Sun & Sage was founded in 2017, by Aron, who has been working on his own time to rescue the injured, sick or abandoned dogs and cats in Bali. In doing so, Aron raises awareness of animal rights and welfare issues through his ethical vegan clothing line and encourages others to be kind to all animals.
To learn more about the brand, you can check out our original interview published in 2020 here.
In this article, I am going to share with you some of Aron's heartwarming rescue stories.
You will be introduced to Thag, Homer, Tilly, the Three Amigo kittens, Idefix, and Rocky; all have recovered and been successfully rehomed.
There are many free-roaming stray dogs in Bali. The global pandemic further increased the number of dogs and cats left to fend for themselves.
If you visit the popular tourist areas you will see the Bali dogs running around on the beach, walking the streets and sitting close by the markets or restaurants.
Animal rescue organisations can only work within their capacity and many animals rely on the kindness of strangers to offer a meal or shelter.
"It is clear that intervention is required at a far larger scale. Further government support is required, not only in providing vaccination and sterilization programs but in using community-based approaches and school education to instill an understanding of animal welfare and the implications for society when there is a lack thereof". - The Jakarta Post, 2018
Here are a few things you need to know about the dogs you see on the street by
- Not all are strays, some have owners, and wander around freely (this is common)
- Some dogs are owned by the local warungs or shops (the shop owner may feed and look out for them)
- Most dogs in Bali are not vaccinated or desexed (sterilised)
- Unwanted dogs and cats (puppies/kittens) may be dumped anywhere; usually by the side of the road
- Some of the animals belong to the local community, the Banjar, and are typically healthy
- Not all stray dogs and cats in Bali need rescuing (check if they are in good health) Bali dogs are tough
- Puppies and kittens however may need to be rescued, if they appear alone, on a busy road etc
Sun & Sage Rescues
Aron found Thag on the side of a busy bypass, a very dangerous place with lots of passing traffic.
Thag was not moving at the time and appeared completely lost. The first step was repeated bathing to clean and heal her skin. Then vaccination and finally, sterilisation. Slowly her fur started to grow back and Thag was looking and feeling healthy.
Thag was fostered in a temporary home where she receives lots of love and affection.
The good news is that Thag already has a permanent family home waiting for her once her new owners return to Bali.
Homer has a forever home! This is a heart-warming story as this incredible dog was so unwell and untrusting when Aron first found him.
He now spends his days loyally following Nungki, his companion and walks on the beach with Flo, his adopted Bali dog sister and is loving life. It's so different to what his life would have been as there is a good chance he would not have survived on his own.
Aron found this dog in a very fragile state on a busy bypass, riddled with cancer and almost 100% furless; his condition was severe. After being rescued, this lovely dog now named Homer stayed at the vet clinic for many weeks for cancer treatment.
Homer slowly recovered from his cancer after a long stay at Sunset Vet Ubud and then Nungki offered to foster him; it was such a relief. Homer has made a remarkable recovery and now and has days of endless love ahead of him.
I am so grateful to everyone who has supported Sun and Sage and those who came forward to help pay for Homer's treatment and expensive vet bills.
If you see a dog stuck on the road, in trouble, please don't ignore them. However, some dogs have been through difficult and abusive situations meaning they don't trust humans and may react out of fear. This is why it is important to contact a local animal rescue team who can help you safely remove the dog.
When Aron met Tilly, something told him he needed to pick her up, that she wouldn't last on the street. It's lucky he did.
Tilly had worms, multiple puncture wounds, severe anaemia, scabies, digestive protein deficiency, dehydration, lameness from malnutrition and a long road ahead to recovery.
Tilly lived with Aron for a few months before she was ready to go to a forever home. She was vaccinated and sterilised before going to live with a wonderful family.
Tilly is living her best life, going on long rice field walks and doting over her new dad, Pak Bagong.
3 Amigo Kittens
Bobbi, Mo and Mane.
Aron found the three kittens alone and desperate for help. They had been dumped and there was no way they'd survive. The kittens were all malnourished, sickly and suffering from diarrhoea.
Mo had a terrible eye infection. The outlook didn't look good. Aron transported the kittens to Sunset Vet Ubud for medical attention.
The kittens were on intravenous fluids and antibiotics. They were so weak, their survival was 50/50. Mo's eye got better and they all made a recovery.
When Aron arrived at the vet, as fate would have it, an Australian couple had also rescued a kitten the same size, at the same time. Sadly their kitten passed away, but they hadn't forgotten about Mo, Mane and Bobbi.
Aron received a message from the Australian couple who asked if they could adopt all three kittens! Aron knew when he met them that they were kind souls and this was amazing news. After recovery, the kittens went from the clinic home to their new family; altogether.
Aron found Idefix at a local market, furless and in need of help, her story is now complete.
Idefix was likely thrown away for having a skin problem.
The skin problem is one of the reasons why animals are abandoned as the owners don't understand that the skin disease is not dangerous to humans and that it can be easily treated.
Idefix was given medication on the street and her fur grew back, but it became apparent she wasn't safe there. Aron took her to the vet for sterilisations and vaccination but just couldn't face putting her back on the street.
Remember Tilly? The good news is that Tilly's adoptive father Bapak Bagong said his family would love to take her.
Idefix went to her new home and now has a new friend to play with and a safe and loving home.
At the time when Aron found this puppy, he had to leave him alone as his position was so precarious that rescuing him may have caused him to fall into a ravine.
Aron went back the following day to attempt rescuing him a second time. It was a success!
Rocky was taken to the vet and was treated for a skin condition, vaccinated and sterilised. Turns out, Rocky was a very happy and healthy puppy who simply needed a place to live. The good news is that Rocky found his new home and is an incredibly happy dog. Turns out, his new family changed his name to Stevie.
All of these rescues were made possible due to the donations and kindness of others. Please consider shopping at the Sun & Sage Vegan online store or contributing to the Patreon account.
Every donation helps rescue more animals from the streets in Bali.
How You Can Help
The main medical issues facing the street animals is hunger, injury, worms, rabies, mange (skin conditions), distemper, and parvo.
If you are concerned about the welfare of an animal in Bali you can contact Aron's recommended Vet Clinic in Kuta or Ubud, Sunset Vet.
It is important to remember your capacity to take care of stray animals in Bali before rescuing them. Consider what is the best option for the animal at the time. Many of the Bali dogs have grown up as strays and are cared for by the local people.
Foreigners with the best intentions can find themselves in a difficult situation (what to do with their pet) when they need to leave Indonesia. It is difficult to relocate dogs out of Bali and sadly; many end up back out on the street.
A great way to help is to foster the dogs and cats rescued due to ill health, who are stuck at the vet clinic and need a safe place to recover.
Fostering allows the organisation the time required to find a secure long-term owner.
A big thank you to Aron of Sun & Sage for allowing Travel For Change to share these beautiful rescue stories.
These animals are kind, intelligent and demonstrate a genuine appreciation for your help.
Please check out the Sun & Sage online store, shop and support.
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