My name is Meila.

My name is Meila.

posted in: Dog Stories, General News | 0

I am an adorable, super-affectionate 5 year old spayed female who resembles a miniature German Shepherd, as I weigh in at just 35 pounds. It’s hard to believe it when you meet me and discover how sweet and happy I am today, but I was rescued from the brutal and illegal southeast Asian dog meat trade…luckily, I am now safe, but desperately craving a forever family to call my very own!

When I was rescued in 2013, I was in a ‘crush cage’ among many others, about to be illegally smuggled across Thailand’s border into neighboring nations where I would have been tortured before being eaten – a customary practice, as adrenaline is thought to make dog meat more tasty. Today, against all odds, I am instead prancing with joy to be safe from harm!

The Thai Royal Police, suspicious of a large tarp-covered truck that was about to cross the northern border, discovered dozens of us huddling in terror and crushed into rusty wire cages like sardines. We were rescued and sent onwards (but yes, still in crush cages) to Khemmarat, a government-run livestock center in Thailand. Although we were saved, we were not really yet safe…

Unfortunately many of us simply could not survive at these facilities due to overcrowding, lack of food and clean water, lack of medical care, and deadly diseases and dog fights. Not only mist we persist through all these difficulties…but then we must be lucky enough to be selected, out of thousands of others, for sponsorship and transferral to the few safe havens willing to take us around Thailand.

Bernadette, a loving and compassionate dog lover overseas who supported Elfesworld dog sanctuary, saw my photo – and from a picture alone, she was moved to save my life with financial help that brought me all the way here to the Thai island of Koh Samui where the sanctuary is located.

And that’s not all. Bernadette has continued to sponsor my monthly fees for four years now, as she hoped against hope that I would be selected further still, this time for overseas adoption. And now her (and of course, Elfe’s and my!) dream has finally come true at last! But I will never stop being grateful to her for giving me not only my second chance at life, back then when I was at Khemmarat… but also now, my third and final – and BEST – chance!! For I am headed next to the USA, where Elfe tells me I will learn all about life as a true family pet, in a home of my own, with humans I can live with and love in an actual house! I can’t wait…I am a real-life rags to riches story.

Elfesworld receives many visitors, domestically and from overseas. There are nearly 700 dogs sheltered at this dog sanctuary, and the vast majority have been rescued from the dog meat trade. The sanctuary is large and sprawling, with dogs split into groups of varying sizes, depending on their temperaments and ability to live with one another.

I spent the first couple of years in a standard run, with many dog friends. I am a very alert, clever girl and although I can chill out with the best of them, I can also call upon a reserve of spirited energy to run and play with friends when the need arises!
I am very athletic, and after a couple of years of waiting for visitors to come to me, I had had enough. I decided that I would come to the visitors!
I began to surprise Elfe and many of her visitors by climbing the fence of my run and bounding to greet them! You see, I am extremely sociable, and can’t get enough love! And by living in a run that was farther from the front of the sanctuary, my chances at getting pets and cuddles were lower than those closer to the house and front runs. So I decided to up my odds by taking matters into my own hands!
However, I am an extremely clever girl as well, and whenever I noticed workers, carers, visitors, or Elfe acting displeased with my shenanigans, I wisely and quickly retreated to my run, flying back over the fence, and attempting to pretend that I had not escaped in the first place. I think, for some odd reason, they were wise to me, however…I don’t know why, because I looked perfectly innocent, as you can see below!
After such a situation, I would bide my time wisely and try my best to stay in my enclosure. And some time would pass, and everyone would think I had cured myself of my habit.
But people are addicting! I just cannot get enough of their love!!
And although people are my primary love, I adore socializing with doggie pals as well, so I could never quite fully stop. Sometimes, I jumped the fence to greet visitors still, but other times, I surprised mama Elfe by greeting her with wagging tail – in ANOTHER run – hahaha! Not surprisingly, always another run where I had some good doggie friends I liked visiting with…

I guess you could say that in the end, my antics caught up with me. They actually improved my circumstances considerably! – I was moved two years ago into a large run at the front of the sanctuary, so I now get almost daily visits and cuddles, which fills me with great joy!

However, at the same time, I sleep overnight in a cage, because moving runs meant leaving some of my very best friends behind.

This part makes me sad….but as I said, if forced to choose – I would choose the human love first and foremost. So it’s been worth the trade off.

However, Elfe knows me all too well! If I had my chance, I would spend my days obediently in my run, watching for visitors and carers, and loving any affection I am able to garner from them! But most likely, I would also take the opportunity – come nightfall when the visitors dry up – to hop my fence and go see my old friends further in the sanctuary. So bedtime for me must be in a cage, these days.
But I have no complaints. This life I’ve been living has been an absolute paradise, compared to what was in store for me four years ago, when I was just an innocent pup!
However, when Elfe was given the chance to select five of us for overseas travel with a wonderful flight volunteer, she jumped at the chance to offer me a spot, knowing how much I love people, and how great a candidate I am for a home of my very own!
Thanks for taking the time to read my story! I am so excited to begin this amazing new chapter in my life that has already been so full of incredible twists and turns…I hope you are right around the corner for me, and the biggest part of my next and final and best chapter!
Love, Meila

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If you are interested in adopting Meila, please contact Dawn Trimmel at You can also find our adoption application here.

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If you would like to support this brave dog meat trade survivor’s journey to a new life, please consider donating and sharing her fundraising page, which can be found at – every penny helps bring Meila one step closer to a forever family and home. Thank you!