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We all know about the stray dogs and cats on Koh Phangan and how our wonderful PAC is helping them but did you know that there is a similar problem on our little sister island of Koh Tao?
It is an issue all over Thailand in fact but there are some super heroes at work trying to do their best for the animals.
Koh Tao’s answer is Noistar Foundation, we went along to the clinic to find out more from the resident vet Jae Supaphon Intaraksa...
How did Koh Tao Animal Clinic (Noistar Foundation) begin?
The foundation was founded by two tourists that came to koh Tao for the first time in 2002 and help rescue two dogs from the island. The dog's names were ‘Noi’ and ‘Star’ and after they went home they set up the foundation and applied it to be a UK based charity and get the volunteers to come out here and help the animals of Koh Tao.
It was started from a mobile clinic and then the clinic was established in 2004 and was run by volunteers.
How did you get involved?
I came here for the first time in 2003 as a tourist of Koh Tao and got to know the clinic by the locals.
I was working in Bangkok back then so I have helped them with medications and consultations from Bangkok.
In 2006 I got asked by one of the founders to come and help here full time as the work needed to be ongoing and it’s so hard when there is no resident vet. So I decided to come and help out.
What are the main problems you see on the island?
We used to have many stray animals but after years of the neutering program we have seemed to get it under control but the other big problem now is the irresponsible ownership.
Education is the way but it might take a while to do this.
We enjoyed your cat area, what was the reason for this?
After years of dog population control and the dog population getting more or less under control it seemed like the cat population was rising, so we have many stray cats that we and other people would sometimes find abandoned.
Putting them in a small cage and waiting for people to come and pick them up might take a long time so we had the idea of putting them in a bigger area where they can run around and people can see them first thing when they come and visit so this is giving them more chance of getting adopted.
What do you hope for the next few years for the clinic and animals of Koh Tao?
I always want a sustainable clinic where we can get money from people that are coming in for their own animal treatments and also have enough money to help and treat all the strays and animals that nobody cares for and for us not to have to depend on donation money.
I think the key to this is the spay and neutering (population control) and of course the education to people that are caring for the animals is not just giving them food.
What do you enjoy about Koh Tao in your free time?
I don't have much of free time to be honest. I am the only vet here working six days a week in the clinic and on call 24/7.
But I do love my job as people here are appreciating what we are doing. But the thing I enjoy here a lot I think is food, haha! Koh Tao has a great variety of good foods!