(14 November) A popular saying may say dogs are human′s best friends, but the abbot of a temple in Khon Kaen province would vehemently disagree.
The temple, Wat Tha Ratch Chai Sri, is overcrowded with more than 100 dogs abandoned to the cares of the temple monks by their former owners. The situation has become so severe that the monks decided to place a sign at the temple entrance pleading for an end to the practice.
"O, dear parishioners, please stop donating your dogs to us," the sign pleads.
′Temple Dogs′ (หมาวัด) are common in Thailand, where Buddhist doctrines preach against slaying of animals even in term of mercy killing, leading many dogs owners to leave their unwanted pets to their local temples.
But the 41 year old temple abbot, Phra Kru Sangkharak Chumpol, said his monks have had enough. "We are overwhelmed. We have to find food for the dogs, we have to clean them. And the locals have complained to us that these dogs have caused nuisance to them, such as biting the ducks and chickens in their farms".
He said many dogs arrived in fertilizer bags and paper boxes dropped off by their owners at the temple parking lots.
Phra Kru Sangkharak continued, "When temple-goers from other districts visit the temple, the dogs like to hound these folks. Some of them has even chased and bit the temple-goers," while the daily droppings of the canines have been too numerous for the 10 monks at the temple to clean in time, causing foul smell to nearby houses.
The abbot called on the local authorities to take away these dogs. "Leave us 4-5 dogs. We can take care of them", he said.
District chief of Don Bom Village, Mr. Sawas Phumee, complained that he has notified various authorities of the problems, but there has been no response.
He added that the temple dogs have not been vaccinated against rabid virus, which has become a source of concerns among local residents.
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