by Judith de Villiers
Last week the RST MAD (‘Make A Difference’) group visited a dog shelter owned and run by a man called Falko Duwe. The visit followed a talk that Falko came to give the students at school, earlier in the term. Falko looks after 77 dogs at his shelter, all of them rescued from the streets after being injured and all of whom would likely have died without the medical care. The work that he does is incredible and particularly note-worthy because he does it almost entirely by himself. He does enlist the assistance of two volunteers a week, who come to help him for about 4 hours each – but for the rest of the time he works tirelessly to provide these animals a large, safe environment where they can roam free, while being fed, cleaned and given the care that they need to live a happy, healthy life.
One of Falko’s main aims is also to ensure that many street dogs are neutered, so he works with a local vet to neuter up to as many as 200 street dogs a month through this programme, which is subsidised by the government.
The students who attended the shelter had a noisy and intimidating greeting from the dogs – and it made us incredibly proud to see Nadine, Tim, Jess, Rew, Delight, Pun, Cherry, Book, Dhamma, Ingrid, Peak and Scarlett, all willingly put themselves out of their comfort zones to participate in the activity. Once the dogs had settled down, the students were able give them lots of love and attention.
The group also had the opportunity to donate an initial 10,000 THB to Falko Duwe. We hope to donate more in the future, because the work he does is truly inspiring. And while our visit only made a small contribution to the incredible work that Falko does, the MAD tagline applies: ‘small acts, big change’.
If you’d like to find more information on the work that Falko Duwe does, it can be found here: https://k9aid.org/pattaya/