Chinggis Khan: The Gobi Desert Dog

The short version:
Help us pay vet bills and send a stray dog to be adopted in the U.S. Here in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, this dog's chance of survival is minimal, here's why. Since 2005 in Mongolia, the government has been hiring private companies, DEATH SQUADS, that go into the ger districts between 12am and 6am and mercilessly shoot ANY dog that they see. This includes pets, and is also incredibly dangerous for small children, who are often on their way to school in the early morning. The government continues to refuse the slightly more expensive option (only expensive in the short term) of spaying and neutering stray animals. This is a large dog, if he's adopted here he will most likely end up in a ger district as a guard dog, and where he isn't able to move quickly due to previous injuries, he will surely be shot and killed at some point in the near future.

The long version: On the afternoon of May 25th, while on a 14 day tour of Southern Mongolia, our tour van stopped at a market in a small village about 100 km south of Gobi City. Here we found a collapsed dog and tried to give him some water. The 6 of us (an American, Brit, Swede, Russian, Dutch, and Portuguese) quickly realized he was in bad shape so we picked him up and moved him into the shade where we tried to feed him, however he wouldn't eat and gradually became unconscious. Incredibly, there were three American veterinary students also stopped at this market. They rushed over to help and confirmed our suspicions that this dog was dying and there was nothing any of us could do. They estimated him to be around 2 years old, severely malnourished with almost no muscle mass left, dehydrated, and dying of heatstroke.

The vets poured water over him and made him as comfortable as possible. All 9 of us agreed to stay with him until he died. His heart stopped beating twice, but each time he would start breathing again. After two hours of waiting for him to die, he suddenly tried to sit up and drink water. Needless to say, we were all shocked. The three vets said they had never seen a dog so severely dehydrated recover without an IV, ever. We were 700 km away from the capital city, Ulaanbaatar, which is where the ONLY vet clinics in all of Mongolia are.

Our guide, Gira, asked around the village about the dog. She found out that he had been wandering around the village for at least two months- most likely dumped there by a nomadic family traveling through the area (nomadic families move around 2-6 times a year, depending on the weather and grazing ability for their animals). Since the dog was extremely malnourished and dehydrated, it's likely that no one in this small village had bothered giving this dog any food or water for two months (during my brief time in this country, it seems as though people only take care of their own animals and not animals in general. This most likely stems from the fact that animals are solely identified as property, whereas in Western countries like the U.S., animals are usually pets with deep emotional connections to humans). 

At this point, we named him Chinggis Khaan (after the famous 13th century Mongolian warrior and founder of the Mongol Empire). We knew we couldn't leave him there to die an agonizing death, so our group bought food and water and convinced a local man to let Chinggis stay behind his house- he agreed to feed him and give him water for a week. For a week we received daily updates about Chinggis and were told that he was eating and drinking and starting to walk. Luci and I returned to Ulaanbaatar on Friday June 2nd and decided to set out on a 1400 km trip to the Gobi desert to rescue Chinggis and bring him to the animal hospital in Ulaanbaatar. Easier said than done.

Gira, our former tour guide and now friend, had a friend with the weekend off and his mom's mini-van (which we later found out couldn't go faster than 60 km per hour). We set out on Saturday morning and 16 hours later arrived at the village, not without getting stuck in the sand at 11pm in the middle of the Gobi desert and having to get out and push the car out of a small sand dune (it happened three times). It was a tough journey.

When we finally saw Chinggis, we were shocked. He had two horrible, bloody, pus covered sores on his front legs and couldn't stand up on his own. We later learned these were basically bedsores from being stuck in the same position for days. It was almost 1am so we slept on the floor for a few hours and got up at 4:30 to start getting Chinggis ready for the journey. Of course we were worried about rabies and whether or not Chinggis was friendly or would try to bite us. We wore gloves and brought a muzzle for Chinggis, however we never needed to use it because he is one of the sweetest, friendliest dogs we've ever met. He was very brave and endured the 14 hour journey like the warrior he is.

We arrived at UB Vet Clinic at 8pm on Sunday the 4th and they immediately hooked Chinggis up to an IV and cleaned out his wounds (he was too weak for pain meds so we held him down). Luci and I weren't sure what his prognosis would be- we knew it was a possibility that we might have to euthanize Chinggis; we were prepared to do whatever was best for him. However, since Chinggis was eating and drinking so enthusiastically, the vets became optimistic about the possibility of a recovery. As of today, June 9th, Chinggis has been at the UB Vet animal hospital for 5 days. He is now able to stand up on his own and can even walk short distances and his wounds are healing.

Luci and I have paid $350 dollars towards Chinggus so far. Our goal is to raise enough money for Chinggis to have 3-5 more weeks of rehabilitation and receive all of his vaccinations at UB Vet Clinic and then, once he is healthy enough, have him shipped to the U.S where he will be adopted by a family member of mine. Luckily, it's quite easy to import a dog to America- proof of a rabies vaccination is almost all that is required (sadly, it's a lot easier to get a stray dog into this country than a refugee, but that's another sad story).

I realize that there are SO MANY humanitarian crises happening right now (S*ria, Yemen, and South Sudan to name a few) and it may seem trivial to donate to Chinggis, which is understandable. However, if he remains in Mongolia, he will surely be shot and killed along with hundreds of other stray animals every year. Since 2005, the government of Mongolia employs private companies, DEATH SQUADS, that go into the ger districts between 12am and 6am and mercilessly shoot ANY dog that they see. This includes pets, and is also incredibly dangerous for small children, who are often on their way to school in the early morning. Ultimately, Luci and I would like to help set up an NGO in Mongolia that would neuter and spay all stray animals and gradually solve the problem of overpopulation. Help us stop this barbaric process by donating to our gofundme. Any extra money, not used towards getting Chinggis recovered, vaccinated, and to America, will go to UB Vet Clinic in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in order for them to spay and neuter stray animals they encounter. PLEASE DONATE! Even the smallest donation will be appreciated. Thank you!

Ashley and Luci

Chinggis' cargo ticket and vet bill:

  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 45 mos
  • Jennah Doherty 
    • $10 
    • 45 mos
  • Adam Chase 
    • $50 
    • 45 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $10 
    • 45 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 45 mos
See all


Ashley Quirion 
Gardiner, ME
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