond to rescue the many sick or injured dogs that roam their streets. The understanding of animal welfare in Thailand has drastically improved over the years, but there are still so many pups that need saving. Thankfully for these furry friends, the Bodhi Dog Rescue and Shelter is dedicated to doing just that!

bodhi dog shelter

The Bodhi Dog Shelter is nestled within the grounds of a sacred temple, housing over 200 dogs with painful pasts. Their efforts began in 2012 when shelter owner, Tina, decided that she would set into motion the efforts needed to change the lives of their street dog population.  With a team of dedicated animal rescuers on her side, the Bodhi Dog Rescue and Shelter opened its doors!

bodhi dog shelter

The Bodhi Dog Rescue and Shelter provides a safe haven for injured, sick, starving, and at-risk dogs that roam the streets of Phuket. Not only do they welcome in these broken pups with open arms, but they offer them the healing they need to find the forever homes they deserve. The Bodhi Shelter has found homes for over 500 dogs since they began, many of which have been adopted by animal lovers overseas.

bodhi dog shelter

While the sheer number of dogs that call Bodhi their home is impressive enough, the behind-the-scenes work is even more exceptional. Tina and her crew take to the streets daily to respond to calls of injured street dogs, most in desperate need of immediate medical care and love.

Some of their many impressive missions have included responding to horrific abuse cases, rescuing tick-infested pups on death’s door, picking up dogs with infected wounds, and even the rescue of a dog covered in tar. The heartbreaking situations they have encountered are endless, proving just how essential their work is to the island.

bodhi dog shelter

Not only does the Bodhi team save the many disheveled pups that cross their path, but they also help to educate the public on just how important proper animal care is. The only way to improve the lives of dogs going forward is through proper education, and the Bodhi team does just that at any given opportunity.

bodhi dog shelter

Now I know their work speaks for itself, but I feel like it’s important to not only share the details of their efforts but to also introduce you to a few of the lucky pups that call the Bodhi Shelter home! Each dog comes from a dark situation that required rescuing but has now found the peace they so desperately needed. Some of these stories are upsetting, but I can assure you that they are now wrapped in loving arms.


bodhi dog shelter

Boonyung is a spry pup with an incredible recovery journey. Boonyung was found wandering the streets with an indescribable facial wound, causing severe disfigurement that likely scared away any helping hands. Though his gut-wrenching state may have been startling to others, the Bodhi team jumped in with ease.

Boonyung was found to have a form of canine cancer that wreaked havoc on his muzzle, causing a wound that seared directly into the roof of his mouth. After multiple surgeries and extensive treatment, Boonyung now enjoys a life free of suffering at the Bodhi Dog Rescue and Shelter.


bodhi dog shelter

Mummy is a loyal pup with a devastating story. Mummy was found caring for her four recently born pups in a development that wanted her gone, threatening to poison them if they weren’t taken away ASAP. By the time Tina was informed and arranging a plan for both her and her pups, all four puppies had been killed. Tina remembers Mummy’s eyes filled with tears when she drove her to the shelter, likely grieving the unimaginable loss she had just experienced.

While it took Mummy some time to heal, she is now living a life free of danger. Mummy will immediately run to your side any time you are seated and hand you her paw for a friendly handshake. Mummy wants nothing more than to be loved, and the team of dedicated staff and volunteers always offer her an abundance.


bodhi dog shelter

Elton is a loving boy that refuses to let anything hold him back! Elton was found at an abandoned camp with a maggot-infested neck wound, also dragging his legs from a previous injury. Tina was able to gather details of an injury that left him paralyzed years before, meaning he had been suffering daily until he was found by the Bodhi team.

Elton has received surgery in hopes of repairing his back legs, but it appears that only physical therapy can help him regain some strength in his back legs. Regular walks have helped his once lifeless legs stand upright at times, though he will always carry the injuries of his past.

His legs may slow him down at times, but he refuses to sit out any activities that his shelter friends participate in. Elton happily sprints across the field, swims in small ponds, and even jumps onto the multiple platforms around the shelter. He is living a happy life free of his previous burdens!


bodhi dog shelter

Next up is one of the most gentle and kind-hearted pups I’ve ever met, Pippa. Pippa was spotted by an animal rescuer named Kim at a nearby gas station who was shocked at her current state. Pippa was not only in terrible shape, but it was clear that she just had puppies as well. Kim immediately called Tina for help, leading the two on a desperate mission to find her puppies.

After diligent searching around the grounds, the two finally found Pippa’s puppies resting in a pile of burned plants and debris. They shimmied through the debris to scoop up every last pup and were able to rescue Pippa and all 7 of her puppies. Pippa can now rest comfortably in the care of the Bodhi shelter, while some of her pups went on to find their forever homes.

Stay tuned!

Now that you have met a few of the many dogs that call Bodhi home, I can’t wait to walk you through a typical day at the shelter. Stay tuned for a video that introduces you to a day in the life at Bodhi Dog Rescue and Shelter, and helps you better understand just how passionate this team is!

If you would like to donate towards the care of the many dogs at the Bodhi Dog Rescue and Shelter, click here!

Check out Part 6 in my series: Amber Abroad Part 6: Ecuadorian Animal Clinic Helps Dogs In Their Indigenous Communities

Image Source: BodhiShelter/FB & VetTechandTravel/Insta

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