Oscar Had A Fit

Oscar was sent to the vet yesterday (Tuesday) as his foster informed us that he had a seizure in the wee hours of the morning, lasting for almost 4 minutes. After the episode, poor Oscar was extremely disoriented and it took a while before he regained composure.

In the recent weeks, Oscar had been having slight vomiting and diarrhea on and off but it really wasn’t cause for concern. What was more worrying was that he often behaved as if he didn’t recognize his foster family or people that he had seen on a regular basis. He would bark at them as if they were total strangers. Oscar would also occasionally fall for no reason and we reckoned it was perhaps a brain issue, rather than a motor coordination issue.

Oscar is estimated to be less than 3 years old but life has been hard. He has indeed come a long way, and his skin looks almost perfect, considering what he used to look like. We thank his foster, Bron, for taking such wonderful care of the little one.

From all that scratching
Some red patchy skin on his jaw 
The vet had checked Oscar and took his blood pressure – all seemed normal and he was bright and alert again. There wasn’t very much that the vet could do except to ask us to observe his behaviour and to give us medication should he have another seizure.

Oscar had his blood pressure taken 
If he gets seizures again and it becomes more regular than it would be recommended that Oscar undergoes a MRI, bearing in mind that a MRI scan will only pick up abnormal growths.

We pray that Oscar will be fine and that his seizure was just a once off.

We often joke amongst ourselves that HOPE seems to have the highest numbers of special needs dogs . . . but isn’t that why they needed our intervention? ADOPT OSCAR? He is small sized, sweet, charming and HDB approved.


3-legged Dawn

Dawn has come a long way. From a feisty 3-legged little dog to a grand old dame, she has spent most of her life as a stray living in a factory. She was exposed to weather conditions and although she had kind feeders looking out for her, regular meals were a luxury. With only 3 legs, she was at a disadvantage as she could not run as fast as other dogs and this led to her capture by AVA on that fateful day. She also has to be feisty in order to stand her ground and protect herself against other strays especially since she is at a disadvantage with 3 legs.

When she was first admitted to the vet after her bail out from AVA, she was so traumatized and scared that she withdrew into her shell and sat in the corner of the cage facing the far corner, with her back to the outside world. When we visited her, she ignored us. In the weeks that followed, she started to slowly withdraw from her shell, but she would still try to hide under the cages or any corners she felt safe in.

She had been at the vet for 2 weeks when I visited and was greeted by a smiling Dawn who sat facing the busy outside world! She seemed much more calm and no longer cowered in fear. She didn’t appear stressed. As I opened her cage, she allowed me to stroke her and rub her ears, a far cry from how she was when she was first warded. I took the leash out after she happily gobbled her dinner; she was so excited to be going out for walk! She walks, or should I say, hops well on leash. After she had peed on the grass, she lay down to enjoy the sun and watched the world go by. I was very sure she missed the stray life in some ways, the freedom, the fresh air and basking in the sun. She would occasionally rub her head against me. This was such a drastic change in her demeanor. She was still very wary of strangers and you would need quite a bit of patience to earn her trust and love. But it will definitely be worth it when she finally sees you as a friend and family. She has accepted the volunteers that visit her regularly but still growls at those who visit less often.

I sincerely hope that Dawn can find a home to call her own.

She is no longer a young dog, possibly about 7 to 8 years old, has only three legs and is a grossly misunderstood dame. It’s a miracle that she has survived this long on the streets. While others may see her as fierce and grumpy, truth be told, she yearns for love and a safe haven to spend her twilight years.

This is Dawn's caregiver in the factory where Dawn used to live. This lady no longer works there and that's how Dawn got trapped by AVA. She had no one to look out for her.

Dawn is a 3-legged local crossbreed, estimated to be about 7 to 8 years old. She has been staying at the vet for more than a month, putting on a lot of weight and getting too comfortable with the clinic stuff. They love her but it’s not a place for her to stay long term. She needs to be discharged asap . . . but where can she go? She can no longer return to the factory and we don’t want to put her in a kennel. She needs an immediate foster / adopter, someone who will give her space initially till she is ready to be approached, which might take a few weeks.

