Opinion: I’m afraid to walk around at night in Pattaya as the stray dog situation gets steadily worse

Editor’s Note: The following are two recent reader emails/opinions sent to The Pattaya News regarding the stray dog situation in Pattaya. Their opinions and statements are their own and may not represent those of the Pattaya News Company Limited. We welcome you to send us yours as well, especially if you disagree or have an alternative viewpoint at pattayanewseditor@gmail.com. We note that local animal welfare organizations have been steadily working on sterilizing and vaccinating local animals according to their statements and reports we have previously run. We note that we have been getting a LOT of complaints from residents about the stray dog situation (It was recently the number one issue for local ex-pats in a poll we did) but we would like to hear from some of those who work with the stray dogs and with local animal welfare groups to provide some context.

From David C. Pattaya Ex-pat:

Stray dogs have been a problem in Pattaya and Jomtien for longer than most of us can remember. But the problem seems to have become worse in recent years. I used to go running at the exercise area on the hill. I would never dare do that now as the whole hill, especially the lower part, is over-run by packs of (in my opinion) often aggressive stray dogs. Three years ago I was bitten by a stray on Pratumnak Hill when walking from Pattaya to Jomtien, with no provocation on my end. That cost my travel insurance company about 30,000 baht and forced me to have ten quite unpleasant injections and almost two weeks of equally unpleasant wound cleaning at Pattaya International Hospital. Moreover, Prathumnak Hill seems to have become worse since then and some of the roads leading down to the beach, especially the one leading to Pattaya Water Park are almost no-go areas due to the large numbers of stray dogs.
However, the situation appears to have become more serious since the Covid-19 restrictions and lockdowns. As the streets emptied of people, especially in the evenings and at night, almost an army of stray dogs have moved into the city and many sois, which never had dog problems before, have become almost impassible. The local tourist authorities constantly talk about turning Pattaya/Jomtien into a family holiday destination. I wonder how long it will take them to realize that they can either have a city over-run by packs of stray dogs or they can have a family holiday destination. They cannot have both.

From Bob, a Jomtien resident:

Hi there Pattaya news land,

I wanted to take a moment to talk about what I see as a major issue in the Pattaya and Jomtien area in terms of recovery to tourism…and it’s not that virus everyone keeps blabbering on about.

I’m talking about the hundreds (I am not exaggerating for those not here) of stray dogs all over the city. We’ve always had strays but it has never been as bad as it has been now. They grew substantially during the first lockdown and now that we have a second shutdown period which is likely to go ahead and make the problem worse.  With bars and clubs shut overnight and even 7-11 and stuff closed from 10:00 PM on the only traffic around is limited…and the dogs are moving in on major streets and areas all around the city.

I want to disclose, I’m a dog guy. I have two of my own. I love dogs. I have always been a proponent of the stray dog strategies of treating them, sterilize them, and then release as I know the pounds around here are living hell and need a ton of work.

However, I’m now afraid to walk around at night. I went for a walk on South Pattaya Road the other day which is heavily under construction around 7:00 PM.  This isn’t “late” by any means. I counted 37 dogs from the highway to the third road alone and had two close encounters of dogs “protecting their territory” and either barking and running at me or causing a scene. Other than myself, only a few Thai people were walking around the mostly abandoned buildings as more and more dogs moved in.

As I enjoy walking I also took a walk near City Hall the other day on North Pattaya Road….and once again many packs of dogs, some sleeping right on pedestrian walkways, and although these were calm it made me uneasy and likely would do so for tourists who returned as well. This is directly in front of and around City Hall!

I used to walk the road by Royal Cliff leading to the lighthouse but there are now so many dogs in the area, including some that are aggressive and territorial, I will no longer walk in this area and it is supposed to be a park for exercise.

I don’t know what the solution is but the problem seems to be getting worse than better and I fear that when tourism returns we are going to have cases of tourists bit or worse. I mostly stick to the beach now and although there are dogs here too they seem to be the most docile and friendly in Pattaya. I won’t walk strange side roads or sois anymore and that’s a shame as I used to really enjoy this.

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