ASHLAND, Ore., — It was a simple picture which inspired Janis Rosenthal and Jeff Rinkoff to try and make a difference half a world away by ending the illegal dog meat trade.
“It looked like laundry in a basket being weighed, and I clicked on it and saw that it was dogs,” explained Rosenthal of the CNN story which triggered her to make a donation to Soi Dog. The non-profit rescue organization in Thailand saves, vaccinates, neuters, spays, and often re-homes cats and as many of the hundreds of thousands of dogs in the country as possible.
Gregg Tully who helps run the organization says an intense part of Soi Dog’s mission is end the illegal dog meat trade which claims an estimated 200,000 dogs a year. The dogs are stolen from the street and even homes then driven through Laos into Vietnam where they are considered a delicacy.
“It’s really shocking,” said Tully. “Dogs are stolen, stuffed into trucks driven across the boarder in the middle of the night. They go, usually, days without food or water. A lot of the dogs, die in route and the ones who survived are killed in absolutely horrific conditions.”
“One of the most horrible aspects of it is many people in Vietnam think that torturing the animals before they kill them makes the meat more tender,” elaborated Rosenthal.
As Janis and Jeff learned more about the dog meat trade and what Soi Dog was doing, they decided to team up with GreaterGood to do make a difference. Allison Wexler, Development Director at GreaterGood suggested using the couples $20,000 donation as a “Gifts That Give More” Campaign which doubles the original money through a matching program.
“The cost of caring for these dogs is tremendous. There are literally thousands of dogs and we are responsible for providing their food and a lot of their care,” said Tully
The now $40,000 donation built a 13,500 square foot shelter specifically for the 5000 dogs already rescued from the dog meat trade with in a couple months.
Recently, Janis and Jeff teamed up again with GreaterGood and Soi Dog, this time to create a shelter at a Buddhist Temple where thousands of dogs and cats have been abandoned. It too is a “Gifts That Give More” and is nearly funded.
Help end the dog meat trade and donate to Soi Dog by clicking here. For more information contact Janis Rosenthal by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.