Michael Baines gets up at about 5:00 a.m. each morning. He’s the chef and general manager of the restaurant Carrot in Chonburi, Thailand, but this job isn’t the reason he wakes up so early every morning — it’s the stray dogs who depend on him for their daily sustenance.
Baines grew up in Sweden, but he moved to Thailand in 2002 after vacationing a few times in the country. Before working at Carrot, he used to run his own restaurant.
His life changed when a mama dog wandered into the establishment one day. The profound sadness in her eyes broke Baines’s heart. He began to feed and care for her, and that was the beginning of his mission to do everything he could for the strays of Thailand.
It has been eight years since Baines started his work, and today he feeds approximately 160 street dogs on his daily rounds. But that’s not all. His non-profit, The man that rescues dogs, cares for 300 canines at its shelter as well as 60 pooches in foster care.
Before Baines established the shelter, he used to accommodate strays in the room above his restaurant. In 2016, he and his partner decided to rent a house so they would have space for more dogs.
Finally, in 2017, he acquired a pound from the government and whipped it into shape. Baines has even greater plans, though. Initially, he planned on expanding his shelter into the woods right next to it.
However, he couldn’t get permission as it’s a public area, so now Baines intends to build an extension located near the shelter. Thus far, he’s raised 39% of his $21,000 goal.
Baines also wants to establish a veterinary clinic to help with his organization’s expenses. The rescue depends on donations, but the clinic would be a more stable source of funds.
With the number of strays in Thailand, the work is never-ending. However, Baines couldn’t be happier, sharing that it’s the canines who keep him going. Watch him feeding street dogs in the video below: