Kristian Adi Wibowo, Animals Hope Shelter
Kristian Adi Wibowo

One of the most loyal animals that started to live with humans almost 33,000 years ago is dogs. While some dog lovers hate to call them animals but address them as their friends, there are some people who also overlook the innocence of their pets and abuse them or abandon them somewhere far from the house. But, here is the story of a man, who lives in an Indonesian city, Bogor and runs a shelter which is now the home of 122 rescued animals that includes 118 dogs.

Kristian Adi Wibowo established 'Animals Hope Shelter' at Gunung Sindur in Bogor, Indonesia, where he believes the pet law is not strong enough to protect the innocent animals from the abusers, who purposefully torture them.

While talking about the starting of this journey, Kristian told IBTimes Singapore about his childhood memories. He recalled how a stray dog, who became an important part of his life, died on his arms due to poisoning by someone and the pain of losing his best friend.

Before starting the shelter, he was working as a science teacher in Elementary School for 16 years. But, he decided to quit the job and do something for these abandoned and abused animals. While going through the memory lane he said, "I grow up in a poor family but my mom raised me with a lot of good value of life and I thank her for that. Once she told me that 'Your life is not about how much money you have but how much love you share with others'."

Even though there are many rescue shelter in the area where 'Animals Hope Shelter' is located, Kristian, who is a Buddhist, not only rescue those animals but also treat them as his own children. It may look very difficult to give equal attention to every rescued animal but he tries his best to make them happy, prepare food for them and spend as much time as possible.

Kristian Adi Wibowo, Animals Hope Shelter
Kristian Adi Wibowo

While talking about the rescue operation and the entire process, he said, "We have Standard Operational Procedure. First, all those rescued dogs and cats are checked at his animal clinic, then the required medication is provided. Once they are vaccinated we take them to my shelter. This entire process is very important because the stray dogs may carry several virus and bacteria and we don't want all the dogs in our shelter to get infected."

Managing such a shelter, with proper facilities is quite challenging for Kristian, as the monthly maintenance, including the clinic's bill, electricity bill, daily operations, salary of five employees and food for the dogs cost him around S$ 11008 (120000000 Indonesian Rupiah). But, there are some Instagram users, who follow the page of 'Animals Hope Shelter,' almost regularly send the donation for the shelter from countries like Indonesia, France, Holland, India, England, Germany, US and others.

"The financial transparency and the condition of those rescued animals are the most important things. We keep updating people about the condition of these animals so that all our donators know where their money is actually going to," he said.

Kristian Adi Wibowo, Animals Hope Shelter
Kristian Adi Wibowo

Kristian also said that one of the toughest situation he faced while searching for the right people, who can sacrifice and love dogs to become a part of this journey and work as the employees of the shelter. "Thank God, I have some friends, who have the same vision, support animal welfare and helped to build 'Animals Hope Shelter,'" he added.

But, apart from this, he faced extreme challenges when he was about to start this shelter. Kristian said, "Two years ago, 15 people came to my house and asked me to get out of there with my 18 dogs and it was my birthday. Then, last year, I had to move from the rented land because the owner wanted to build a house over there and once they actually threw stones at me and my head was bleeding." But, he doesn't consider this as the saddest part of his life, as he was attacked and bullied several times by people when he tried to raise his voice against animal abuse on social media posts.

When he was asked to share his opinion about the abuse and crimes that affect the lives of these innocent animals, Kristian said, "I think the root of this problem starts from family. Parents can teach their children not to watch the circus, where animals get abused by their trainers. Parents should not take their children to the whale or dolphins aquarium because those animals do not deserve to live in the aquarium but in the ocean. They must stop their children to ride the elephant or horse. If they can teach their children properly and show affection to other creatures I do believe their children will grow as a person with a great heart."

"I also think maybe every school especially in primary school they should make a curriculum about how to love the environment and other creature, to make the students understand about their responsibility towards the environment and other animals," he added.

However, the most heart-touching part of this entire story is the funeral ceremony of the deceased dogs of the shelter. Even though people hardly have seen such moments, when a non-human creature receives the proper burial ceremony, Kristian said all of them are "my children and they deserve a proper funeral. Being a Buddhist I do believe that they will be reincarnated in human form in their other life."

The man, who resigned from a pretty good job with an intention to do something for these animals, wants the shelter to be run even after his death. Kristian said that he will find a person, who will have the same vision and will be able to take care of this shelter just like the way he is doing now.