Brandy. Shaken, Not Stirred

Just another HOPE rescue day. We received an email from a lady, Monica, who told us about an injured dog lying at a bus stop in the Jurong industrial area. She said that she had tried to feed the dog but it was too weak and unresponsive. Not knowing what else to do, she emailed us for help.

In pain and lying under a parked lorry to rest
Brandy, unable to use her left front leg

A HOPE volunteer happened to be in the vicinity and went over to investigate. Monica had told us that the dog was a brown male. The first dog she spotted was a white female with brown patches. Not fitting the description, our volunteer circled the area a few more times looking for the brown male. After driving around for a while and not spotting the brown male, she made her way back to the white and brown female she spotted earlier to check up on her. As our volunteer approached her, she tried to stand and that's when we knew that she must be the dog Monica was talking about. Her left front leg seemed broken and swollen and she was not bearing any weight on it. Her eyes were all red, and she had abrasions on her face, around her eyes, and on her tail – all signs that she may have been hit by a car and dragged a distance. Our volunteer was alone and not equipped to catch her, so we called SPCA for help. Our volunteer sat in the sun and waited with the dog for SPCA to arrive. While waiting, the dog moved to lay down under a parked lorry to rest. This was a good thing as we did not want to risk her running off and getting hit by a car again. SPCA arrived and took her back to their shelter. We then paid a transport company to pick her up from SPCA and send her to our regular vet.
Brandy's video  https://youtu.be/wuZOQboiu4I

Checking her teeth and gum colour

Strays have a hard life on the streets. It is hard for them to find food and shelter. And more often than not, they become victims of hit and run of people who don't place any value on animals' lives and don't bother to slow down for them. Maybe, sometimes, it is hard to avoid hitting an animal who have not learnt to look left and right before crossing. And maybe, you really cannot take the time off your busy schedule to take the dog to the vet yourself. But, is it too much to ask to call someone who may be able to help rather than leave the animal to suffer in pain and possibly die a slow and painful death? In this case, we got lucky and a kind Samaritan thought to contact us even though she did not know for sure if we would help. Better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all. The dog, whom we now call Brandy, is the sweetest dog. She wags her tail even though she is in pain. We may not have had the chance to meet this sweet girl if not for Monica.

Examined at the vet
At the vet, a blood test and x-ray were taken. The x-ray showed a fracture in her shoulder blade. Her eyes are very red, and the vet thinks that she may have been hit from the back, fracturing her shoulder and the impact caused the vessels in her eye to burst. The accident may have happened about 2 days ago as abrasions are drying up.

This x-ray shows metal shards in her tummy
Fortunately her front legs are uninjured 
Her shoulder fracture

Though her front left leg and paw were slightly swollen, the vet reckons that these may be due to an older accident. Upon further examination, the vet found her radial nerves on that leg weak and she was knuckling a little. This was common in dogs who are suffering from neuropraxia, which is often caused by trauma to the nerves. And the news just does not get any better. Brandy's spleen and liver are enlarged, and so is the right side of her heart due to heartworms. She also has an infection in her right ear, which is causing it to be wet, sore and smelly. She also has skin issues, and her whole body is pink or slightly raw. The x-ray also showed that she has arthritis in her lower back, which leads the vet to think that she is not a young dog, probably around 7 to 8 years old.

Brandy will need to stay at vet for 5 days. The good news is that no surgery is required as the vet says the bones will fuse back on their own in about 1 to 2 months time. In the meantime, all she needs is bed rest and her left front leg to be put in a sling. This is to prevent her from walking and putting pressure on that leg to allow the bones to fuse back together properly. 

Tomorrow, the vet will start her on injections to treat her heartworm. She is now put on drip and pain medicine to stabilize her condition. 

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

Written by: Sam


Matthieu’s and Harper’s Very First Sentosa Outing

How many times have you been to Sentosa? Or out to a shopping mall, to the park or just out from home to any place other than school or office? For our dear rescue dogs Harper and Matthieu, an outing is a luxury. Although dedicated volunteers walk them every day, the radius of their travel never extended 500m beyond their foster’s home as they have weak legs from their accidents and are not able to walk long distances. 

Happy tongues from Harper & Matthieu, from Sentosa!

This was until last month, when Hope Dog Rescue decided to organize a very special outing for Matthieu and Harper to Asia’s Favourite Playground, Sentosa! Finally, Harper and Matthieu could leave the comfort of their home and explore more of Singapore. Imagine the dogs’ euphoria when they were at Sentosa! 

Our favourite old man, still so handsome at 14 years old

For Matthieu, this was his first foray into a place away from his foster home in three years. Matthieu is about fourteen years old now and apart from the factory that he came from and his foster home, he has never been to any fun place. His life is worlds apart from our pet dogs at home that get to visit dog cafes and parks every now and then. This was also Harper’s first time at Sentosa, so imagine her delight. Both Harper and Matthieu could not contain their excitement. Their exhilaration bubbled over to the volunteers and everyone was really high-spirited.

The ladies' man

Blessed with clement weather, Harper and Matthieu were as happy as larks. They were like excited little children at a playground and could not stop smiling. We found a nice large green patch of grass near the beach that Harper, Matthieu and the volunteers chilled on for a few hours, in between walks and photo requests from random tourists. Yes, Harper and Matthieu were hits with the tourists! They were such stars. Everyone commented on their cuteness and sweetness and a few of the tourists asked if they could pat Harper and Matthieu and take photographs with them. Harper and Matthieu were overwhelmed by the attention that they received.

Matthieu getting photo requests from tourists

Chilling on the sand while the sun set

After some time, one of our volunteers, Hui Juan, realized that Matthieu kept turning towards the beach wistfully and seemed to yearn for the beach very much. Although Hui Juan was worried that the soft sand might not be good for Matthieu’s spine, she finally caved in and brought him there for a short while. After all, what is an outing to Sentosa without some sand and sea? Matthieu is in his twilight years and should be able to enjoy life. Matthieu loved lying on the sand and did not want to go home. Hui Juan had to carry him back to the grass. Aww… We will bring you back to the beach another day, Matthieu!

Harper ran around the grass with wild abandon. We are so in awe of her and really forget that she is on wheels sometimes, because she runs faster than dogs without any disabilities and has such an indomitable spirit. It has been some time since we have seen Harper run around so happily. We will bring you out more often, Harper!

Against the setting sun, our doggies had their last walks at Sentosa and parting photographs taken with the volunteers. It was a long day for the doggies and at the end of the day, we could see that they were tired, although they did not seem to want to go home to rest. They are so cute huh, like little children!

Next month, we intend to bring the doggies to Sentosa again! Would one of you kindly offer to fetch the doggies to and from Sentosa pawtty please, so we could save on transport charges and channel the money towards more pressing needs? We would like to bring Sida along too and would require volunteers to help to hold our doggies in the car. Won’t you join us? Email us at hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg now to express your interest! Thank you! *hugs and kisses from the doggies*

Written by: Weiling


World Animal Day 2016

Why We Do What We Do?

Started in 1931 during a convention of ecologists in Florence who wished to raise awareness for endangered animals, World Animal Day is now observed in countries throughout the world on the 4th of October, as a day to celebrate our love and respect for all animals.

Dogs featured : SiDa on wheelchair with Mary in front. Both are available for adoption.

Volunteer, Jolyn and Mary. Mary is available for adoption; HDB approved

To raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. Building the celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilising it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals. It's celebrated in different ways in every country, irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology. Through increased awareness and education we can create a world where animals are always recognised as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare.*

*Source: http://www.worldanimalday.org.uk/

Evangeline and Audi. Most of our dogs are good with children; tried and tested. 

NTU students doing their part for the dogs

For us at HOPE Dog Rescue, World Animal Day stands for a time to celebrate our amazing relationship with our beautiful dogs and cherish the many ways in which they enrich and fulfill our lives. From the very first day we have held strongly to the belief that it is all about saving our street dogs, doing all we can to give them a renewed chance at life, and showing compassion and empathy to those who have known none. It is our vision and hope that all street dogs can find a home they belong to, and be love and cherished.

Volunteer, Lois, with Mathilda; a lovely brindled coloured dog, waiting for her forever home

Volunteer, Ram, with Mathilda

On this day, we would also like to take the opportunity to affirm our commitment as well as give our deepest appreciation to everyone who has played a vital part. THANK YOU to all our lovely and selfless volunteers who have put in heart, body and soul to help ease the transition for our dogs so that the adoption process goes much more smoothly. Without your help, the rehabilitation process would not have been possible! To our adopters, a BIG THANK YOU for extending your family, home and heart to the street dogs of Singapore; for believing in them when no one would and beyond that, allowing them to know the true meaning of love and giving them a new chance at life!  

Volunteer, Cheryl, drying Mary after her bath

Volunteer, Michael, with Happy; a gorgeous black female, waiting for her forever home

Volunteers Ying Jie & Mabel with Mary, Mathilda & Vera. (L to R)

Written by : Wee Yen
Photography by : Dean Chua


Benji (Schnauzer) and His Not So Precious Stones

We are glad to report that Benji's surgery went well. They removed many, many stones from his bladder, some of which have combined over time to form larger stones. They also inserted a fibre scope camera into his penis to remove the stones there. Benji is quite sensitive to pain and the vet had to increase the dosage of painkillers by 3 times, but Benji is now recuperating well and has just been discharged.

