Starting five years ago, one man’s broken heart began to transform the life of dogs on the streets of Thailand. He is now known as “the man who rescues dogs.”.
Fifteen years ago Scots-born restaurant entrepreneur Michael J. Baines moved to Thailand to start a business there after visiting with his wife.
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.”
One day, a dog is seen with newborn puppies. Seeing the suffering in the eyes of this poor animal breaks his heart and he begins to feed her daily. He said, “That’s how things started out for me; I just couldn’t stand seeing dogs like that.”
The man shares an inspirational story about how his initial acts of kindness snowballed into something bigger than he could have fathomed at first!
According to his post on FB, “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 eleven 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 has a strong relationship with his pets. He drives to various locations daily to feed the dogs. During these trips, he also takes the time out to provide the dogs with love and some companionship.
His feeds his dogs with dry dog food, rice, oil and steamed fish. He also makes a homemade broth to feed them so they don’t have to eat off the ground. While they eat their meals – petting and loving on them- he notices that they are happy!
“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 exiting his house to feed stray dogs. It wasn’t until many other online outlets posted the video that it went viral.
After the publication of his story, other reporters became aware of Baines and his mission. His dedication continues even five years later. His efforts help disabled and injured dogs in in Thailand. He helps a shelter and sterilizes more dogs than previously thought. Thousands of dogs have been given loving homes. He does not stop his quest until every dog feels happy.
“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 an owner who loved him, but sometimes he liked to interact with Michael while on their walks. One day, Michael noticed that Coke had been missing from his daily walks. So he went to visit the owner of Coke and asked if there was anything wrong with him. The owner shared that one day while they were walking together on the streets of Chicago, a bike rider hit Coke hard enough so he could no longer walk back home by himself.
After Michael arranged for his vet to examine Coke. Coke was found to have a broken back and was in fact paralyzed. He beseeched the owner if he could get a wheelchair for Coke, but the owner asked Michael to take the dog home. Michael took the dog home and today the dog runs around with help from his wheelchair.
Michael and his wife launched a non-profit called The Man That Rescues Dogs to help dogs in need. They have helped raise funds and build shelters, as well as host rescued dogs in the room above their restaurant, Carrot. Michael has worked with over 520 abused or abandoned animals so far – 300 are sheltered at their facility, 60 are fostered by humans right now, 160 that they take care of on the streets.
You can help the Baines continue their work as they assist abandoned, abused and injured dogs. They medicate and vaccinate the animals; they rehabilitate them and ensure their socialization, they help place the dogs in homes.
From the man that rescues dogs, “Dogs are honest and they don’t lie. They live in the present. Dogs are good!” These words are so true. Bless these people who give dogs a second chance at life, even if they don’t have one themselves!