Neglected, Starving Dog Kept As “Status Symbol” Finally Learns What It’s Like To Be Loved


In some countries, certain dog breeds are considered a status symbol, exemplifying success and wealth. Although  we dog lovers consider our pups to be members of the family, those that keep canines just for show may care for them about as much as they would a prestigious piece of art or a designer purse.

This was most likely the case for TinTin, a Pit Bull who was rescued in Bali. You see, in Indonesia, Pit Bulls are a breed often thought of as a status symbol or trophy rather than a family member who needs lots of love and care.

When TinTin got sick, his owners brought him to the vet. One would think that they did this because they cared about his health… only, they abandoned him there. The Pittie may have been underweight when he first arrived at the clinic, but shockingly, his new “home” only made his health worse. Living in a cage at the clinic, the vet hardly bothered to feed the poor pup at all. It’s thought that, because his previous owners weren’t paying for him, they didn’t bother giving him any care. Imagine, a vet who’d sit back and watch an innocent animal starve to death!

Thankfully, help arrived just in time from the Bali Dog Adoption and Rehabilitation Centre (BARC). When rescue director Ebony Owens received a Facebook message from a local who’d seen the starving dog, she knew that they didn’t have much time to save him.

“When I saw the photo of TinTin, I knew BARC had to help,” she said in a story by The Dodo. “We had to act quickly because he didn’t have long left. At that point, we didn’t know what was wrong with him — all we could do was hope.”

Owens came to the pup’s aid, taking him to a different vet, where he was given fluids and tests to see if there was a medical reason that he was so emaciated.

“We thought by the state of him he must have had kidney failure or something drastic, but it turned out he had a mild case of blood parasite carried by ticks,” Owens said in the story. “His main problem was starvation.”

She went on to explain to The Dodo that dogs kept as “status symbols” and are just for show are often the victims of neglect.

“There’s an extreme lack of knowledge here of the appropriate care of these [Western] breeds, so most often they end up behind bars for life with completely inadequate care…One misconception in Bali is that dogs should be kept in cages, especially ‘expensive’ dogs who are often just kept as status symbols of well-off families. TinTin was most likely being kept by his owner in a cage that he never came out of.”

Lucky for TinTin, he is one of the few “trophy dogs” who is getting a second chance to learn what life is really about: being healthy, having fun, and being loved.

Just look at him now!

Despite his rough past, this optimistic Pittie adores people and play time. He’s currently living the doggy dream at the Bali-based Canggu Pet Resort, where lots of BARC dogs get to stay as they wait for their forever homes, according to The Dodo.

He even has a pool to swim in!

TinTin is looking for a loving, local home. If you’re located in Bali and you’re interested, contact BARC.

If you’re not in Indonesia but still want to help pups like TinTin, you can! To donate to the Pittie’s healthcare expenses, visit his My Cause page, or you can donate to BARC directly.

We’re so glad TinTin got a second chance, and we know he’ll finally get the loving forever home that he deserves!

(h/t: The Dodo)

Written by Karen Tietjen

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