Fortunately for my Balinese pack, there is an organization with a beautiful name that even I can say easily: BAWA (which stands for Balinese Animal Welfare Association). BAWA is there to help the Bali Dogs – in many, many ways … not least of which is this ambulance, which was parked just outside Benjy & Heather’s bungalow on Jalan Monkey Forest (yes, that actually is a street name!).
While Benjy and Heather were in Ubud, they were actually able to raise MILLIONS for BAWA when they presented their kirtan at the Yoga Barn there! I was exceptionally impressed … until I remembered that there are 10,000 Indonesian rupiah to the dollar! Nevertheless, even the few hundred dollars they were able to raise makes a HUGE difference in the lives of my Balinese cousins.
Here’s a short description of the many ways my Indonesian street cousins are being served by BAWA :
The most urgent necessity is to continue to spay and neuter as many street dogs as possible to ensure that all of Bali’s dogs can eventually be adequately fed and cared for. BAWA supports a mobile clinic that travels to East Bali’s villages and conducts up to 40 free sterilizations a day.
Veterinary Care & Animal Ambulance
BAWA’s clinic near Ubud treats street dogs for skin and internal parasites, other diseases, wounds and starvation. Dogs of Balinese owners who cannot afford to pay are treated without charge. It’s also the base for the 24 hour Animal Ambulance pictured here.
Awareness-raising and education are the most important components in addressing animal welfare issues in Bali. BAWA delivers daily seminars on animal welfare in local primary schools, and in international schools on request. It has recently launched a novel program to educate Balinese children.
Puppy Rescue & Rehabilitation
Because female dogs are costly to sterilize, they are often abandoned shortly after birth. BAWA rescues puppies from the street and cares for them until they are old enough to be re-homed. As they are not able to run a shelter, finding safe, caring homes for these animals is one of their greatest challenges.
Because BAWA’s policy is, of necessity, to leave mature street dogs where they are found, they have a program of providing food to dogs which are otherwise not being fed regularly.