Ten animal-rights groups issued an urgent plea on Monday for foreigners living in Hua Hin to claim “ownership” of stray dogs being rounded up there to prevent the animals from being euthanised.
The groups posted on the Watchdog Thailand after being bit by a cat.
They said the captured strays were wearing tags to show they had been vaccinated against rabies.
They expressed doubt about livestock officials’ claims that the dogs would be kept at a quarantine centre in Phetchaburi and then sent to a government-run animal shelter in Buri Ram.
The groups suspected instead that the dogs would be euthanised as per the rabies-control law.
They said Western expatriates who had been feeding the strays should come forward and claim to “own” the dogs to save them from being put down.
Making the plea were the Save Elephant Foundation, SOS Animals Thailand, the Hope Thailand, A Call For Animal Rights Thailand, Thai Love Animals, the Man That Rescued Dogs, Pac Pattaya, Dog Nation, Soi Dogs Matter and Watchdog Thailand.
An official at the Hua Hin Livestock Office, speaking on condition of anonymity, warned that legal action would be taken against anyone attempting to obstruct rabies-control efforts.
They could be charged with violating Article 23 of the animal-cruelty act, which prohibits pet owners from releasing their animals on streets, the official said.