Freedom For The Three Musketeers

Have you experienced the warmth of having your dog(s) or a family member welcome you home with all his or her love before? When I go home, my dog would do a little dance for me, run around like a sprinter and lick me like I am an ice-cream. If you do not have a dog, maybe your parents or your other half greets you excitedly when you return home. We go home every day but our dogs and/or close family members are still so happy to see us when we return home. Imagine the rousing welcome we get from the three dogs that used to live in the makeshift sheds at the golf course. They only see us once a week when we bring them on their weekly walks. Before we arrive, we can already hear them barking in excitement. Upon our arrival, we would be greeted with a heart-melting sight. The three doggies would be standing by the shed gates with their paws resting on the gates, their tongues hanging out, their tails wagging so vigorously you can hear the swishing sound and their big round puppy eyes looking at you with so much anticipation you cannot help but go ‘awwwww’.  

Locked in sheds before rescue
The poor dogs used to roam around freely on a golf course until some of our less tolerant fellow humans complained about their presence and drove them into a corner. Kind workers built makeshift sheds for the dogs so that they could continue living on the golf course and not be taken by the authorities and put down, but the workers are very busy and do not have the time and resources to care for the dogs, so the poor dogs were cooped up 24/7 in the algae-filled metal sheds. This persisted until 3 weeks ago, one fateful Sunday on which our three makeshift dogs, affectionately known as the three musketeers, regained the freedom that was theirs to begin with.

Phoebe locked in shed . Phoebe is extremely shy and timid
It was a sunny Sunday as usual and everything in the air smelt the same. There was the smell of the grass, mud, haze, water droplets and doggy breath. The morning felt the same too. There was the hustle and bustle of families going on Sunday outings and the usual weekend crowd in the MRT trains and stations when we commuted to our meeting point. We went to the golf course as usual and the doggies welcomed us with their ‘awww-some’ welcome that never fails to melt our hearts no matter how many times we see it. It seemed like a normal Sunday, but this was a special Sunday for the dogs, a defining Sunday that would herald a new beginning for them, a glorious and happy Sunday on which their long lost freedom would be given back to them.

Straight to vet after release (L to R : Marilyn, Marley, Phoebe)

Marley and Phoebe, happy to have their freedom back
After we put harnesses and leashes on the dogs, we brought them out for a very short walk to pee before directing them to the pet transport. The clever dogs seemed to sense that something was different about their walk today and walked with some resistance when we tried bringing them in the direction of the pet transport, even though we sometimes go by that route when we bring them for their walks too. With some gentle nudging, the dogs became their usual rapturous selves again and galloped with us to the car park where the pet transport was waiting. We wondered how the dogs would react when we put them into the carriers that would house them for the next twenty minutes or so when the driver sends them to the vet for their full-body checkup before they are sent to their respective boarding facility. We thought they might be quite scared and nervous and perhaps cause a bit of a stir in the pet transport even though they were usually very well-behaved, but no, the dogs were so adorable and on their best behaviour. The three musketeers went into their carriers quite readily and just sat quietly in their carriers. They made no noise and no mess at all. Even the driver commented they were one of the best-behaved dogs he had ever transported. The three musketeers were so cute. The two shedmates, Marley and Marilyn, shared a gigantic carrier and minded their own business in the carrier. They just rested peacefully inside and each sat in their own corner. Poor Phoebe was not as calm as her neighbours. She was very scared and kept salivating, but she was still so sweet and made no protest at all. She is such a sweetheart.

The dogs getting some assurance from our volunteers

When we arrived at the vet, Marley and Marilyn strode straight into the clinic like it was their home and greeted everyone in the clinic affectionately. They were cheerful as usual and behaved like little children on an outing. They are so cute! Poor Phoebe was more aware of what was going on and knew that going to the vet might be a frightening experience. She was shivering, panting and salivating. We had to slowly coax her into the clinic. She was visibly stressed and sat stiff like a stone in front of her carrier. One of our senior volunteers, Wendy, kindly asked me to bring Marley over to Phoebe so that she would feel better.

