Feeding Mr Akira's Dogs

Did you know that HOPE supplies food to the pets of low income families and senior citizens? Not many people know about this! We believe that pets provide important companionship to humans. One of the beneficiaries of this initiative is Mr Akira, whom we met about 5 years ago.

Mr Akira has had dogs all his life, and they are very much a part of him. For an artist, life has ups and downs. His dog was the inspiration behind all the artwork he has created. When times were bad, Mr Akira's dog was his source of comfort. They were happy just to share simple meals together. When he started working in a hotel, he even brought his dog with him! Thankfully, the hotel was happy to accommodate them.

Mr Akira is known for his art pieces using recycled materials

After he retired, people heard about his love for dogs and began to approach him with unwanted dogs. Mr Akira started taking in dogs from people who have left the country, and couples who have had babies and no longer wanted to keep their pets. Today, he has 3 adopted dogs living with him. Two of them are old, and he has to feed them by hand twice a day. It's not always easy feeding all of them, but he doesn't have the heart to turn them away and watch them starve in the streets without someone who loves them.

Mr Akira and HOPE Dog Rescue founder met by chance one afternoon. He was attending to an abandoned dog, while she was searching for a lost dog. They started chatting, and came to know of Mr Akira's financial struggles and kind heart. Although he isn't wealthy, he is sincere and dedicated to providing a good life for his dogs. They are very much loved, and even sleep in his bed all the time! So, HOPE Dog Rescue extended a helping hand to Mr Akira, and began providing him with food for the dogs under his care.

That was 5 years ago. We've been delivering dog food to Mr Akira every month ever since, and sometimes we pick up the tab for his dogs' vet bills too. Although we cannot take in every dog in need, we're very glad that we can be of help to someone who shares the same cause.

"It was a great relief. With happiness, I look forward to being home every moment to be with the dogs. Thank you so much HOPE Dog Rescue, for helping me and my dogs." - Mr Akira.

If you would like to help out this cause and contribute to the monthly food provision fund for Mr Akira, and other families like him, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg Thank you.


Brandy Urgently Needs A Foster

Storm anxiety in dogs is a common but mysterious phobia. No one knows quite what it is about storms that sends some dogs into a panic attack. Even dogs that are usually not prone to anxiety or fear can freak out during a storm. One such dog is Brandy. Usually calm and laid back, she goes into an absolute panic when a storm hits while she is alone at home. And thanks to our tropical climate where afternoon storms are all but common, she is more often than not alone when it happens.
Just last week, this was what her foster came home to :-(

We have not been able to find Brandy a foster so she currently lives with a volunteer who works long hours. Brandy goes into an absolute frenzy trying to escape when a  storm hits while the volunteer is at work. When the volunteer comes home, it is like coming home to a scene from CSI with dried blood on the walls and door where Brandy has tried to dig her way out. One wonders how Brandy coped with storms while she was a stray!

Brandy had panicked in the day when there was a storm and hurt herself badly

Blood stains on the door as she tried to claw her way out 

Brandy is normally a chill and independent dog. She is affectionate and while she does not mind taking slow walks with her human, she would much prefer rolling in the grass if given a choice! She does not have separation anxiety and can be left alone at home as long as there are no hints of a storm on the horizon. And she is less reactive during a storm if there is a human to pat her and reassure her through it. 

Brandy is the most laid back dog in our present brood. Chill to the max <3

We do not wish to see Brandy continue to hurt herself and hope someone who has more time to work with her to overcome her storm phobia would foster or, better yet, adopt her. If you have what it takes to be Brandy's security blanket during storms, email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

Adopt or foster Brandy? Sweet, affectionate, well-behaved, pleasant, laid back, nice to dogs and humans, PERFECT DOG.

Written by: Sam


Trixie Sweetheart

Trixie patiently waited her turn to be rescued. For a year, she continued to live in the abandoned factory as we rescued other dogs that were in more dire conditions than she was. She may not have been a house pet but for most of her life, she had humans who cared for her, and a canine pack to belong to. When the factory moved, and many of her friends rescued, she must have felt confused and abandoned. We had thought that the tide had turned when we managed to re-home one of our other dogs and free up a foster space for her. With our hearts full of optimism, we picked Trixie off the streets to begin a new life full of love and happiness. 

Alas, Trixie's trials were not yet ended. Just a few months after she was rescued, we noticed a bloody discharge from her nipples. Unfortunately, our worst fears were confirmed when a biopsy proved that Trixie has breast cancer. And like a bad case of déjà vu, Trixie found herself rejected again as her potential foster family changed their minds about fostering her once they learnt about her condition. Trixie was left to stay with a volunteer.

