I am raising money to stop the mistreatment of animals in Cambodia. I want to educate the Khmers in how to look after their animals & street animals. I want to vaccinate every dog and cat in Kampot against rabies.
My name is Chantel and I am the owner of a hair shop called Hair by Chantel. I know you would never of guessed it was a hairdressers by the name would you. Well my little hair shop is in the sleepy town of Kampot, Cambodia. I am not Cambodian otherwise known as Khmer, I am originally from England. I have lived in Cambodia for over eleven years, so I do not really feel British anymore. Apart from when I am working with the British Embassy. Then I still feel very British, as I get to see a photo of our Queen and go to the home of the British Ambassador. This always feels very posh and makes me feel very proud to be British. I am also very proud of our history and our beautiful country. I just wish it would not rain and be so grey. These are the only resons I do not live there anymore. I love going to the Embassy from time to time, but really I love my very basic and simple life in Cambodia. I love the smiles you get everyday from the Khmers. Even if you are feeling down, a Khmer smile will make you forget all your problems and just deal with the day ahead.
So nine of those nearly 11 years I lived in the once sleepy and very beautiful beach town called Sihanoukville. Sadly the once beautiful Sihanoukville has dramatically changed. This has all happened in the last two years and it is now the new Macau. Macau is in China and is located in the south of China. Some people say this is an Island but I am not really sure about that so I will let you all work that one out. Macau is a place that is dedicated purley to gambling. The whole area is full of hotels and casinos, solely for the purpose of gambling. Eight years ago while on a drunken night out with a friend, I found out that they were going to change Sihanoukville into the New Macau. As I am a hairdresser I kept my lips sealed and did not tell anyone the information I had just heard. You know client confidentuality and all that. I myself did not think that would happen and if it was ging to it may not happen for 10 years. How could anything like buildng a tow of casinos happen in less than 10 years, but it did. I do regret not telling anyone now, as many people have been driven out of their homes, out of their buinesses, Some even started a new businesses only to lose it all. Many of them lost their life’s dreams. I too was one of those that lost but I have been through many things in this country and that really was not the worst that has happened. Some people were lucky enough to be bought out and have made a lot of money but many were not so lucky.
Sihanoukville no longer resembles the town I used to live in. It no longer has many Khmer people, it no longer has signs in Khmer and English and you will be lucky to see another white person. There really is no reason to go there unless you need to get to the islands. The last time I went to visit my friend on the island. I cried the whole journey back to Kampot. Seeing and watching something so beautiful turn into something so terrible, right now is heart breaking, especially if this was your paradise.
When a town changes so much so quickly it attracts the bad people. Many of these bad people are prisoners that came from China to build the hotels and casinos. Many of these people do not have a heart and some of these people eat dog meat.
The Khmers, Vietnamese and the Chinese are very well known for eating dog meat. The Khmers will even steal your pet dog or the dogs on the street to sell to the dog restaurants. They get $50.00 per dog, well they did 6 years ago but the price may have gone up now since the influx of Chinese. This is a lot of money to a Cambodian. This could feed, clothe and house a poor Khmer family for a month.
Many years ago they stole my dog that I had rescued. I had first seen him at a friends restaurant and I was heartbroken to see what a terrible state he was in. He had been living near a pagoda and would go to my friends restaurant in the hope of food. It took him two months to be able to come near a human, even though he was malnourished and had obviously been badly beaten. So my heart melted and I decided to have a dog as, after living in Cambodia for now 4 years, I knew I was probably going to be staying in Cambodia for a long time. When I eventually managed to catch him and take him to my home he would not come in my house. He would sleep outside underneath a tree and he did this for about two months. I ended up getting a dog house built for him and after 1 month he decided to move into his new home. He was just starting to trust me and I was even able to put him on a lead, but I could not take him out the gate for a walk. When I tried to he would lay down and shake. The week before I had a terrible accident. I will explain why I had an accident in my blogs and you can find the information about my blogs at the bottom of the page. This story is the main reason why I will be finishing my book. It involves me being left for dead by my ex girlfriend.
Anyway, back to the story.
I had just got him to come into the house and he would even lay on the sofa with me. He started to act like a puppy and I could even see him smiling. He would roll over on his back and would act all silly, wiggling from side to side and what looked like smiling. I would add photos of him but sadly they stole my computer and my camera with all these on. The only ones I have are on my facebook but it breaks my heart to look at them so I prefer not to add these.
So the way they steal your dog is to poison them. They throw meat with the poison in it over your wall. They then they attach a long metal pole around the dogs neck and pull them over your fence. They then drag the dog on the floor behind their motorbike until they get to the dog restaurant. The dog suffers terribly and is still slightly alive by the time they get to the restaurant, as the dogs restaurants do not want a dead dog.
