30.6.15

Amber With The Soulful Eyes

Volunteer, Wendy, carrying Amber to put her in the carrier and take her to the vet

We came across this female dog when we were doing our rounds in the industrial area 2 weeks ago. Despite having a group of excited dogs all clamouring for our attention, our eyes could not help but be drawn to this girl who seemed to be favouring her front left leg. Not only was she limping to get around, as we observed her to try and assess the extent of her injury, we noticed that she never once rested that front right paw on the ground, even when she was standing still. Upon closer inspection, we saw that her right elbow was swollen.







We call her Amber with the soulful eyes. For it was her expressive eyes that spoke of the pain, even though she neither flinched nor whined when we examined her injured leg.The swollen elbow warranted concern, so we plucked her off the streets and bundled her off to the vet. The vet put her age at around 5 years, and advised us that the swelling and limping were either caused by an old fracture that had not healed properly, or bone cancer. However, her actual affliction could not be confirmed until she had a chance to meet with a specialist. For that, we would all have to wait another week. In the meantime, Amber was hospitalised.

Tired, scared and in pain at the vet



Look at how awkward her bone joint juts out

Hearing the big "C" word is never easy and the week leading up to her visit with the specialist was filled with worry that she might indeed have cancer. To add to that, Amber was not doing so well being away from her pack and cooped up in an unfamiliar space. While she was still very friendly and affectionate when we visited, always wagging her tail and pushing her head into our hands for a pat, she was also showing signs of stress. She found it hard to relax in the clinic and was reluctant to move; she either froze upright or lay curled up hoping that no one would notice her. 


Amber, feeling very sorry for herself

Finally, the day of her visit with the specialist arrived. After performing the necessary tests and x-rays, the news that Amber did not have cancer was met with huge relief. What she had was confirmed to be an old fracture which was estimated to have been obtained about 2 months back. Given the high vehicular traffic where she lives, it is not hard to deduce how she might have gotten her injury. Such are the dangers that our strays face.

The vet reckoned she may have been hit by a motorbike and after the accident, a large nerve had become impinged between the elbow bones, causing severe pain and limited movement. 

Elbow bones shattered

Right elbow fractured and inflamed

The fracture had disrupted her elbow joint and the resulting pain could not be treated normally by splinting or medication. The only way to relieve the pain was to undergo a surgery called Arthrodesis which would encourage the fractured bones in her leg to fuse together over time. Even with the surgery, she will always walk with a slight limp for the rest of her life, but at least she will be able to use her leg again without pain.

Amber underwent the surgery last week and the cost of the surgery amounted to $1,700.

A very worried Amber
Over the period of her injury, the muscles in her right leg have atrophied a little due to lack of use so Amber will require some hydrotherapy sessions to strengthen the muscles and teach her to use that leg again. Her leg will also need to be checked regularly in the next few weeks. Any signs of swelling or a cold paw, which could signify that blood is not circulating well in the limb, will need to be checked out by the vet.

Amber is also still showing signs of stress and depression. She has not peed or pooped for 3 days as she is fearful on walks and freezes up when the volunteers carry her to the grass. 



Despite all this, Amber with the soulful eyes is a really sweet girl. In her eyes, you can see that all she needs is some patience and TLC as she recovers. Amber loves humans and is extremely affectionate. She shows no signs of aggression at all. f you can foster and tend to Amber’s recovery needs (better yet, adopt her for life!), or wish to contribute towards her vet bills, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg 


Her leg no longer requires wound cleaning. She just needs to be encouraged to walk and to start using her leg again. 

Written by: Adeline Pang

25.6.15

Young At Heart Senior Dog Seeks Refuge (Fido the JRT)

"When I was young, you showered me with love and care, played with me all the time, and couldn't get enough of my cute antics. You brought me out for walks, fed me dinner, gave me baths and laughed when I shook water all over you. You bought me toys, bones to chew on, my very own bed and carried me when the ground was dirty. You brought me to the groomer's to get cleaned up and the vet to get my checkups even though I protested every single time. Years passed and I aged with time as do all living beings. My body is now weak and my health is starting to deteriorate. I am not the cute teenager anymore. You started to get angry with me for every little thing that I did. I'm sorry, I tried but couldn't help peeing all over the place. You stopped fussing over me and left me to be on my own. I sit quietly by myself and my only joy is to look forward to you coming home every day. But when do, you just brush me aside and turn on the TV. One day you called for me to go out as usual, to the park you said, so I happily ran out with you. I turned around to investigate a new smell and got lost in the moment as usual. But this time round, you didn't wait for me to be done. I looked around and started to panic, I ran to all our usual spots but you were not there. It hit me then, that I would never see you again. What did I do wrong? I thought you would love me forever?" - Fido. 

