According to a survey conducted by the Thai Department of Livestock Development in 2016 on dog populations, 750,000 of Thailand's 6.7 million dogs are stray, with the number continuing to rise. It is estimated that there are 100,000 to 300,000 street dogs in Bangkok alone. These animals roam the busy streets, where they are constantly exposed to tough weather conditions, disasters, and ill treatment because they have no one looking after them.
The Thai government recently announced its intention to convert billboards across the country into foldable animal shelters. This simple idea demonstrates that an innovative idea does not have to be elaborate or costly to be effective.
Stand for Strays, a Thai community group, came up with a brilliant idea to protect its stray dogs from the heat and rain. The group designed a Homeless Allot Model, a functional shelter for stray dogs made of recycled billboards.
Ajarn Yossaphon Chanthongjeen, who was studying for his doctorate at the time, came up with the concept for the shelters. The refitted billboard is used as a portable structure that can be placed anywhere in Thailand.
The billboard panel is placed flat against a wall and is held in place by hinges at the top. The bottom of the shelter can be opened to create a tent-like canopy for any dog in need. On the back of the panel, a small platform has been installed to keep the dog above ground level. The panels are constructed in such a way that pedestrians can easily unfold them if they notice a stray dog roaming around the area.
Interior designer Yodsa Gap shared a picture of the initiative with the caption (as translated), "Installing shelter for stray dogs in the community with small architecture. It can protect stray dogs from sunlight and rain and improves the living conditions for both humans and dogs."
Netizens loved and idea and thought it should be incorporated everywhere. Here are some of the reactions: