Pet charities in Southeast Asia get ‘royal’ treatment

As COVID-19 continues to affect pet owners in Southeast Asia, local rescue agencies are stepping up to provide help.

Anna Shvets |
Anna Shvets |

Pet food worth a king's ransom was recently donated by no less than the King of Thailand, Maha Vajiralongkorn, to The Soi Dog Foundation in Phuket, Thailand.

Pet food maker Royal Canin, meanwhile, continues to work with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Selangor, Malaysia in identifying pet adopters who will receive Royal Canin “starter packs” after they successfully adopt a pet using an app called

In Singapore, the SPCA had to make its Pet Food Support Program grander by increasing its value by almost five times to provide relief to more pet owners whose livelihoods have been severely affected by the pandemic and are asking for pet food donations.

These are just a few examples of how Southeast Asian pet charities, pet adopters and pet owners are getting relief during challenging times.

Pet food donations in times of great need

King Vajiralongkorn, currently the richest monarch in the world, made the donation to The Soi Dog Foundation to mark the birthday of his royal noble consort in late January 2021. Soi Dog received two tons of dog and cat food for its shelter in Mai Khao, Phuket. Thirteen other animal welfare organizations also received their shares of pet food from the king, including the Phuket Stray Dog Shelter, akin to a government dog pound.

The Soi Dog Foundation is a non-profit organization legally registered in Thailand, the United States, Canada, Australia, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland and The Netherlands. It currently shelters over 1,300 animals in Phuket and works with independent animal feeders who help strays and animals displaced by disasters.

In Malaysia, 150 pet adopters have until May 31, 2021 to avail themselves of Royal Canin's free bag of pet food and access to a responsible pet ownership digital guidebook available on the Royal Canin website. Called Adopt to Save a Life, the program is in partnership with the SPCA, and a local independent rescuer.

SPCA Singapore, for its part, increased the funds for its Pet Food Support Program from US$50,000 to US$230,000. It was supposed to be a short-term relief program for individuals, households and animal welfare groups that are in dire need of assistance on behalf of the pets under their care, but as the world continues to battle COVID-19 the program has been extended for as long as funds last.

Individuals can apply for relief coverage for one pet only, while a household can gain pet food assistance for up to three pets. Animal rescuers and pet community feeders are entitled to free pet food for up to five animals. Successful applications to the SPCA program will be notified of how much pet food support they will receive and for how long.

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