Shortly after, our hopes were once again raised when someone stepped forward to foster Trixie, even after knowing about her cancer. Yet again, this was short-lived as a few hours before we were to send Trixie over, the potential fosterer backed out. She justified her reasons on Facebook, claiming that we were stopping all treatments for Trixie and were foisting Trixie on her and leaving her in the lurch. That is not true. Rather than subjecting Trixie to a whole host of tests simply to find out how little time she had left, we simply wanted to spend time with Trixie without a ticking clock over our heads. Unlike what the potential fosterer alleged, we continue to consult with the vet on the best foods and supplements to give her and will still take her in to see the vet if required. For now, Trixie is happy and content, going on short, slow walks with the volunteers, and taking long naps whenever she pleases.

Despite the setbacks, we are still holding out hope that Trixie will find her forever family soon, who can love and care for her in what may be her final few months. Trixie is a sweet, older dog who is very affectionate and gentle, and gets along well with dogs and humans of all ages. If you have space in your home and heart to spare an older, dying dog, email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

Written by: Sam


Adopt A Senior Dog

In Singapore, you are not considered a senior citizen until you are 60. Dogs are considered senior dogs at the tender age of 7, though this is a broad classification as small dogs mature slower. Even so, many dog owners will tell you that dogs remain puppies at heart a long time after they earn their senior citizenship. Yet, these "senior" dogs tend to get overlooked by potential adopters for the cute puppies.

Trixie, estimated to be about 10 years old was recently diagnosed with mammary gland cancer and is in need of a foster home

Senior dogs need homes too. Just because they have survived longer on the streets or in the shelters does not mean that they are "used to it" and can hold out longer for a forever home. In fact, they do not have the luxury of time on their side. While the image of a senior dog is one that is generally ailing, senior dogs can be as healthy and active as a younger dog with proper care. However, shelters, with their kennels full, are hardly the place to provide such care and by the time some lucky senior dogs are adopted, they come with senior ailments which may make adopting them more expensive if you consider the medications and treatments they require. That is why it is crucial to adopt out senior dogs while they are still in their prime.  

Brandy, female local crossbreed, estimated to be about 7 years old. Sweet, calm and well-behaved.

Matthieu, our favourite old man, a local crossbreed, estimated to be about 14 + years old. Other than his weak hind legs, he is in perfect health.

Many people are drawn to the boundless energy and carefree attitude of puppies. What they don't realise is that this energy can quickly turn destructive if time and effort are not invested into puppy training. On the contrary, senior dogs tend to be mellower and more calm so they need less effort to train up. This does not mean that a senior dog is less fun, because dogs do not lose their love for play and fun (unlike some humans) no matter their age! Also, the old adage about not being able to teach an old dog new tricks is not true. You can teach an old dog new tricks. In fact, they may be easier to train than puppies as they have longer attention spans and are less easily distracted.

Charlie, male Golden Retriever, estimated to be about 12+ years old. 

Trixie  and Brandy, chilling together.  

Some people feel that they can only bond with a dog whom they have raised from puppyhood. Those who have adopted a senior dog, and many of us at HOPE, can tell you just how wrong that perception is. Here at HOPE, we have rescued many senior dogs. It did not take long for the caretakers of these dogs to fall in love with them, nor for the dogs to reciprocate this love. Trixie and Brandy are but 2 of HOPE's senior citizens. Calm and collected, yet still knowing how to enjoy the simple things in life like home-cooked food and snuggling with their humans on the couch, they are the role models for all seniors, humans and dogs alike!

If you are looking for a companion who will calmly listen to your workday woes and not run you ragged after a long day at work or school, why not consider a senior dog? 

To find out more about Trixie, Brandy or our other senior citizens, email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

Written by: Sam


What does it mean to adopt a special needs dog?

Special needs dogs are among the most challenging for rescues and shelters to place; many never find their fur-ever home and are left to whatever end fate deals them. At Hope Dog Rescue, every furry friend is precious to us but it is hard to deny that it is the "extra-special" ones like Harper, Matthieu and Sida that strike a chord in our hearts. Life on the streets has dealt them many harsh blows yet they have managed to press on with an admirable spirit. They may look or behave differently from their other four-legged friends; but it doesn't change anything inside of them.

