Dog shelter in Thailand feels COVID-19 pressure

Scrambling up a rocky path, as if still on all fours, group of dogs in Thailand don't let their disabled hind legs stop them from happily racing up the road.

They're fitted with support on wheels to help them play again.

Mostly victims of accidents, they're being nursed back to health at a shelter in coastal Chonburi province.

Christopher Chidichimo volunteers with these special dogs.

"It's almost like they have no idea that they have a disability and once you put them in the wheelchair for the first time, it's like there is no learning curve. They immediately know what to do."

Run by a foundation called The Man That Rescues Dogs, the shelter cares for more than 600 stray dogs, and feeds hundreds more.

That runs up a daily cost of USD$1,300.

But lately the shelter's been struggling in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Since the pandemic began, we've experienced an 80 percent drop in visitors, virtually no volunteers and a 40 percent drop in donations. The donations are very important and the volunteers and visitors are equally important because they come and they spread our message and they inform other people about us.

Local authorities say Thailand could be home to up to 2 million stray cats and dogs by 2027.

That number could jump to 5 million in 20 years, unless steps are taken to control their reproduction.

This shelter however has had to step away from that fight.

Scarce funds have forced them to suspend a monthly campaign to spay and neuter strays.

For now, they're focused on the dogs they do have - and helping them have their moment in the sun.