When Made Suwana and our Bali partners found them, the two abandoned puppies were huddling under a shrine at a graveyard. When we approached, they retreated from us, obviously afraid we might be there to do them harm. But once team member Agung Harnawa started bringing out the food, the tiny balls of fur suddenly overcame their fear and began wolfing down everything we could give them.

Thankfully, a local dog lover named Fajar first spotted the puppies, who are now known as Bunga and Melati. Even though her banjar (or neighbourhood) isn’t currently being served by the International Fund for Animal Welfare-supported Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) team, she knew who to call because they had visited her son’s class and taught the students the importance of protecting Bali’s dogs.

Unfortunately, many unwanted dogs in Bali aren’t so lucky.

They are often dumped at graveyards, since their owners believe they can subsist on the small offerings left by Balinese for their deceased family members. That’s one reason IFAW started working with the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) – to change attitudes towards dogs.

Together with BAWA, we set up the PLA team in 2013 to vaccinate and treat dogs, and to help people to learn about how to care for their pets. In just three years, the 20 banjars where we work have seen an amazing improvement in animal welfare.

And now, thanks to their work in educating children, the impact of the PLA team is extending not only to the next generation of animal owners, but beyond the boundaries of these 20 banjars.

Bunga and Melati were hungry, but other than needing treatment for worms, they were in pretty good shape. Once they realized we were there to help, the two transformed into excited, curious puppies. Now they’ll spend some time recuperating in the care of the Bali Animal Welfare Association, and once they’re strong and healthy, they’ll be adopted into loving homes.

And of course the PLA team will keep up their hard work helping dogs around the island.

–AK

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Article source: IFAW

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