The Diaper Club : Matthieu, Harper, SiDa (left to right)

SiDa and Harper sunbathing at Sentosa Cove on their monthly outings

Many people see physical deformities in a dog as a liability or shortcoming, but this just isn’t true. Nor is it true that a dog with a medical or mental problem is any "less" of a dog. They are not "incomplete" or "imperfect"; they are simply different. The real "problem" is that they require extra care and treatment for their conditions, be it medications, a special diet, training and more time for companionship, which may equate to more money spent.

Our fav charming old man, Matthieu

Harper loves being on her wheels; she loves her independence

For people who just want to adopt a pet and not a family member, this added expense may present an issue and deter them from choosing dogs with special needs. It is common to find special needs dogs overlooked for more “ideal” dogs. Though sad but true; their "specialness" puts them at a great disadvantage when it comes to being adopted.

Baby Harper

Matthieu is slowly learning to accept and use his new wheels 

At the heart of our mission is giving our street animals HOPE - a second chance at the life they deserve. When you adopt a special needs dog, you are doing something many others will not, and that makes you real special too. For those who can afford the time and expense (which may not be as exorbitant as imagined), why not try to look beyond the surface and into the hearts and souls of these special friends? You'll find that they can teach you a lot about determination, patience, resilience and love without judgment; something that is increasingly scarce in this society.

SiDa the Queen

Email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg if you would like to meet Matthieu, SiDa or Harper.

All this royal dog wants is pat pat all day long

Written by: Wee Yen
Photography by: Dean & Felicia


Baby Star

Twinkle Twinkle Baby Star, how I wonder what you are, up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky, twinkle twinkle Baby Star, how I wonder what you are.” 

Hello everypawdy! My name is Baby Star and I am a 4 months young male puppy. My elder sister is Alyssa, from a different litter. Do you know her? She is very cute too! Don’t you think we look alike? 

I do not twinkle and reside in the skies above but I am still a star. I even have my own fan club! A group of volunteer feeders come to visit me and feed me without fail every Saturday. They shower me and my friends with lots of love and attention and we are so grateful towards them for the yummy food that they feed us every week. One of them likes to sing the song above to me when she feeds me. 

Last Saturday, the volunteers came to feed me and my friends as usual. We welcomed the volunteers with wagging tails and sloppy licks and waited for them to feed us. After we had our fill, the volunteers bade us goodbye and continued feeding other dogs in the area. About an hour or so later, the volunteers returned. We thought they were going to feed us more food but strangely, instead of their food pails, they brought a cage out of the car. What are they trying to do? I had no idea but before I knew it, a gentle caress and hug became a night behind bars. The volunteers carried me and put me into a carrier. Are they bringing me on holiday? Where am I going and are they bringing my best friend Teddy along? Well, it turns out that they were bringing me to the vet for sterilisation. Teddy and my other friends from my factory have already been sterilised. It is now my turn.

At the clinic, the vet discovered lots of tiny fleas and ticks on me. After some tests, the vet also discovered that I have anaplasma, a tick-borne disease. As a result of anaplasma, I have low blood count and the vet is not able to castrate me. I would need to be treated for anaplasma first. 

The volunteers are not able to afford my vet bills. Could you kindly help me pawtty please? I would be so grateful to you! Can you imagine a bright star with its lights being dimmed by hundreds and thousands of black ticks on it? Isn’t that so sad? And I’m just a baby! If you can lend me a paw and help with my vet bills and buy some frontline and medicine for me for a month, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg. Thank you! 

The vets says I need medication for 21 days and the workers at my factory will feed me my medications and I will be sterilized in a month or so when I am feeling better. ! *innocent grateful puppy eyes and happy licks* 

Written by : Weiling


Stray Feeding – When will it be their last meal?

Every Saturday without fail for the last 10 years, rain or shine, volunteers from Hope Dog Rescue have been distributing canned food and feeding the stray dogs in factories and construction sites. Over the years, due to factories shutting down, construction sites completing their building projects, culling measures, and accidents, the number of dogs that we have been feeding has been dwindling gradually. Whenever we visit a feeding site and call out to the regular dogs we feed, we will anxiously do a “headcount”. Sadly, the numbers just keep dipping. Our hearts sink when the dogs do not come running up when we call out to them, and we’ll know instinctively that the inevitable had happened. All we can do is to keep up with the feeding every week, so that their tummies will be filled, not knowing when will it be their last meal.

Other than feeding them, we regularly check them for wounds and injuries so that we can quickly administer first aid and try as much as possible, prevent them from succumbing to their injuries eventually. Maggot wounds are the worst because it is the most painful way to die as the maggots progressively eat away their flesh. We also apply Frontline on them so that their tick condition can be better managed.

