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Care for Dogs’ staff and volunteers celebrate 6th Anniversary

Staff and volunteers had a great day out rafting
on the Mae Wang to celebrate Care for Dogs’ 6th anniversary.

To celebrate Care for Dogs’ 6th Anniversary, friends of the Foundation had invited staff and volunteers for an outing to Mae Wang for a bamboo rafting trip. After a delicious vegetarian lunch at a little riverside restaurant, the team was ready for boarding and enjoyed gliding through the emerald green jungle. The time on the river passed by very quickly and after relaxing and chatting with a few more drinks and fruit plates it was time to get back to make sure the dogs at the shelter would get their evening feeding and medication.

In June of 2006 co-founders Karin Hawelka and Amandine Lecesne built a wall around the land and house and opened their doors as Care for Dogs. In 2009, the organisation was able to successfully register as a Foundation in Thailand. The team dedicates themselves to regular sterilization programs, medical rescue cases, dog-welfare education, and adoptions for homeless puppies and dogs.

The life of dogs on the street is a hard one, Care for Dogs has made these dogs lives much better although they would all love to have a home and family to call their own.

Over the last 6 years, Care for Dogs has added separate enclosures for different types of medical cases, they have built a veterinary treatment and surgery room, and an office, they’ve added storage space and a bathing station, they’ve built dog houses and canine “lounge” areas, they’ve provided stronger roofing to protect the dogs from the rain, and they’ve added an intense care ward for very sick dogs. Just recently they added a new location called “New Hope Recovery Home” to help treat dogs who have fallen ill with distemper.

In the beginning, Care for Dogs hired one dog caretaker to care for the first 10-20 rescued dogs. As their rescue efforts developed, the work increased, and Care for Dogs employs now a team of 10 staff members and approximately 20 volunteers (to date, Amandine Lecesne and Karin Hawelka have always been volunteers themselves) and a flux of travelling volunteers who actively help to look after their 180 dogs. They now have two regular vets at their shelter; one full time and one part time. The work of Care for Dogs has touched thousands of dogs and the committed team is determined to help many more!
More information can be found at or Photos and text courtesy of Care for Dogs

Karin Hawelka and Amandine Lecesne started Care for Dogs in 2006 and achieved Foundation status in 2009.

Happy dogs just hanging around.

Eat till you drop!

By Shana Kongmun
The Pub held its 16th annual Yorkshire Pudding eating contest in June and regular Pub goers joined in the fun along with a few young Thai men who ate admirably, albeit one with sweetened condensed milk much to the surprise of everyone else who had lashings of gravy poured over the top to make it easier to stuff them in.

Tom started strongly and kept up the pace to take the prize with a total of 36 Yorkshire puddings eaten.

Grahame presided over the event, while Barbara made sure that the contestants were well stocked with Yorkshire puddings. Americans may well ask what is a Yorkshire pudding and Grahame answered, “It’s a kind of soufflé actually. Eggs, milk, a bit of flour, whisk it all together and bake it in the oven.” In Yorkshire they are often served very large and open pie shaped and filled with mince and gravy. Delicious, especially after a brisk hike along the Yorkshire Dales.

However, this was a hot and humid night at the Pub on Huay Kaew in Chiang Mai and the denizens were eating small cup sized puddings as steadily as they could. The goal was to eat as many pies as possible in an hour. And while starting off strongly is a good idea, one regular noted, it’s not a good idea to go too fast as someone who is a steadier eater may catch up and overtake. Tom started off strongly and finished well, eating a total of 36 puddings in an hour, however not topping last year’s record of 40.Murray, who took second place last year with 30, topped his personal best by one, reaching a total of 31 pies in an hour. A surprisingly large number of contestants joined in, including one lady eater who was being egged on by friends.

The entrance fee to this annual food fest is a mere 100 Baht, although the winner may not eat Yorkshire Puddings again for a year, he takes home the entrance fees as a prize. Be sure and visit the Pub this time next year for the next Yorkshire Pudding eating contest and try your hand, or rather your mouth, at winning the prize.

Eating away, she still managed a respectable 13 puddings!

Some contestants ate handily with a knife and fork while others decided fingers were much faster.

The staff kept busy keeping contestants well supplied.

Tom leads the group of contestants after the count was finished.

Flight of the Gibbon presents “Trees for Life”

The Flight of the Gibbons held their annual tree planting trips to Mae On and Mae Kampang, with the first planting held in June, the next July 14 and then the last one August 11, 2012.

Even the little ones joined in planting trees.

The opening ceremony took place on June 16 where 50 trees were planted by students, friends and local villagers. Each ceremony will see the planting of 50 trees but in all Flight of the Gibbons will sponsor over 3,000 fruit bearing trees to be planted to preserve and begin the food cycle for wild animals living in the rainforest and to maintain the density and quality of the eco-system.

Fruit-bearing trees in a protected area can provide a food source and refuge for the primates. Deforestation, over-hunting and overuse of land in many parts of Thailand have all contributed to a general decline in the health of the forest ecosystems, including primate populations. While the Flight of the Gibbon Zipline Canopy Tour takes place in a beautiful, pristine old-growth rainforest where the plant ecology is primarily intact, some areas near our site have suffered from decades of overuse. A truly healthy ecosystem that can support a wide range of plants and animals needs a very large area for animal populations to stabilize. From the inception of Flight of the Gibbon™, the goal was to minimize the impact of bringing tourists to this amazing place and restore the surrounding areas to once again be a stable, healthy, functioning ecosystem.

Flight of the Gibbon works with the local villagers and experts in the field to find the causes for the decline in ecosystems. They then team with the locals and restoration experts to bring back the forest in a way that will last.

Afterwards, hearty souls from the tree planting joined in a zipline trip.

An important part of this project is the ongoing education and engagement of people who come to enjoy the canopy tour. While the organization wants to give each person a unique, unforgettable adventure experience when they come to Thailand, they also want to provide them with a new found curiosity about what is happening with the ecosystems in their own countries. Maybe they will become inspired to engage and start working on environmental issues at home too!

Over the past 4 years, Flight of the Gibbon has sponsored the planting of over 10,000 trees.
On the opening day government officials, dignitaries, forest preservation experts, local businesses and members of the Flight of the Gibbon staff gathered to open the Tree for Life planting season and welcome approximately 50-100 guests to plant the first fruit trees.

The July trip will see approximately 50 orphans from the Chiang Mai Home for Boys plant trees and represent their group of about 80 children who all zipline free on this day. Education staff will explain to them in Thai about the eco-system, the wildlife and the importance of the trees.

In August up to 1000 trees will be planted,, each sponsored by anyone in the world wanting to support this conservation effort. On this day, approximately 50-100 trees will plant in recognition of all the sponsors. For a small donation of $100 USD, each person can plant the tree themselves this day or sponsor the planting of one. Sponsors will receive a photo of their tree and a commemorative plaque will be placed near the tree. The hope is that each person will share their story about the Trees For Life Project and over the years thousands more trees can be planted. Visit: or on Facebook at flightofthegibbon for details.

Everyone gathered for a group photo before the trek into the forest.

Staff and locals joined together to plant fruit trees in Mae On.

HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]]

Care for Dogs’ staff and volunteers celebrate 6th Anniversary

Eat till you drop!

Flight of the Gibbon presents “Trees for Life”