Happy for Jessie!

It is a happy time for many people in Singapore as they are finally allowed out to meet friends they have not seen in 2 months or more. Here at HOPE, we have even more happy news to share - Willow is a failed foster case! How is that happy news, you may ask? Well, Willow's foster family turned out to be bad at fostering a lovable being such as she that they decided to adopt her instead!

Willow is a 10-year-old senior schnauzer who came to HOPE in early Feb as a victim of unintentional neglect. Her previous owner was, herself, elderly and could not provide the necessary care and attention to Willow, so her daughter sought HOPE to help find a new home for Willow.

When we first met Willow at the vet, she looked to be in such a sorry state with dull and unkempt hair, wherever they managed to grow in patches on her dry and flaky skin anyway. She was riddled with health issues, but thankfully, none of them major.

It was difficult to find a fosterer willing to take her on such short notice. Fortunately, Volvo's former fosterer, a SAHM, came to our rescue. Despite the awful condition of Willow's skin, and having to already juggle the care of a senior cat and her children, she took Willow in without hesitation.

Willow quickly settled in in her new home. With TLC, her skin started to improve under medication, and her playful and curious personality started to emerge. She was easy-going and affectionate with everyone, including the cat, and she fancied herself a foodie, always shuffling at her humans' feet, waiting for her next meal or snack.

Although her skin had started to improve, she still had bald patches where fur might never grow back in, just like a burn victim. Over the CB period, we had numerous applications to adopt her. However, they all amounted to nothing once they learnt of her skin and the care and attention it required. Also, because she was a senior dog who seemed to thrive in people's company, we did not want her to be left alone at home once the CB period is over and people have to go back to the office for hours on end a day. Meanwhile, the bond between Willow and her foster family seemed to strengthen in the CB period. Willow found a great feline friend in Ollie, the 15-year-old family cat adopted from SPCA, and became a fantastic playmate to the children in the family. She not only tolerated being cuddled like a baby by the children, but seemed to enjoy her role as the baby sister the younger daughter in the family never had. It soon became clear to the family that they could not part with Willow, nor trust anyone else to provide the proper care for her as well as them.

Willow is now named Jessie, which means God is gracious. We are really happy for Jessie and her now forever family. Her family loves her just as much as she loves them. Thank you Jaime and Derek for taking a chance on Jessie and taking care of her medical and emotional needs and will continue to do so as you officially make her a permanent part of your family. This is like a fairy tale come true and may you live happily ever after.

The tale of Willow (or Jessie now) is a tale of how adoption saves lives, and how adopted dogs make great pets. Adopt, don't shop! It matters not how dogs come into your life, only that they do.

 Written By: Sam


Why is fostering important?

Many people have the misconception that fostering is just a short period of dog ownership - a less permanent form of adoption; something for people who can't commit to the years of responsibility, perhaps. But that couldn't be further from the truth! Fostering requires a high level of commitment, both emotional and time-wise.

Unlike pet dogs that have only ever known a sheltered, pampered home life, the dogs we rescue have endured and suffered much more. A fosterer is not taking a perfect dog into their home; they are rescuing a damaged dog and helping it to get its life back on track, bit by bit.

Just after their rescue, HOPE's dogs are often fearful, confused, untrained, and usually in bad shape. It's the job of fosterers to nurse them back to health, to train and socialize them, and to get them ready for adoption. A fosterer helps a dog become the best that it can be. It's like taking a raw hunk of coal and turning it into a diamond. It is by no means an easy task!

Being a fosterer means keeping a watchful eye on a foster dog, feeding it nutritious food and giving it its medications, making notes on its progress, looking out for any abnormalities, teaching it how to act with humans and other animals, and of course, giving it lots and lots of love. All of this requires a lot of time and dedication, arguably more so than just caring for a healthy pet.

After all of this, a fosterer is sure to develop an emotional bond with his or her foster dog, which is essential to the development of the dog. A foster dog needs to learn how to form healthy and trusting relationships, something that is new to a lot of street dogs and abused dogs. Loving a foster dog, and having it love you in return, is the healthiest and the best thing that you can do for it. It makes for a bittersweet goodbye at the time of adoption. After all, it's never easy giving up a piece of your heart. But at the same time, you'd know that you've helped to groom a dog into the perfect pet, and you'd be proud.

Chester, when he was first rescued.

Chester, after fostering

HOPE Dog Rescue is always in need of foster homes for our rescued dogs. As far as possible, we refrain from ever putting our fresh rescues in commercial boarding kennels. Lonely and neglected, a recovering dog will never receive an adequate level of care at these places. Financially, placing dogs in kennels also doesn't make sense, as the money could be better used to pay for medications and medical care.

Read our Fostering FAQ to find out more.

If you feel that you are ready for this life-changing experience (and the responsibilities that come with it), please fill up online form here.

