Susana Somali from Jakarta, Indonesia has dedicated her life to rescuing dogs. She realized that there were too many homeless dogs and not enough people to adopt them. Many unwanted dogs end up being neglected or taken to slaughterhouses. So, Somali created a special animal shelter that welcomes all dogs. She currently houses over 1,000 dogs, many of which were rescued from butchers. That number continues to grow daily, but Somali refuses to turn dogs away. She keeps rescuing as many dogs as she can because she knows they deserve to live happy lives.
Somali’s Dog Shelter
Somali founded the Pejaten Animal Shelter in 2009. She started out with about 70 dogs, but that number rapidly increased. Now, there are around 1,400 dogs in her care, and they just keep coming. Some are surrendered while others are rescued from abuse situations. But sadly, most of them come from slaughterhouses.
“Someone posted images of this crying dog on social media and I saw the tears in her eyes. That’s when I became aware of butchers,” Somali said.
Somali tries to rescue as many dogs from the slaughterhouse as she can. They’re all kept in unhealthy conditions with ropes tied tightly around their mouths and paws. Sadly, many of these dogs end up there on purpose. Families that are tight on money will sell their dogs to these horrible places. But that’s not at all how a family member should be treated.
It’s suggested that approximately 1 million dogs are killed for meat each year in Indonesia. Over 100 restaurants just in Jakarta serve dog meat. So, Somali will never stop trying to rescue these dogs. When she first created her shelter, she was only able to rescue about one or two of these dogs a week, but now, she saves about twenty a week.
Never Stop Saving Dogs
Saving the dogs from these horrifying situations isn’t easy. Yet, Somali says the most difficult part of running her shelter is caring for all of them. Somali works as a doctor during the day on top of caring for over 1,000 animals. It’s hard work, but it’s her passion.
“I will never stop being on this path. I will never stop helping,” said Somali. “It has been hard, but this is my calling.”
Somali has about 30 staff helping her at the shelter. Even so, caring for that many dogs is a lot to handle and it’s expensive. It’s estimated that the shelter needs about $29,000 monthly to feed the dogs and pay the employees. Luckily, all the people working at the shelter are just as passionate about saving dogs as Somali is.
The reason the number of dogs keeps growing is because there aren’t enough adopters. For every ten dogs that the shelter takes in, one gets adopted. Somali thinks it’s because the homes in the area are just too small to house dogs. So, she will keep caring for them no matter what. After all, she can never say no to a dog in need.
Somali’s kindness for animals proves that not all heroes wear capes. Visit the shelter’s Facebook page to find ways to donate.