Partner spotlight: In Bali, two men show great courage protecting an abused dog

Janice Girardi of the International Fund for Animal Welfare-supported Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) has shared this heartbreaking story of a dog dumped in a river and desperately trying to find a safe place to call home. - HL

River.River, as we’re now calling her, is a Bali dog who is currently under our care at the BAWA clinic. Her tale is a heartbreaking story of an owner’s capacity for cruelty to his pet and the amazing loyalty and unconditional love of a Bali dog. 

River was thrown by her owner from a bridge to be drowned in a river, after being thrashed by him for the crime of eating a chicken.

Despite the amount of cruel treatment and beatings she had received, she dragged herself to the river bank and crawled back home to her owner.

It may be hard to comprehend why she would go back to a human who wanted her dead – but this speaks volumes for the unconditional love a dog has for its owner.

What happened when she got back to her home speaks volumes for the capacity of a human being to abuse and violate the bond of unconditional love.

Beaten, wet, shivering with fear and cold, River arrived at her home.

When her owner saw her he beat her again, this time with a wooden broom stick, so hard was the beating that the stick broke into pieces.

Olivier and Agung, great friends and supporters of BAWA happened to be in River’s village at that time. They called BAWA and also learned that some other people had threatened to kill River and make her into that night’s dinner.

We dispatched our ambulance at break neck speed and Agung bravely stood by River and waited for us to come.

During the wait, someone else decided that River should be killed for a ceremony.

We really thank Olivier and Agung for being there and for saving River’s life.

BAWA vets found that River has no major physical injuries; she does have a broken knuckle on her front paw and bruising behind her right eye.  But understandably, she is incredibly emotionally traumatized. At the BAWA clinic, she sits in the corner with her skinny body trembling.

It is heartbreaking to see her reaction whenever a person comes nearby, she won’t hide or bark, instead she stays exactly where she is, ducking her head slightly as if she expects more beatings.

Our volunteers at the clinic are working with all of their hearts to help River heal her emotional wounds.

Her paw and bruise will heal in time, but time alone will not be enough to heal her emotional wounds.

It will take a lot of love and care to rebuild her trust in humans.

For now, River can at least rest easy because her life is no longer in danger even though it will take her a while to realise this.  

Her saviours Olivier and Agung will also help to re-home her, and maybe even adopt her themselves if it is possible. 

We believe only education can help more dogs like River.

Education programs can help people to understand more about loving animals and the importance of animal welfare and especially in Bali, about Bali dogs.

--HL

Comments: 38

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

That story just breaks my heart and there are so many more stories just like that! How can anyone be so cruel to such loving creatures as dogs, I just cannot fathom!

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

It has been exactly a year since I had to put down my dog, whom I had for over 14 years. I rescued her from a river in the desert of Arizona. She had been beated, starved and tied to a trashcan in the August heat. I named her River, and she was the most amazing friend I've ever had. This story breaks my heart, makes me miss my dog more than ever, but also feel incredibly grateful for all your efforts. Thank you. (And yes, I would absolutely go to Bali and bring River home with me if I could!)

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

Once again a story that proved animals have qualities so often missing in humans. Even in societies that are educated there are people who abuse. Religion also plays a role as it amplifies the perceived divide in species and the right of non humans is often zero

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

I DONT KNOW WHY PEOPLE HAS TO BE SO,SO MEAN TO SOME OF GODS BABIES. IT IS SO HARD SOMETIMES TO LOVE AND NOT HATE SOME PEOPLE, BUT I DONT HATE THEM.OUR GOD WILL ALWAYS MAKE THEM PAY, IM JUST GLAD THAT I CANT.GOD BLESS ALL WHO HELP THESE POOR BABIES.

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

Horrified at the terrible plight of River and truly hope her recovery goes very well, she is safe now and I applaud the brave men who saved her. More human beings are needed to show bravery and compassion and care for all living beings.

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

I admire and respect all the people who work on the front line and have to witness this sort of cruelty first hand. I know I couldn't do this and remain detached, which is what you have to do in these situations. I'd want to do to the owner just exactly what he did to this poor dog. I know she is save now and I hope you keep us all posted on her progress. Such a sweet looking animal. The owner is the lowest form of life.

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

Are they going to bring this owner up on cruelty charges? Or don't they enforce abuse to animals in Bali...how can a land that is suppose to be so beautiful have such horror going on....? I hope they rescue all the animals from this man's property so he doesn't get another dog and beat it to death or use it for sacrifices! Poor poor River...God Bless the people who stepped up and stepped in too save her! Keep caring and keep helping!

 
Anonymous
2 years ago

River you are an absolutely amazing soul and truly an inpiration. My thoughts and love are with you. No one should ever - ever - treat an innocent creature like that. May the person who did this get exactly what they deserve. How you can look yourslf in the mirror each day let alone live with yourself is beyond me.

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Cora Bailey
Director, Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW)
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