Austrian hearts beat for Thai dogs in need
I am sitting in my cosy living room, thinking about how to begin my report on our last fundraiser and who I want to address with it. I think about all the loveable dogs who are taken care of at Care for Dogs and who hope for a happy future. And I think about the circumstances in Thailand, a country that is very dear to me. Especially because I do not only know it as a wonderful holiday destination but also because I gained insight in the country´s daily grievances. There is suffering and misery in Central Europe, too, although not as obvious as in South East Asia. When telling people about my commitment towards Thai street dogs, I am often asked why I support such „far away“ subjects and if I was sure that donations really reach their destination.
The answer to both questions is: I have been on-site and was not only deeply touched but am also convinced that Care for Dogs uses all contributions in an appropriate and sensible way. So I now know where to direct my activities. Everyone whishing to stand up for animal welfare, environmental protection or more respect, must try to channel their efforts and find such a direction, a personal aim. Working as a volunteer at Care for Dogs has awakened a lot in me and has caused some changes. Among others, I am more than ever aware of how valuable my aforementioned living room is and that we should not take comfort and security as granted at any time.
So with this post, I hope to encourage and motivate everyone longing for a meaningful task but having so far feared to bet on the wrong horse or to have no means to initiate reasonable help. When having found a trustworthy and valued organisation, helping is easy as long as one is ready to invest only a little bit of time and enthusiasm. Especially in a country like Thailand, every Euro or Dollar is worth a lot. It would surely be great to have more chance to work directly with the dogs or to committing oneself fully to the noble cause. But this is not realistic for me. I have a demanding daily life and am living thousands of miles away from Chiang Mai. Nevertheless, I could join a little network of likeminded people in my hometown. Together, we organise animal welfare events, flea markets, information evenings and regular meetings to exchange thoughts on animal welfare subjects such as vegetarianism or cosmetics without animal testing.
All public events are being announced in the regional media. All revenue is being donated to welfare organisations of our choice. We support carefully selected animal welfare organisations or eventually associations who engage themselves for the benefit of disadvantaged children. Condition is, that a representative of the respective organisation is actively supporting the hosting of the event, bringing in his contacts and serving as a multiplier. Main initiator of all our activities is my friend and dog trainer Sabine Hahndl (www.hundu.at).
And that´s how easy it is: Since working as a volunteer at Care for Dogs in the summer of 2011, I am actively supporting all events of our network. Sabine knows me very well and trusts in my opinion on CfD. Therefore, Care for Dogs is a regular starter on our list of beneficiaries.
Out latest activity was an Autumn Festival: 67 adults, 20 children and 45 dogs stood the cloudy weather and started at our puzzle rally where they had to solve funny tasks and answer instructive questions around animal welfare, health-conscious nutrition and a sustainable way of live. Many helping hands had worked on the organisation of the festival and the rally and offered among others a vegetarian buffet, which not only the participants of the rally were drawn to: Another 50 brave and weather-resistant visitors enjoyed hot wine and warm and cold snacks.
What remained was a happy event team – and the amazing sum of 2000 Euro, which was donated to four organisations, representing different fields of action. A quarter of this sum was assigned to Care for Dogs. Thanks to further donations of friends and family, we could transfer 600 Euro to Care for Dogs. All supporters present on this rainy day in October could feel that the motto of the event became reality: every step counts!
To get a better impression just scroll through the gallery:
Michael " Being part of the team I think, was so much more effective. If alone, I would only have given a street dog some food for few days, not knowing what else to do in a strange town when seeing a sick dog. Joining with the other volunteers at CfD, I was part of a steady approach. You give dogs some hope for a better life and don't have to disappoint them when they might wait on you, when your plane already took off. Here is a team and it's just another friendly face, the next (holiday) volunteer will take up your work. [More about Michael]"
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