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Hand to Paw temple outreach programme; a success

Honoring HM the King at Kad Suan Kaew


Hand to Paw temple outreach programme; a success

By Sandra Clyburn, Hand to Paw
On Saturday, March 20, the Community Action Service (CAS) participants of the student-driven Hand to Paw Temple Outreach Programme presented “Down by the River” featuring Ana Gracey and her band. The Prem students have worked for months preparing for this event hoping to raise funds to support the temple dogs in the neighbouring community of Prem Tinsulanonda International School in Mae Rim. The fund-raiser was held at the historic Gallery Restaurant on the Ping River. K. Surachai and his staff were perfect hosts throughout the evening by being well prepared for a sold out crowd.

Ana Gracey and her band performed rock and blues, much to the crowd’s enjoyment.

The Hand to Paw programme was the vision of two staff members at Prem International School who had a love of dogs and wanted to develop a programme that would involve the students at the school while at the same time promoting awareness in the local villages to the plight of the dogs living in their midst. It was designed to provide care for these homeless dogs that fought each day to survive because of lack of food, proper medical care and abuse that included beating and poisoning. Hand to Paw has since become a group of animal-loving students in grades 6-12 who work together to promote a sustainable, healthy dog population at the temples in the surrounding community.

Julia’s proud parents support her efforts in the Hand to Paw programme.

The vision had several goals: to provide a “hands-on” education -based venue for interested animal-loving students to develop leadership skills while learning to care for the ongoing needs of the village temple dogs. To raise community awareness regarding the need to promote basic health care particularly sterilization and immunization while at the same time advocating against animal cruelty by modeling a caring compassionate approach, and finally to work in partnership with the monks at the local temples as well as the Care for Dogs Foundation. Care for Dogs has provided support, encouragement and expertise throughout the year.

Ana Gracey joins Prem teachers and Hand to Paw organizers Sandy Clyburn and Joy Huss before the show.

Presently there are over 30 individuals giving their time both as co-curricular and CAS (Community Action Service) students to provide for the daily and ongoing physical needs of the dogs in Wat Nongplamon, Mae Ann and Huay Sai. Every week the condition of the dogs is assessed. The dogs have all been named by the students and careful records are kept for each of them regarding scheduling for vaccinations, heartworm medication and bathing. As the programme has grown, community awareness sessions have been held. Female dogs from both the local temples and the village community have been sterilized and the monks in each of the three temples have been provided with emergency 24 hour access information through our partner Care for Dogs in the event of medical emergencies.

It was apparent to the students that to fund such an operation they would have to do more than the occasional bake sale at school. The student group provides at least 2 bags of dog food a month to each of the three temples. They also fund the purchase of medication, vaccines and bathing/spraying supplies. When money is available female dogs from the temples are sterilized. The programme has succeeded in having 18 dogs sterilized this year. Hand to Paw has become a worthwhile but costly venture. After much discussion and brainstorming it was decided to hold a fund-raiser that included parents and friends.

“Down by the River” became that fund-raiser. With the help and generosity of so many community-minded individuals, as well as the students of Hand to Paw, 52,000 baht was raised to support our dogs. They are not “just dogs” They are our dogs . Every child involved with the programme loves them, cares for them and hurts when one of them is injured, sick or abused. We want to prevent this from happening.

Hand to Paw Prem students: Fern, Julia, Tina, A. Joy, Tanuje,
and Alisa all pitch in to help make the fundraiser a success.

Parents and other supporters of the Hand to Paw
programme enjoy the buffet and show at the Gallery.


Honoring HM the King at Kad Suan Kaew

Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn hit the ceremonial gong to start the celebration honoring HM the King at Kad Suan Kaew shopping center.

On March 24, Chiang Mai Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn presided over the opening ceremony of a celebration honoring HM the King at the Kad Suan Kaew Shopping Center and hotel complex. This is the second event organized to honor His Majesty the King, who has devoted himself to the betterment of his nation. The event also is part of a year long run up to celebrate HM the King’s birthday in December.

Tassanai Buranupakorn joined the crowd in lighting a lamp to honor the good deeds and hard work of His Majesty the King.

Mayor Tassanai Buranupakorn, presided over the opening ceremony of the celebration to honor HM the King on March 24, leading the procession at the beginning.