We don’t know how she reacts to children or other dogs, but if you have a space in your home and in your heart to accept Dawn, please email us at hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

Written by Wendy Yeo


A Moment Of Horror

Fiona had mentioned that someone had asked us for help to trap a badly injured stray. When she asked what type of injury, the reply she had was "the head is going to fall off". 

After 6 months volunteering with HOPE Dog Rescue, I thought that all the stories I had heard and all the pictures I had seen would be have sufficiently prepared me for the first time that I was bringing a rescued dog to the vet. Yet I suppose no one could have been sufficiently prepared to meet Cassie for the first time.

A shadow of a dog . . . .

Cassie could best be described as a shadow of a dog. With protruding ribs and bones, there was hardly an ounce of flesh on her shrivelled body. It was heart-breaking to see that a dog could be this skinny. It was evident that poor Cassie had not had a decent meal for a long period of time. This was probably due to the fact that she was a meek and submissive dog and she had probably been bullied by the other stray dogs and even attacked by them which caused a gaping maggot wound on the right side of her neck, stretching to under her neck.
The skin on the right side and the underneath of Cassie’s neck was completely gone, and the flesh was revealed and festering. The maggot wound reeked of the stench of rotting flesh and was still dripping fresh blood while we were waiting to see the vet, even though the wound was already almost 2 weeks old. Imagine the pain, suffering and amount of blood she had lost for 2 whole weeks! In fact, the wound was so big that even the vet said that they had to wait for some scarring to occur before they could try to close it. Gigantic ticks were also falling off Cassie as we spoke.

The state that Cassie was in was so appalling that all eyes were on her when we carried her into the clinic. Some people backed off at the stench that poor Cassie emitted. A few other people waiting for their turn at the vet asked us about Cassie and expressed their sympathies for her.

Pain and sadness in her eyes

When it was Cassie’s turn to see the vet, she was extremely nervous and in extreme pain; to the extent that the vet told us that she had to receive general anaesthetic before they could further inspect Cassie’s wound and clean it. As the wound was too big, some scarring would have to occur first before the vet can attempt to close it. On top of that, they said that Cassie had to be sedated daily during wound cleaning as she was in too much pain.

Strays really do have such hard lives. What if we never found her? What if we didn’t save her? The maggots would have continued to feast on her flesh till she eventually succumbed.
With the mounting vet bills that we have incurred after the recent spate of incidents, (Kate, Ah Mei, Dawn, Bobby and now Cassie) many would probably ask why we do not choose to put down dogs with wounds as severe as Cassie’s. Yet how could we? It is incredible that Cassie had survived for so long with such a huge wound and it showed her strong spirit and her will to live. How could we possibly give up on her when she had not given up on herself? How could we trap her, send her to the vet and put her down? That would mean giving her false hopes and letting her down. Cassie is estimated to be less than two years old and yet she has already been through so much pain and suffering, more than any of our pets would ever go through in their entire lifetime. The vet has estimated that Cassie’s wound would take many weeks to heal due to the severity of the wound. Yet what about after recovery? Cassie would probably need a foster after her wounds have started to heal. A foster to show her the love that she deserves after having led such a short yet tough life in the wilderness.

We appeal to everyone in helping out with Cassie’s vet bills as Cassie would need to be at the vet for quite some time and the recent spate of incidents have left us stretched to the limits.  

Would we say that we are doing enough? Probably not but with limited funds and 17 dogs now in our charge, our hands are tied. In fact, as we speak, we have been told that 2 other strays are badly injured and yet, it hurts us that we have to turn a blind eye on them because we can no longer afford to save any more dogs. We have asked the individual feeders to try approaching other animal welfare groups for help, but they have told us that no one responded to their plea.

We always try our best to help dogs that require our help; and all of these would not be possible without the help and support we receive from generous dog lovers that have believed in us in so many ways possible and we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

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

Thank you.

Written by Yeo Zhiyi (19 years old)


Kate Has Been Discharged

Kate has been discharged to a foster home, after having gone through a horrific experience.

