Bali dogs have roamed the island for thousands of years. According to the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA), around 90 percent of Bali dogs have a place to which they belong, be it a family or a warung. This, however, does not always mean that they are taken care of in the Western sense of the word. It is difficult to escape the fact that many dogs on the island are malnourished, sick or have not been sterilized. One organization is trying to change this by providing rehabilitation, and homes for sick, abandoned and injured dogs and puppies. Mission Paws’ible aims to educate people about the importance of vaccinations and sterilization, and provides support to individuals who rescue, rehabilitate, and re-home dogs and puppies. “Mission Paws’ible was born in 2015 as an idea that gradually grew into a community. Its main focus is to connect like minded people, animal lovers and rescuers to work together to save lives through collaboration and support,” says the organization’s founder Prue Barber. “We face a lot of daily challenges, such as lack of funds to support vaccinations, sterilization and general health checks for dogs. The biggest challenge, however, is finding them the homes they deserve. There are so many abandoned dogs and puppies, and only so many people who can take them in.”
Prue says that on average she receives around 30 or 40 requests for advice or support each week. The most common calls for help include inquiries about skin conditions and ill health of adult dogs, puppies that have been dumped, and people wanting to ‘give’ their dogs to the organization. While Mission Paws’ible does not have an official shelter, the organization helps individuals to re-home rescued animals, or uses a foster care network to take care of abandoned dogs before they are found a more permanent home. “Our main mission is to support individuals to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home the dogs themselves rather than burden the already over-exhausted animal welfare network. We have found that 90% of people asking for our help have responded positively to our guidance,” she says. “At the end of the day, no one person or group is responsible for the stray population of dogs on the island, but we can all do our bit to help. Many hands make light work.”
Foster homes provide a stable environment where the dogs and puppies can learn to love and trust, making them ready for adoption. This is where puppies are socialized with other dogs, receive toilet and leash training, and learn simple commands. Foster homes are not only beneficial for each animal’s social development but give them more of a chance of finding a forever home. “Foster homes save lives. There is no other way to explain it. The more adaptable dogs are to humans and their lifestyle, the more likely they are to be adopted.”
While Prue says that there is no easy way to rehome an animal, time, persistence, and a positive approach usually work to ensure that the rescued dogs get the best chance at finding their forever human. Mission Paws’ible uses the power of Facebook community groups to get their rescued dogs in front of potential adopters. The organization ensures that the dogs on their books have great photos that truly capture their personality, beauty and strengths, as well as positive descriptions of their qualities and what kind of home they need. “Having a pet is like any other relationship, it needs to work both ways – for the animal and the person. We like to know what people are looking for so we can ‘mutt match’ the right personality and temperament to their lifestyle. This is imperative to create a lasting and happy relationship. We always ask potential adopters to answer a questionnaire to ensure compatibility between the human and the canine before they even meet.”
Mission Paws’ible is always on a lookout for potential foster carers and those looking to adopt. And if you chose to adopt from one of the reputable dog rescue organizations, such as Mission Paws’ible, you will not only get a healthy, fully vaccinated and a happy dog, you save a life that would usually be overlooked. “If you live in Bali permanently, and are looking for a loving and committed relationship, please choose to adopt and not shop for your new best friend. But only commit if you are here for the long haul,” Prue says.
Alternatively, if you are on the island for a specific period of time or just cannot commit to adopting a dog, you can help by fostering an adult dog or a puppy. The commitment time is up to each individual, and all the medical costs are covered by Mission Paws’ible. The organization works with a number of vets across the island depending on the geographic location of the animal and their situation to ensure that the dogs are healthy and ready for their new home. “Depending on the case, we may need full diagnostic tests such as blood tests, X-rays, ultrasounds, which can only be done at a few clinics. We also use mobile vets for everyday treatments such as vaccinations, worming and sterilization,” Prue says. “Basically, all we ask of our foster carers is to love, care for and keep the dog safe as they go through their vaccinations or push through any underlying non-contagious conditions such as mange, whilst we work on their adoption campaign and a happy home tale.”
If you would like to learn more about Mission Paws’ible, visit: missionpawsible.org