Here’s How to Support Balinese Dogs (With Little to No Effort)
Walking down the streets of Bali offers a myriad of sensory delights. The roaming street dogs are a consistent part of the Balinese landscape. They’re as much a part of the community as the roaming monkeys and incense offerings in every shop.
Dogs from the Perspective of Bali Locals
The street dogs in Bali are not seen as pets, and the relationship Balinese people have with dogs is very different than the ones that fit into the cultural context of Western life. The Bali locals do not classify dogs as pets. Due to growing poverty, a lot of dog owners who can’t afford sterilizations and injections end up letting their dogs run loose on the streets. Most of the time, Balinese people do not show their dogs affection by touching them.
How the locals treat dogs (and what you should watch out for)
For hundreds of years, Balinese people have eaten dogs for ceremonial purposes. So dog meat is seen as more profitable for vendors, and it’s seen as a good source of protein. Nevertheless, the illegal culling and treatment of dogs is staggering. Every year in Bali, over 70,000 dogs are slaughtered in the most grotesque ways possible—with imminent cruelty, poisoning, and more. Eating dog meat is not illegal, but animal cruelty and the distribution of contaminated meat surely are. Dog meat has been obtained through the inhumane bludgeoning, strangling, and poisoning of street dogs. If you’re looking for a restaurant in Bali and unsure if it’s serving dog meat, you have to watch out for the RW sign. This indicates that the restaurant is selling dog meat.
The most important dog rescue communities on Bali
But there’s hope. A bunch of dog rescue communities want to remedy these shortcomings and are doing a great job helping Balinese dogs.
BAWA is an American organization that focuses on rescuing street dogs and cats in Bali. They facilitate ambulance services, run educational programs about animal cruelty, have adoption and rabies programs, facilitate street feedings, and try to achieve a certain level of humane treatment (e.g., appropriate nutrition).
BARC is an Australian organization in Bali. It’s based in Ubud, and it’s focused on rescuing street dogs, cats, and monkeys. Some of their services include giving the dogs vaccinations, sterilizations, and an array of other medical treatments. They also run educational campaigns, where they teach both Balinese children and adults about their services and the importance of a cruelty-free environment.
Mission Pawsible is not exactly an animal shelter, but the owner brings in animals, takes care of them, and puts them up for adoption.
3 Simple ways you can support Balinese dogs
You don’t have to accept the status quo. There are easy ways to enable Balinese dogs to live a better life.
Make a donation to one of the dog-rescue communities.
A lot of the animal-rescue organizations run shops and shelters, and they’re always looking for donations. With this funding, they can improve their services and help even more animals in need. Some of them run shops, where you can buy products (including souvenirs and secondhand goods) and donate at the same time.
Volunteer at an animal rescue organization.
Most of those organizations are always looking for volunteers as they bring in more and more dogs. You’ll be able to help animals hands-on, including feeding, bathing, walking, and playing with them. To see if you need any certain vaccinations before you can volunteer, make sure you check the organizations’ pages beforehand.
Foster a dog.
If you’re staying in Bali for a long time, then you can consider fostering a dog or cat. As it’s not always advisable to directly rescue dogs or cats from the street, it’s recommended to do so from renowned organizations.
The situation in Bali is getting more and more serious, and the animal-rescue organizations are in need of any sort of support to help battle the increase in animal cruelty.