In April 2014, I was volunteering at an animal rescue shelter on the island of Bali when I met a special Bali dog, Tiga. Tiga was 12 weeks old and had been hit by a car, paralyzing both his back legs. He was extremely frightened when he came into the shelter and in a lot of pain. I felt an instant connection with Tiga, and even though he tried to bite me on his arrival, he started to warm up in the coming days and while I won over Tiga’s heart, he won over mine.


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At this stage, even though Tiga was now incontinent, the prognosis for Tiga was still hopeful. The shelter told me that he would perhaps be able to walk again, and both Tiga and I held onto that glimmer of hope. I took him with me to the place I was staying at and tried to do everything I could to help his recovery. Unfortunately, a month later, my time in Bali was up and I had to return to my home country in Europe. In this time, I had organized x-rays to have a deeper look at Tiga’s legs and just before I left, I was told he would never walk again. With a sinking feeling in my chest, I left Tiga in the care of the animal shelter and vowed to financially support him from that point onwards.

Four months later I returned to Bali, only to find Tiga in a terrible state. He had been badly neglected at the shelter so I took him back to my place for six weeks. In that time, I fattened him up, showered him with cuddles and attention and saw him slowly become the happy dog I knew him as. Unfortunately, at this point, I still didn’t have the funds to find a more permanent solution for him, so I had to return him once again to the animal shelter.

Upon returning the following year, I found Tiga in the worst state I had ever seen him. He was skin and bones and his already poorly formed back had become poorer. The worst part – both of his back legs had been amputated. I had been donating monthly to the care of Tiga at the shelter and no one had even informed me his legs were coming off. The surgery had been done a couple of days before I arrived back. I found Tiga in a cage at the shelter, crying, nursing two bloody stumps. He was physically half a dog. And to top it all off, the surgery had been performed so poorly, that they had cut into a nerve, causing his genitals to constantly be exposed. He went crazy when he saw me and I couldn’t help but feel like I had betrayed him. I sat with him while he nestled his head into me, every now and then, looking up at me. ‘Was it worth it for him to keep him alive?’ ‘What kind of life will he have now?’ ‘He has no way to get around and there is no way I can keep him here at the shelter.’ These were all the questions and thoughts swirling around in my mind. Tiga and I had always had such a special bond and I honestly felt like we could communicate with each other. So I decided, that as silly as it may sound, I was going to ask Tiga what he wanted. As he was lying on my lap, crying, I asked him. “Tiga, are you done or will you keep fighting? Just lay your head on my lap if you don’t want me to put you to sleep”. As soon as I said the words, Tiga lifted his head to my lap, looked up at me and stopped crying. A coincidence? Maybe, but from that point onwards I was determined to find him a happy home, no matter what.

It was from that point onwards, that the Tiga Foundation was born. I wanted to help not only Tiga, but more Bali street dogs. With the help of some trusted friends, we came up with an idea to build a small dog sanctuary that would help sick street dogs. There would be a large amount of land for them to run around when they recovered, a full-time carer and most importantly, unlimited amounts of love. For the past six months, the foundation has been a vision that has slowly been growing. We have a few dogs, including Tiga, in the care of the foundation. Tiga is unbelievably happy; he has a new lease on life. We tried to fit a wheelchair for him, but unfortunately, because of the way his legs were amputated, the chair won’t attach properly. But that is not a problem for Tiga, who now has the room to scoot around with his two front paws and is the leader of the pack!

I never thought I could give Tiga the amazing life he is now finally living. We now only hope we can continue to do this for Tiga and all the other dogs out there who need our help.

This story was told by Tiga’s owner, Rick.

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In April 2014, I was volunteering at an animal rescue shelter on the island of Bali when I met a special Bali dog, Tiga

He was 12 weeks old and had been hit by a car, paralyzing both his back legs

The shelter told me that he would perhaps be able to walk again, and both Tiga and I held onto that glimmer of hope

Unfortunately, a month later, my time in Bali was up and I had to return to my home country in Europe

In this time, I had organized X-rays to have a deeper look at Tiga’s legs and just before I left, I was told he would never walk again.

Upon returning the following year, I found that Tiga’s both back legs had been amputated

I had been donating monthly to the care of Tiga at the shelter and no one had even informed me his legs were coming off. The surgery had been done a couple of days before I arrived back. I found Tiga in a cage at the shelter, crying, nursing two bloody stumps. He was physically half a dog. And to top it all off, the surgery had been performed so poorly, that they had cut into a nerve, causing his genitals to constantly be exposed. He went crazy when he saw me and I couldn’t help but feel like I had betrayed him.

Tiga and I had always had such a special bond and I honestly felt like we could communicate with each other. So I decided, that as silly as it may sound, I was going to ask Tiga what he wanted

As he was lying on my lap, crying, I asked him: “Tiga, are you done or will you keep fighting? Just lay your head on my lap if you don’t want me to put you to sleep”

As soon as I said the words, Tiga lifted his head to my lap, looked up at me and stopped crying

A coincidence? Maybe, but from that point onwards I was determined to find him a happy home, no matter what.

With the help of some friends, we are building a small dog sanctuary where those sick street dogs would have unlimited amount of love

There are many dogs in Bali who are suffering. Even though animal welfare education is a higher priority then it used to be, there are still thousands of street dogs on Bali who are abused and starving. Through our shelter and by joining forces with other animal charities on the island, the Tiga Foundation aims to eliminate this suffering. To make this a reality, we need to build ten kennels which will be able to house and care for 20 dogs at a time. We are currently raising money for this project through our online fundraiser and heavily rely on donations.