Kate looking very pretty. The swelling on her jaw has subsided 

She was very scared leaving the clinic as she had been there for some weeks, finding security in her enclosure. Besides, she now has to learn to adapt her vision to using just one eye.

With some coaxing and encouragement, she made her way out of the clinic.

Kate is a very sweet, calm and strong girl who does not even flinch when her wounds are being attended to, her right eye is healing well and needs to be cleaned twice a day and the stitches are due to be removed in two weeks’ time. Her left eye is good and she is slowly adapting to living with one eye. Her jaw is still hurting as she has fractures on both sides, but the swelling on her jaw has subsided. The smaller fracture will hopefully be fused back on its own in due course, however, the big fracture near the joint, an x-ray is needed in two weeks’ time to see if the bones have fused, otherwise a surgery might be needed to remove the shattered fragments. Before being discharged, the vet did an x-ray and found that the jaw was looking slightly better but a lot more time is needed to know if it will heal on its own eventually.

Her foster has shared with us that Kate just enjoys herself basking in the sun and garden. She is easy to care for and undemanding. She spends her days quietly on her own, snoozing and day dreaming of a better life. Her foster has dogs and Kate is unperturbed by them.

Kate is still being tube fed, to minimize movement on her jaw. For now, Kate needs to go back to the vet every week for a month as she the vet needs to check her eye, and change the dressing on her neck, where the tube had been inserted. 

Thank you everyone for visiting, caring and paying for Kate's vet bills.

Would you ADOPT Kate? If you would like a chill, laid back dog, Kate's the one for you. She is a really sweet local crossbreed, estimated to be about 4 to 5 years old. We hope that YOU can be the one giving her a second chance and include her in your family ! Thank you very much! 

To ADOPT Kate or help with her vet bills, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

Would you like to meet precious Kate? She will be at the Animal Recovery Veterinary Referral Center (466 Serangoon Road) on Saturday (30 August) from 10am to 11am only. Come meet her and  tell her what a brave darling she has been and perhaps, just perhaps, you too, would fall in love with her and make her a part of your family. 


Ah Mei’s Updates (Eyelid reconstruction)

Looking for a huggable teddy bear?
A thorough facial wash?
A friend to hold your hand at all times?

Look no further...we present Ah Mei!

She was brought in due to a torn eyelid from a dog fight. She was so scared that she poo-ed all the way to the consultation room! But as the days passed, her sweet nature emerged. A sweeter, more affectionate dog we have not seen. As you approach her cage, her tail wags so furiously that it’s a blur and you think she'll take off any time. As you sit next to her inside her cage at the vet, she will shower you with kisses, paw you for attention and shove her head into your chest for hugs and even more pats!

Ah Mei’s stitches were due to be removed yesterday but after the vet had checked her eye, she decided to wait a couple more days. They are also observing her to see if her eye, after surgery, is able to produce tears on its own. If it doesn’t, that’s going to pose a problem when she is returned to the factory as she will require daily eye drops.

Our original plan was to return her back to where she came from; a factory where a kind worker / caregiver takes care of her. However, she is such a darling that we can't help but make a last ditch effort appealing for a home for her. Living as a stray has its perils; she can be attacked by stray packs, hit by vehicles or she may accidentally consume poison. Ah Mei is relatively blessed in that she has regular meals, albeit unhealthy, from her caregiver Yongyhurt, but this is not a permanent arrangement. The workers are often here on 2 year contracts and will leave for their home country when their job is done. Ah Mei has so much love to give that we know any family will be blessed by her addition. She brings with her joy and laughter with her affectionate nature and an adorable smile.

Ah Mei is not HDB approved, gets along very well with humans and is super affectionate. She is such a lovable dog that we are sure she will bond with everyone she meets!

* If you are looking for a guard dog, Ah Mei will probably run up and kiss the robber.
**if you need a babysitter, your baby will have an extremely clean face from regular slobbery kisses.
***if you need an exercise companion, Ah Mei needs to lose weight too!

If you want Ah Mei, hurry and let us know! She is still at the vet but would most likely be returned to her factory by the end of this week.


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