Button, The Hokkien Therapy Dog

How is everyone doing? Hope all of you are keeping safe and staying home! In the midst of all this uncertainty and gloomy news hitting our TV screens daily, we have some positive news to share! Have you heard? or NOT?! Our founder Fiona had written a book about Button, her rescued Schnauzer.

Button, The Hokkien Therapy Dog 

Button, the rescued Schnauzer 

Remember this woebegone creature? For long time followers of Hope, this face may ring a bell! Yes that's Button, when Fiona first rescued her.  It took months of patience, love and effort to turn her into this.

Button, the resident therapy dog at Assisi Hospice 

From living a life of neglect with multiple health and social issues, Button blossomed under Fiona's care and became Singapore's first and only Therapy Dog trained in Hokkien!

Sadly, although Button is no longer with us now, her transformation and journey into a Therapy Dog is nothing short of amazing and she had touched the lives and hearts of many.

Fiona's main objective of writing the book is to show the world that a senior rescued dog can achieve such milestones, given the right opportunities and love.

Read about Button's quirky nature and her funny adventures on mastering Hokkien, her life with her Kor Kor, Popsicle, and her best friend Harper. The book also features Button's role as a therapy dog in Assisi Hospice and her interactions with the patients.

It also depicts the harsh facets of the dog breeding industry in Singapore and the sorry plight of the stray community.

Proceeds from the book goes to Hope Dog Rescue's efforts in rehabilitating strays and also our TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) efforts.

We hope you enjoy reading the book, it would mean so much to us!

To order, please fill up our online order form   https://tiny.cc/hokkienbutton or email us at hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

The book is also available at the following locations :

Mount Pleasant Vet Care
2 Jalan Gelenggang
Singapore 578187

Animal Recovery Veterinary Referral Centre
466 Serangoon Road
Singapore 218225

Animal Wellness
1 Vista Exchange Green #01-15
The Star Vista
Singapore 138617

Pet HQ
221 Boon Lay Place #02-112
Boonlay Shopping Centre
Singapore 640221

Yappily Petmetology (after the Circuit Breaker period)
Blk 395A Bukit Batok West Ave 5 #03-08
Singapore 651395

Singapore and overseas orders welcome.


Fish Farm Dogs

Have you heard about HOPE’s “Fish Farm Dogs”?

We first met this group of dogs living at a fish farm in 2014. They grew up eating fish food as the workers did not have anything else to feed them. You may read more about the story here.

Over the years, we have sterilized and vaccinated all 11 of them while the workers there have been the main caregivers, feeding and taking care of them. It was only recently when one of the workers, Segar, reached out to us again.

He had been buying rice to cook for them but he needed help as he was also feeding the dogs in the neighbouring farms. That was really kind of him! This was also what sparked our recent appeal for food for these dogs.

We are really thankful for the response we received and we couldn’t  wait to bring the donated food down to the dogs! So despite having a late Saturday night feeding the strays, our dedicated volunteers got up early on a Sunday morning to bring the donated food and medications (such as Frontline) supplies to the fish farm. That was our second visit in recent months.

The volunteers managed to apply Frontline on the dogs and fed them while they were there. We are planning to visit them once a month for now until we feel that the dogs are settled and doing well again. One of the dogs was so skinny that we suspect he has parasites in his body, so the next thing we will be doing would be deworming them. We will bring dewormers on our next visit—thanks to fellow dog lovers who bought them when we needed it.

All these would not have been possible without the kind and generous help rendered by the donors and volunteers. We are ever grateful for the volunteers who spend their precious weekends helping out the dog and we are happy to see how they have become bonded over their love for animals. Till our next visit to the fish farm on the morning of March 15.

If you have a car and would like to help us bring food down, please email us. We also hope that we can have a volunteer photographer offer his / her services. This place is not accessible by public transport. Email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

Written by: Shi Hua
Photo credit: Jonathan Tan


Wilted Willow

We had seen the post on Facebook. Yet another senior dog being given up for rehoming. There was nothing unusual about the post, even if it was posted amidst the Chinese New Year festivities. This time, it was a schnauzer that needed to be rehomed, albeit a rather pitiful looking one with most of its fur gone. Small breeds such as schnauzers are usually rehomed quickly. However, this one remained unadopted even after more than a week. So HOPE decided to step in and help out our first rescue in the year 2020.

The schnauzer was a female, around 10 years old. She had been living with an elderly couple in their 70s. The main caregiver was the grandmother in the couple. When she was admitted to the hospital, the responsibility of caring for the dog fell to the grandfather. As with most people his age, he was prone to absentmindedness and would sometimes forget to feed the dog the medication that she required. Concerned for the wellbeing of the dog, the couple’s daughter decided that it was in the dog’s best interest to be rehomed.

