Bali would not be paradise without the dogs. – Miguel Covarubias

The infamous Bali dog has springs from a truly ancient gene pool, as opposed to most breeds of dog that we’re familiar with whose genetic make-up is only a couple of hundred years old. Easily recognised for their pointy snouts and squat bodies, the Bali dogs often have inhabited the island for more than ten centuries. They have an unfortunate life here because of the Balinese Hindu belief that a person who doesn’t behave well in this life will come back in the next as a dog.

Only a few years ago there were an estimated 600,000 wild dogs on the island; this number has been reduced recently because of the outbreak of rabies and the government’s policy to eradicate as many canines as possible. However they still rule the streets of Ubud, especially at night, whether alone or in packs, and the deplorable state they often live in, often afflicted with mange and distemper and without enough to eat, will melt even the most hardened of hearts.

Recently two local documentary filmmakers, Lawrence Blair and Dean Allan Tolhurst , released the 52-minute film called Bali – Island of the Dogs, which portrays the island from a Bali dog’s point of view. For more information see www.stormbirdtv

Local animal welfare organisations BAWA and BARC work tirelessly to care for the dogs as well as other species in distress.