Just the other week the TruTravels family visited a place that’s very close to our hearts; Phangan Animal Centre for Strays, otherwise known as ‘PACS’. This very special place is the only centre of its kind on the beautiful island of Koh Phangan and to this day does exceptional work on the island. We, ourselves having a pack of 3 dogs at the TruTravels village have been fortunate enough to have PACS when our pups have been in need, so we thought we’d pay the centre a visit to show the world what a fantastic organisation they truly are.
Phangan Animal Centre for Strays
Like many of the Thai islands, there is a serious problem with stray animals (namely dogs) population control and general well-being, being wild the animals can reproduce at an alarming rate which of course leads to many stray animals which do a lot of the time get themselves into mischief and in many cases get seriously injured or worse. PACS was set up in 2001 by a lady by the name of Shevaun, the centre itself supports all the stray animals on the island, and be them Dogs, Cats, Monkeys or even Eagles. PACS is there on hand to care the animals back to health before they are released back into the wild.
PACS is a firm believer in the natural balance of the island, once the animals are treated back to full health and neutered, they are then released back onto the streets which is ultimately their natural habitat, in many cases the strays can’t be domesticated due to them spending their whole lives as strays and knowing nothing different. By doing this the balance of the island doesn’t change and the population of the strays on the island is that little bit more controlled.
PACS itself sits in the centre of the island right next door to Koh Phangan Hospital, at any one time the centre is home to over 40 cats and dogs which are constantly in need of cleaning, feeding, caring for, or just generally getting some much needed love; so as you can probably imagine, the staff are constantly rushed off their feet. Complete with:
- A cattery,
- A surgery,
- A disabled canine section,
- Office and
- Staff housing
There’s a lot more to PACS than what you can see from the outside, and still the centre is in desperate need of more facilities. The PACS staff are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at any time a call could come through from any part of the island regarding an animal in need, and true to their word, they will be there in no time at all to help.
As a charity PACS relies solely on donations from the public and various fundraisers that take place on the island from month to month, one of the amazing things about PACS is the sense of community around the centre, everyone on the island knows of them and even the staff on a personal level, and will always go out of their way to lend a hand to the centre. Currently PACS is going through an extremely busy stage and are always on the look-out for anyone that’s keen to lend a hand, so if you are reading this blog and thinking that you want to come and help out all the four legged (in some case 3 legged) friends here in paradise; well the only rules are: being an animal lover and not being afraid of getting your hands dirty! For some more information on volunteering at PACS or general volunteering here in Thailand with us, follow any of the pretty links on this page and check out the video below of our visit to PACS!