We took our queue number and waited for our turn. Throughout the wait, Marley was so sweet, standing between Marilyn and Phoebe. The three dogs were really well-behaved and waited quietly for their turn. They were so calm and chill, one would have thought they were frequent visitors of the vet. When it was their turn to see the vet, Marley and Marilyn went into their consultation room readily and showed no signs of struggle at all. They willingly let the vet and vet technicians take their temperature and conduct tests on them. At this point, you must be wondering, how about Phoebe? Poor Phoebe was a bag of nerves. She froze and was reluctant to move from her corner to the consultation room. After some time, one of the vet technicians came to carry her into the consultation room. On the way in, poor Phoebe peed and pooed. She must have been scared stiff. We assured Phoebe everything was ok and settled her in quickly. The vet and vet technicians were able to get the necessary tests done without much difficulty as Phoebe was well-behaved during the check-up. On the whole, the three musketeers did really well at the vet. *Big hugs and pats for the doggies!*

Marley, thorn among the roses
While waiting for the test results at the clinic, we brought the dogs to the playground outside for a walk. They were happy like larks and did not turn a hair when people approached us to pat them. We think the dogs will be able to fit in well anywhere since they are so comfortable even in a foreign environment with so many strangers around. Then came the time for the collection of the test results. As we had expected, because of their filthy living conditions, the three musketeers were tested positive for heartworm. They are otherwise in good health. We have started them on their heartworm treatment, which will cost about $1,000 to $1,500 for each dog.

Best friends : Marilyn, Marley and Phoebe are available for adoption

It was an eventful day for the three musketeers but they coped well. If your wallet and heart allows, please give the three doggies a home or some money for their vet bills too. Franklin D Roosevelt once opined ‘Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds’. For the dogs, however, they were prisoners of fate through no fault of their own. They cannot control their fate with their minds unlike humans. Please help us to help them. By helping them, you would also help yourself. When we give, we often gain more than we give. This is a time-tested maxim. To adopt, foster or help with the dogs’ vet bills, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg. The three doggies will be furever grateful to you!

Written by WL


World Animal Day

Many of us grew up celebrating Children’s Day in school. If you are still in Primary School, you would be celebrating it in school next Friday. We celebrate Youth Day, Total Defence Day, Racial Harmony Day and Teachers’ Day in school too. We also know about Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day. Yet, how many of us know about World Animal Day? Did you know, today is World Animal Day. On this very special day, let us wish all our animal friends a very happy Animal Day! May you gain more love from the humans and may more people know about your rights, show you more respect and realize you have feelings and emotions just like us.

The things we do to get a good shot!

Amber decides she wants to chill and we have to wait till she feels like walking again

On this very special day, let us also pay tribute to our best friend, the dog. It is difficult to use words to express the love and admiration we have for dogs, all the wonderful qualities dogs encompass and the special bond between them and us. No amount of positive superlatives would do them justice. Which other animal loves us as unconditionally and does so many things for us? Dogs go through thick and thin with us, adore us more than themselves, guard our homes with their lives, help in search and rescue operations, sniff out drugs, welcome us home with all their love and excitement, help to guide the blind and help to heal and touch lives through dog therapy just to name a few of the many things they do for us. They would even sacrifice their lives for us without a second thought. 

Vera is Amber's daughter and she behaves just like her Mommy! Super chill

That's Vera, getting affectionate with us

So many volunteers involved just to get nice pics of our doggies! 

What did we do to deserve such undying love and loyalty from dogs? Not everyone is a dog lover, but everyone benefits from dogs! When a dog is asked to help in a search and rescue operation, he will selflessly rescue everyone he can save. The dog will not be spiteful and say ‘hmmph! Why should I help her? She always bullies me.’ All of us also benefit from a safe and secure home thanks to our canine friends, who assist the police in patrols, screening of vehicles, bomb sweeps, containing of riots and finding of illegal workers amongst other tasks. We are so lucky aren’t we, to have the affection, attention, adoration and advantages from these cute little furries.

Part and parcel of being a doggie slave

Man's best friend

Their happiness and well-being mean the world to us 

Above all, love is enough reason for us to be kinder to our best friend, the dog. Even if they could not do any of the above things for us, just look at their eyes and give them a little pat or hug. Being human, you will definitely feel something in your heart. Something warm. It is then that you will know the furry one has occupied your heart. If you are a huge dog lover, maybe he has occupied your entire heart! Even if you are not a dog lover, the dog has the power to worm his way into your heart. He will occupy a tiny corner of your heart if you give him the chance to do so. Dogs are really such omnipotent beings. Their love for us knows no boundaries. Yet, there is only so little we can do for them in return. Many humans still treat them as lesser beings and some are so cruel to them, it really pains us so much to hear of their acts of malice to the poor doggies.

Let's celebrate DOGS

This Animal Day, let us create more awareness on animal issues and help the world become a kinder place for animals. Each of us just has to do a little and it will go a long way. Perhaps you could go to your pet and give him or her a little kiss, perhaps you could start volunteering with an animal welfare group or perhaps you could welcome a new fur baby to your home by adopting one. Let us do what we can to show our love and appreciation towards our animal friends today. Adopt, don’t shop, love the earth, love the animals, adieu to the dismal.