Puppies are often run over by vehicles when they are old enough to walk and go out in search of food

Strays lead a very hard life and are exposed to the elements every day. When it is raining, they lie beneath tractors and huddle together to keep warm. When it is scorching hot, they do not always have fresh water to quench their thirst. They lap up puddles of water along the roads which are usually contaminated by chemical waste. Very often, a newly rescued dog will have multiple health issues due to the constant amount of tainted food and water they consume. Very frequently, some of them are found with broken teeth, receding gums, and a bloated tummy, a grim testament to the stones and twigs they gnawed down in a desperate attempt to fill their bellies.

Being at the mercy of the weather is the least of our many worries. What’s more appalling is these dogs are often casualties of factories’ and construction accidents, where they do not react fast enough away from danger. Road accidents are also another cause of the stray dogs’ untimely demise. And victims of these road accidents die in the most grisly way, no thanks to the reckless truck and lorry drivers. We try to save the ones who were barely found alive, and even with emergency surgeries and medical treatment, some were paralyzed for the rest of the lives. Countless lost their lives alone and in dire circumstances.

The least we can do is to fulfill their most basic needs, food and water, for as long as they are alive and well. Stray feeding is more than just distributing food to the dogs. Every Saturday, we activate “Hope Chefs”, who will prepare broth, meat, eggs and rice in large quantities. These are then transported to our feeding site, where another group of volunteers will mix the cooked food with kibbles and separate them into portions for our volunteers to distribute. Each driver/car will then go with 2 or 3 volunteers to the different factories and construction sites to distribute the food.

It's a huge weekly team effort

Next comes the best part of the night, where we are met with waggly tails and excited barks. The friendlier ones who recognize us will allow our volunteers to pat them and give them belly rubs. Some of the more wary ones will observe us from afar, and only eat when we move away. Although these dogs are starving, some of them are so sweet and will come to us for pats and cuddles before devouring the food. There is one extremely cute one who can’t decide if he rather eat first or get pats first and alternate between eating a few bites and coming back for pats and back to the food again. We told him we’ll wait for him to finish eating first and then he can come back for more cuddles. Who wants to adopt this sweetie-pie?

This is the sweetie pie who can't decide on what he wants

Every time we leave a feeding site, each and everyone one of us pray and hope that we’ll see them again the next week. One last pat, one last kiss and a whisper to them to stay safe and off they frisk away, not knowing what lies ahead.

We need cooks, drivers and volunteers in order to continue putting food in the dogs’ bellies. Do reach out to us if you can help, as every little bit from you means we can do more for them.

If you would like to contribute to our stray feeding efforts, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

Written by : Jamie
Photography by: Dean


The Diaper Club

Thank you everyone who helped make The Diaper Club outing to Sentosa Cove a memorable one!

Happy volunteers & happy doggies! 

Matthieu on his new wheels

The weather was perfect for a day out and so many of you responded to our call to drive The Diaper Club members to Sentosa that even Charlie the Golden Retriever and Mathilda could come along to join in the fun. Some even stayed on to help out. 

And in the black corner we have our favourite old man, Matthieu; and in the cream corner, we have a slightly younger old man, Charlie :-)  *Both are available for adoption*

A big thank you to Jamie for buying her royal highness, Queen SiDa, her purple wagon. It had to be purple of course because SiDa is nothing less than royalty!

Her Royal Highness, Queen SiDa in her new purple wagon. All hail the Queen in her Royal Carriage.

HRH Queen SiDa demanding she be scratched and patted; how dare you stop scratching me? 

Matthieu & Harper also wanted to jump on the band wagon, pun intended, but they were a little apprehensive about being so high from the ground, unlike Queen SiDa who settled right in. You could feel her joy especially since SiDa never really liked her wheelchair and always needed to be coaxed into walking.

Harper and her friend trying out SiDa's Royal Carriage

The original diaper club crew : Mattheiu, Harper and SiDa

Matthieu doesn’t like his new wheels either. Perhaps he’s an old man, and like lots of old folks, he's too set in his ways to get out of his comfort zone.

Charming Matthieu is still waiting for his forever home 

Harper is the only one that absolutely loves her wheels and her independence. 

The Diaper Club's next outing to Sentosa Cove will be on March 18, 4pm to 7.30pm. If you can help drive our Diaper Club members to the venue, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

Thorn among the roses? 

Written by : Sam
Photography by : Felicia Lee Photography