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The Little Adventurers Learning to Care for the AFJ dogs

Are you ready to have fun?


When my children started to ask if we could buy a dog I found it hard to explain to them that owning a dog as a pet is a responsibility that requires some education, training and commitment. It is easy to buy a pet but caring for an animal properly over many years of its life is often overlooked. Of course the kids didn’t fully understand why they couldn’t simply buy a dog off the shelf like a tin of beans.

All dogs deserve love, even the not so pretty ones.


The question kept coming from my 3 young kids “Daddy can we buy a dog”. How was I going to teach my kids about animals in general and for them to learn more about caring for animals longer term? In Jogja there are very limited opportunities for children to gain hands on experience and contact with animals.
Fortunately a friend who volunteers at AFJ suggested that the kids could learn about animals by visiting the animal sanctuary. Naturally I followed up on the suggestion. The kids keen as mustard to ‘start off’ by learning how to walk and handle some of the rescued dogs at AFJ sanctuary.
On our first visit both the kids and dogs were very excited about meeting. However, the kids were a bit scared as were some of the dogs at AFJ on their first encounter. They simply didn’t know how to react to each other.
The staff and volunteers at AFJ were relaxed and supportive: showing the children how to walk the dogs in a controlled way and interact with them. It took a bit of time for the three young adventurers to gain confidence and learn how to handle the dogs without panicking and shouting, causing the dogs stress. Many of the dogs weren’t used to being with young children but both the kids and dogs soon got over that hurdle.

Children walking dogs
It has been many months since we started visiting AFJ and I am glad to say we are now regular and welcome guests. The kids enjoy the experience as much as the dogs do when they set off on their walks.
What is clear to me is the children have really benefited from being close to animals and nature during their many walks by the riverside under the shade of tall bamboos and trees. Walking the dogs at AFJ offers many benefits: Healthy outdoors activity, learning to care for animals and about compassion for living creatures we share our world with. We have all seen children and adults react badly to animals. Chasing them with sticks or throwing stones at them. The reason could be that people are scared and lack the experience required to relate to animals if they have had no contact with them.

Dog obedience teaches humans and dogs to work together

When we first walked the dogs it was a bit chaotic as neither the kids nor the dogs knew how to react to each other. Now they are like old friends and simply enjoy the pleasure of river side walks chatting away and laughing playfully. The kids know all the dogs by name and understand much more about how to handle the characters of each of the dogs they take for walks.
AFJ now has 3 young volunteer dog walkers which is providing great pleasure to the children and giving much needed exercise and attention to the dogs that have yet to be adopted. It seems that the children were able to help AFJ by socializing the dogs that were not very used to children too so now they can be adopted by families that have children.

Dogs can be a child's best friend, someone to share happy and sad times with.

We have made many new friends with staff and volunteers at AFJ and of course without the dogs this would never have happened. I thank AFJ and the wonderful dogs for giving my children the opportunity to learn and discover the friendships that animals can give so freely when treated with respect.
Daddy of the three young AFJ Adventurers: Jogjakarta March 2015.


Rubine’s Story – From Hell in a Cage to Heaven at Home…

Rubine’s Diary… from hell to heaven…

Rubine started life in a living hell, stuck in a small cat cage with her mum and 3 siblings from birth.

Never having the space to run or stretch or be like a normal dog, her legs were bent and she didn’t know how to walk properly.

Rubine's  Hell Cage

Then one day, after many visits to Rubine’s owner failed to encourage him to provide the dogs with more humane living conditions, AFJ was able to free Rubine and his remaining siblings Ruchie and Rufo.  (Her mum and another sibling had been sold.)

For the very first time, Rubine found out what it was like to live a life free of the cage.

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For the next three months Rubine left behind her life behind bars and began adjusting to a normal happy life at the dog sanctuary, waiting for the right person to come and love her.

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She learned to run and play, how to eat and pee and poop  in the way a dog should be able too, not squashed up and on top of the other dogs, her life experience thus far.

Then one day AFJ got an email from Ella.  She’d read about Rubine’s life in a cage and fallen in love with Rubine’s photo.  Ella and her husband Patrick decided then and there that Rubine was the one to complete their family.  Ella and Patrick already have a small son  Nael and they wanted him to grow up with a four legged friend just as Ella had when she was a girl.  She didn’t mind that Rubine was not a special breed and her legs were bent.  She didn’t want to buy a dog from a breeder, she wanted to support a dog that needed rescuing and Rubine’s eyes called out to her as she read her story on the AFJ fb site so she’d filled in the adoption form and sent it in.


After the AFJ adoption team had read her application, Ella was cleared to the next stage of the process – a home visit from the AFJ Adoption Team.    AFJ visited Ella, Patrick and Nael late the next evening and they turned out to be the most perfect candidates for Rubine’s new family.  They live in quiet neighbourhood where others also have dogs and the landlord and neighbours are dog friendly.  The house is also perfect as they have a small fenced yard and carport, the perfect size for a small dog like Rubine to play in. They plan to live in Jogja permanently but if in the future things change and they have to move, then just like Nael, Rubine will come along.  No way would they leave him behind – a dog is part of the family.  They also agreed to make sure that Rubine has regular vaccinations and worm and flea treatment,  and they will feed Rubine the way she likes to be fed at the AFJ sanctuary or slowly transition her to dog food when she’s ready.

So with all the boxes ticked, it was agreed that Ella, Patrick and Nael could come and meet Rubine for the first time.  Sometimes a photo is different from the real deal so they needed to come and meet Rubine to see if they were meant to be a family or perhaps another dog would suit them better.

AFJ location is kept secret and is not open to the public to protect the animals there and also to prevent people dumping unwanted pets so Ella and Patrick had to sign a secrecy agreement before the visit.  They had already transferred the fee to cover the spaying operation and vaccinations that Rubine had already had, then on the 17th of November, they arrived at the sanctuary.  Nael was a little nervous at first seeing so many dogs barking and jumping around.  AFJ’s dogs are not in cages but large enclosures where they can run free but are still safe inside a boundary fence.

Rubine was ready at the gate with Anun her carer but she was very nervous about being on a leash.  She’d done a little behavioural training with Sophie one of our volunteers, but she didn’t really get the idea that the leash meant freedom, she was still traumatized by her cage experience and she still needed some encouragement to walk.


When Ella saw Rubine it was love at first sight.  From the moment she held her, Ruben nestled into her arms and put her head under Ella’s chin as if to say, she’s my new mum, I think I will stay here.  And so she did.  Ella spent some time learning how to encourage Rubine to walk by giving her treats and pats whenever she took a step, but she’ll need some more training at home.

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Nael was a bit apprehensive but by the end of the visit, Rubine was eating snacks out of Nael’s hand. 

Then they took Rubine for a quick walk to say goodbye to her brother Rufo, and his house mates Pickles and Celine and the cats.


Patrick was really happy to see Nael, Ella and Rubine happy together and he also encouraged Rubine to walk and play with Nael but he also had other ideas.  You see, when they arrived, the other dogs all came to the front and Patrick fell in love with John.  He asked Ella, how about taking John too?? Hmm, maybe later Ya??


And so it was time for the happy family to go home.  Ella had brought her adoption form and transferred the subsidy fee for vaccines and spaying.  Then it was time to jump into the car.

Rubine joined Nael and Ella in the back while Patrick drove them to Rubine’s new home.  Who knows, after a few months, John may get to see Rubine again…

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See you in a month for a homevisit Rubine…



Rubine is adjusting so well in her new home.   For the first few days at her new home, Rubine didn’t eat much of the food Ella cooked so she decided to try her on dry dog food for puppies, and it turned out she liked it. So since then she’s been eating dog food.   Rubine and Nael are best of friends now.  It took some time for Rubine to want to walk on the grass outside, she only wanted to be inside, but now she is happy playing outside and in.  Nael takes her for walks and they always play together.

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Often Nael just sits near Rubine when she eats, accompanying her.   So cute.   When Nael wakes up and comes out of the bedroom, the first thing he does is look for Rubine and to play with her. One day, Nael suddenly cried after his nap and Rubine came for him and rolled over on the floor, which made Nael instantly laugh.  Ella and Patrick are so glad they get along very well.   But they still haven’t managed to make her like the leash.   Whenever Ella or Patrick come to her with the leash, she lies down and won’t move.   So for now she walks without a leash, just to introduce her to the activity of walking together with the family.   Fortunately she stays close and they only walk around the housing estate where there is little traffic, but it will still be safer if she takes to the leash.  For now they will keep on trying.

Update 23/11/14

Here’s an update from Rubines adopter Ella:

“ I hope I don’t send you too many emails, but I’m excited to tell you Rubine’s latest update.  I was so happy when Rubine finally wanted to play voluntarily in the yard! She really enjoyed her time there, especially when she met a frog and got very excited, (don’t worry, we’ve made sure that the frog was not dangerous). Now she’s brave enough to go outside alone, even sometimes enjoying her time just laying down there. And she’s more playful now! I was afraid she was stressed because she was so calm as AFJ said she was playful.   Nael is so into her right now, he always wants to play with her, which makes us happy.   Rubine is so nice and sweet, she never chews anything else except the big bone I gave her since the first time, and now she started to go potty on the yard! I couldn’t be happier to have Rubine as a family member.”


Update 02/01/15

On 2 January, an AFJ volunteer from the Adoption Team went to visit Rubine to see how she’s doing with her new family.  She was at the door with her new best friend Nael.  They are the closest friends and it shows in the way they interact.  Rubine was happy and playful and looked right at home with the family.  She still doesn’t want to walk with a leash but she walks nicely alongside Nael and Ella and Patrick around the neighbourhood.

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Life is good for Rubine now…

AFJ would like to say a very big THANK YOU to Ella, Patrick and Nael, you are Rubine’s real life rescuers…

If you’d like to be a true rescuer and Adopt not Buy a dog or a cat, you can read about the process on or email and we’ll send you a form.

Adopt don’t buy – find a loyal friend and save a life at the same time…

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Cane Cane the Hit and Run Cat Gets a New Lease on Life

Cane Cane was found in Jomegatan, Yogyakarta and brought to the home of Anett and her daughter Fritzy by a concerned person. She knew they loved cats and left Cane Cane with them as she didn’t know how to treat a cat with such terrible wounds.  She didn’t know what happened but we think Cane Cane was a hit and run victim as she had multiple wounds on her back legs and she was just dragging her legs behind her and walking along the side of the road using her front legs.  Cane Cane is very tame and she kept approaching people in the neighbourhood but everyone was shooing her away until this kind person decided to bring Cane Cane to Anett and Fritzy’s home.


Anett called AFJ to ask for advice as she would leave to go back to her homeland in Germany soon so there was no way for her to keep her.  Anett wanted to help so she paid for vet Dr Janey to come and take her and treat her superficial wounds and x-rays to check for broken bones.  Thankfully there weren’t any, so after a few days at the clinic, she was able to join the AFJ cats at the cat sanctuary.


AFJ called in Ari the animal therapist and she gave her some physiotherapy and it looks like Cane Cane may be able to get some use back in her legs.  Sadly, she had some bad sores from scraping her rear on the ground when trying to walk and being wet from sitting in her own urine for long periods, so Yani and Nana decided to see if she could use the homemade wheel chair they had made for one of the other lame cats.  It took a little bit of getting used to and she had to get some strength back into her front legs but after a few steps…


Success!! She took to the wheelchair with such joy in her eyes.


Now Cane Cane is a happy girl, getting about without her back legs and rear scraping on the ground.  Hopefully soon her wounds will heal and she will become stronger and stronger with the help of more physio and love.


If you feel you have a place in your heart or home for Cane Cane, please contact AFJ.  

We welcome sponsorship, where you can give a monthly donation for physio, care and food, or anyone one interested in providing a foster or forever family for her.

Cane Cane is not going to give up, and she’s waiting just for you…





Aruna the Animal Hero

Here’s an inspirational letter to a school teacher from Aruna Tung, a student of the Yogyakarta International School (YIS), who has been supporting AFJ every Christmas by donating some of the money she works hard to earn selling cheese sticks at school.
Aruna, you are our AFJ hero…
Hi Ibu Chintia! I would like to tell you one of the things i did in this Christmas holiday.
On the 5th of January 2014, we visited Animal Friends Jogja (AFJ) with some of mommy’s family.
 Animal Friends Jogja is a group of animal lovers who save animals from cruelty and educate people so they know more about animals and their needs. When we visited, they were taking care of dogs, cats,monkeys and dolphins. A lot of the dogs had either been in an accident that damaged their limbs or had skin diseases.
One dog escaped its owner’s house and got hit by a car and damaged its legs. When the owner saw that the dog was limping, she didn’t want it anymore. She told AFJ to take the dog or she would throw it away.  AFJ picked up the dog but the owner did not want AFJ to go to her house and they think she is a breeder. They took him and took care of him. It is very sad that people don’t accept animals that are not perfect.
Some other dogs had skin diseases and they have a different diet than the other dogs because they cannot have too much protein. The skin disease and the limp legs can be healed but like other medicines and treatments they need money.
We cared for the animals and decided to donate money. I sell cheese sticks at school and the money i got, i donated to AFJ. My cousin, Christopher and i all donated one hundred thousand rupiah, mommy and daddy paid three times our total amount.
Aruna and Jiway Tung at AFJ dog sanctuary

AFJ had two monkeys that they have rescued from street performers (topeng monyet) where the monkey is forced to perform and do tricks. Monkeys cannot stand upright but in the road they do. How the street performers achieve this? They hang the monkey and tie it hands together for two weeks without food until their backbone is straight. The monkeys in AFJ are taught how to solve problems like getting food out of a bottle or finding it so in the wild they can be prepared.

We asked how we can help and she said we can help by educating other people so they are more aware. If you would like to help the monkeys, don’t give  money because the owner we are never sure if the owner is going to use it for himself. You can give him a banana.

AFJ also helps dolphins in the dolphin circus. In many other countries they have banned dolphin circuses but in Indonesia there are some that are still going. Dolphins are wild animals like monkeys and cannot be tamed.

If we want to help dogs who are getting abused or tied up all the time and we want to report to AFJ we must have evidence like a video or pictures. We must take part in saving the dog and also taking care of it. Before taking the dog away from the owner, they try to educate the owner so they can take better care of their dog because some owners just don’t know how to take care of their dog. If the owner is actually being abusive, they take the dog away. Many dogs are involved in dog fights. Puppies are taught to fight and put in a dark room only getting visits from its owner to hit the dog until it is only scared of its owner and attacks anything else. People put money on the dogs that they think will win and the fight ends when one dog kills another. It is very sad that people do those type of things for fun. When the dog is saved, it is traumatized and needs lots of love. Other people make dogs into food! They like to kill the dog without seeing any blood so they put the dog in a bag and hit it over and over until it dies. The AFJ worker says that you can hear their cries and tears actually come out of their eyes.

Albus Dumbledore a rescue dog at AFJ
This concludes that we should not be cruel to animals because they have feelings and are living beings that deserve not to be treated badly. Wild animals cannot live in captivity and should be in the wild. We need to help in order for AFJ to keep on going. Maybe we can have our class visit them or we can ask AFJ to visit us and give a small presentation.  It will be so fun to see the animals! I think once AFJ visited YIS but they lost contact. We can learn things like how to work together, caring for animals and the environment and having fun!
Some rescued cats relaxing at AFJ
Thanks so much Aruna, we hope you like your new bandanna, please come again…
from all the AFJ dogs, cats and monkeys and the AFJ Guerilla Squad volunteers.

Potret bersama satwa kesayangan !

logo Jogja Pet Studio

Setiap tahun, AFJ membuat foto foto baru untuk memperlihatkan anjing dan kucing yang siap adopsi. Dan tahun ini, AFJ beruntung sekali karena AFJ mendapat bantuan foto satwa studio profesional dari Jogja Pet Studio, sebuah agency foto studio profesional khusus binatang.

Di bulan December lalu, Diki Cahyo Gumelar dan Aditya Irwantyanto dari Jogja Pet Studio dibantu asisten bernama Michael Aji Pradipta datang ke lokasi rumah singga satwa AFJ dengan tujuan membuat mini studio untuk mengambil foto dari setiap satwa yang tinggal sementara di dua lokasi rumah singga AFJ saat itu.

Mobile Studio JPS

Ternyata pemotretan satwa tidak segampang pemotretan manusia loh… Ada yang bilang, ambil foto satwa itu paling susah dari semua objek.

Milo being photographed in the mobile studio by JPS

Tapi ternyata ada beberapa satwa yang diduga susah, ternyata langsung merayu lensa Diki dan hasilnya keren banget… Coba lihat foto Pica yang biasanya kelihatan ‘ugly’ menurut mata masyarakat, ternyata memiliki bakat karir modelling…

pica by JPS

Pica… she’s got the skin of an elephant but JPS makes her look like the Princess she is… 

Juga beberapa kucing di rumah singga kucing yang suka malu ternyata bersinar didepan kamera Diki.

Kuncung by JPS

Kuncung the courageous… Lost his eye but hasn’t lost the love… Do you want some? Adopt him now.


Anda dapat melihat hasil foto Jogja Pet Studio di website AFJ di di bagian adopsi dan juga menanti kalendar 2014-15 yang sedang diproduksi.

Ayo pesan sekarang, stock terbatas… dengan kirim email ke dengan subject Order Calender

Dan kalau Anda punya anjing kucing atau satwa lain yang kesayangan Anda dan mau dipotret bersama, silahkan kontak Jogja Pet Studio melalui fan page di facebook Jogja Pet Studio atau melalui akun twitter @jogjapetstudio atau melalui nomor 0817.541.3052

Love your animals? Then get a professional studio photo together and show the world how much they mean to you….

Marie Photo by JPS

Beautiful Marie… waiting for someone special to love and play with her.


Sterilisasi ‘Spay and Neuter’ ala Animal Friends Jogja

Steril bulan Juli 12 Debug

Dua kali sebulan AFJ mengadakan program sterilisasi bersubsidi untuk kucing yang punya keluarga dan sterilisasi gratis bagi kucing-kucing jalanan di Yogyakarta.   Dengan peningkatan kesadaran Masyarakat mengenai kepentingan steril, semakin banyak orang memilih untuk bertanggung jawab atas kucing dan anjing mereka dan membawa satwa yang mereka melihara ke Animal Friends Jogja untuk disterilkan supaya tidak bisa berkembang biak.  Disisi lain, ada kucing yang tidak punya keluarga dan terpaksa hidup di jalan yaitu kucing liar atau jalanan yang disebutkan Stray Cats dalam Bahasa Inggris.

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Kucing yang dipilih untuk disteril oleh AFJ berasal dari laporan warga atau merupakan kucing yang AFJ rescue atau dari keluarga-keluarga yang hidup dengan kucing dirumah atau sekitarnya namun orang tersebut bukanlah golongan berada, tetapi sayang kucing atau sebenarnya memberi atap berlindung bagi mereka untuk difungsikan sebagai pemburu tikus semata.


Proses program steril mulai dari mengadakan survey dan pendekatan terhadap penduduk ditempat dimana populasi kucing meningkat terus, dan seperti kebanyakan orang yang belum mengerti solusi yang tepat, penduduk disana biasanya membuang kucing-kucing yang tidak ‘dikaryakan’ ke pasar atau ke tempat lain.

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Tim AFJ baru berhasil mensteril sekitar 10 ekor kucing liar per bulan dikarenakan keterbatasan dana dan tenaga. Kucing-kucing ditangkap dengan cara pendekatan yang manusiawi seperti menggoda dengan makanan atau kasih sayang.  AFJ baru memiliki satu trap kandang.  (Untuk meningkatkan jumlah kucing liar yang disteril, AFJ perlu tambah sedikitnya 4 kandang trap lagi.  Jika Anda tertarik program ini dan ingin bantu donasi supaya AFJ bisa memesan kandang trap lagi, silahkan kontak Yani/Nana di nomor dibawah ini.)

Setelah ditangkap, kucing yang mau disteril dijemput relawan AFJ atau diantar oleh warga dan dibawa ke base camp untuk diperiksa pra-bedah dan menunggu proses sterilisasi oleh doctor hewan yang membantu AFJ.


Bedah steril hanya perlu waktu beberapa menit untuk jantan dan sekitar 30 menit untuk betina.

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Perawatan pasca operasi dilakukan oleh tim AFJ, setelah kucing-kucing itu sehat kembali, dikembalikan lagi ke rumah masing-masing.  Solusi terbaik sebenarnya adalah untuk mencari rumah dan keluarga buat mereka, dan memang kalau kucing yang diambil dari jalan akan dalam situasi yang berbahaya atau tidak bisa mendukung kehidupan yang layak, AFJ terpaksa mencari relawan yang bisa menampung kucing sementara sambil menunggu keluarga yang mau adopsi kucingnya. Namun situasi nyata sudah membuktikan bahwa dari puluhan kucing yang masuk AFJ setiap bulan, hanya sebagian kecil mendapat keluarga baru yang mau adopsikan mereka, kebanyakan tetap dirawat AFJ.

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Banyak kucing-kucing dibuang ke jalan, sawah, pasar, tempat sampah dan tempat lain oleh penduduk yang tidak mau tahu akan pentingnya sterilisasi sebagai solusi yang paling tepat untuk mencegah overpopulasi. Membuang kucing yang terlanjur terlahir tetapi tidak anda inginkan adalah tindakan yang egois dan kejam karena tidak mempedulikan nasib kucing-kucing yang dibuang. Mereka hanya akan menjadi gelandangan tak berumah, beresiko mati tertabrak atau dianiaya dan dibunuh oleh orang-orang tak bertanggungjawab.


Manusialah yang awalnya membawa mereka ke habitat kita, membawa mereka menjadi bagian dari lingkungan tempat tinggal kita. Ketika mereka berkembang biak dengan pesat, di tengah makin sempitnya ruang gerak dan ruang untuk mencari makan, kita tak boleh lari dari konsekuensi untuk mengendalikan populasi mereka dengan cara yang tepat. Dengan kontrol populasi yang kontinyu, jumlah kucing-kucing yang terancam hidup di jalan dan ditelantarkan bisa ditekan, bahkan ditiadakan. Sudah selayaknya kita menyadari bahwa masalah overpopulasi adalah tanggungjawab kita bersama.


Dan satu cara yang humane/manusiawi dan tepat adalah: sterilisasi.

Jika Anda ingin ikut program steril bersubsidi untuk kucing atau anjing Anda, silahkan kontak Nana/Yani di 0274 516444 atau daftar online di

3 Mario Chained zoom in

Monkey Rehabilitation Project : Off the Streets and Back to the Forests

Who we are

Animal Friends Jogja [AFJ] is a non-profit, non-funded group of animal loving friends who have been undertaking animal rescues, education, humane population control, adoption, advocacy for better laws and conditions for animals, and campaigns to end the animal abuse that is evident in most levels of society in Indonesia, in particular for the city of Yogyakarta (or Jogja as the locals call it).  AFJ is self-funded with financial and other donations from friends, family and members of the community who care about the animals around them.


What we do

In addition to our education, population control and advocacy work, we currently run two halfway houses for domestic animals that have been rescued and are in varying stages of rehabilitation, recovery from injury/illness or simply awaiting for adoption to new forever homes.  Members have donated land to house the cats and dogs who are uncaged (except in recovery/quarantine stage), and free to roam about our large enclosed yards.  Our staff members live on site so the animals are cared for as closely as possible to a real family home situation, to get them used to living in domestic situations and ready for adoption to new forever homes.


From Domestic to Wild

Since AFJ began in 2009, and more so after Merapi Volcano erupted, we have rescued various wild animals, including slow loris, native forest cats, eagles, turtles, long tailed macaques, apes, and snakes, which we handed over to various organizations that rehabilitate and release wild animals.  We only kept rescued wild animals for short periods while awaiting transport to these centres.  But this all changed this year when we were faced with having to accommodate a non-domestic animal as no one would take the Long Tailed Macaque we’d rescued.


Long Tailed Macaques are listed as Appendix II CITES – Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) related to species that, although not currently threatened with extinction, might become so unless their trade is strictly regulated.   As they are not strictly regulated now, these wild animals are open to exploitation thus increasingly more cases are being reported to AFJ, leading to the necessity to take in wild animals, in particular macaques.


Mario’s Story

In early 2013, we received a report of a Long Tailed Macaque (Macaca Fascicularis) that was being kept on a short leash near a busy intersection in a water drainage area without food or water the entire time.

When our volunteers arrived to investigate, not realizing they were from AFJ, the owner showed how tough he was by kicking and hitting poor Mario (the name given by Ariani, the woman who reported Mario’s situation to AFJ), and gave him a lit cigarette and tried to force poor Mario to smoke it, all the while laughing and showing off.

7 Mario being forced to smoke by ex owner

Mario had previously been trained as a masked dancing monkey (please read but had grown aggressive and was no longer useful as a way to make money anymore so he was being left to die.  Mario’s tail had already been cut off, sold for medicine.

1 Mario chained in drain

After witnessing this terrible treatment first hand, AFJ decided that Mario had to be removed from the situation.  By threatening to report the owner to police under Indonesian Criminal Code 302 on animal abuse (a newly revised law that AFJ has been heavily campaigning for), the owner became worried and AFJ rescue volunteers were able to call in a vet to subdue Mario and take him back to our base camp in the forest south of Yogyakarta.

6 Mario and Ex Owner

10 Dr Andre using blow pipe to anaesthetise Mario

13 Using plyers to free Mario

We expected to be able to transport Mario as soon as possible to an organization for rehabilitation, but no one could take him.  The organizations we usually handed wild animals over to, indicated that they are at maximum capacity and could no longer receive any more macaques.

16 Mario in travel cage to clinic


18 Blood being taken for Hepatitis and other tests 20 Mario Blood Test Result Negative

AFJ is now rehabilitating Mario and hoping to release him to a safe habitat in the near future.  When he first came to live at the half way house, he was very distressed and confused.  He would frequently have fits, biting and hitting himself and crashing into his temporary cage and at other times would just sit in a small space unmoving appearing depressed.  Now, with the help of our fantastic staff members, Mario is relearning how to be a real monkey again, being taught to forage and make a nest in leaves and branches, and also learning how to eat food fit for a monkey after years of being fed scraps.

22 Volunteer built enclosure of wood and bamboo 25 Volunteers building enclosure while Mario watches

21 At AFJ Mario eating fruit while bamboo and wood enclosure is built


Mario of the chain and into his first bamboo and wood enclosure Old enclosure eaten by termites Termites have eaten the wood

What we need

The bamboo and wood structure we built when he first arrived was temporary as we had hoped to have him for just a short time, but he lived there for over half a year.  Before it fell down, AFJ decided to try and raise funds for a more stable and larger enclosure that would house more than one macaque in readiness for more incoming rescued animals.

Old enclosure and foundations for new enclosure Tyo cutting bamboo for monkey food challenge tubes Tyo putting up a used tyre for a monkey swing Monkey enclosure enrichment activities Old and New Enclosures

We were able to raise US$1.800 of the targeted US$3.900 we would need to complete the rehabilitation project that is able to house up to 5 macaques. ( see  )

Indiegogo Perks ready to send

After consultation with primate experts, learned that it will be impossible for Mario to be released alone as he will have great difficulty coping without a family group.  This means that AFJ will have to receive at least 4 more macaques in order to rehabilitate them and release them as a group as 5 is the minimum number of macaques needed for a social group to be released to the wild to have any chance of survival against any rival groups in the area.

Mario has now been moved into the new enclosure and we are currently starting the second stage of the enclosure.  We still need more funds as the total will come to around US$3.900 (not including additional carers, medical and relocation expenses).  If you would like to donate funds or materials, please go to the donations link on this website and specify Monkey Rehab in the reference line.

Moving Mario to New Indiegogo Funded Enclosure


Mario's first day in the new enclosure Creative ideas to challenge Mario to forage for food

We need to complete the construction of the primate enclosure as soon as possible as the dancing monkey street performers are flooding the streets of Jogja after Jakarta’s governor fully backed the confiscation of all dancing monkeys from the streets of Jakarta earlier this week.  If our campaign succeeds to pressure the Sultan of Jogjakarta to take similar action, we can expect to be adding to the number of macaques in our rehabilitation facility very soon.

Primate Rehabilitation Enclosure

The Planned Rehabilitation Enclosure

The initial plan is to build six enclosures in one block that can house up to 5 macaques or other primates. The first stage of two enclosures has been finished to rehouse Mario and have an empty enclosure to be used on rotation for cleaning.  With the help of one of our fantastic volunteers who has just graduated as an Architect, a suitable plan was drafted and the second stage is under construction now.

The foundations of the first stage have been laid draining our building fund (AUD 500 for cement, reinforcement steel, rock, sand, and trades person fees – labour was free from our hard working volunteers.)  We are now in need of building materials to create the structure and enrichment for Mario and the new macaques to be rescued.  We really hope that you will support our endeavours to return these abused animals to their rightful place in the wild.

Construction costs :

*iron piping cost USD 700

*wire mesh cost USD 1,700

*supporting materials and enrichment cost USD1,000

*tradesworker fees USD500

*rustproofing paints cost USD 300

* building tools and equipment (brushes, wirecutters, etc.) USD 300

*labour USD 0 (free volunteers)


Estimated Ongoing costs :

* Confiscation / capture – USD 50 – 100 per macaque (depending on numbers, size, location and distance)

* Complete Blood and physical checkup –  USD 100 per macaque (approx)

* Veterinarian monitoring costs USD 25 per week @ 2 visits per week (approx)

* Enrichment – old bicycle/motorcycle tyres and inner tubes USD 0 ; mature fruit seedlings/replantable fruit trees; USD 500

* Food costs USD 20 per macaque per week (approx)

* Carer wages USD 30 per carer per week (approx)

* Relocation to new habitat costs USD 300 -500 per macaque (depending on numbers, size, location and distance)

* Ongoing monitoring/medical/food costs if required (as above)


The Impact

AFJ has received increased reports of macaques being abused or abandoned in and around Jogja.  People buy them from the local animal market as small cute babies, but as they get older their teeth grow and they become more and more frustrated with their captivity, usually in small cages or on short chains, being fed rice and other non-suitable foods.  This makes them very aggressive and owners end up abusing them – removing their teeth, hitting and kicking them to try and tame them, and/or release them in forests that cannot support them, and they end up going into villages to search for food often being shot or beaten and killed, or even worse,  injured and running off to die.

In addition, there has been an alarming increase in wild animal exploitation in the form of Topeng Monyet (Masked Monkey Street Performances), which are flooding into Jogja from Jakarta after another animal welfare group, JAAN (Jakarta Animal Aid Network) together with the local government, confiscated dozens of Long Tailed Macaques from their tortured life performing on the streets.  With laws tightening in Jakarta, which is around a 12 hour drive from Jogja, our city has become a new target area for Topeng Monyet.


Apart from campaigns and advocacy to strengthen the laws on animal abuse, this program is just one small step towards getting these tortured animals back into the forests they came from, or if they’ve been felled, to other safe habitats.

There are currently 3 macaques waiting on rescue and we need to help them as soon as we can so they can begin socialization, trauma rehabilitation and learning wild monkey behaviour again.

If you hava a love for animals, please help us to provide a solution for the street monkeys.  You can be a major part of this campaign by donating to our campaign and remember, every cent counts and will help to provide a way back to freedom for these tortured monkeys.

No amount is too small…

If you can’t contribute financially

You can still help by spreading the word and increasing the campaign’s visibility!

  • Share the macaque rehabilitation project with friends and family who may be interested in supporting our campaign. 
  • Share this blog with anyone interested in animal rescue.
  • Post this campaign link on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, and other social media platforms. 
  • Give a presentation for community groups, schools, or social groups.  We can provide you with a presentation, short film and a lesson plan, or if you are in Yogyakarta we can come and visit your group.

All of these actions will go a long way to making this macaque rehabilitation project a success!