Best buddies

Written by: Weiling


Bonnie, Our Little Camel

The highlight of our volunteer's feeding nights during the past few months has been this little girl.

Since we started feeding her a few months ago, she has been excitedly greeting us each week as we make our feeding rounds, sometimes dashing dangerously across the road to meet us with little care for passing vehicles. She was missing most of her fur and reminded us of Elmo (read about the original Elmo here). Even though her skin looked bad, it did not look to be giving her any trouble, and with our hands full with other more urgent rescues, we just left her be and visited her every Saturday.

However, we noticed her starting to scratch a lot more recently and have open sores, and were concerned that her skin condition may have become worse. Despite our lack of resources, we decided it was finally time to take her to the vet. Even though she was familiar with us, and had always been friendly and even happy to see us, it still took us 2 hours to capture her. When we finally managed to corner her, she was so frightened that she started snarling at us. But once we got hold of her and she realized that we were not going to hurt her, she went back to being her sweet and friendly self.

Searching for her
Caught and too shy to look at us
We took her to the vet the next day. She had a blood test and skin scrape done, and both came back negative for any illnesses or parasites. The vet concluded that her lack of fur was due to malnutrition. Malnutrition was also the reason for her small size. She weighed only 14kg. Due to her size and her puppy-like demeanor, we had always thought her to be a puppy, but the vet estimated her to be about 2 years old. The vet had also commented on her sweet disposition. Since she had been given the all clear by the vet, she was sent home with medicated shampoo and some medicines for her dry elephant skin.

Coming out of the carrier
Sweet little Bonnie; look at her dried skin.

Curious of her surrounding
Doing a skin scrape
Such a nice demeanor despite having her blood drawn
We have since named this little Elmo girl, Bonnie. As we did not have any fosters available, Bonnie was sent home with a volunteer temporarily. She eats very well, as if fearing each meal would be her last, and is not a fussy eater. What is saddening though, is that, she does not seem to drink any water. In fact, she does not seem to KNOW how to drink water. We watched her closely for 7 days and sure enough, not once did she approach the water bowl. She even uses her nose to push her towels to cover the water bowls so we often find her towels and bedding soaked in her water bowls. When we try dabbing water on her mouth, she just turns away to face the wall. Maybe, in her time on the streets, where water was hard to come by, she has learnt to survive without water. Whatever the reason, it seems she has forgotten how to drink. In order to make sure she has enough fluids, we add a lot of broth in her food. Her pee is dark and very pungent from the lack of water and her poo looks fossilized. Despite all this, Bonnie is still so sweet and affectionate. All she wants is just for someone to love her. When you pat her, she leans onto you and closes her eyes in obvious enjoyment. 

Poor Bonnie, her skin feels like sandpaper
Sad little camel

Bonnie needs a foster immediately. She is healthy and her skin condition is not contagious. We are also appealing for help with Bonnie's vet bills. If you can help with her vet bills, or foster her, email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

All she needs is love . . . . .

Written by : Sam


Touch Me Not

We caught her! We caught little Elmo Girl!

Photograph taken last Saturday during our feeding rounds

Our volunteers rushed down to the industrial estate right after work and we spent about 2 hours searching for her. While we were searching, we spoke to some workers and many were not even aware that this little girl hung around their factory on her own, not even the security guards. No one seemed to care about her. Slightly after, we saw a worker looking around as he was leaving for the day. We asked if he was looking for her and he said yes, she would be out soon, he said, although he didn’t know where she hid during the day. He told us that she had been hanging around that factory for slightly more than a year and had no fur from the first time he saw her. He said “she must have eaten something wrong when she was a puppy.”
Volunteers searching for the dog
Soon the little girl appeared, walking down the road by her lonesome self, scratching as she walked. She was happy to see us and wagged her tail but as soon as she realized we were planning to catch her, she started running around the factory and panicking. She was a little wary of humans, possibly because no one had ever patted or touched her. Who would? A dog with no fur looking like she had some contagious disease. After a game of cat and mouse, fortunately we managed to corner her and leash her. By the time we got her, the vet was closed so she is presently at a volunteer’s home and will go to the vet in the morning.
Her eyes showed us sadness and tiredness

She reeked of oil and her skin smelled really bad, we had to drive with the windows down. The smell of oil on her could be from hiding and sleeping under lorries. She is very scared and refused food and water. She didn’t even want to look at us. Perhaps she knows she doesn’t look good.
Not wanting to look at us
We will update when we get more details after her visit to the vet.

