Animal Rescue Center For Koh Lipe

The Story

My name is Désirée; I am a dedicated animal lover, animal rights activist and the founder of HalfwayHouse 4 Paws. 

I am part of a team of people who are running the project Help 4 Strays and who are trying to make the vision of an Animal Rescue Center on Koh Lipe a reality.

Our mission is to improve the living conditions of all the homeless dogs and cats on Koh Lipe and to prevent them from suffering and death due to overpopulation and preventable diseases.
For nearly 5 years HalfwayHouse 4 Paws has provided a safe haven to strays on Koh Lipe that had no-where else to turn. When we started there were no regular sterilization or medical care programs for the strays in place. Until today we have to transport strays who are in a live threatening condition to the mainland because there is no veterinary clinic on the Island.

In close teamwork with our partners and friends of Animal Care Lipe we launched feeding programs, sterilized hundreds of strays on the Island during our mobile clinics and helped to save the lives of countless homeless cats and dogs by providing basic medical care on the Island and hospitalizations on the mainland.
Often animals are in need for long term care for rehabilitation or because they can't cope well with the life on the streets i.e. because of age or disabilities.

Since we don't have an own shelter or rescue center yet we have to work with a pet boarding facility and fosters on the mainland to grant long term care. But this is costly and our project has now reached a size where it is no longer a suitable solution. With over 40 animals per month in long term care it is simply no longer affordable. While approx. 20% of the monthly costs for the whole project including long term care and hospitalizations, transports to the mainland, mobile clinics, feeding and basic medical care programs are covered by donations I still pay the remaining 80% from my private income. This means that my private budget is stretched to the absolute limit and I can’t afford to keep the long term care up if we don’t find another solution. But we have a vision and a possible solution.

The Vision

Our vision is to open an Animal Rescue Center on Koh Lipe. This would not only help us to reduce the monthly costs for transports and long-term care but would also enable us to help more strays in need in a more efficient way.

The Help 4 Strays Rescue Center will be a temporary or permanent home for ill, injured and orphaned cats and dogs. Our Rescue Center will provide medical care, sterilizations, rehabilitations, round-the-clock care and comfort to strays that would otherwise be unable to survive on the streets.

Cats and Dogs will be treated by professional veterinarians, caregivers and a hard-working team of staff and volunteers.
When they are healed and healthy, most animals will be reintroduced to the areas where they used to live before they got ill or injured while we will try to find loving homes for those strays that are in our long-term care and unable to cope well with the life on the streets i.e. because of age or disabilities. 
In addition, our Rescue Center will provide educational services to the residents and visitors of Koh Lipe.

The Obstacles and the Solution

The fact that huge parts of the land on Koh Lipe belongs to the national park and that there are many land problems makes it extremely difficult to find legal land for an affordable price. I have been searching and networking for more than two years before I’ve been offered now a chance in a thousand.

I finally got the opportunity to rent legal land for long term and to buy the building on it for a very reasonable price.

At first this seemed like an impossible task, HalfwayHouse 4 Paws is a small foundation with no governmental funding. We rely on fundraising and donations and have close to 500 strays on Koh Lipe to care for. Even though the price for the land and the building are very reasonable for Koh Lipe it is way too much as that we could afford it with our foundation.

To find a solution, I had to think out of the box.

The land is spacious enough for a shelter for the strays in our care and to build a few bungalows in addition. The building consists of twelve rooms of which one could be used for a veterinary clinic and the remaining could be rented out.

This led me to the idea of establishing a guesthouse that will offer a unique experience, reasonable room rates and a chance to meet the amazing rescued animals who will call Help4Strays Rescue Center home as well as it will support the project with part of the profit.

The advantages of this solution are that the costs for buying the building and for the rent of the land will be shared between me and my business partner which makes it much more affordable while we will grant land and facilities for the Animal Rescue Center and support the project sustainable with part of the profit.
One of the core parts of this solution is operating from a business model which can sustain itself long term and support the Animal Rescue Center significant.

With this solution our foundation will be able to save approx. 50% of the monthly costs for the animals in our long-term care by establishing our own Animal Rescue Center. We are talking about a saving of approx. EUR 26’000.- per year.
This will enable us to help much more animals on the Island and to further improve their living conditions as well as to set up educational programs.

We can’t do it alone

We were there for these animals when they had no one else and now we need you to be here for us.
Together we can make this dream a reality.

My business partner already chipped in with his part. To complete the purchase of the property I need to contribute my part which is EUR 30000.- within the next three months.
I can’t do this on my own since I invest already all my private money that is left after paying my personal fix costs into the project to cover the ongoing costs.

I personally reach out to you, asking for your help.
This project is NOT about me, it's about the animals. I dedicated my life to help these animals because I simply can’t look away when I see animals suffering.

Our strays in need deserve a stable place where we can provide all the care they need in an environment that understands their unique needs.

Are you one of the heroes who is going to help make that happen?

If you prefer to donate in an other currency then you can do so by donating by 


or by bank transfer:

IBAN/Konto-Nr.: CH92 8145 6000 0068 5867 4
Raiffeisenbank Hünenberg,
Bösch 106, CH-6331 Hünenberg
Beneficiary of payment:
Bösch 106, CH-6331 Hünenberg

Learn more about our work: 

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Désirée Hunziker 
Hünenberg, ZG, Switzerland
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