Published On: Sun, Aug 27th, 2017

How the Ministry of Sound founder and a DJ helps save stray canines in Thailand

Ministry of Sound James Palumbo DJ Mike DowerPHOTOSHOT/ PH

Ministry of Sound founder Lord Palumbo and DJ Mike Dower with a stray canine in Thailand

Referred to as “The Land Of Smiles”, it’s common because of its golden sand seashores lined by palm timber, scrumptious meals and pleasant welcome.

However there’s additionally a darker aspect to the tropical paradise, with an animal welfare disaster that has spiralled uncontrolled and left an estimated eight.5 million deserted canines roaming its streets looking for meals.

As a Buddhist nation, Thailand doesn’t consider in placing animals to sleep, so many find yourself ravenous to loss of life. Others are maimed after being hit by vehicles or are illegally smuggled throughout the border to make use of as meat in Vietnam.

As a nation of canine lovers British holidaymakers are sometimes shocked to see the sheer variety of malnourished canines after they go away their luxurious resorts on islands like Phuket and Koh Samui, or discover the capital metropolis Bangkok.

Mike Dower stray dogs ThailandPH

Mike is transferring to Thailand to run the canine sanctuary

Some folks may say the issue is just too massive for us to make a distinction however you must begin someplace

Mike Dower

Now Lord Palumbo, the founding father of the Ministry Of Sound music empire and a significant donor to the Liberal Democrats – he was created a life peer in 2013 – has determined to open a rescue centre within the Thai countryside to assist these deserted canines with the help of good friend and DJ Mike Dower, who’s transferring to Thailand to run the sanctuary.

Seven years in the past James purchased 50 acres of farmland in Nakhon Nayok, a two-hour drive north of Bangkok and the house city of his greatest good friend Rawipim Paijit, who he lives with in London.

After constructing a number of Western-style homes on the land the place her brother and sister reside, the pair began taking in deserted canines scavenging at close by temples and farms.

Mike at the University Hospital in BangkokPH

Mike on the College Hospital in Bangkok

James, 54, says: “Rawipim is Thai and a canine lover like me. We frequently journey to Thailand collectively. Over time we purchased farmland in her dwelling city Nakhon Nayok. Eight-and-a-half million canines reside on the streets in Thailand, in search of meals from temples, farms, wherever they will.

“Over time our farm grew to become dwelling to 20 or so of those canines. Opening the rescue centre was an extension of this.”

There are 170 occasions the variety of stray canines in Thailand than the UK however its canine charities obtain lower than 10 per cent of the funding of these on this nation.

Mike, 38 says: “Some folks may say the issue is just too massive for us to make a distinction however you must begin someplace.”

Having spent 15 years because the IT supervisor for the Ministry Of Sound nightclub in south London, and entertained hundreds of the membership’s revellers at weekends as DJ King for a decade, Mike loved a jet-set way of life performing in Europe, Australia and the US.

James PalumboPHOTOSHOT

James Palumbo was created a life peer in 2013

Throughout a number of holidays on the occasion island Koh Pha Ngan he received to know a stray canine, Suzi – who had misplaced a watch in a battle with one other canine – and started caring for her whereas he was staying there.

Throughout his final journey two years in the past Mike found a cataract in her remaining eye, which he knew would go away her blind and dealing with sure loss of life from hunger or assault by different canines. He and a good friend, Steve Pitron, used their very own cash to undertake her and convey her again to Steve’s dwelling in south London.

After listening to this story, James approached Mike to contemplate transferring to Nakhon Nayok to run a rescue centre on his land.

“A couple of 12 months in the past he came upon that I had rescued and adopted Suzi, so we began speaking concerning the challenge and I researched the size of the issue and what might be accomplished,” Mike explains.

“[James and Rawipim] had the thought of serving to ease the struggling of avenue canines on their land however didn’t know how one can take it additional, so I went round Thailand for 2 weeks doing analysis and got here again with a plan for the rescue and rehabilitation centre.”

In February Mike moved to the farm in Thailand full-time to run Bon Jardin Canine Rescue & Rehabilitation as a charity.

“Bringing Suzi again to the UK sparked the necessity in me of desirous to do extra to assist extra canines,” he says. “Seeing how she might be introduced again to well being was rewarding.”

So how have his family and friends reacted to his sudden change in profession? “They had been a bit shocked at first however they’ve been very supportive, they love what I am doing. They like seeing the change in me and the great work we’re doing.

“I nonetheless love music and wasn’t uninterested in being a DJ however it was one thing I used to be keen to sacrifice. They see I’m trying on the world in a barely completely different manner.

“Residing in London you get caught up in your personal world, you’ll be able to grow to be a bit of bit egocentric. I’m changing into extra open, much more caring.”

Current success tales on the centre embrace Buddy, who was discovered hiding in a bathroom at a temple after being badly mauled by different canines.

Sumlee was shot by a farmer after attacking his chickens and left partially paralysed.

Mike with rescued dog Susie, who is blindPH

Mike with rescued canine Susie, who’s blind

A surgeon in Bangkok eliminated the bullet from subsequent to Sumlee’s backbone and he now has a wheelchair to help his again legs, permitting him to get across the farm extra simply, slightly than having to pull himself alongside the bottom.

“That has positively been our saddest case up to now however the final result has been rewarding,” says Mike.

The centre has now began crowdfunding to make sure its work can actually have an effect.

“We’d like much more cash to broaden what we’re doing, which is why we’ve got began crowdfunding to take it to the following degree and probably assist hundreds of canines,” explains Mike.

In addition to taking in ravenous and injured animals to rehabilitate, they need to run a cell sterilisation and rabies vaccination clinic to assist as much as 1,000 avenue canines over the following 12 months.

Mike at the Bon Jardin Rescue & Rehabilitation centre in Nakhon Nayok, Thailand PH

Mike on the Bon Jardin Rescue & Rehabilitation centre in Nakhon Nayok, Thailand

After donating 2,500 sq. metres of land to Bon Jardin, in addition to the preliminary funding to set it up, James will proceed to offer enterprise recommendation to Mike.

Baron Palumbo of Southwark, son of property developer Peter Palumbo – additionally a peer – says: “Though a charity, it is like beginning a enterprise and my position focuses on this finish of issues. It is a long-term challenge. We actually need to make a distinction, the charity must be constructed piece by piece. It will take time and persistence on my half.”

James has a rescue canine at his dwelling in London, Buttercup, a dachshund/terrier cross who he describes as being “fanatical about working”.

Thailand might sound a great distance away however as a nation of canine lovers Lord Palumbo hopes folks will help Bon Jardin.

“A canine is a canine wherever it lives on the planet,” he says. “Thai canines desperately want our assist.”

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