Every day, Michael Baines rolls out of bed at 5 o’clock in the morning. He feeds and walks the nine dogs he has rescued from the streets of Thailand before paying a visit to the house he rents for another five foster dogs. Once his home pack is fed, Baines loads up his pickup truck with a mix of rice, chicken, pork, fish and dry dog food. He heads out on a route that includes several stops to give meals to roughly 80 of the stray dogs that live near Bang Saen Beach in Chonburi, Thailand.
A man committed to dog rescue.
Baines was born in Scotland but has lived in Thailand since 2002. He lives in a house that has enough space for his nine pet dogs, all of which were saved from the street. A few of his dogs are still skittish and don’t love visitors, but many are excited to see guests.
Coke has walking wheels.
One dog named Coke (as in the soda) had his hind legs run over by a motorbike, leaving him unable to use them. Baines provided him with walking wheels so he can join the pack on their morning walks. Coke moves about the house using his front legs to prop himself up and slide his limp legs like he’s a seal. Another pup named Damm only has three legs. Despite these disabilities, Coke and Damm seem to love their second chance at a happy life in Baines’ home.
Dog foster home.
In addition to the nine dogs at his house, Baines maintains a dog foster home down the street to provide shelter and care for the dogs for adoption. There are a few Thai employees who keep the makeshift adoption center going and you’ll often find travelers staying for a few days at a time to care for the pooches.
Baines doesn’t just feed the dogs he meets on the street. He also distributes as much medical care as he can, including skin treatment, poison antidotes and flea and tick prevention. He’s currently working to arrange a sterilization clinic in the Chonburi area to help decrease the quantity of puppies that are born and left to suffer in the streets.
Advertising dogs for rescue.
Since a video about Baines went viral on Facebook, people contact him to volunteer and adopt the street dogs often. He does this work under the title of “the man that rescues dogs” and has even set up donation accounts for medical costs and food. However, he tries to find homes for all of the foster dogs within Thailand. When dog lovers from other countries ask for these pups, he encourages them to seek dogs for adoption and dogs for rescue from their local shelter or nonprofit. “I know there are enough homes in Thailand for these dogs,” he assured me as I sat on the floor of the foster house while a medium-sized black dog named Pepsi fended off some flies.
The prize is a dog's trust.
“I find it very rewarding when I see the dogs I feed daily running toward me with wagging tails when I do my route,” Baines told me. He began feeding stray dogs about five years ago after discovering a malnourished, pregnant and sick pup behind the restaurant he owned. Once he started feeding her, he worked slowly to earn the dog's trust. “When I gain trust from a dog that has been abused for many years and am able to touch him or her – it can sometimes take years—but when it happens, wow,” said Baines. ”That is all I can say about that feeling: wow.” #Animal Advocacy #Animals