Fido at the vet with his rescuer and Hope volunteers



Fido was found wandering the streets around Woodlands by a kind, animal-loving couple. They are not able to house him as they have 2 other dogs and a baby. They put up lost & found posters on the streets and on social media. They also informed SPCA and AVA but after 3 weeks, there was still no response; no one came to claim him. The sweet boy was most likely abandoned. They contacted HOPE Dog Rescue; we met them at the vet, and HOPE paid the vet bills to get him a thorough medical checkup.

Fido is a very sweet boy, look at that face!
His nails had not been trimmed for a long while

Fido is a senior Jack Russell Terrier and estimated to be 7-8 years old. He is well-trained and will automatically go to the toilet to poo, but he also has a habit of marking. He gets along well with both dogs and kids and tends to grow attached to people he meets. He suffers from separation anxiety, as is expected from being abandoned, and will bark when left alone. He is also suffering from an enlarged prostate due to old age or not having been sterilised earlier, but as there is no mass in the prostate, he just needs to be on Saw Palmetto Supplement for his condition. A 2cm mass was found in his spleen but the vet is currently monitoring his situation and will perform an ultrasound in 4-6 months’ time. He has since been sterilised and has no other health problems!


Fido loves car rides!

He needs a calm and patient owner who has the patience to teach him that it’s okay to be left alone at home. He only asks to belong to someone once again; to have someone love him as much as he will love them; to give him warm loving pats and reassure him that he is not going to be abandoned again. He urgently needs a foster now as he is at a commercial boarder and the fees are adding to our already mounting debts. In the long run, he of course hopes to find his forever home. Will you be the one?

Email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg to help Fido.

What a handsome Fido

Slightly overweight at 11kg

Gorgeous!
Written By: Ingrid Wee

22.6.15

Another Injured Dog From The Vacated Factory (Joz)

It was a routine feeding round at the vacated factory on a lazy Saturday morning. As is our habit, we counted the number of dogs to ensure all are accounted for. We were walking around looking for the missing sleepyheads when we spotted her. She is Mummy to Matilda and Tommy, our 2 giant puppies, and has a beautiful brindle coat (which Matilda inherited). She was very wary of us, and we could not entice her to come to us even with food in our hands. She shied away in fear when approached, and limped away to avoid us. Surprised by the limping, we took a closer look and saw a gaping wound on her foot. Part of her flesh had been sliced off. 

Part of the flesh on her paw had been sliced off

She was not able to run very far (or very fast) with the injury, so we managed to catch her and send her to the vet that very same day. A blood test revealed a high white blood cell count, indicating that infection was starting to set in. Thankfully, we got to her in time to catch the infection at its onset so all she needed was antibiotics to clear it up. Even so, the vet deemed the wound too big to be stitched up immediately. The wound had to be managed over the next 3 days to ensure it was clean and granulating well before the vet could stitch it up.


Look at the cute brindle face of hers, although not very pleased with being caught :-)

Joz, as we have named her, was lucky to have been found early. A small wound, which is of no concern if treated early, can develop into a serious injury due to exposure to flies / maggots, bacteria and infection. Any later and Joz’s leg may have had to be amputated to save her life, especially if septicaemia had set in. There are many who are not as lucky, and suffer in pain for a long period before they are rescued. Some we may not get to in time, and the only thing we can do for them is pour a lifetime worth of love they should have been given into their final moments. Yet how many others suffer and pass on in pain without being allowed even that? The life of a stray is a precarious one fraught with hunger, pain and danger. If we could bring all the strays home, we would love to do so, but our hands are tied by a lack of space, resources and funds.

