Stories of pets abandoned during floods in Indonesia break Internet users’ hearts

An Indonesian soldier holding a cat through floodwaters at Jatibening on the outskirt of Jakarta, Indonesia on Jan 1, 2020. Animal rights community Garda Satwa Foundation took to Instagram, advising pet owners in flood-prone areas not to cage or chain pets when they leave the house. — AP

Massive floods that struck Jakarta and its peripheral areas have not only affected humans: Stories of pets left in chains or cages by their vacationing owners have broken Internet users’ hearts.

Footage of the dramatic rescue of a chained dog from a heavy stream in Cinere, Bogor, West Java, was circulating online on Wednesday evening.

The post was taken from an Instagram story posted by a user with the handle @galaindiga and resposted on Twitter by Twitter user @nihaqus.

It shows a dog desperately trying to break free from his chain amid a heavy stream and rising floodwaters.

The Instagram user wrote that he had seen the flood approach his house in Cinere on Wednesday morning from Bogor and that it was something he had never witnessed in the past 18 years.

"From afar I saw my neighbour’s house tried hard to [withstand] the heavy current. And I just realised that the dog was chained to the house’s fence. Sadly, the dog’s owner was not at home. The only ones seeing this incident were me and the RW head,” he wrote in the caption, with reference to the community unit head.

He added that he had been afraid to rescue the dog as the current was so strong and he saw heavy objects such as cars and iron gates drift away with the stream.

"And also, I did not know how to handle the dog in this kind of situation,” he said.

Finally he contacted local firefighters who came to cut the dog’s chain with an axe. The dog was saved at last.

"Pak RW tried to shelter the dog, which was traumatised. Some locals came to feed it,” @galaindiga said.

Many residents have gone out of town for the year-end holiday that also coincided with a school break.

A story with a less fortunate dog was reported from Kelapa Gading in North Jakarta.

Twitter user @reammapu shared her mother’s Facebook post that tells the story of a rescue efforts for five dogs owned by their next door neighbor.

"The beginning of 2020 started with a rescue mission for five dogs owned by my neighbours, who were on their New Year’s vacation. Since last night, their dogs were very noisy. I thought they were afraid of the thunderstorm. At around five in the morning I peeped into the house, and it turned out a dog had died and was floating,” Rena said in the post.

Rena, her son and other neighbours then broke into the house and evacuated the remaining four dogs, who were cold and shivering.

"Fortunately, the four other dogs could be rescued and immediately sheltered at another neighbour’s house that is not flooded,” Rena said.

An update of the Twitter post said the dog’s owner was a new resident unaware that the area was prone to flooding.

Rena later provided another update to inform readers that the remaining dogs were alright as the owners had returned on Wednesday. She added that the dead dog had been older and weaker than the other four.

Animal rights community Garda Satwa Foundation also took to Instagram, advising pet owners not to cage or chain pets when they leave the house.

"Pet owners whose houses are flooded, if it is not possible to take your pets with you [during evacuation], just make sure they are left unchained and not in a cage, whatever kind of pet you have [birds, chicken, dogs, cats], except for fish. At least if there is no one to help them, they can help themselves,” the post read. – The Jakarta Post (Indonesia)/ANN

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