Dog and Cat Rescue Samui – DCRS

DCRS are the longest serving rescue on the island of Koh Samui. They have a small office/shelter in Chewang and the main rescue centre location is in Taling Ngam. They have around 350 dogs in their care, numerous cats at both centres and offer free veterinary treatment for all street dogs and cats on the island. They also have an excellent spay and neuter programme. The shelter is located in the north of the island.

Location: Koh Samui, Thailand

Cost: Free

Daily expenses: Lunch , water , breakfast, snacks- Around 100-200 bht day

Accommodation: None provided. Numerous options available in Chewang from 300 bht per night upwards. If you stay in Chewang you can get a lift into the main centre, on the staff truck that goes in to Taling Ngam every morning.You just need to make sure you are at the owners house by around 8am. If you miss the truck its an expensive taxi ride in. Expect it to be a bit chaotic in the mornings whilst everyone goes about their chores and gets ready for the day. There is often a delay and something always comes up. Options nearer Taling Ngam are limited but you will be closer to the centre, its a lot quieter that side of the island so its down to preference.

The beach at Chewang where I stayed, my hostel was just off the beach.

Tasks: You will be mainly based at Taling Ngam and will help with cleaning the cat houses , cleaning the dog runs, helping with feeding and generally helping out where needed. There’s no programme in place and when I visited we were given no guidance or training, so we just got on with things ourselves. None of the staff speak English so communication can be difficult. The vet is very nice and can translate for you if needed. None of the dogs ever get walked or taken out of the runs so your duties are basically just cleaning all day. We ended up disinfecting and scrubbing the whole place, it hadn’t been given a deep clean in a very long time, and yes it was incredibly hard work.

Note: You can go just as a day visitor, to visit the centre and see what they do and maybe help out whilst you are there. If nobody is there who speaks English, or the vet is having a day off, you will be left on your own and its quite a long way to come for what you get to see. They do provide a volunteer visa for long term volunteers. This needs to be applied for in advance. Contact them direct for info on this.

Cleaning the “Cat House” where the cats that were getting sterilised stayed. I’ve heard its improved slightly since my visit.

What I liked: The only thing I liked here were the dogs. I felt really sorry for them and stayed longer than I planned in the vain hope I could improve things for them. The dogs here are really friendly and I fell in love with many. Unfortunately they will spend the rest of their lives locked up with no hope of adoption unless they are incredibly lucky as there is no adoption or rehoming process in place. I definitely had a mixed bag of emotions. Some days were really rewarding and we would be all smiles about what we had achieved, and then other days were really upsetting and depressing. It is one of the strangest and draining volunteer experiences I’ve ever had. Please feel free to email me direct if you are considering volunteering here, and I can give you more details about my experience.

Other things to note: Although I acknowledge they are actually doing a great thing in Samui , including feeding many temple dogs, beach and street dogs and offering an excellent free spay and nuteuring programme, on a personal level this was my least favourite rescue centre. The centre at Taling Ngam needs much improvement on many levels down to refurbishing the whole centre, to completely changing how its run. Its probably best I leave it at that. Feel free to contact me for more info.

Do I recommend here: No