Michael J. Baines is known as “The Man Who Rescues Dogs.” He is a Switzerland native, and has been living in Thailand for 14 years.
As you may know, Thailand is inundated with stray dogs. When a sick and starving dog (who’d just had a litter) approached the restaurant where Baines’ works, he gave her a meal. She came back every day to be fed–and that was just the beginning.
“And then it just kept going. I simply could not stand to see dogs in distress,” said Baines in Newsner.
This selfless man has a soft spot for the canine kind, having rescued nine dogs–including one without hind legs. Seeing sick and starving dogs on the streets, where his own dogs once lived, gave him the motivation to do everything he could to help out.
In Newsner, he said of the strays, “I pass them every day to and from work while I walk my own dogs, who were all street dogs as well. I just can’t look at them and do nothing.”
Five years later, this kind-hearted man now feeds about 80 strays regularly, going out 3 times a day to deliver food to different locations where the dogs congregate. He’s also been able to get about 100 dogs sterilized, and found homes for around 30.
The mutts’ meals are a mixture of dry dog food, steamed rice, chicken, fish, oil, and a homemade broth (sound pretty good to us!). Of course, feeding hungry mouths comes at a cost. Baines spends about $1000 a month on food alone. While he gets donations from some supporters, most of the money comes out of his own pocket.
“The dogs that I take care of are doing well, though many still suffer from lack of food or medicine. I mix deworming medicine into their food once a month, so that helps with fighting against heartworms and ticks,” he said in Newsner.
Additionally, he notes that the overpopulation of strays is the fault of irresponsible people, not dogs–they don’t deserve to suffer.
“I think markets and shops that sell puppies should be shut down completely. People who want a dog should head to the street, or shelters. I have a bunch that need a home — and these dogs are free,” he said in Newsner.
Hopefully with more publicity, the “dog rescuer” will get more donations to be able to care for more dogs. And just maybe, more people will consider adopting a stray rather than going to stores for a pet.
Currently, director Anna Röd Tjernström is filming a documentary based on Baine’s work, called “The Man Who Rescues Dogs.”
We hope that it brings awareness and aid to the huge stray population in Thailand! We also applaud the work of this individual, who has saved so many lives.
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