Our story
In April 2001 myself, my friend Miranda and her eight year old son Jordan visited Koh Tao. On our second day we met a black disabled puppy that we later called Noi - which is Thai for little one. She had been rejected by the pack because she had weak back legs and a clubfoot, she was starving and infected by maggots. We fed her up and managed to enlist the help of the pharmacist to procure some anti-biotics from the nearby Koh Samui island. After I jabbed her she ran off and we didn't see her for three days. We thought she was dead.

One evening when we were walking along the beach in the sunset she appeared from nowhere. At first we weren't sure if it was the same dog because she looked so much better. She followed us around faithfully from then on and spent the nights on our balcony. By now we were completely hooked and wanted to take her home with us but it seemed impossible. We would have to leave her behind.

When we came back to the UK we couldn't stop thinking about Noi. I discovered that there was a Dog Rescue Centre on the nearby Koh Samui island and we made contact with Bridget and her husband Verna who run the centre. After another month of deliberation we decided that the only thing to do was to go back and get Noi. Miranda can speak Thai so to keep costs down we decided that Miranda and Jordan should go to Koh Tao and I would co-ordinate things from the UK.

When they arrived on the island they took the photo we had taken of Jordan and Noi around to the different restaurants but no one had seen her.

Jordan and NoiThere were a few heart stopping days when we thought she was dead. Then she suddenly turned up but she was in a pretty bad state. She was sicker than before and was covered in mange and wouldn't eat. Over the next few they fed her up and gave her some anti bioitics and Vitamin C. But now there was another problem.

Whilst they were looking for Noi another outcast had attached himself to them. Like Noi he was an Indian Pia puppy and also like her he was the bottom of the pack and in a pretty bad state. He had a perfect star on his chest so there was no problem in giving him a name - Star. Since they'd first met Star someone had thrown stones at him and he was now hobbling painfully on three legs. They decided that they would take him with them to the vet at the dog's home in Koh Samui, fix him up and return him to the island.

The only way from Koh Tao to Koh Samui is by speedboat and it's a pretty rocky journey. For Miranda the journey by jeep to the jetty and then the crossing to Koh Samui with two dogs, a kid and luggage was a challenge particularly as the dogs wouldn't walk on leads and had to be carried. But probably most challenging of all was the continual vomiting of little Star on the speed boat that reached such a pitch that she wanted to throw him overboard!

Jordan Arriving at Koh Samui they were met by the motorbike and sidecar from the dogs home. The dogs were loaded up and Star howled all the way the rescue centre. They had to go between two different vets to get the dogs injected, get their vaccinations and get Star's leg fixed and then take them back to the rescue centre. By the time they arrived at their hotel they were exhausted. They stayed on Koh Samui for the next few days visiting Noi and Star and generally helping out at the rescue centre. By now they had another dilemma. Star was really attached to them how could they take him back to the life of a beach dog where anything might happen? After much soul searching they decided to bring Star home. Back in the UK I frantically sorted out the import license and alerted the quarantine kennels that we were now bringing two dogs back!

To prepare for the next leg of the journey - the flight from Koh Samui to Bangkok, the airline had insisted that the dogs be sedated until they were asleep. The quarantine kennel here in the UK had expressly said not to sedate them because of the danger of hypothermia. A double dose of tranquilliser was administered to Noi because the first one didn't seem to work.

When they arrived at Bangkok the dogs, in their sky kennels, were actually sent out on the conveyor belt with the luggage!!! Miranda went off to sort out some documentation and whilst she was away Jordan, thinking that Noi didn't look too good, put his hand into the cage and in her drugged state Noi bit him and wouldn't let go. He started screaming. It took a security guard to prise her off. Miranda came back to find Jordan in tears and blood all over the floor. She had to bundle the two dogs, still in their cages, Jordan and the luggage off to the nearby private hospital where Jordan had to have rabies and a tetanus injection and get his wound cleaned and his arm bandaged. They dropped the dogs off with Tordis - the contact in Bangkok that Bridget from the rescue centre had arranged and dragged themselves off to their hotel.

At nine o'clock the next morning Tordis rang the hotel. There was a problem. The excessive dose of the tranquilliser may have caused Noi to go blind. Miranda and Jordan rushed to Tordis's. Things didn't look good but fortunately after a few days Noi's sight began to return and she is now fully recovered.

On their return to the UK there followed six long months in quarantine from which they were released in February 2002. I trained them over the last year and have successfully re-homed Star with a lovely couple Kath and Richard. Noi lives with me an my original dog Ruby.

Our experience of the great suffering of the animals of Koh Tao has led Miranda and myself to form the Noistar Thai Animal Rescue Foundation. We believe the only way to solve the problem is to set up a permanent vet clinic facilitating a neutering and nurturing programme. We hope you will support us in our efforts.

Jayne Chard

Please see next page for pictures of Star and Noi.

Star & Noi Before

Star & Noi Today