X-ray showing the many stones in Benji's bladder

Stones that could be flushed out 

Stones that had to be surgically removed

Once back home, he will need to wear a cone for a while so that the wound will be undisturbed and he will be on antibiotics and pain medications while he recovers at home. No showers for Benji in the meantime as well, so that the wound can stay dry.

Poor Benji has had 3 surgeries in the past 1 month

His breed is susceptible to recurring kidney stones so the vet has recommended his diet be changed to Hill's urinary diet for the rest of his life. Benji’s neighbours are trying their best to help raise funds for this diet. Also, Benji will need to be encouraged to drink more water and pee more often to help prevent stones from forming.

Benji after surgery to remove the stones

In other good news, his arm wound is healing well and no longer needs to be bandaged. Just a topical application of medicine will suffice, and only if required.

His arm is healing well 

We hope that Benji's problems are now over for good and Auntie Soh will not need to worry about him anymore.

Being very brave about the entire ordeal 

Thank you everyone for your kindness and generosity, for stepping up to help a low income, senior citizen, whose dog means the world to her.

Written by : Sam


Puli Puli

We received an urgent call today from a worker from the fish farm that we visit monthly. He called us because one of the farm dogs have got a very deep maggot-filled wound on his rump.

Puli, during one of our visits

The dog they called about is named Puli by the workers. Puli means tiger, and like his namesake, he is strikingly handsome. Puli is a young dog, and one of a few who live on the fish farm. Each month we will visit them to check on them as well as to apply Frontline and Revolution. We also supply food monthly, thanks to a kind donor, June.

Handsome Puli
The workers had not seen Puli in a few days but that is not unusual as these dogs come and go as they please. The workers leave food at a common area daily that the dogs can come to eat as and when they get hungry. Puli finally showed up today, whining and crying in pain, with a very deep maggot wound. The workers reckoned that someone may have hit him but they cannot be sure. The workers tried to remove as many maggots at they could but the wound is too deep for them to clean it thoroughly and so they reached out to us. 

An extremely deep wound, poor Puli 

Some of the maggots that the workers managed to remove 

After work today, our volunteers took Puli to the vet. The vet said that his wound was really bad and tomorrow they will do a blood test before putting him under GA to have his wound cleaned and perhaps stitched up. He will most likely be warded for 5 days or so, depending on how his healing goes. When he is feeling better, Puli will be returned to the fish farm. The workers will continue to keep his wound clean and medicate him. It is heartwarming to see that these workers truly love Puli and the other dogs. 

Look how fat this flesh eating maggot is!

We need help with Puli's vet bills please. If you can help, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

Puli says Thank You for helping him

Written by: Sam


What To Do When You Find A Dog

You may have seen a dog walking around, looking out of sorts and think it might need some help, but you are not sure what to do. 

Here are some tips!

1.  Check whether the dog is microchipped.

All vets in Singapore provide free microchip scanning, so take the dog to any vet to scan for one. If the microchip is registered, you would be able to trace the dog's owner.

Using a microchip scanner, scan the dog to check if he is microchipped. 

2.  Examine and monitor - does the dog look unwell, dehydrated or hurt?

If so, take it to the vet immediately.

3.  Investigate. Do a due diligence check.

- Is this the first time you have seen the dog? Is he/she injured? What is his/her condition?
- Is the dog wearing a collar? Is there a tag with a telephone number on it?
- Walk around the vicinity and ask if people have seen the dog and if they know who the owner is.
- Not all dogs are abandoned; some are genuinely lost. Long nails and unkempt fur are often signs of abandonment. Dogs that are constantly looking around are most likely lost. Look out for these signs. It is unfair to the dog and owner if you rehome it before making the effort to search for the owners and reunite them.
- If you find someone to foster the dog temporarily, please ensure you take details of the person fostering the dog.

4.  Inform the relevant authorities.

- Agri-food Veterinary Authority of Singapore (ava_cawc@ava.gov.sg; 1800 476 1600)

- SPCA (shelter@spca.org.sg; 62875355 ext 25)

- Pet-Call (info@petcall.org; 6741-8466)

State the date, time and location where you found the dog; the dog’s breed, gender and colour; whether it was wearing a collar / harness/ leash; and if the dog is microchipped, the microchip number.

5.  Spread the word. Word of mouth is powerful.

 - Share the lost dog's information on Facebook, Instagram and any other social media.

- Contact various dog welfare organizations and ask for help to pass the word around.

6.  Advertise.

Place advertisements in The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao. 

* To post an ad on The Straits Times, go to www.stclassifieds.sg/placead. Include the following details:
- Date and time found
- Location
- Sex
- Breed
- Colour of dog
- If he/she was wearing a collar/has a microchip, etc

Do NOT state the microchip number in the papers. The real owner will be able to provide you with the microchip number and AVA license number. 

