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, 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.