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NO LONGER ALONE


"The kindness shown to me by people is a catalyst for me to forge ahead"
* Story by Chompoo Trakullertsathien
* Photo by Suchad Hangsa
(Bangkok Post newspaper)

 Two people, one a tourist, the other a locl were deeply effected by a story they read recently in Outlook.

 The vibrant sights of the City of Angels never fail to impress Rossana Seccabiana whenever she visits Thailand. But this year, this Italian holiday-maker found something touching and heart-wrenching, yet inspirational.

 With a little luck, Aniporn Sirisomboon, 65, made a large sum of money selling one of her houses. But instead of spending it on luxuries, Amporn will give some of it to someone she has never met.

 Seccabiana and Amporn shared the same feelings and resolution after reading about Areeporn Maharouy and how she has dedicated 10 years of her life to rescuing stray dogs and cats. Her story was published in Outlook oil March 2 and 9, and it encouraged several animal lovers, Seccabiana and Ampom included, to lend a helping hand.

 On the last day of her holiday, Seccabiana cancelled her plans. She and her Italian friend, Federica Borsato Azzoni, who lives in Thailand, instead chose to visit Areeporn, her dogs and her cats.

 "We were sad reading about all the dogs and cats in need, but happy to know there was somebody taking care of them. We thought that anyone who loves animals as much as Khun Areeporn deserved our attention and help," said Azzoni.

 What they saw when they visited her revealed another side of the City of Angels, and it left them speechless.

 "I don't think we can describe our feelings. It was so distressing to see so many dogs and cats in need of help, and so good to see a beautiful woman like Khun Areeporn dedicating her life, her energy, money, house and all she has to helping them," said Seccabiana.

 After spending three hours with Areeporn, Azzoni and Seccabiana gave her some money to help out, and a promise to return.

"We strongly believe that she demonstrates every day how much she loves the animalร, but unfortunately she has no help, no money, no.car ... she needs a lot of help from people and vets," noted Seccabiana.

Although Amporn could not visit Areeporn because -she herself has So take qireofl7 dogs arid 10 cats she also rescued from the streets and temples, sfie is willing to support her by giving her.a donation.

"After reading Areeporn's story, I really understand what she is doing and I was so impressed by her life and kindness. We're like-mined people, so why not help her. Luckily, I still have some money so I can support her and other people like her. These people are trying hard to give the street animals better lives. I really want to help them as much as I can," said Amporn.

And it is not just Seccabiana and Amporn who want to donate money and time to help Areeporn's dogs and cats — there are many Bangkok Post readers, many of them foreigners and tourists, who want to show their support for this animal-loving lady.

At the moment, Areeporn has her hands full - seven dogs and eight cats have been neutered, four abandoned kittens have been rescued and are now staying at a local clinic, all the dogs infected with blood parasites have been treated and the puppies and kittens have been vaccinated. Two dogs with cancer have been sent to Chulalongkorn University's Small Animal Hospital for treatment.

"I feel so grateful to everyone who helps. I can't believe that there are so many kind people who see value in an animal's life. Every single baht they give to my animals is so meaningful because it means that their lives can be lengthened one more day," she said.

"I really don't know how to repay their kindness. I wish all the good things they give to the animals return to them all" These people make me feel better and strong enough to continue my mission since there are still so many dogs and cats needing urgent help," added Areeporn.
1 have to stand on my own feet, as i once did: The kindness shown to me by people is a catalyst for me to forge ahead," she said.

Areeporn said that everyone can help solve the problem of stray animals, and she would like to drive home a simple message to all pet owners: "Neuter your pets and don't dump them. Animals have feelings, just like us. When you dump your pets on the street or at a temple, the chances of them surviving are slim to zero. Many of them refuse to eat because they miss their master, and they die. If you want to keep an animal, you should be more responsible. Please take care of them until their last day, she said.

   



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