If you have been to Bali, you may have seen them every day, rummaging through trash cans or narrowly dodging traffic. It’s a tough life for some of these cute critters here on the island of the Gods. They are the street dogs, cats and other animals of Bali. Tirelessly tough, but sometimes worn down and weary from living a life on the streets.
Fortunately, there are a collective group of people who care about these souls and who want to help. They are the animal rescue groups in Bali. Each organisation focuses on a different aspect of animal rescue – whether it is providing shelter for sick and hurt street animals, offering free sterilisation or simply dedicated to raising money for the cause, these organisations make a huge difference in the lives of these animals.
Here is a comprehensive list of these do-gooders and how you can help their efforts in the never-ending tasks of helping the animals of Bali.
Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA)
BAWA is a not-for-profit organisation located in Ubud. They aim to save, protect and improve the lives of animals on the island. BAWA was started by Bali resident of over 30 years, Janice Girardi and Indonesian vet Dr Dewa Made Dharma. Since then, they have provided animals with food, medication, shelter, rehabilitation and adoption. They respond to emergency rescue and have a free 24/7 ambulance service.
When Mount Agung was threatening to erupt, BAWA had their hands full with all of the animals that were left behind in that region and needed shelter. The team conducted street feeding in the red zone and also set up several temporary shelters to help as many homeless animals as possible. In addition to that, BAWA also hired new staff members, including evacuees from the volcano who would otherwise have had no income.
HOW YOU CAN HELP…
BAWA are currently in urgent need of food donations and monetary donations to cover their expenses (from medical clinics to construction costs and car rental). If you are in the position to help longer-term, they are in need of volunteers (preferably rabies vaccinated) and foster homes. Fostering is also much appreciated from tourists who can perhaps only foster for a week or two.
VILLA KITTY BALI
Villa Kitty is refuge for homeless cats and kittens, but they do also take in the occasional canine too. Long-term Bali resident, Elizabeth Henzell started Villa Kitty in 2009 and since then, she and her team have helped many of Bali’s cats find homes.
Villa Kitty provide veterinary care – including a sterilisation program, an adoption service, an education program to promote responsible cat ownership and plenty of love and rehabilitation. They have a fantastic initiative called ‘Every Child Deserves a Kitten’ which is a sponsored program that unites cats and children.
This cat refuge is situated in Lotunduh, Ubud and each room inside the building is designed to accommodate their residents. There is a ‘Retirement Village’ where mature mothers live, waiting to be adopted and the ‘West Village’ is where the young cats live, eagerly waiting their forever family. There is also the ‘Playground Bale’ which houses the adventurous outdoor cats.
HOW YOU CAN HELP…
Villa Kitty also relies on donations so any monetary donations are always greatly appreciated. You can also visit the cat sanctuary and take some time out of your day to cuddle and spend much needed time with the kittens and cats. If you’re available to foster kittens, there are always tiny babies who need homes away from the shelter whilst they build up their immunity.
Mission Paws’ible is a social enterprise and a movement activating the community to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals they find. They are not a rescue centre and they keep their rescues to a minimum to ensure the animals get the best care, socialisation and adoption opportunities. They also share the love by distributing donated food, medicine and financial assistance to trusted individuals who dedicate their time to help the homeless.
Mission Paws’ible works by using the power of social media and word of mouth to find their rescues the best homes.
BDHH is a joint collaboration of solo dog rescuers in Bali. Their main mission is to help solo dog rescuers care for their rescued dogs by providing a temporary and safe place to stay until adoption. Initially started from a fundraiser, the team raised enough money to secure a little home with a large yard. This is where the fur kids play all day and are fed, watered, loved and protected 24 hours, 7 days a week. All dogs that go into the care of the BDHH are rehabilitated – they undergo obedience and lead training, plus socialisation to ensure a higher chance of adoption. Each dog is also completely vaccinated and sterilised. They are seen by a vet once a week to make sure they are all healthy.
All rescuers that place their rescue animals at the BDHH pay a boarding fee or contribution which covers daily costs such as dog food, basic medical care, utilities and staffing. However, one of BDHH’s main goals is to be able to survive solely off public donations and contributions, so the rescuers are able to keep rescuing without the stress of a huge financial burden.
A small team consisting of three vets, a dog catcher/vet’s assistant and an administration assistant, BPC are an Australian registered charity who focus on spaying and neutering homeless and rescued local Bali dogs and cats. Unfortunately, there are many local families in Bali who cannot afford sterilisation for their animal due to the high cost. BPC offer highly subsidised sterilisation to these families and in some cases, they can sterilise for free.
BPC work with their Indonesian sister organisation Yayasan Seya Bhuana, which is run by BPC’s vet, Drh Nana Dianita. In the last three and a half years, BPC have impressively sterilised more than 7000 dogs and cats. They want to be able to continue this project but do heavily rely on donations to keep them going.
HOW YOU CAN HELP…
You can help BPC continue their mission by sponsoring the sterilisation of a local Bali dog or cat for just AUD $22 or by donating much needed veterinary supplies. If you would prefer to make a one-off donation, that is also appreciated and can be done via their website.
Bali Adoption and Rehabilitation Centre (BARC)
BARC is an animal shelter located in Ubud that help street dogs, cats and even monkeys. They vaccinate, sterilise and provide medical assistance to these animals and also run an education program throughout the island. Whenever BARC receives an animal, their main aim is to nurse that animal back to health, rehabilitate them and try and adopt them out to a loving family.
HOW YOU CAN HELP…
You can help BARC by making monetary donations and by visiting their ‘Ways to Help’ section on their website.
Rahima is a freelance journalist and animal lover from Australia. She studied a Bachelor of Communications in Journalism in Australia and has been working in the media industry for 10+ years all around the world. Rahima now works as a digital nomad traveling between Australia, the Netherlands and Bali. She has spent much of her time on the island caring for street dogs in Ubud and is passionate about spreading the word: Adopt, Don’t Shop!