We contacted the daughter and arranged for her to meet us at the vet with the dog so we can have her overall health assessed. And what a laundry list of issues the poor old girl had. From the pictures we had seen of her in the Facebook post, we knew she had severe skin issues. Whether it was due to a food or environmental allergy, her skin was so dry and flaky and her constant scratching had left her bald in patches, and bleeding in others. She had arthritis in both hind legs, and her teeth on the right side of her mouth were rotten. She has cataracts in both eyes, and a heart murmur for which, an ultrasound was recommended. The vet also noted that she had increased gut movement and she was spotting as she was not sterilized.

The vet prescribed some oral medication, medicated cream and shampoo to address the skin condition. She has been placed with a foster who lets her wear shirts to prevent her from scratching herself raw. For now, we only hope that she starts to settle in her foster home. Her diet has been switched up to home-cooked food. She is slightly underweight at 6.9kg but not too much that it is a concern.Hopefully, with a more balanced and nutritious diet, and consistent administration of her medicines her skin condition will improve and her weight will increase. We must wait for her skin to get better before we can sterilize her as the constant itching now will only hinder the healing process of the surgical wound.

We have named this old girl Willow, after the pussy willows, in the spirit of Chinese New Year. Pussy willows are a symbol of good luck and fortune to the Chinese. We hope that with this auspicious name, it will represent a turn in luck and fortune for her.

Willow will need to go back to the vet for a review in 2 weeks. If you would like to help with Willow’s vet bills, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

Written by: Sam



At Hope Dog Rescue, we work with stray animals. Most times, their stories are devastatingly sad. They have been abused, starved and neglected. They are often physically and emotionally traumatized, starved for food and love.

Which is why, it gives us so much pleasure to share a story with a happy ending!

Goldilocks enjoying her new perfect life 

Phoebe’s previous home used to be a golf course. She lived there with two other strays. Their lives of playing and rolling around outdoors unfortunately came to an end when some golf players complained about their presence. Even though they didn’t bite, chase or do anything to be a nuisance, their fates were sealed. They were banished to live out their days in small, filthy cages.

Phoebe - who has found her true love and forever home <3 

We finally rescued them from this awful existence. Like her other two canine companions, Phoebe was incredibly well behaved and good-natured. However, unlike them, she was less confident and quite terrified of being taken to the vet, of the new smells and sights. But through all these scary changes, she remained her sweet, affectionate self.

Goldilocks was rescued from a factory. Tests at the vet showed she had both heartworm and a low red blood count. Her long, furry coat was soaked in pee and dirt, and she was clearly traumatized and suffering from neglect. However, this sweet-natured dog held up through all the tests and check-ups, allowing us to hug and cuddle her. How incredible are animals and how amazing is their capacity to trust us though so much unimaginable trauma!

Goldilocks, living it up!

Like two lost souls, Phoebe and Goldilocks found each other at the rescue and became fast friends. We knew it would be heart breaking to separate them if they got adopted individually.

But after a lifetime of hardship, it was finally their turn for a stroke of luck. At an adoption drive, Pooja & Ankit came with the intention of adopting one dog. They originally picked Phoebe but because she was so attached to Goldilocks, they agreed to take them both!

Today, Phoebe and Goldilocks live happily with their humans, in a home that’s filled with tummy rubs, treats, comfy beds and walks…and of course, the companionship of each other!

Written by Sheenu Kapoor

Christmas Pet Therapy

Visiting St Joseph's Home has become a monthly affair for our volunteers and rescued dogs, including special needs dogs, Harper and Sida. We hope that our regular visits will bring comfort and joy to the residents at this home, who are generally elderly who have lost some of their mental capacity. Pet therapy (or animal-assisted therapy) is known for its significant benefits to patients’ healing and rehabilitation, especially in terms of lifting their spirits, thus reducing depression, encourages communication and socialization, and it also helps to improve motor skills and joint movements.

Ollie & Lassy bringing joy from the table top

Residents were gifted with photo frames of themselves with our dogs 

It has been a year and a half since we embarked on this pet therapy program, and we are heartened to know that the residents and staff would look forward to our visits on the first Saturday of each month!

Aunty Alice absolutely loves dogs - seen her squishing River 

Some of the residents, such as Aunty Alice, adore dogs as much as we do, or maybe even more. She would simply let them sit on her lap, and hold and pat them till it’s time for us to leave!

Special needs dog, Harper, is also a volunteer animal-assisted therapy dog 

During our last visit in December 2019, we had a simple Christmas celebration with the residents. The volunteers brought along snacks to distribute and a kind friend also sponsored 80 bottles of Dove body soap as requested by the home. We also printed and framed photographs of the residents as gifts for them. It is an indescribable feeling to see how our presence and these simple gifts can bring immense joy to the residents.

Volunteer, Syn Hwei & her dog, Lassy, making their rounds in the wards 

Aunty Alice has the most number of photo frames - seen here admiring the photos with River 

We love how meaningful our Saturday mornings have become. It makes waking up early all worthwhile!

Ollie in a manger 

Written by Shi Hua