This is Greybeard. I’m not sure if Greybeard has an owner, but I do know for sure that Greybeard no longer has any testicles.
My love for animals knows no bounds, but I especially love me a doggo. So you can imagine how much my heart breaks every time I visit Bali or Thailand and I see all the stray dogs, some in terrible condition, and there is so little I can do about. It’s the same on the small islands of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. There are SO many dogs, and not enough resources to look after them. But there is someone who loves them. Paws of Lembongan. I spent a day volunteering with Paws, helping out the best I could.
Paws of Lembongan help by organising vets to visit the small island of Bali. They visit as often as Paws can afford, around every 2 weeks, and spend their time neutering any dog they can get their hands on. They also give out vaccinations, flea and tick treatments and veterinary advice.
When the vets visit, Paws of Lembongan put out the call for volunteers to help round up any stray dogs, as well as asking pet owners if they would like their dog desexed. It’s a really interesting process. Once a stray dog is found, it’s blow darted with tranquiliser. To make sure it doesn’t sneak away and just have a good snooze, I had to follow the dog until it went to sleep, and then carry it back to the vet.
The vet setup was literally on a back of a truck in the middle of a field of coconut palms. The vets worked hard giving the dogs all their jabs, doing a health check and completing the desexing procedure. All this while dogs surrounded the field, barking. It’s crazy how they know exactly what’s going on.
The locals are great too – word is really getting out about how neutering is a good thing for the island. They come in droves with their dogs, big and small. One even had cats!
Donna, the head of Paws of Lembongan told me that they can desex over 30 dogs in a day. Isn’t that insane? Imagine the cost! And don’t forget the vaccinations. Each dog vaccinations costs IDR 100,000 (around $10 AUD), and each cat vaccination is IDR 180,000 (around $18 AUD). It doesn’t seem like much, but it all starts adding up considering the volume of dogs that pass through. Obviously, funding and donations are essential to keep this program running.
If you would like to donate a little (or a lot) to Pets of Lembongan, you can head to their Go Fund Me page. If you would like to volunteer, head to their Facebook page and keep an eye out for the call to action!