The full story of how Stray Faces came to be:
Our journey began in late 2016 when Tony and I (Roxanne) first met.
Our desire for something more in life quickly drew us together and not long after, we decided to both quit our 9-5 jobs, sell all of our possessions, and set off into the world in hopes of finding something more fulfilling in life -- our calling.
We didn't know where we were going or why, but we knew there had to be something more for us out there then the mundane, repetitive and meaningless lives we had been living.
What was originally planned to be a 6-month backpacking trip throughout Southeast Asia, quickly turned into something that we would of never expected.
As we began our journey backpacking Southeast Asia, we started to notice the countless number of stray animals that lined the streets... something neither of us had ever seen before as Canadians.
Like many others visiting Southeast Asia, we knew we wanted to help but we didn't know how... The problem seemed so extreme and hopeless that we had no choice but to continue forward and turn our backs on the problem. In an effort to help in what ways we could, we decided to start feeding the ones we encountered along the way and before we knew it, we were carrying pet food with us wherever we went.
After 1 short month into our trip, we found ourselves at the peak of a hill by a temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand and it was there that we met a dog we eventually named "Dipper".
Before we had met Dipper, we never truly had a deep bond or connection with any of the others strays we had fed. But Dipper was unlike any other stray we had ever met. Other dogs had always been wary and standoffish, but not Dipper. He approached us as if he had known us his whole life and just like that, we fell in love with Dipper the stray dog.
We went back to our room that night and couldn't help but to think about Dipper. Although Tony and I had always been animal lovers, we never shared such an immediate bond with an animal before. We had 5 months left in our backpacking trip and plenty more to see, but no matter how hard we tried, we couldn't shake the thought of leaving Dipper behind.
That's when we decided to drop the rest of our trip in order to stray with Dipper in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
We struggled to find a pet-friendly place to bring him home to so we drove up to the mountain top every day. It wasn't long after that when we realized that Dipper wasn't alone and many other strays started to emerge. Feeding Dipper along with all the other strays quickly became part of our daily routine, and before we knew it, we were making the 90-minute journey up the mountain daily to ensure they were all fed.
Some time passed and finally, we were able to take Dipper home. We were delighted to finally be able to bring him home with us but something was off.
Dippers health rapidly began to decline. We quickly took him to the vet and that's when we learned about Distemper - a fatal viral infection with no known cure that affected many strays.
Unfortunately, distemper eventually caught up with Dipper and he passed away not long after being diagnosed. It was then that we decided to do what we could to help the stray animals. After using up all of our own time, money and resources, we came to the sad realization that we could never do it on our own and decided to launch a gofundme campaign in hopes of helping the other strays before it was too late.
After speaking and working with various organizations in the area, we learned how much of an uphill battle we were truly facing and we knew we could never do it on our own. We knew we had to find a way and it was then that Stray Faces was born.
A social enterprise built to fund a cause.
Our cause. Our passion. Our calling.