Heartbroken dog cafe owner has to give away beloved pets after Covid-19 restrictions killed business

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A heartbroken dog cafe owner had to give away her beloved pets after Covid-19 restrictions killed her business.

Wannaluk Boonsriroj, 28, had been running Smile Dog Cafe for three years but started losing income when the pandemic hit last year in Chiang Mai province, Thailand.

With fewer customers visiting the cafe due to travel and business restrictions, the dog lover struggled to continue operations and take care of the pooches.

Wannaluk was finally forced to close during this year’s Covid-19 wave due to a government ban on restaurants and cafes so she used her own savings to cover the shop’s 70,000 baht (1,516 GBP) losses every month until she decided to give up the dogs for sale.

Cafe owner Wannaluk Boonsriroj, 28 said: ‘It breaks my heart that I had to shut the cafe and give away my beloved dogs but the expenses of watching over all of them were too high.

‘I only have limited space at home so I can’t have all of them. I’m grateful that many people were interested in looking after them. I care for the dogs so whoever will be bringing them home should have enough to let them live comfortably.’

The cafe has a total of 28 dogs but only 18 were given up for sale as the shop owner will be taking care of the other ten in her house.

Around 50 per cent of the Thai capital’s population have already received Covid-19 vaccines but the cases still continue to rise.

Thailand has recorded 693,305 Covid-19 cases and 5,663 deaths as of August 5.

Analysts said that between now and 2026, around seven million workers in Thailand will continue to be affected by the economic harm from the Covid-19 pandemic.

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