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Dog Sunshine

a story of a fisherman and his Sunshine 

21.8.2020

Help came to those in need during tough times

Bali is a global tourist hotspot, with millions of travellers flocking to its beaches, temples and spots of world-renowned natural beauty each year. But Bali’s tourism industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and with no tourists, many people are out of work and businesses have had to close.

Dogs and cats have always wondered the streets of the 'Island of the Gods', just going back to their homes for a bowl of rice each day or eating the offerings that are ceremoniously placed each day outside people’s homes and temples. But now people are struggling and, for many, food is scarce, and more and more dogs and cats are being left to fend for themselves, even though it breaks their owners’ hearts. Times are hard.

On the Eastern tip of Bali lies a small fishing village called 'Lipah'. There is one man in particular who is known amongst the residents, his name is Pak Gandring. Gandring is a poor fisherman but despite his own poverty, he has always wanted to help the dogs he found suffering on the streets and now shares his small humble home with his 10 rescue dogs, one of those is called 'Sunshine'. When he found Sunshine, she was just a small puppy who he would see when he visited the local shops. He didn’t have much to offer her, but he would always take the time to shower her with cuddles and give her what little spare food he had. But when the tourists stopped coming after COVID-19 hit, the shops closed and he would see Sunshine wondering the streets desperately seeking food, water and affection. So he carried Sunshine up the hill to his home where he could at least keep her safe.

 Pak Gandring and Sunshine

When FOUR PAWS started our Stray Animal Care feeding project in Bali, we were quickly told about Gandring and his dogs and set out on the steep trek up the hill with supplies. Gandring and his family live in a small hut with a little bale overlooking the sea. Sunshine and the others were hungry and as soon as they had been fed, we made a plan with Gandring on how we could best help him care for his dogs. We agreed to visit twice a week with food supplies and to provide his dogs with the medical treatments they needed to help them regain their strength.

Beautiful Sunshine stole our hearts straight away! With her big brown eyes and tail that wagged at us cautiously as we approached her with a big bowl of food – probably the biggest bowl of food she had ever seen! She let us give her a hug and kiss, and we promised her we’d be back…

Pak Gandring and his family are like so many – they want to care for their animals and will often feed them before they feed themselves, but times are hard…

And Sunshine is like so many – she just needs a place to call home and a meal a day… and lots of cuddles which she reciprocates with lots of licks!

Feeding the dogs

Thanks to generous supporters around the world, Sunshine and all of Pak Gandring’s dogs are getting better by the day! They can now spend the day playing and following Gandring around, not having to worry about a hungry belly! They are back to being a pack!

Our promise to you, Pak Gandring, Sunshine and all those in need in Bali, is that we will keep coming back for as long as we are needed. Please don’t give up on Bali’s dogs and cats in need and support us today!

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Feeding programmes in Bali

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Dr Katherine Polak

Dr Katherine Polak

FOUR PAWS Head of Stray Animal Care - Southeast Asia

Katherine currently manages FOUR PAWS companion animal programs in Southeast Asia, with a special focus on combating the cruel dog and cat meat trade. A specialist in both Shelter Medicine and Veterinary Preventive Medicine, she has worked for several animal welfare and sheltering organisations in North America and Asia.  Her focus is on veterinary training, high-quality, high-volume spay/neuter programs, and organisational capacity building.  Katherine works closely with FOUR PAWS' partner organisations in Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand to create a strong network of stray animal care programs in the region. 

 

Katherine also teaches for universities in the US and consults on a variety of community cat management programs around the world.