Bali Diary: Caring for dogs, wherever they are

Janice Girardi of the IFAW-supported Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) has shared this recent story about the ongoing work to help the street dogs of Bali.

"She was quite scared for the first few minutes, but then she quieted down very quickly."“It was Thursday, the day after Galungan, and it seemed there were more sick and abandoned animals than usual roaming the streets. Galungan is a Balinese holiday, so everyone was off for a three days. But the holiday also meant many dogs were left behind as people went off to celebrate the occasion.

Every morning and evening BAWA offers food to hungry street dogs, but by the time we got to them the day after Galungan, they were starving.  The ones with demodectic mange that we had been treating on the streets (by putting medicine into their food) were in worse condition than I remembered seeing them even a week or two before.  I believed it was because they didn’t have any food for several days, making them weaker and more susceptible to the mites that cause the mange.

Then I was driving by a local market - the Pejeng market - and saw a little puppy maybe about 3 months old.  I immediately pulled over and went to see what could be done.  Upon seeing her closer is was clear that she was in a very bad condition with bleeding red raw skin and scabies.  She had no hair on her face and was constantly scratching. She was living alone under a side walk, in a gutter.

I can’t imagine what would’ve happened to this poor puppy had it been raining, when the gutter would’ve filled with water and her “home” would’ve flooded.   It took me about 30 minutes to coax her out with food, all while trying to keep other dogs away.   But even with the coaxing I could not catch her, and called someone from my house to come and help me.  An hour later we managed to catch the poor pup in a towel. She was quite scared for the first few minutes, but then she quieted down very quickly. The puppy was obviously very sick so I brought her to the office, and later on she was sent to the BAWA clinic by our staff.

In between the feeding and the puppy, I also found a spot where there were five adult dogs each with very bad cases of demodectic mange and scabies.  I managed to treat all of them with medication, getting them eat tablets which would rid their systems’ of internal parasites.

In Bali, something as simple as dewormer can be a lifesaver for street dogs. Without it, their systems can become overburdened with parasites and hinder the absorption of the few nutrients they can get from scrounging for food.  BAWA regularly offers food to street dogs, not only as a way to fill their empty bellies, but because it provides an easy and necessary method of treating dogs for internal and external parasites that can otherwise leave them sick and suffering.”  


Sometimes it is necessary to take dogs like the little puppy at the Pejeng market to BAWA’s clinic, because this is the only way to ensure she’ll get the care she needs and the opportunity to be adopted into a home. But with the hundreds of thousands of street dogs in Bali, it would be impossible to try and care for all of them in a clinic, so BAWA does all that they can to care for Bali’s dogs, wherever they are. 

-- HL

Comments: 16

4 years ago

The work you are doing is fantastic.Hope that there are lots of neutering programmes going on all over the world.Education is perhaps most important,getting all nations to understand that animals are our friends and not an enemy.Thankyou for all that you are doing to help the most vulnerable animals.

4 years ago

Is there a way to purchase some dewormer and send your way?

4 years ago

i pray that all that your group receive abundant blessings to protect you and remove all obstacles to your lief saving, compassionate work on the behalf of the voiceless, powerless and suffering animals.

4 years ago

I just had a pretty lousy day, but felt better reading this just before bedtime. Sometimes it helps to be reminded that there still are good, unselfish people performing generous acts on a regular basis.

4 years ago

Thank you very much for everything you are doing for our 4 legged friends. I have never heard of you, but now I have and I will pass this on.

Vriend Vriend
4 years ago

goed zo!
gerede dieren zijn soms even wild en daarna niet
ik ben 9 en als ik later ook oud ben dan kom ik hier ook werken voor dieren i love ifaw
helemaal zielig van die reclame zijn die dieren nu ook in orde??


4 years ago

Does IFAW offer Grants to those interested in starting a Rescue/Shelter? This is my dream to have my own rescue with my own facility to house the Animals I rescue. I have been doing some research on how to get this project started and I'm lost, any advice would be wonderful

4 years ago

Danke.Thank you!Ihre Arbeit ist unerlaesslich!Ich habe selbst zwei Hunde aus Bali mitgenommen ,die mein Leben geworden sind.Es geht sehr einfach,wenn man nur will,und fuer diese beiden Hunde macht es einen Unterschied - vor allem aber haben sie mir mehr gegeben als ich verdiene,mir gedacht haette,je von einem Wesen zu bekommen,Das einzige,das sie wollen,ist,dass man sich freut und guecklich ist.Dann sind s i e es.Bali Hunde sind etwas g a n z S p e z i e l l e s.Niemals habe ich tollere Hunde getroffen oder erlebt,und ich liebe j e d e n Hund:Aber die Hunde aus Bali sind zaertlich und wild,eigenwillig und anschmiegsam wenn sie es wollen,man kann ihnen Unterordnung nicht antrainieren,es waere ein Verbrechen,ihren Charakter zu brechen statt von ihnen zu lernen,nobel zu sein.
Ich bewundere und beneide Sie ,denn ich habe ein Tierrettungszentrum hier in Mexiko angesammelt.Das Schicksal hat es so bestimmt.Aber neben mir liegen meine beiden Hunde aus Bali.Sie werden mich begleiten bis zum Schluss.In Mexiko sagt man,wenn ein Mensch stirbt,und er war gut zu den Tieren,dann wartet ein Hund auf ihn,und hilft ihm,den grossen Fluss in die Ewigkeit zu ueberqueren.Ich hoffe nur,dass meine beiden Bali Hunde mich eines Tages dort erwarten.Ich will ihnen den Schmerz ersparen,den ich haben werde,wenn sie uns vorausgehen,denn eigentlich wuerde ich es vorziehen,s i e dort zu erwarten.Aber irgendwann im Leben muss man mehr als tapfer sein,treu wie ein Hund und mehr lieben als jemals,Von ihnen gelernt,und als Reminiszenz an sie ! Ich l i e b e sie!ich bin allen Menschen so dankbar,die helfen,erkennen und nicht nur geruehrt einige Momente mit sich selbst verbringen,sondern Geld schicken oder an Ort und Stelle einen Hund mitnehmen oder Ihnen helfen zu helfen!Danke an alle,die das tun!

4 years ago

Great story and respect for Janice Girardi / IFAW

4 years ago

Merci à cette douce jeune fille qui s'occupe avec courage de tous ces petits compgnons .....
qui parfois appartiennent à des gens irresponsables ou abandonnés ! mais tout çà coûte très
cher, il faut l'aider financièrement par l'intermédiaire de I.F.A.W. qui fait énormement pour tous les animaux du Monde - S.V.P. AIDEZ-LES - les soins ne se font pas gratuitement, il faut des donnateurs (dont je fais partie) - chaque soin et médicament peuvent sauver un
ANIMAL, Notre A M I - Cordialement à tous

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Cora Bailey
Director, Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW)
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Gail A'Brunzo, IFAW Wildlife Rescue Manager
Wildlife Rescue Manager, IFAW HQ
Jan Hannah
Northern Dogs Project Manager
Kate Nattrass Atema, Program Director, Companion Animals
Program Director, Companion Animals
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Veterinarian, DVM, PhD
Nancy Barr, Programme Director, Education
Programme Director, Education
Rikkert Reijnen, Campaigner, IFAW Netherlands
Campaigner, IFAW Netherlands
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters