Left For Dead

We received an urgent call for help…..again. A factory worker had contacted one of our volunteers requesting for help as a dog residing in their factory was listless and according to him, a small wound which had not recovered.

He sent us a picture of an emaciated dog with a raw maggot wound at the side of his body. He was lying listlessly on his side and looked dirty and frail. How could the worker possibly say that it was just a small maggot wound and that the dog had merely not eaten for a few days? Immediately we swung into action arranging to take the poor dog to the vet.

When we laid eyes on him, he was a sorry sight, a living skeleton with a strong stench of rotting flesh. Armed with leashes and a collar for fear that he may run away, we realised we didn’t even need them. He was so weak that he could hardly lift his head to look at us. He did try to stand up but collapsed with a pitiful whine of pain.

Sweet Bobby on way to the vet

Arriving at the vet
We carried him into the clinic on a stretcher. He was a bag of bones with badly matted fur and dirt covering his entire body. He actually looked dead. His breathing was shallow and he hardly moved. As we were waiting for our turn to see the vet in the waiting area, he lay on the stretcher with his eyes closed, whining in pain occasionally. We tried to comfort him by stroking him and assuring him that he was now safe and then we saw a fat maggot climb out of his wound! Have you ever seen a raw wound with maggots wriggling in the raw red flesh? My hands shook as I tried to squash the maggot. I cannot fathom the pain of having dozens of these parasites feeding upon my flesh alive. Our hearts ached for him. To reach this state, he would have been left for dead for weeks.

We decided to name him Bobby in the hope that he will be strong and tough once again.

Eyes that have given up on life
In the consultation room, the vet heaved a sigh of pity looking at Bobby’s miserable state. According to her, Bobby has not had proper nutrition over a prolonged period, his frail body covered with fleas, flea dust, mites, ticks . . . .  you name it, he had it. His infestation was so bad that it would have taken months or more to reach this state.

Fleas and flea dust covered his ears, head and face
 Giant ticks found on Bobby
When we shifted him to take a look at the other side of his body, he whined and cried in pain. It was a weak attempt as he didn’t even have the energy to bark. He was covered with open wounds and parts of his skin on his body and legs were scraped off and raw flesh was exposed.

Flushing his ears which was so badly infected, his ear canal had closed

His left ear was wet and smelly inside but the surroundings were crusty. Upon close examination, the vet told us that the ear was so badly infected that his ear canal had actually closed, there was only a small hole where pus was leaking out. He was most likely deaf in this ear due to the severe infection and this added on to his pain. It would have taken a severe ear infection, over a very long period of months or years for the ear canal to have closed. Such was the suffering and pain he had gone through.

We thought that was all and weren’t prepared for what happened next. When the vet flipped him on to the other side to check for more wounds, dark coloured, blood looking liquid flowed out from his penis, which had swelled to three times the normal size! We were saddened by what he was going through. The vet immediately flushed his badly infected penis and checked for maggots. There were none and so a catheter was inserted immediately to keep the area dry and hopefully heal faster. It could be cancer or a prolonged infection with no treatment.

Badly infected penis that was terribly swollen
 Catheter inserted into Bobby, a mass of skin and bones
We were unable to carry out more tests as had already gone through enough for the night.

His ear canal had closed except for a tiny red hole oozing pus

For now, he would be put on a drip to stabilize his condition, antibiotics, pain killers, and the vet would be monitoring his condition and cleaning his wounds. They will let him rest for a few days before deciding on the next course of action.

As poor Bobby has a severe heart murmur, he cannot be put on general anaesthesia thus he was lightly sedated throughout the procedure and given local anaesthesia. He moaned and howled softly in pain occasionally as the vet cleaned and removed the maggots one by one from his wound, cleaned his ears and inserted the urine catheter. He had to be administered local anaesthesia periodically and the only indication that he required a fresh dose was when his cries of pain became louder and he tried to struggle to get up. The vet made a comment that the maggots were almost turning into flies. Despite it being just a comment, it sent shivers through my spine. Bobby was also found to have tick fever.

When I first saw Kate, it was like a huge punch in my stomach at the sight of her eyeball popping out of her socket. In Bobby’s case, its equivalent to being hit again and again several times in the face with each observation as we realised how truly severe his injuries were. His final diagnosis is bleak and we hope that with time and proper medical care, a good nutritious diet, a miracle may happen and he would recover and at least enjoy what’s left of his sad life.

We appeal to you in praying for his recovery and also your kind assistance with the medical bills. With four dogs (Dawn, Ah Mei, Kate and now Bobby) at the vet, we are stretched to the max. We have never hesitated when we receive calls for help as we have faith that fellow animals lovers like your good self will support the rescue work we do. In addition to sending the dogs to the vets, we ensure they have proper nutrition by feeding them home cooked food and visiting them at the vets regularly. We do not want our dogs to feel neglected or unloved. We treat all our rescue dogs as if they were our own beloved pets. Any amount, big or small, is greatly appreciated and goes a long way in ensuring our doggies get the best care possible and gives us the ammunition to rescue more dogs.

Other than financial help, we appeal for adopters or fosters. In the near future when Bobby is better, we hope he can be adopted or at least live with a foster who can shower him with love and care. In view of his current state, we dare not allow him to go back to his factory where he was left for dead.

We are also urgently looking for fosters for the rest of our dogs currently warded at the vet, so that these dogs can recuperate in a home environment, as well as help us save on our vet bills. Ah Mei needs a foster for 2 weeks while her eyelid heals and our dear 3-legged Dawn is ready for a forever home. She was badly traumatised after getting caught by AVA but is now much calmer and allows herself to be stroked and walked although she is still a little wary. She has come a long way but needs a patient family who can welcome her and allow her to feel safe again.

To help in any way you can, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg Thank you.

Written by Wendy Yeo


Ah Mei's Updates

Ah Mei has had a surgery carried out on her left eye to reconstruct her eye lid. Being in a new environment and caged up, she is feeling a little down. Her eye is still swollen from the surgical procedure and there is still some pain, but she seems to be coping well. Ah Mei is extremely sweet. She offers you licks and wags her tail as soon as you approach her.

She is expected to have the stitches on her eye removed in about 10 days’ time and once her eye is as good as new, she will be returned to the factory where her caregivers will continue to care for her.

Right now, we have 4 dogs at the vet and as Ah Mei’s case is not critical, she doesn’t need to be warded. We are hoping someone will come forth and offer to foster Ah Mei for 2 weeks. She doesn’t require a lot of care, just cooked meals twice a day, cleaning her eye and applying eye drops twice daily and short walks in the morning and night to pee / poo.

All cooked meals, food & water bowls, collar & leash, as well as medications will be provided by HOPE. Should Ah Mei need to go to the vet, she will be picked up by our volunteers as well. All the foster needs to do is love and care for her for 2 weeks. 

If you can foster Ah Mei, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg


In The Nick Of Time (Ah Mei)

On one of our feeding rounds, volunteers noticed a dog with her left eye closed and swollen. They were unable to get near and suspected the eye was badly infected. Our memories were still fresh from Kate’s gruesome eye wound and we prayed this doggy wouldn’t lose her sight.

Ah Mei's left eye, bloodshot and badly infected.
One of our volunteers, Jozelle, made some enquiries and managed to locate the feeder that informed us about this dog. Apparently this dog, named Ah Mei, lived in the same factory as SiDa. So we called SiDa’s previous caregiver, Yongyhurt, to find out more.

Terrified of being in a new place
Yongyhurt told us that Ah Mei had been involved in a dog fight 2 to 3 weeks back and her left eye lid had been torn off during the fight. When asked why he didn’t call us for help, he said there was no need to as she could not see anymore. In actual fact, Ah Mei could still see but because the eye lid was torn off, she was in a lot of pain thus she kept her eye closed. Because she did not have the eye lid to protect her eye, dirt and dust particles had gone in, causing her eye to swell and become badly infected. Imagine the pain this sweet little dog went through for so many weeks!

Having her eye examined at the vet

We arranged with Yongyhurt’s colleague to help us catch her and booked a pet transport to ferry her to the vet, as Yongyhurt worked from 5.30am to 8pm and was not around to help us.

HOPE’s responsibility, when we feed strays, is to also educate foreign workers on the importance of sterilization, as well as educating these workers on how to care for the dogs on their compounds. Often, because they come from different parts of the world, their quality of care is very different from ours.

When Ah Mei arrived at the vet, she was terrified of being surrounded by strangers and being in a new environment. She panicked and tried to escape. Fortunately we held on to her. Our hearts were in our mouths! She was so petrified she pooed when we carried her into the consult room. She was in such great distress that she backed into a corner and looked at us with doleful eyes.

The torn eyelid on her left eye meant that her eye was not able to close fully, thus her eye wouldn’t be lubricated and would be exposed to dust. There is chance that her tear duct may be damaged, but we will only know for sure after further tests. Her left eye is blood-red and filled with pus. We thank God for small mercies as her cornea is undamaged and she still has sight in the affected eye. However, the vet mentioned, if left unattended and with constant exposure to dirt, her cornea will turn black gradually and she will eventually lose her sight. We’re thankful for our volunteers who keep a look out for these dogs during their weekly feeding sessions. 

Finger points to the area where Ah Mei's eye lid has been torn off

Ah Mei has been warded at the vet and her left eye will be operated on today (Saturday) to realign her eyelid to allow her to close it properly. She will then need to either stay at a vet or foster home for 10 days while her wound heals and her stitches can be removed. She won’t be allowed to return to the factory till her eye has completely healed, lest it gets infected again. Her eye reconstructive surgery is expected to cost $2000, excluding the 10 day stay at the vet.

You may ask why we constantly spend thousands on street dogs . . . . but why not? These street dogs already have it hard. They live on the streets, they have to fend for themselves, get attacked by other dogs and are exposed to dangers daily. Imagine if Ah Mei had to live with one blind eye when a surgery could help. How would she cope with one eye? Her life would be in grave danger as she wouldn’t even be able to see cars coming from her left! If $2000 can make them pain free, happier and more comfortable again, why not?

Thank God her right eye was not injured
We would, of course, love to rehome these sweet darlings but to date, we still have 14 dogs in our charge, some of whom have been waiting 2 years for a home. We can’t possibly take in any more.

We would like to thank our donors, supporters and fellow dog lovers for your unwavering support which allows us to continuously rescue and aid these poor doggies who will otherwise have no access to medical care. Due to an overwhelming number of cases recently, we seek your help in assisting with their vet bills. Other than rescuing injured street dogs, we are also providing long term care for our other rescued dogs such as Buddy, who has to go for monthly vet reviews for his heartworm treatment. Sida and Matthieu, who have monthly acupuncture, massage and hydrotherapy sessions. Ah Boy and Sunny who are on long term heart medication on top of their regular vet reviews.

With every rescue, it is our responsibility to see them through the entire process of recovery and or rehoming, to ensure that these dogs remain in good health, are happy and well cared for and to have the best quality of life we possibly can afford to give them. 

On behalf of our doggies, thank you!

To help with our vet bills, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

Written by Wendy Yeo


Perfectly Imperfect

Everyone wants to adopt a new, cute, perfect dog. Animal shelters are filled with people looking for the healthiest and best looking dog to bring home. And then there we have Baby Harper, Matthieu and Sida still waiting for the special someone to bring them home. 

That has been the story of Baby Harper, Matthieu and Sida’s life since they have been rescued. No one shows any interest nor dare take up the challenge to care for them because they are special. Many people see physical deformities in animals as shortcomings, but that is untrue. The truth is that they just require a little extra care, medication or special diet, vigilance and attention.

Baby Harper, a local crossbreed.
(Photograph courtesy of Furry Photos Pet Photography)

Harper standing tall

Baby Harper was born with a broken spine. Like any other local crossbreed, she is lively and loves to play except that she is wheelchair bound.  She wears diapers because she is unable to control her pee and bowel movement. To help her get better, she receives weekly acupuncture and hydrotherapy to help her muscles and nerves.

Matthieu showing off - he has come such a long way! 

Then we have Matthieu, who was born a perfect dog. For 11 years, he was living as a stray in a worksite but during those times he suffered trauma to his spine. This caused him to lose the use of his hind legs. He is unable to control his pee and bowel movements. After he came to our care, he went for many sessions of hydrotherapy and acupuncture. Since then, he has been able to move around a little on his own, while still requiring assistance from time to time.

SiDa, determined to put her past behind and live life to the fullest! 

Lastly, we have Sida who’s barely 3 years old! At such a young age, she could have been like any other young dog running around. Unfortunately, Sida got into a tragic accident. A lorry hit her and rolled over her back, breaking her entire spine. She doesn’t have control over her hind legs or her pee and bowel movements anymore. She has gone through spinal surgery and now undergoes weekly physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, massage and acupuncture. She also has a sponsored wheelchair to help her get around. 

No doubt that Baby Harper, Matthieu and Sida are special but all they really want is for a home they can call their own. The simple need for someone to love them despite their imperfections. It is not their fault that they were born special nor was it their fault to have encountered the unfortunate events. They have accepted their predicaments and are trying to live their life to their fullest.

Can you be the one to accept their imperfections and bring them home?

We understand that adopting a special needs dog requires extra consideration. But if you have the ability and have a big heart, please do step forward! If you can see past their imperfections and can appreciate their beauty of being imperfect, please do contact us at hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

Baby Harper, Matthieu and Sida will be more than happy to be your best friend!

Written by Yun Lu


Gone Too Soon (Farewell Bentley)

As our nation celebrates National Day, our team mourns the loss of our gentle giant Bentley. Still a baby, he was a rescued street dog who passed away from acute kidney failure at just 2 years old.

A private ceremony was held for him this afternoon, attended by many of our volunteers who were touched by his genteel nature and babyish behaviour. He was possibly amongst one of the sweetest street dogs we had ever rescued.

It was likely Bentley had died from poisoning. We can only speculate that he may have accidentally ingested rat bait, which contains warfarin, which caused his death. Rat bait is used to poison rats, causing them to bleed to death. A very slow and painful way to go. We can only theorize this because last night just before he passed on, he vomited blood and in the next instance, blood flowed out from his nostrils and the blood did not clot at all, which is common in rat poisoning. Even today during his cremation, blood still oozed from his mouth and nose. . . . .

We decided to share this with all pet owners to please be alert when walking your dogs. Pay attention to what they sniff or eat during their walks. Don’t text, don’t use your mobile phone. Focus your attention on your dogs. We blame no one. It was an accident and obviously no one would have wanted this to happen. It may or may not have been the situation with Bentley but nevertheless we just wanted to warn all pet owners to be careful.

Farewell Bentley. We are sorry we could not save you but you did not die in vain. Your death has taught us a tough lesson which we share and learn from.

We miss you dearly. 


Updates on Bentley

Bentley is not doing well at all. We are saddened by his condition, deteriorating faster than we can rectify.

When he was first rescued aft being attacked by a pack of dogs
Recovering at the vet after his first injury

We had taken him to another vet for a second opinion. He has had x-rays done, blood tests and an ultrasound. He suffers from acute kidney failure. Both his kidneys are enlarged and his body temperature dangerously low. Volunteers have been taking time off to visit and spend time with him, as well as bringing large thick blankets to cover him and keep him warm.

He is not peeing enough and that is also a concern for the vets, which means that his kidneys are no longer functioning well. His kidney readings are 10 times past the normal range!

Waiting to see the vet yesterday after transfer

He has been salivating and the previous vet had thought that he was nauseous from all the toxins in him, but when the vet checked again, his mouth was full of terribly bad ulcers. They were so huge, spread all over his gums that is was no wonder he was salivating blood and could not eat. We feel so sorry for him.

Salivating blood from huge ulcers in his mouth

A volunteer fetched Bentley’s worker, Andy, down yesterday evening to visit him and Bentley could only lift his head for a few seconds to acknowledge the worker’s presence and lay down again.

Ulcers and pus on his gums

The vet has cautioned us that he may go into seizures any time as that is common in severe kidney failure. As it is, he has some signs of head bobbing.

We have not stopped blaming ourselves for taking 4 days before sending him to the vet. He had vomited a few times throughout the day and stopped eating 2 days before we took him to the vet, but little did we know it was so serious and that he had kidney issues. We thought it was perhaps a food allergy. We were then told that his condition is not reversible. It is reversible in minor kidney failure but in serious cases like Bentley’s, there is no second chance.

All his symptoms point to acute kidney failure from toxic poisoning. We have been cracking our heads thinking of all the things that he could have eaten and we can only speculate that he might have accidentally licked rat pee during his walks. Other than that, there was nothing toxic that he would have access to as his foster took good care of him and Bentley was such a good boy, he never stole food from the table even though he is so tall and could easily help himself.

Worker, Andy, visiting Bentley

He has had such a sad life, barely 2 years old – from having been attacked by a pack of dogs and having almost ripped off his ears to being very close to death now. Sadly, his adoption poster had just been made and Bentley was on his was to being put up for adoption and finding a family that would love him the way we do.

Now all that is gone . . .we can only hope and pray that doggie angels will help him either pull through or take him away from his misery and suffering soon.

If you can help with Bentley’s vet bills, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg