Arriving as a volunteer teacher in the little known resort town of Sangklaburi, Thailand, Gemma Ashford was shocked by the plight of the emaciated street dogs she found scavenging hopelessly in the town’s market. These sad forgotten dogs bore every mark of abuse, some limping, others bearing open and festering wounds. Most of the dogs carried disease – things unseen in the West – Canine Distemper, Rabies and hardly one animal was free of Scabies.
Even though months of teaching lay ahead of her, she was determined to try to help these desperate creatures in any way she could. Gemma fed the street dogs and started to know and love the characters of each and every one of them. She knew she couldn't leave these emaciated, neglected and unloved animals to fend for themselves, so she set up the only treatment center within a 4-hour radius, known today as the Baan Unrak Thai Animal Sanctuary.
With only a few donations from family and friends, Gemma had to return home to the U.K. for a few months every year to work and raise funds for the sanctuary she began in 2006. With that money she was able to buy much needed medical supplies and food for all the animals. The sanctuary has continued to grow and with the help of visiting volunteer vets and international volunteers, thousands of animals to date have reaped the benefits of all of Gemma’s hard work and determination but without international aid, her efforts can only go so far.
SPCA International is proud to support Gemma’s efforts through an International Shelter Grant to the Baan Unrak Thai Animal Sanctuary for unwanted and abused animals.
For more information, please visit their website at: http://www.thaianimalsanctuary.com/