*  To post an ad on Lianhe Zaobao, call (65) 6319-8228.

7.  Put up “Dog Found” posters.

The conventional way could be the most effective way. Put up posters around the vicinity where you found the dog. Include the following details:

- A clear photo of the dog
- Date, time and location where it was found
- If it was wearing a collar (colour of collar / material of collar)
- Your contact number

Sample poster. Paste in the vicinity of where the dog was found. 

8.  Search for a foster home for the dog or place it in a boarding kennel temporarily.

Do not expect to find its owner immediately; the search may take a few days or even a few months. Ensure that the dog is safe and well taken care of during this time. Be patient and keep up your efforts to find the owner.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If you have done all of the above but are still unable to find the owner after three weeks, you can start looking for potential families to adopt the dog. In this case, here’s what you have to do:

1.You MUST let the new adopter know that it was a lost dog. 

2.If the previous owner shows up to claim the dog, the new adopter should be prepared to return the dog to its rightful owner, unless the owner decides to give up the dog to them. 

3.Ensure that a proper handover is done. This includes passing the new adopter AVA licenses, microchipping details, vaccination and sterilization certificates and any other important information of the dog. This could include his/her lifestyle habits, any health or medical condition, if he/she gets along with other dogs/children, etc. These would help the new adopter to be better prepared for the dog and help the dog better adapt to its new environment as well.        
Last but not least, make sure that the dog has been microchipped, vaccinated and sterilized before he/she is rehomed. Doing so protects the dog and yourself. You would not want to encounter a situation where the new owner does not vaccinate and sterilize the dog. And should the dog get lost, he/she could end up sold to breeders and turned into a breeding dog. Sterilize and vaccinate the dog to avoid such scenarios and spare yourself these nightmares and sleepless nights.


Keep Your Dogs Leashed

We sometimes see pet owners walking their dogs - unleashed. We can probably guess what's going through the owner's mind.

"I'll just let him run around for a bit."
"He needs some freedom."
"She's walking right next to me anyway."
"He won't run off, he's so well-trained."
"Should be fine..."

But the reality is, you never know what's going to happen. Dogs can be just as unpredictable as children. Even if they're very well-trained, an unexpected bird or cat could suddenly tempt them to step off the kerb and into the path of oncoming vehicles.

We've seen people walking their dogs off leash, when another dog approaches. Their dog dashes off to check out the other dog, and call as they might, their dog doesn't respond. He's busy sniffing the other dog and playing. It might seem amusing, albeit frustrating, at first, but that sort of situation can be dangerous. What if the dogs fight or attack each other? How will the owner be able to pull it back? It's going to take a while to run after your dog. What if the dog bites the other dog? What if it bites a person? In these cases, who will take the blame - the dog or the owner? You or the other party, for making your dog dash off to them? Did you know that your dog may risk being put down if he bites a person / dog? Would you forgive yourself if your dog was put down due to your irresponsibility?

Walking a dog off-leash is a common way for people to lose their dogs, especially a newly adopted dog. Some rescued dogs may be skittish and nervous, especially if they haven't gotten familiar or bonded with their new owners. The slightest provocation (a skateboard or bicycle zooming past, a crying child) could spook them and cause them to bolt. Not everyone is lucky enough to recover a lost dog. If an owner decides to walk their rescued dog off-leash and it bolts, that's a life they meant to save, but lost instead.

In Singapore, it is illegal to walk dogs off-leash. The penalty for breaking this law is a fine of up to $5,000 for the first offence, and up to $10,000 for subsequent offences. Not many people are aware of this; but if they are, a lot of them continue to flout this rule despite the costly consequences! Money aside, organizations like HOPE also put in a lot of time and effort to rescue a dog. It's emotionally and physically draining to trap and save a fearful injured dog. All that effort could go down the drain in an instant, due to an owner's overconfidence, or a momentary lapse in judgment.

All dogs adopted from HOPE must never be off-leash in public, except in stipulated areas such as dog runs, dog cafes, etc. If owners are taking their dogs to the beach/cycling/running, they should keep their dogs on a long / training leash. Even if a dog has passed its Basic Obedience Training or other advanced training, even if a dog always responds to being called, he must always be leashed in public.

A dog definitely appreciates the freedom and the joy of running off-leash, and we encourage owners to give their dogs this opportunity as often as possible, but please bring them to one of the several dog parks or dog runs that Singapore has to offer.

If you're looking for ideas on where to take your dog for his next off-leash outing, check out the following places.

Dog runs
- Bishan Park
- West Coast Park
- Sembawang Park
- Katong Park

Doggy swimming
- Sunny Heights: 110 Turf Club Road Singapore 288000

- Ah B Cafe: Within Sunny Heights, 110 Turf Club Road Singapore 288000