Rabies, of course, is a serious disease that is dangerous to humans, dogs and any other warm-blooded animals. But rabies isn't as prevalent in Bali as locals and tourists seem to believe. When I visited Bali earlier this year, I was surprised how often "rabies" entered any conversation regarding the local dogs.
Linda Buller, the founder of BARC, explains that in the 10 years she's been rescuing Bali dogs, she's come across only one rabid dog. "A woman gave me a dog once, and it seemed very uncomfortable," she says. "It kept barking and didn't want to do what it was told. That's the only dog I know for sure had rabies."
Regardless, Buller believes that poisoning dogs is not the solution to eliminating rabies from Bali. "All the health organizations in the world agree that the way to stop this disease is to vaccinate all dogs," Buller says. Any dog who comes into BARC's care is neutered and vaccinated at no cost to the Balinese community, she says. In BARC's 10 years of operation, they've sterilized 18,000 dogs and vaccinated nearly 30,000.