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Martin Turner
+66 (0) 99-403-7305


Champion of Asias Street Dogs and Cats Loses Short Battle
Against Cancer
Phuket 13th February 2017 It is with profound regret and unfathomable sadness that we
announce the passing of Gill Dalley, co-founder of Soi Dog Foundation. Gill was just 58 years old.
The inaugural winner of the Canine Hero of the year award at the 2011 Animals for Asia
conference in Chengdu China, and the first non-Asian by birth to be named an Asian of the year
by Channel News Asia Singapore in their annual awards, Gill passed away after a short battle with
Having retired with husband John to Phuket in 2003, from her native Yorkshire in the UK, the
couple were determined to do something about the horrendous stray dog and cat problem they
had witnessed previously on holidays. They teamed up with Margot Homburg, a Dutch retiree who
had registered Soi Dog Foundation as a Dutch foundation the year before and had been sterilizing
dogs in her home city of Bangkok, before moving to Phuket.
Working together as dog catchers and nurses the three of them started to run mobile clinics,
utilising volunteer vets from overseas, mainly at their own expense. Barely a year later, Gill who
had been weakened by a broken rib, darted a dog which ran into a flooded former rice paddy. In
retrieving the dog she unknowingly became infected by a rare soil borne bacteria. She developed
septicemia a few days later and was given a 10% chance of survival. Beating the odds, she did
however lose both her lower legs and suffered damage to her arms. In December 2004, she
discharged herself from hospital determined she would be home by Christmas. Three days after
discharge the Asian tsunami struck, killing her best friend and volunteer Leone Cosens. Gill, still
wheelchair bound, initially counseled survivors and relatives of victims before commencing to work
at mobile clinics throughout the area.
She taught herself to walk again, and for the past 12 years refused to ever use her wheelchair,
despite her stumps often being covered with blisters and ulcers, and enduring the pain that
With Margot forced to take early retirement through ill health, she became the driving force in
expanding the work of Soi Dog Foundation, including the establishing of its first shelter. Whilst
husband John focused on the illegal Thai dog meat trade, it was Gill who took the lead in
expanding Soi Dogs sterilisation programme, preventing literally millions of unwanted puppies and
kittens being born with no future, and at the same time fulfilling Leones dream to establish a
shelter for dogs that had been victims of cruelty and abuse, and discarded puppies too young to
fend for themselves.
Over the past three years she designed and oversaw the building of the largest hospital entirely
dedicated to street dogs in Asia, and a shelter facility that is probably unmatched anywhere in the
world. A perfectionist by nature, everything had to be right, even to the type of screws used to
attach fittings. Every building at the shelter including the cat hospital was designed by Gill,
determined to provide the best possible care for those dogs and cats that had nowhere else to turn.
A diplomat she was not. She had no interest in politics. To Gill only the animals mattered and
anybody who failed to meet her standards was soon gone.
Today Soi Dog Foundation is the largest foundation in Asia working with stray dogs and cats.
Currently employing nearly 200 staff, registered in seven countries and aiming to achieve 100,000
sterilisations per year, and end the cruel Asian dog meat industry, it is expanding its operations to
other countries in the region as well as throughout Thailand. Without Gill and her determination to
carry on and beat the odds, Soi Dog Foundation simply would not exist today, and the stray dogs
and cats of the region have lost one of their greatest champions. Sadly, despite fighting bravely for
the past few weeks she faced a battle that even she could not overcome.
She leaves husband John to continue their work and her family of rescued dogs and cats.

About Soi Dog Foundation: Soi Dog Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation established in 2003, is
a legally registered charity in Thailand, the United States, Australia, Canada, the UK, France and
Holland. Its mission statement is to improve the welfare of dogs and cats in Asia, resulting in better
lives for both the animal and human communities, to create a society without homeless animals, and
to ultimately end animal cruelty. John Dalley, President and co-founder, is available for interview.

For more information please visit www.soidog.org or www.facebook.com/SoiDogPageInEnglish.

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