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Bali's dog problem strays out of control

Rescue organizations struggling to survive amid pandemic blow to funding

Lucky Dog Recue Bali cares for more than 200 stray dogs. The island's dog population jumped by over 13% from 2019 to 649,00 last year due in large part to the negative economic effects of the pandemic. (Photo by David Smith)

BALI, Indonesia -- In 2008 Claudia Mingrado, a retired Swiss stockbroker living in Bali, discovered a stray dog with seven puppies in her driveway. She found homes for six of the puppies with expatriates like herself and kept the seventh, Luna. The mother, after being sterilized, wandered off.

Today, Luna, now 13, is not Mingrado's only pet. Through her self-funded charity Lucky Dog Rescue Bali, she cares for more than 200 stray dogs. "It happened accidentally," she says. "You drive around and see a dog that needs help, then another and another until it gets out of control. I have 55 dogs in my house alone. It's not pleasant, it's not relaxing. I can't have any furniture because they break everything."

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