By Noemi Gamel
While we were in Koh Lanta, Thailand we stayed at a family-run resort that was up the street from the Lanta Animal Welfare (LAW) shelter. One day, upon Kara’s insistence, we decided to stop by and check it out.
I was apprehensive about what we would see there. I was worried we would see animals in smelly cages and poorly nourished. My fears were unfounded. LAW is an organization whose mission is to rescue homeless and abused animals in Ko Lanta. They provide shelter, coordinate adoptions, and arrange low-cost/free sterilization clinics in the area. The facilities were clean and spacious. The dogs, cats, and one rabbit looked well nourished and healthy.
For visitors and tourists, LAW allows them to walk the dogs or cuddle with the cats. We made sure to do both. They also provide tours of the shelter. Some of the stories were very sad, and Kara and I shed some tears. Nevertheless, in the end, we were uplifted to learn that the animals at LAW experienced happily ever afters, whether it was by being adopted or remaining at LAW for the rest of their lives. We enjoyed the visit so much, that we went back another time before leaving Koh Lanta.
You may wonder why we spent time while in Thailand visiting an animal shelter full of dogs and cats. There were no tigers or elephants or other “exotic” animals native to the area. The truth is, we like cats and dogs. We also appreciated the efforts of LAW and wanted to support their cause. I think one of the great things about traveling is that you don’t have to spend the entire time doing something exotic. Sometimes, just sitting and cuddling with a cat, no matter where you are in the world, is all you need to make a good day.
If you ever have the opportunity to responsibly support a good cause while traveling, please do so. If you have other recommendations of good causes to support while traveling, let us know in the comments below.