Five years ago, one man’s broken heart began to transform the life of many dogs living on the streets of Thailand. He is now known as, “the man who rescues dogs.”Fifteen years ago Scottish born restaurateur Michael J. Baines moved to Thailand after visiting the country with his wife. The couple relocated from Sweden, where they had also lived, and started a restaurant business there.
One day, while at work, a malnourished street dog came by in search of food and her sad situation changed his life:“It’s hard to explain what happened. The dog looked into my eyes and said, ‘Help me! I’m hurt. I’m hungry.’ She touched my soul.”The dog he saw that day had newborn puppies and was very skinny. Her suffering broke his heart and he began feeding her daily.
He said, “That’s how it all started. And, then it just kept going. I simply could not stand to see dogs in distress.”
According to his post on Facebook, “I pass them every day to and from work while I walk my own dogs, who were all street dogs as well. I just can’t look at them and do nothing.” The Baines currently live with their 11 adopted street dogs:
“These were dogs I adopted because I thought nobody wanted them. Eleven dogs is my limit,” Michael joked. “Twelve would be crazy, right?”
Michael is very committed to the dogs and has a very compassionate heart. Three times each day he drives to various locations to feed the dogs. While there, he also provides them with love and some human companionship.
His fills their clean bowls with dry dog food, rice, oil, steamed fish, chicken, and homemade broth so they are not eating off the ground. While they eat their meals, he pets and loves on them.
“The dogs that I take care of are doing well, though many still suffer from lack of food or medicine. I mix deworming medicine into their food once a month, so that helps with fighting against heartworms and ticks,” he told Newsner. In 2016, Newsner made a video of Michael feeding stray dogs — simply doing what he does every day. The video was shared by many other online outlets. It went viral.
After the Newsner story, more people became aware of The Baines and their mission. That was five years ago and Michael is still hard at work feeding the street dogs of Thailand. His dedication to the dogs does not stop there. He also helps disabled and injured dogs. So far, he has paid for the sterilization of hundreds of dogs and placed many in loving homes.
“Street dogs are not the actual problem in Thailand — it’s people who do not take responsibility for the dogs they own. Those dogs don’t get sterilized, and female are free to mate and so too many puppies are born. Then many people buy puppies because they are cute when they’re babies, but as soon as they grow up and become “too big” and not so cute anymore, they’re dumped on the street.”
He shared a story about a dog named Coke. Coke had a caring owner but liked to interact with Michael while on his walks. One day Michael noticed he had not seen Coke recently and went to visit his owner to inquire about him. His owner shared with Michael that Coke and been hit by a street bike and could no longer walk.
Michael arranged for his vet to examine Coke and it was confirmed he had a broken back and was in fact paralyzed. Michael beseeched the owner to accept a wheelchair for Coke but the owner asked Michael to take the dog home. Michael did – his heart is just that big and today Coke runs everywhere with help from his wheels.
Michael and his wife have also started a non-profit called The Man That Rescues Dogs, and have raised funds and built shelters for dogs. In addition, they have rooms above their restaurant, The Carrot, where they house injured and disabled dogs that can’t make it on the street. Along with their team, they currently care for around 520 dogs – 300 in the shelter, 60 in foster, and 160 street dogs.
To continue all the work they do, the Baines need your support. Currently they help abandoned, abused, injured, disabled dogs. They medicate, vaccinate, rehabilitate, socialize, spay, neuter, and help place the dogs in homes.
From the Man that Rescues Dogs, “They’re honest. They don’t lie. They live in the present. Dogs are good!” These words are so true. Bless these people for all they do for the helpless dogs.