Five years ago, the broken heart of one person set off a series of events that led to a major transformation in the lives of many dogs. Today, this person is known as a respected “rescuer of canines.”
Michael J. Baines, a restaurateur from Scotland, found himself captivated by Thailand during his first visit to the country with his wife. So much so that, 15 years ago, they decided to leave their home in Sweden and start a restaurant business in Thailand.
One day, a man was busy working when he noticed a skinny and famished stray dog wandering towards him. The sight of the dog’s eyes seemed to convey a plea for sustenance and care, and upon examination, the man realized that the poor creature had recently given birth and was severely malnourished. The man felt compelled to help, and thus began feeding her regularly. This encounter ignited a desire within him to aid other dogs who were in dire straits, as he couldn’t bear to witness their suffering.
Upon witnessing the dire state of neglected dogs in his vicinity, Baines experienced a sudden realization that action needed to be taken. Thus, he decided to make it his daily mission to feed the stray dogs with unwavering dedication and consistency. Baines’ admirable efforts entailed visiting 17 different locations across three distinct routes to ensure that every dog received a meal. As he embarked on his way to work, he made eight pit stops to feed a total of 30 dogs. Following breakfast, Baines geared up for his second run by gathering food and making an additional eight to nine stops to feed another 30 to 35 dogs. Outside his eatery, six more dogs were fed, and four to five dogs were supplied with food on his way home from work. Baines’ steadfast commitment to providing for these dogs has indubitably left a profound impact on their lives.
The cuddly dogs are given a combination of dry food, boiled rice, and vegetable oil mixed with bouillon. A delicious mixture of chicken, pork, and fish is boiled together to satisfy their taste buds. Baines makes sure to keep his furry pals healthy by providing them with monthly doses of worm and flea prevention powder. All costs are covered by Baines or generous donations. In 2003, Baines and his wife Gill Dalley founded The Soi Dog Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to giving stray dogs a safe place to call home.
Their main goal is to improve the well-being of dogs and cats in Asia, which would lead to positive outcomes for both animals and people. Their ultimate aim is to create a world where pets are not needed and where animal cruelty no longer exists.
At the moment, Soi Dog Foundation has two hospitals: one dedicated to cats and the other for dogs. The dog hospital is the largest and most advanced in Asia, and possibly even worldwide. It focuses solely on treating street dogs that require medical attention. Gill’s love for her furry friends inspired her to spend four years designing and overseeing the construction of the dog hospital. She fulfilled a promise she made many years ago to provide exceptional care for the street dogs she adored.