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.


Comments: 38

5 years ago

People who abuse animals like this have less intelligence than the animals they are abusing. People who eat animals like this are less intelligent than the meal they are eating. The Chinese fur traders that skin dogs and cats alive and throw them (still alive and writhing in terrifying agony after having their skins torn off them) onto a heap of previously skinned dogs and cats to die a gruesome, agonising and slow death, are less intelligent than the animals they are skinning.

The world really needs to rid itself of sub-human, unintelligent organisms such as these (they do not deserve to be called humans).

5 years ago

I'm reading this at work and it has made me cry.
The capity for cruelty that some people have never ceases to amaze and dissapoint me.
Seriously, how could someone do this?
There's a special place in hell reserved for people like her owners and those people who meant to do her harm.
Similarly, there is a special place in heaven waiting for her rescuers.
Wishing you a speedy recovery little doggy x

5 years ago

Oh I REALLY wish I could give River a home & fuss over her as she heals physically & emotionally. Thanks for saving her & thanks to Olivier & Agung for guarding her. The more cruelty I read about, the more I look into going back to college to study animals so I can help them in the future. I'm still looking into what courses are available. I can't get my head around how someone could harm any animal. The human race truly shames me. I pray little River recovers. Please contact me if there's anything I can do to help. I'm in UK but if this baby needs a home, I will try my best to help in any way possible, if I cannot adopt her myself. Thanks for all you do

5 years ago

Please read!
The Starfish Story
Original Story by Loren Eisley

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed
a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.
Approaching the boy, he asked, What are you doing?
The youth replied, Throwing starfish back into the ocean.
The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.
Son, the man said, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?
You can’t make a difference!
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish,
and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said,
I made a difference for that one.
Olivier and Agung made the difference for River!
Paula McMahon

5 years ago

I cannot believe the owner of this lovely dog would do this to her. I hope he gets just punishment for this and not be able to own another one as he will do the same again. People who can do this to an animal can be cruel to people too. I would take her in a minute if I could.

5 years ago

This story makes me so sad that someone could do this to a living creature. But I am greatful to be working at a place that protects and speaks for animals.

5 years ago

Keep up the good work because as long as there is stupid humans there will always be a need to save these animals. I am thankful for the work that you do because to many people treat there pets as if they are nothing and to me that is the sickest humans ever. Animals are more loving and accepting then most humans so why anyone would want to do this to them is just unbelievable to me. I still think that when they are found we should do to them what they did to there animals but if you would to talk to the animals they would probable say no. Thank you for being there for them I can not think of a more rewarding job to do. And the animals you save say thank you.

5 years ago

We love dogs at WSP also. Keep up the great work. A society can b measured by how it treats its people and animals, all God's creatures. Dr. Rd

5 years ago

The cruelty of people never ceases to amaze me. People like that don't deserve to have the incredible gift of life.
If I could I would take River and all others like her.

5 years ago

I also rescued an abused dog in Cairns and yes they do heal with love, no raised voice, cuddles, kisses and kindness, but it takes time. Wonderful result if only it happened more often

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