Joz is presently warded at the vet, and may continue to be warded for the next 10 to 14 days. When her wound is fully healed, as much as it pains us to do so, we will have to return her to the vacated factory. She has already been sterilized by Hope about 2 mths back.


Resting at the vet, with her injured paw bandaged up

To date, from the vacated factory, we have rescued / helped the following dogs, many of whom were sick or injured at the time of rescue:
  1. Eli (1-year-old male) – Eli was picked up for a severe case of hematoma on his left ear. He has since recovered and been returned to the factory.
  2. Jack & Jill puppies (4-month-old siblings) – Both had tick fever and had bloated tummies at the time of rescue. Jack has been adopted, while Jill is recovering well with a fosterer and is available for adoption.
  3. Polka Dot (3-year- old female) – Compared to the others, Polka dot is otherwise healthy, and is available for fostering / adoption.
  4. Matilda and Tommy (6-month-old siblings) – Like the other pair of siblings Jack and Jill, both were found with bloated tummies. X-rays showed they had stones and bones in their tummies. They were also diagnosed with lead poisoning. They are both recovering well and are available for adoption. They are nice to dogs and children.
  5. Hachiko (5-year-old male Husky cross) – Hachiko was treated for 3 huge maggot wounds. He is at a commercial boarding facility and available for adoption. Very good natured and well-behaved.)
If more dogs can be adopted from the above list, we will be able to save more of the other dogs still left behind in the vacated factory. We don’t know how long they will remain safe there and when the authorities will start catching and culling.

If you would like to adopt and save a life, or two, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

17.6.15

What Does Animal Rescue Mean?

Volunteer, Eason, playing with the doggies at a fish farm

Animal rescue is not about dramatic, over the top rescues. It includes mundane, day to day tasks caring for the dogs we look after on a monthly basis. There are more than 20 dogs under our care, living in factories and farms. Living in the open means constant exposure to ticks, parasites and mosquitoes. These can lead to possible life-threatening illnesses and we try our best to ensure they stay healthy. Tick and heartworm prevention are of utmost importance, therefore we would visit these dogs monthly to apply Frontline and Revolution. Prevention is always better than cure. Treatment for these illnesses are prolonged, costly and extremely stressful for the dogs. Heartworm treatment takes up to possibly 6 months.  We are currently running low on Frontline and Revolution and are appealing for donors.  We need new supplies of Frontline (for dogs 10 – 20 kg and more than 20 kg). Revolution (for dogs 10 – 20 kg and more than 20 kgs) and even Frontline for cats as we will apply for the felines as well when we have sufficient supplies.

Frontline Plus (10kg to 20kg)
Frontline Plus (20kg and above)
Revolution (10kg to 20kg)

Revolution (20kg and above)

Please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg  if you have any leftovers to donate or if you would like to purchase the Frontline/ Revolution directly and send it to us.  



Applying Frontline on the dogs at a fish farm

Volunteer, Jozelle, applying Frontline, helped by a worker



These workers take very good care of the dogs on their compounds. They cooperate with us to ensure their dogs are well taken care of. All dogs are sterilized, vaccinated and on Frontline and Revolution. 



We need your kind support and generosity in our quest to help the dogs stay healthy and happy.

11.6.15

Jungle Boy (White White)

Pain, fear, hunger, loneliness – these are just some of the everyday feelings of our Singapore street dogs.  For the past 4 months, a kind aunty has been feeding White White, a sweet natured dog living alone in a forested area.  She took pity on him when she first saw him as he was skinny, scared and hungry.  Aunty doesn’t dare to go near White White as he is a big dog, so she would leave food for him nightly and leave.  2 weeks ago, Aunty noticed a small wound on the right side of White White’s face, likely caused by other dogs’ attack due to fighting over food, female in heat or just territorial behavior.  The humid weather and lack of medical attention led the wound to worsen rapidly and started smelling bad, due to maggot infestation.  Aunty got worried and frantically tried to contact 2 animal welfare groups and while one did not respond, the other told her to resolve on her own.  Aunty then met a jogger who suggested that Aunty contact Hope and our volunteers went to check on the situation the same evening.  Volunteers managed to get quite close, about an arm’s length as White White is just a sweet tired soul in pain and wanting help with no display of aggression.  However, he was wary and scared of the humans and walked off shortly, leaving a lingering maggot stench. 



