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

Thank goodnes there are such agencies as IFAW & people like Olivier & Agung bless you both for all you do.
Take care Coreen

5 years ago

Thank God for the presence of the IFAW and the existence of compassionate people to help and rescue abused animals in Bali. I pray that River recovers and learns that she can again, trust a person - in her forever home in Bali.

5 years ago

And how about showing Bali's stupid owner some treatment similar to the one he has inflicted on this inocent dog?

5 years ago

It is indeed gratifying to hear such stories of courage and compassion. Yes I have a dog and 2 chickens and it is my responsibility to teach him that the chickens are off-limits to him and if that doesn't work to build a fence to protect the chickens. Dogs are predators and chickens are prey. It is the way of Nature. River's owner are one of those people who should never be allowed to own a dog or any other animals. He is an ignorant pig who give the Balinese people a bad name.

5 years ago

c'est horrible l'histoire de ce pauvre loulou, j'espère qu'il va pouvoir avoir une vie douce pleine d'amour maintenant, merci à ces sauveurs

Carol a Kyer
5 years ago

I will rescue her. Seriously. I have raised 10 dogs in my 59 years. My first dog was a rescue I was 8 years old. My 2nd dog was a rescue, then I raised 4 Rottweilers, and several litters, I now have 3 lovely rescued happy healthy dogs. I work as a housekeeper at a Veterinarian Hospital. You send her to me I will take her. All my dogs are trained, healthy, see their vet regularly , and live inside the home with me. They all sleep in my queen size bed and love me and I love them. I can send you references.

5 years ago

There is cruelty in -all cultures but in the Asian culture they seem to have no compassion or empathy at all for animals ,their extreme cruelty to cats and dogs is well known ,as are the incessant demand for ivory and the rhino's horn for their weird and wonderful potions which is adding to the demise of those animals ,there are those who are now becoming aware that animals do have feelingds and are saving them from their hidious fate,it has to start with teaching -children to be kind and that animals are our -friends and companions -it starts in the home and schools.

5 years ago

I always run by the rule that dogs are better used as assistants in the hunt than as prey. Dogs are more useful alive. Cows, rabbits, hogs, birds, fish, and bison are for eating.

As far as companionship, dogs have been with us for 20 millennia or more. Why do some people not understand the concept that dogs and humans are already in a symbiotic relationship?

5 years ago

There are people who don't even know the meaning of the word 'compassion'. They deserve to be treated the way they have treated their dog.

5 years ago

i hope river finds someone who will treat her how she should have been treated in the first place

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