A Vegan Chat With...

A Vegan Chat With Prue Barber from Mission Pawsible

Where do we start with someone like Prue Barber?

A former graphic designer by trade, Prue was inspired and drawn to help with the plight of vulnerable and homeless street dogs through her own travels. She now runs Mission Pawsible, a charity (Australian Approved) devoted to helping, educating and facilitating rescue efforts by groups and individuals in Bali, Indonesia.

We have followed the Mission Pawsible journey for some time now and have seen the results of the incredible work they do in Bali. So when Prue agreed to take time out from her busy and incredibly important schedule to chat, we were thrilled.
(be sure to go and watch the videos linked)

 

 

Tell us a little about you and why you do what you do?

My professional paying job is Graphic Design. I have worked in the corporate sector for over 15 years and I’ve been able to work remotely for the past 10 years (apparently it is now called a digital nomad!;) ). So as I have been traveling through southeast Asia and India I was able to work online and travel which exposed me to the stray animal situation in developing countries. I was inspired by many people through this journey and, using my skill as a graphic designer/advertising creative. I was able to hone my skills to support the rescued animals. Why do I help them? Why not is always my answer. Anyone can rescue and Mission Paws’ible was created to support others (no matter where you are from or what you do). We guide people through the process. No one is certified to be an ‘animal rescuer’. Anyone can do it and I want to educate and activate people here in Bali and beyond via social media, advertising, marketing and so much more!

 

Tell us about the first rescue you ever did and how this influenced what MP is today?

My journey through rescue hasn’t been easy. The animals are the easy part, the people is the struggle. I was volunteering for a local rescue group at the time of my first ‘rescue’ and that would be Stevie Wonder, who 4 years after his rescue, I adopted (that’s another story altogether). He was in the gutter of a busy road where he was panting, facing the speeding traffic without flinching. I thought it was odd so we stopped and realised he had one eye missing and the other was hugely infected. I called the team who I was volunteering for and they came and collected him. Sadly he lost his other eye as the infection was terrible and causing issues with his sinus’.

My first rescue as Mission Pawsible was Putih. You can read his story here (feel free to take his photos): https://missionpawsible.org/project/putih/

Putih is really the turning point in my thinking too. He taught me how to work with others (his adoptive family) to save him without pulling him out of his ‘home’ and territory.

Not all dogs need to be ‘rescued’. They too have feelings and are most happy in their home and environment (if the environment is safe of course). Putih was the first time I had to find another solution than just removing him 1) I don’t have a shelter 2) I had little funding 3) I wasn’t sure how to rehome him. So keeping him in his space was the best option and thankfully, to this day, Putih is so healthy, happy and loved.

Do you have a particular story that still deeply moves you?

Yes. Twiggy. She was a heartbreaker and the being that inspired Proyek Peduli, our village-to-village education program.

You can read her story here:

Her rescue:
https://web.facebook.com/missionpawsiblenow/videos/1738300713142745/?v=1738300713142745

Her passing: 
https://web.facebook.com/missionpawsiblenow/posts/1739081686397981

Have the tissues ready!

What can visitors to Bali do to help and not hinder the problem of street dogs and cats on the island?

Support sterilization by donating. We need to really focus this. The best way is donating funds. 

Tourists mean well, especially when they find kittens, puppies or hurt dogs or cats. If they do I refer them to HOW TO RESCUE on my site. As a solo rescuer I can’t take on many cases and the larger foundations are pushing people away due to complete over capacity. Helping an animal yourself if the best help ever. Be independent in the rescue if you can. Otherwise, donate to the sterilization programs so we can offer free sterilization to poor pet owners. It’s just AU$22 per animal!

You have a shop, how do the profits from here help your mission?

Mission Paws’ible isn’t just a brand, it’s a way of thinking! Our online store is a social enterprise to help sustain our mission to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home homeless animals around the globe whilst creating happy paw’rents and pets in the process!

After operation costs are taken care of, we give 100% of our profits from sales to the trusted animal rescuers and organisations globally who rescue, rehabilitate and re-home animals in need. We always have and always will exist 100% for helping the animals.

We are also mindful that we operate an ethical supply chain so we created the Circle of Giving™ ensuring local artisans and their families also profit from our work in helping the animals. WIN WIN!

How does the 100% Model work?

After operation costs are taken care of we pay-forward 100% of our profits to rescue efforts and trusted organisations. That’s a pretty good return on investment.

About the Circle of Giving
The Circle of Giving™ Program ensures local artisans and their families also profit from our work in helping the animals.

Our entire collection is hand made and sourced within Bali, Indonesia. Profits from these items then fund animal rescue in this location.

We hope to expand and collaborate with other countries to support sustainable animal rescue programs in India, Nepal, Africa and beyond. Look for the Circle of Giving™ caption on the product page.

 

 

Who inspires your work?

The lady that got me started was Rani who runs Goa Dogs Trust in Goa, India. She taught me that giving a stray a full belly is better than just walking past. That has always resonated with me and was the catalyst for noticing strays and helping. It then evolved further once I settled in Bali and volunteered for various animal welfare groups. I’m also inspired by entrepreneurs like Marie Forleo and others that champion anything is possible if you put your mind and passion to it. I never thought I would mix my profession with a newly found passion. Charities need to change their way of thinking and think past donations but evolve the organisation model to be more of a scalable business. Our donors and online supporters really motivate me to be better, as do our adopters and fosters. As the community grows your heart begins to fill as you see the good in people, rather than focusing the trauma inflicted the animals. If you don’t look at the cup half full  you would be in a world of misery and depression so I always try to focus on the paws’itive ; )

Where do you hope to be in 3-5 years, any big plans for MP?

Yes, we have a lot of big plans that will support all people in the rescue space and the animals in their new homes. Top line ideas, for now, is to get Proyek Peduli running (our village-to-village education program), A scooter Squad (motorbikes and vehicles kitted out to help people rescue and move animals to clinics, fosters, adoptions or even just to get their dogs to the beach). We have a mobile app in development as well as a facility. But that’s all I can say for now 😉 

Who else is doing great work for animals on the island? 

There are many. In the past 7 years, there are more and more solo rescuers popping up and starting networks. This makes a huge difference, especially alleviates the pressure on the larger groups.

Bali Pet Crusaders who run a mobile sterilization program. This allows people in poorer areas and people in rescue to obtain affordable sterilisation. After all ‘prevention is better than cure’. When one female dog and her offspring are able to reproduce 67,000 babies in 7 years, or one female cat and her offspring creating 360,000 babies in 6 years, this is a program I give my full support to. Mission Pawsible funds the salary for their junior vet – that’s how much we believe in their programme!

Who should we interview next?

If you are in Bali I would suggest Atri who is a trailblazer (and setting up our Indonesian Yayasan – email: gayatri hapsari <atripardede@gmail.com>)  She can give you insight into the changing landscape of rescue here in Bali from a local point of view. Otherwise, Deb Banfield from Bali Pet Crusaders. info@balipetcrusaders.org

 

Thank you so much, Prue! We really appreciate you taking time out to have a chat with us. We implore everyone to go and support this great organisation.

If you would like to find out more, visit their website HERE.

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