So you now know the way Khmers take dogs, now I will move onto the Chinese. The Chinese drive around in a Lexus SUV or Range Rover SUV and buy puppies or big dogs that are for sale. They buy breeders dogs or even street dogs. They do this in a very inhumane way too and have been known to tie the dogs to the back of the SUV. The dogs are upside down and all four legs are tied together. As you can imagine it is boiling hot in Cambodia so these dogs are suffering a lot. Not only from the way they are being driven around but the heat as well. I will not go into the way they kill them but I am sure you can all guess it is not humane.
So these dogs restaurants are normally hidden down side streets and they are not viable to the normal human. They have no signs and they run by word of mouth. These restaurants attract many of the rich Khmers. The Khmers do not understand how bad it is to eat this dog meat. They just want to eat what they have heard is good tasting meat and I am sure it is not and I will never eat it. The Khmers also believe a black dog tastes better. Many Khmers have never been to these restaurants before and maybe they do not want to even go, but they will go to these restaurants as they want to look as rich as their friends. It is all about status these days in Cambodia. Some Khmers go because they like to look richer than those that could never afford to go to one of these restaurants.
So these dogs have poison in them, they can also carry many diseases especially if they are the street dogs. Even some of the ex pats dogs have diseases, as many ex pats do not look after their dog like they should. Some ex pats do not even look after themselves the way they should let alone their dog. Anyway these diseases can make the people eating the dog meat sick. Not straight away maybe later in life, maybe the same day and maybe never. I try to educate the Khmers that are brave enough to come near me when I am walking my dogs. I try to explain about rabies, about the rubbish all over the floor and about being kind to animals.
As you can see from the picture below I have more dogs. These dogs are all rescued from some form of horrific abuse. My two dogs are always locked inside the house whenever I go out and they always sleep in the house at night time. I will never let my dogs be taken from me again. I walk the two Huskys for a friend who is unable to walk them. These dogs should not even be in Cambodia a hot country is not a place for big and very hairy dogs let alone being overbred. But Cambodia is all about money and they will find anyway to make it without having to work that hard. These lucky ones now have a long walk every morning and then get to swim in the lake that is attached to the house that we rent.
Taking the doggies for their morning walkies.
So after a little background about me and my old town. I will now get into why I am raising the money.
Cambodia is a very poor and very dirty country, it has many, many rats. You are even lucky enough to see them running past you when you are eating dinner at any restaurant. These rats carry the disease rabies. Due to lack of education in Cambodia they do not understand about rabies. They have never even heard about it until it hits social media.
During the Pol Pot also known as the Khmer Rouge years they killed millions of people and many people starved to death. Pol Pot chose to kill the intelligent people. He wanted the country to go back to just rice workers. He wanted the country to be poor and uneducated. He achieved this, many of the people in the country today have no education and do not understand how to care for themselves let alone an animal. Many people are either very, very rich or very, very poor.
Over the years of living here I have opened and worked for many businesses. I like to help teach and educate the Khmers especially in skills that will help them in their future. My latest shop is a hairdressers with a beautiful Khmer girl that I am teaching to run her own business. I am also teaching her many skills in beauty and hair. I love to see her enthusiasm and how happy she looks when a customer is happy with her work. This means a lot to me.
When I am not cutting hair or teaching, yes I do this as well, I try and help rescue and treat animals that are sick. With all my tips I buy dog medicine to give to the street dogs and to the Khmer families dogs to treat mange. Mange is also all over Cambodia and this is terribly painful for the dog or cat. As you can see in the picture below the dog looks in terrible pain and can hardly walk. When I first saw this dog my neighbour was passing by on his motorbike. He asked in Khmer what I was doing. I explained. " I cannot stand to see a dog in such terrible pain and looking so sad. So I will talk to his owner and then go to my shop to get the dog medicine to give to him." My neighbour said " But why, he is old?" My heart broke hearing those words. How would my neighbour feel if he was left in pain and with no one to help him just because he is old. So from that day on I decided I need to educate the Khmers in how to look after animals and I needed to help the animals.
I sell the medicine at my shop to help the dogs and cats that the foreigners have and also so I can buy it with my tips to treat the street dogs etc. This is for my Khmer friend Srey Long. I do this because she was also kicked out of her house / veterinary shop. She had to find new premises in Sihanoukville as she has many customers there, especially on the islands. Her rent on her new place has gone up 400%, so she was finding it hard to still keep doing her job. I decided to help her and to sell the medicine she gets to help her pay her rent. Most of her customers are now in Kampot and not Sihanoukville so it was also handy for them. I also do this to help the dogs and cats in Kampot get the correct medicine. Many of the Khmer vets are not professionally trained and do not carry in date or the correct medicine and many of the medicines are fake. Anyone, and I mean anyone, can open a shop and say they are a vet even if they have had no training. It is the same with any shop that opens here, even a pharmacy. You do not have to be a qualified pharmacist, you just have to have a qualified pharmacist sign the shop contract for you. Then you can sell what ever medicine you choose. There are no regulations.