Waiting to be helped

Volunteers decided to trap White White the following night as we cannot leave him in the lurch to waste away.  It took 2 hours to trap him and the poor boy howled and barked in the cage all the way to the vet, terrified and not knowing what to expect. The real extent of his wound can only be seen at the vet as blood started dripping as he stood in the cage.  Maggots infestation caused the smell of the rotting flesh, and the maggots ate the skin and flesh on the right side of his face.  This reminded us of Hugo and we are thankful that we managed to get him in time for treatment. The pain, suffering and fear must be immensely unbearable as the horrific wound stretched from the top of his face to under the neck.   White White was traumatized and terrified so we warded him at the vet for the night to allow complete rest. Despite the discomfort, White White ate the food that the vet provided for supper, probably too hungry as some dogs would be unable to eat under such painful and stressful circumstances. 




Huge maggot infested wound from the top if his head all the way down to his jaw

We are grateful that his eye is not affected, however, it will be a long road to recovery for White White who may need a few surgeries to close the wound. The first one would be to debride the wound, done under general anaesthesia. White White is expected to be at the vet for up to 3 weeks and the few surgeries required will cost around $3,000 to $5,000.  White White, estimated to be only 3 – 4 years old, looks weary and bears the scars of being a stray in Singapore. Before we left the clinic, he leaned on the gate for a pat on his forehead, such is the simple yearning for love. 

Do you have the space in your house for a sweet loyal companion?  Would you help White White  with his vet bills? Please contact:  hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

9.6.15

Dance Till Dawn



When I first met Dawn, I didn't quite know what to expect - she was frightened and wary of me; I couldn't touch her for a week. On the following weekend after she came to my house, HOPE volunteer Lois and her previous foster Ruth, came over to help shower her. That was the first time I properly patted her and from then on, it seemed like Dawn completely changed.


Foster Pam and foster dog, Dawn

Her eyes brightened, her tail wagged. When I go out of the house, she will look at me with anticipation, as if hoping I'd bring her along. When I come home, her tail would spin so fast with joy it looked like a helicopter. I guess she just needed time to learn to trust, but once she does, you will see what a delightful girl she really is.



Today, Dawn is the reason I grin so widely in the wee hours in the morning after I get home from a long day at work, and chuckle to myself in the dark when she rolls over and paws my hand gently for belly rubs. Dawn has shown me that no matter the breed, history, age or even number of legs a dog has, all you need is really some patience and love and this can transform a dog fully. The HOPE volunteers have told me how much more docile Dawn has become, which is something I probably cannot appreciate fully as I didn't know her well while she was living in a factory as a stray. However looking at her now, all I see is a sweet, sweet girl who demands so little yet gives so much. Dawn is a priceless treasure to have, if only you would open your doors to this lovable girl.

Dawn's Biodata :
Female, local crossbreed
Estimated 7 years old
3 legged but as good as new 
Perfect health for a senior citizen

ADOPT DAWN.

Read Dawn's rescue story here.



Written by foster, Pam.
Photo credits : Andrew Tan, Roy Pek

4.6.15

From Kopi To Latte


Our little kopitiam ah boy has been adopted! Read about the coffee shop puppy here.  


Thanks to the fervent sharing by our readers, a kind family had come forward to contact us on adopting Oliver. Although you may say any home is better than returning him to the coffee shop, we beg to differ. It is our responsibility that if we should remove Oliver, or any of our rescue dogs, it HAS to be a good home, a better one and we are happy to say we have got one.



His lucky stars must be shining on him for he found a family who is willing to prepare yummy home cooked and nutritious food for his meals and he is sleeping with his new daddy and mummy in their room as well. He also has some kitty siblings who aren’t too pleased with his arrival but we are sure they will get used to the idea of a very playful and sometimes cheeky canine brother.

Photograph courtesy of Oliver's family

Oliver has melted hearts and invoked tears with his story and we hope some good has also came out of it to raise awareness of the plight of the many puppies and dogs out in the streets still looking for homes as well.

Email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg if you would like to open your hearts and home to one.

We hope it wasn’t just about Oliver.