A huge part of the reason Ubud had me captivated was because we spent much of our time at a dog rescue shelter, where they rescue street dogs (and cats, and sometimes even monkeys), sterilise them, bring them back to health and work to adopt them out.
A friend of ours is currently volunteering there, and it is no secret that I love dogs, so we took advantage of her invitation to pop in one afternoon and see what it is all about. We ended up spending much of the next couple of days there - washing puppies, playing with the sick little puppies, feeding the animals (including bottle feeding tiny little newborn puppies!), and playing with the bigger dogs.
The second I stepped in the gate, I left a piece of my heart at this place. Even though I had only known them for mere hours, I love all of those dogs to bits!
Some of the dogs are, sadly, disabled. There are many whose back legs don’t work and have become a little bit deformed because of this.
One of the dog’s back legs had become almost bat-like which made it easier for him to walk on his front legs. Another had just had his back legs amputated and was recovering from this surgery, yet still managed to bound around on its front legs - quite incredible!
There were two blind dogs, one with cataracts and another that had both of its eyes removed. There was a dog that had a gash in his head from a machete, as he unknowingly tried to eat a farmer’s chicken. This dog was nick-named 'Maggot-head' so I'm sure you can imagine the condition he was in when he first arrived to the dog rescue shelter.
There was a dog that had been kicked in the mouth and could no longer open it, he had to eat his dinner through the only small gap he could open in the side of his mouth and slowly slurp his food in. There were dogs that were so sick they could barely lift their heads.
There were puppies who were so sick that had no hair and skin of scabs, plus dogs with all sorts of skin conditions, that just needed some love and care.
There were some of the happiest dogs you've ever seen, yet it was still such a sad and upsetting sight to see. The minute you took a sick little puppy out of its cage, had lots of playtime and cuddles and tummy rubs with it, their eyes would light up and you could see the happiness and love just absorbing into its body!
Its such a challenging, dirty and tiring (physically and emotionally) job the volunteers at these shelters do. One dog came in with problems with its back legs and the vet had said the legs either had to be amputated or the dog be put down. They persevered, initially he was able to drag his back legs along, and now he is learning to walk again! He can walk on all fours now, sometimes his back legs get a bit tangled and he trips over himself, but hey, that happens to the best of us!
There are so many dogs, and I wonder with a very heavy heart what is going to happen to them all - they need loving adoptive homes!!! I did consider adopting 20 or so and sending them back to New Zealand, but unfortunately I’m not a millionaire 🙁
It just really reinforces the point, no matter where you are in the world, please rescue dogs instead of buying them! There are so, sooooo many dogs needing homes, not only in Bali but all over the world. And, if you can afford it, please come to Bali and rescue a dog from one of the many animal rehabilitation centres - they are the most loving, beautiful animals!!
There are a lot of great animal shelters doing great things in Bali. We spent our time at BARC.
Have you ever spent time an animal rescue shelter? I would love to hear your stories!