The dog that lives near my house. Look at his progress after the medicine.
"He is old do not help him. " Well look what happens when you help. How would my neighbour feel if no one helped him when he gets old.
So while I was in my shop writing a blog, opening a twitter account, opening a instgram, working out how to fund raise and driving myself mad. A tourist came running into my shop crying. She was holding a very bad looking dog and asking me for help. She said they had been to many other shops in town and no one wanted to help. They had managed to find one restaurant and the lovely owner of the restaurant called Simple Things sent them to me. He knew I would help and he was right. I did, I took the dog straight to the vets. She then got transported to Phnom Penh and has been having treatment to get her all better. She is doing so well and I phone them often to find out about her. They told me she is such a happy and fun dog. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her. The way she looked at me with that “thank you so much for helping me” face made my heart melt. She also reminded me of King, the dog they stole. I would love to keep her but with 20 rescued chickens, 4 rescued ducks, 3 rescued cats and two rescued dogs I think my boyfriend will kill me if I come home with another animal. Hopefully we will be able to get her ready and this wonderful couple that found her will be able to get her sent to Germany for her forever home. This is also a lot of hard work to organise but I will do it. I will get her a forever home.
Below is the picture of her when they found her.
This is a picture of her now, thank you to the amazing work P.P.A.W.S have done.
So I have set myself a goal and a target. Thats what these sites tell you to do and I listen.
I am going to raise enough money to help this country, the Khmer people and obviously the animals.
So my first goal is to raise a lot of money and I mean a lot as my goal will cost a lot.
My second goal is to use the money I have raised to get a local Khmer vet called Phearum more professional training. So he will be able to treat any animal in the correct way. I want to open a shop for him so he can treat the ex pats and the locals pets. I want him to be able to explain to the Khmers about how to look after an animal. The money he makes from this shop will help to support the running costs of the shop, himself and his new family. As he will be getting married on the 1st May 2019. I will help him run his business and train him in how to run it himself. Phearum is a policeman with a huge heart for animals.
My third goal is I want to order enough vaccines to inoculate every dog and cat in my now beautiful town called Kampot. I will drive around in a car with a loud speaker with two vets translating into Khmer, as my Khmer is not perfect enough for animal talk. We will set up several stations around Kampot where people can bring their animals to be vaccinated, treated for mange and neutered if they choose to for FREE. That is if we have enough money to neuter them for free so we will see. There are many street dogs and cats in Cambodia and I would like to get them neutered to stop the mass amount of over breeding but that will be an even bigger mission.
After giving every animal a free rabies vaccine and other free vaccines we will then give the customers the information in Khmer and English to explain why it is important to vaccinate or de sex your animals. That this can help save yours, your families and your animals life.
They will each be given an animal book with a photo of the animal with the medicines and treatments they have received. They will then know the date of when their next vaccinations are due. They will then be able to go to the Khmer vets shop and get their next vaccination for free. We will have a donation box there as well so those that want to can donate. Then we can continue what we are doing without having to keep asking for more money as I am sure we will run out. We will do these mobile stations regularly until we have treated all the animals in our area.
Recently a 10-year-old girl died of rabies and because of social media this went viral. Due to lack of education about rabies many people are gang killing any dog that barks at them. They do this in a very brutal way which I will not go into. I need to stop this and educate the Khmers.
My final goal is also to donate money and medicines to the other rescues centres and vets in other areas of Cambodia, that is after our Kampot mission. This will be evenly split between C.A.P.A, P.P.A.W.S, Animal Mama and Unicats café.
Please look up these places on Facebook. Some of these places are rescue centres, so they need donations too. With my help they can then get an animal in a healthy state and ready for adoption. They are all not for profit organizations that do fantastic work saving many animals every year. I have a strong relationship with these rescue organizations and vets and I believe they will also put to good use every single dollar they receive, saving as many dogs and cats lives as possible.
So please look at my go fund me and please spread the word. This needs to go viral. Please donate if you can even a few dollars/ pounds makes a huge difference to an animals life. You will feel so proud of what you are doing. You will be doing something so beautiful and so helpful for others. It does not take anything but a few minutes of your time.
Pay it forward.
As soon as the fund raiser ends, we will be making a Facebook page, twitter posts, Instgram and of course my Blog. So you can all see the work we and you have done. We will post proof of Wing transfer receipts on our social media sites so you can see exactly where your donation has gone. We want to give all of these rescue places, street animals, humans and pets the best chance possible. We would be incredibly grateful for any donations that you can spare to help Cambodia be free of rabies. It will make travelling here feel a lot safer and more beautiful than the country already is.
You can also find up dates on the sites, well that is when I have time to add them.
Thank you, Chantel.
Can’t donate? Please share. Even a quick share on Facebook can help.
The average share raises $97.
Looking to raise money?