Downtown dog owners don’t have many options. Apart from a few pooch-friendly parks operated by the city on the outskirts, inner Bangkok has few options apart from fancy private facilities for the bougiest of breeds.
That’s why Bangkok’s leash holders are hounding City Hall for a little canine accommodation in a sprawling, soon-to-open downtown park expansion by collecting signatures to show their pack is formidable.
“There’s not many green areas where you can walk a dog,” said Karan Kukreja, who’s nearly halfway toward collecting the 10,000 signatures he wants to present to the parks department. “There’s crowded streets that are very noisy, polluted. Dogs aren’t enjoying it, and people aren’t enjoying it either.”
They aren’t expecting everything to go to the dogs in the Benjakitti Forest Park – an ecologically progressive expansion that will more than double the existing park’s size when it opens early next year.
Instead, they would like to see a designated area where people can bring their dogs, with some enclosed space for off-leash antics, and some area where they can be walked on-leash.
Karan, a 37-year-old campaigner for animal advocacy group Four Paws, said it’s good not just for the animals’ welfare, but that of their humans as well.
“I see so many dogs in Bangkok, and they never get walked,” he said. “I don’t blame the owners, there just aren’t many pleasant places to walk them. It can lead to behavioral issues [and contribute to their] abandonment. It can lead to unhappy dogs and unhappy people.”
Unlike many pointless petitions in circulation, his could tip the balance. The petition, available in Thai and English, was addressed to the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration after it said it would consider a dog-friendly space if there was enough public support.
As of Tuesday afternoon, it had nearly 4,000 signatures.
If that pitch doesn’t move your needle, here are some persuasive GIFs from the issue’s stakeholders and one cat ally.