Integrity Legal

11th Apr 2009

The Soi Dogs of Bangkok

Posted by : admin

For those who do not live in Thailand, a soi dog is a street dog (soi means street in Thai). They are all over in Bangkok and it is rather fun to watch them live out their lives. I have two near my office who have (according to a guy I work with who has been here for over 10 years) been living there for a while.

Stumpy (named for his stump of a tail) is the older of the two and with his mangy fur and time worn face looks about a tough as an old boot. Then there is Grumpy who is always asleep, but never has his eyes completely closed. Grumpy is named Grumpy because his overall demeanor implies a less than “happy-go-lucky” disposition. Grumpy does not like to have his naps disturbed unless food is involved. Grumpy makes a somewhat irked face when loud motorbikes pass and stir him.

In the novel Confessions of a Bangkok Private Eye, the author discusses the lot of the Soi Dog in Bangkok. He compares them to the Thai people: much like the Thai people most soi dogs are completely laid back and easy going. They seemingly live a life of ease and, like the Thais, can occasionally be found napping outdoors in the middle of the afternoon. Like most Thais, the soi dogs easy going demeanor belies a ferocity if and when threatened (which is unusual for dogs in Bangkok). Food is very important to soi dogs and the only way they can usually be stirred from their otherwise round-the-clock slumber is by offering them some kind of meat on a stick.

Although they do add a great deal of ambiance to Thailand, there is a sad side to the life of a soi dog, they are truly street dogs because they have been abandoned or born into orphanage. They are generally treated tolerantly by the Thai people (who, as ardent Buddhists, will not destroy or in any way try to purposely harm them without provocation) , and often they are given food and water by the local street vendors. Even still, they are often overlooked and malnourished. The Thai equivalent of a humane society does pick up some of the strays and sterilizes them so that they cannot reproduce and then they either keep them on in a kennel for adoption, or in some cases, they put them back out on the street.

During my stay in Bangkok, I have become quite fond of the Soi Dogs and can go out on a limb and say that I’ve become friendly with some of them (provided I come bearing some form of the aforementioned meat on a stick). I have also grown far too accustomed to ignoring these animals’ plight. For this reason I decided to put up a post about them in an effort to raise some awareness and hopefully get people to be a little more proactive in helping these animals (if nothing else just give one of them a piece of meat on a stick).

Below are some pictures of some of the soi dogs in Bangkok and Thailand:

Although they are not as aggressively opportunistic as the Moscow Subway Dogs it is because Thailand is warmer and street food is usually more plentiful. However, many of these animals need to be cared for if possible and a program of adoption and population control would be very welcome so this cycle of homeless animals does not continue unabated.

In closing, for anyone who is interested in adopting or helping to assist these animals there is a wonderful organization in Thailand called SCAD, the Soi Cats and Dogs Rescue Mission. Their website can be found HERE. They do a lot to save these animals and find them homes when they can. I would recommend anyone, particularly those living in Bangkok, stop by their site. Hopefully, by raising some awareness and everyone doing their part, more of these animals will find homes and care.

Thanks for reading, For information about the owners of this blog please see Thailand Lawyer

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8 Responses to “The Soi Dogs of Bangkok”

  1. Andrew says:

    Those dogs are so cute

  2. pet shopping says:

    Once again an excellent written post from you. Keep it up!

  3. Saul says:

    Ii love the painting of the ferocious Soi Dog. Do yo know who painted it?

  4. admin says:

    I do not know who painted it, wish I could find some paintings like this as I might buy them

  5. Claire says:

    Hi – thanks for making this post and for the kind words about SCAD! I am a long-term volunteer at SCAD and would just like to make a couple of points… most importantly, our website is: (not sure where you got this picture from, which is of one of our adoptable dogs, Herbie btw) but that website address is very old! Would also like to mention that SCAD is not a rescue – our main work is in sterilising and vaccinating community soi dogs (and cats). Some of these animals cannot be safely returned for various reasons and these will often come into our adoption programme. Since SCAD started its sterilisation programme in 2003, we have sterilised approx. 6,500 soi cats and dogs and have rehomed more than 650.

  6. Freebie says:

    Thanks for the useful article – I loved reading it! I always enjoy your blog. :)

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