A lot has been said already about the natural beauty of Ko Lanta. But there is something else quite amazing on this island that often gets no attention in travel guides.
Koh Lanta Animal Warefare.
In a few short years Lanta Animal Welfare changed the island and made it into a happier, safer place for animals.
“In 2005, during the construction boom after the tsunami, workers from all over Thailand came to help rebuild what had been destroyed. Many brought dogs and when the building was complete they left them behind. Tourists took pity over the dogs and began feeding them. This resulted in a high survival and reproduction rate causing a completely different kind of boom. That of starvation, disease, abuse and injuries. Something had to be done…” Junie Kovacs, the owner and creator of the Time for Lime concept (2002), is also the founder of Lanta Animal Welfare (2005).
Before Lanta Animal Welfare was created, local people had to take the issue of sterilization and animal control into their own hands. What that meant was “treating” the unwanted pets with drowning, beatings and burning them with hot oil. In the best case scenario the animals would die instantly from inflicted wounds, but in most cases it would leave them crippled, fighting for their lives in agony.
I’ve always believed that it takes just one person to change the world. Although I never had the chance to meet Junie Kovac, I admire her. It takes great courage to make a stand and say: “I will help, I will change this island. I will make things better.”
Every time I watch this video I cry. In fact I’ve never stopped sobbing throughout each word of this article.
Lanta Animal Welfare is a non-profit, volunteer based organization. And I know for a fact that they are always in desperate need for volunteers. Unlike so many fake volunteer programs who charge ridiculous amount of money to do something questionably helpful, that can be done by local people in less time and 90% cheaper, volunteering for Lanta Animal Welfare is free. And the best part of it is they will sometimes offer you free accommodation and food for the work you do.
So if you are planning a trip to Thailand and you also want to make a difference in this world – visit Lanta Animal Welfare. If you don’t have time to do a full time volunteering there – just take one of their dogs for a walk down the beach. They will greatly appreciate it.