The Ko Lanta Animal Welfare Center is the perfect way to spend a few hours or an entire day giving back and volunteering with an organization that is trying to do good in Thailand through one dog walk and cat cuddle at a time. Your donations will go directly towards helping the animals, and your volunteered time makes for a great way to do some good while on your trip or vacation!
Getting There: the animal welfare center is located right on the south side of Long Beach, and if you are staying in the area it’s a short walk. If not grab a Tuktuk or do as I did and rent a bike for the day which is the cheapest ways to travel around Ko Lanta!
Costs: the welfare center is run by donations and volunteers, so try and give generously
Suggested Time: I’d suggest you arrive in the morning before it gets too hot, and spend a couple of hours with the animals!
Listed as the number one activity to do in Ko Lanta on Tripadvisor this animal welfare center was set up in 2005 by Junie Kovaks, with the primary aim of providing welfare for the homeless, injured and abused animals on Ko Lanta. Since being established they have spayed and neutered over 15,000 dogs and cats to decrease the number of animal pregnancies and to gain control over the homeless and abandoned animal population on the island.
The center is open to visitors from 9am-5pm, and its best to get here early as it is a popular tourist spot. If you arrive too late in the afternoon a lot of the dogs will have already been walked for the day, so it may be a little bit quieter and there may not be as much you can help out with.
I went down there on a sunny afternoon to check out the work they were doing and offer a helping hand by taking one of the dogs for a stroll. One of the volunteers met us and took us on a brief tour of the facilities, showing some of the kennels, the cattery and talking about the work they did. Next came the real highlight of getting to spend time with some of the animals! I absolutely love dogs so being surrounded by all manner of small and big dog was a real joy. The work they do with the dogs is fantastic and if you fall in love with one they can even arrange adoption as pets to your home country!
I was then given the opportunity to walk a beautiful dog who had been shot by his previous owner, they’d given him emergency veterinary care and he was well on his way to recovering. It was amazing to see this sweet, slightly shy dog still be so open and loving with people after having such a cruel owner who had treated him so poorly. I was able to walk him for about 40 minutes and spend some time giving him the TLC that he deserved and needed.
The welfare center runs on donations, so after the walk I dropped a decent donation in the box and said goodbye to my dog, who I’d nicknamed Raoul, and then I found some cute puppies to play with! This place is an awesome way to spend a morning or afternoon giving up a little bit of time to take one of the rescue dogs for a walk, they are always looking for volunteers so you can go one step further and spend a few weeks volunteering with them.
I’d say that no trip to Ko Lanta would be complete without a visit to the Ko Lanta Animal Welfare Center. If you’d like to find out more information about their organization, you can go to their website here.
You can watch my time with these pups and the organization in my YouTube VLOG: