If you are traveling in Koh Lanta, Thailand, and have an hour to spare in between doing nothing at the beach and doing nothing at the pool, consider volunteering at Lanta Animal Welfare. The adoption shelter and sterilization clinic is the only one of its kind on the Thai island. It houses approximately 50 dogs and 50 cats, many of which have suffered egregiously at the hands of cruel and neglectful owners. Others were simply abandoned or never claimed in the first place, i.e. typical soi dogs.
LAW is a labor of love, founded by a big-hearted Norwegian who visited Koh Lanta more than a decade ago and was appalled by the island’s high number of strays. It takes just half an hour to tour the facility and learn about the mission of the nonprofit; afterward, mosts guests volunteer to take a dog or two for a long walk to the nearby river or beach. (Tours are free but donations are always welcome.)
Those with more time to commit should look into LAW’s volunteer program, or you can always sponsor a dog or cat from abroad for about 1,500 baht ($45 USD) per month. Some visitors fall so hard in love with the rescues they volunteer to walk, they wind up adopting them. LAW, of course, helps with all of the export paperwork—which is fairly cut-and-dry if you’re headed back to the United States, Canada, or the EU. (Australia, Iceland, and Japan, not so much…)
629 Moo 2, Saladan, Koh Lanta, Thailand; +66-84-304-4331.