WE NEED YOUR HELP. If you can foster / adopt / help with vet bills, please do so. It would mean a lot to this little girl whom we have named Bonnie.



Video : Emptiness 

What is your typical day like? Do you sit in an air-conditioned office for 8 hours a day and step out only for lunch? Do you sit in air-conditioned lecture theatres for classes and return to a comfortable home after a day out with your friends? For me, Milo, I do not know what air-conditioning is. Every day, I hide under big trucks to avoid the scorching sun and scampering humans. Sometimes, I would go on a mini adventure with my fellow dog pals in the factory and walk to the empty land opposite the factory. Flying dust and sand, muddy and stony ground, petrol water… these are the things that keep me and my fellow dog pals in the factory company on a daily basis.

This is home. Really? 

I used to be from another industrial area but the factory owners shifted here and brought me and some of my friends along. Sadly, not all my friends could come along. I miss them and the old factory. It might be a blessing in disguise for my friends not to have come to the new factory, as the new factory is even less salubrious than the old one. Anyhow, be it the old factory or the new factory, an industrial site is not the best place to live in. I understand from some of the kind volunteers who have been visiting my friends and I and feeding us that one of my best pals from the old factory, Horlicks, will soon have a home. They showed me some of his photographs and I am so happy for him. He seems to be in good hands and leading a much happier life than us. I hope Horlicks will lead a happy e-fur after life and his rescuers will have the resources to save more of my other friends, perhaps even myself.

Imagine living and sleeping in this work site

This is what we have to go through whenever we visit

 Despite their busy schedules, volunteers bring cooked food to these dogs twice weekly

Horlicks now gets home cooked meals, toys, a roof over his head, a nice warm bed, clean water, pats and walks every day. My friends, Peaches and Muffin, also get all of those! I wish that as many dogs as possible can experience the warmth of a family as they have. They are so sweet and should not be left to their devices and subject to the harsh elements of the factories and streets. At the moment, I am the only one in the video still living in this factory, together with my friends Kopi, and Scaredy Cat. Some of the factory workers are really kind and feed us when they are free or when they have leftover food. They are very busy though, and do not always remember to feed us. Luckily, a group of kind volunteers cook delicious food for us twice weekly. We always look forward to their visits and savour every grain of rice and every morsel of meat that they prepare for us. It is quite a spread. They prepare all sorts of meat, innards and rice for us and pack them nicely into clean containers. They also fill clean containers with water for us. We are ever so grateful to them. Due to the sand and dust, I have a bad eye infection and am constantly tearing. Besides feeding us, the volunteers also flush my eyes with eye drops and wipe them with tissue. The next morning, however, my eyes start tearing and producing discharge again. There is just too much dust and sand dancing around and getting into my eyes.
This is Kopi
This is Scaredy Cat
Mid-autumn festival is round the corner. As you gather with your friends and family and enjoy eating mooncakes under the bright round moon, I hope you will think of some of my friends and me who have no family to gather with. Even the big humans, the big burly workers, complain about the heat, dust and dirt. How can anyone expect poor sweet little innocent stray doggies like my friends to put up with such an environment? Yet, my friends and I never once complained and we take life in our stride. We love the kind volunteers that visit us and always welcome them with rapturous tail wags, sloppy licks and excited gestures such as showing them our bellies, running towards them and hopping up and down. Well, at least Mini Milo (renamed Muffin), Peaches and Camo (passed away) did that. I am a bit less friendly now as I miss the old factory and am still getting used to this strange place. I still am really appreciative of the humans though and love the food they prepare for us.

Kopi's home
Milo, Kopi's best buddy. Milo is depressed and has an eye infection from the dusty work site
Stray dogs are exposed to so many dangers and live in such awful and unimaginable conditions that it is heart wrenching and unbearable. Some of them have been abused by nasty humans before or bullied by more alpha dogs and are constantly living in fear, while others are completely innocent and sweet and easy targets for dog catchers. The poor dogs did nothing to deserve such a life. No dog and no one should have to lead such an undignified life. The Singapore government strives for a zero homeless rate and tries to make homes affordable for all with its public housing policies. We are concerned when we see old people collecting cardboard boxes and sleeping in the void decks, and rightfully so, because these poor old folks should be enjoying their twilight years. The same concern should be accorded to stray dogs instead of treating them as pests and trying to eradicate all of them and project a stray free image for our country. What did they do? Why do people shun them and think of them as scary and only capable of spreading diseases? Do humans not spread diseases? Are humans not nastier and scarier than dogs? Dogs love us, appreciate us, protect us and do so many wonderful things for us. We can certainly do more to promote animal welfare in our country. If everyone plays a part, the world will be a better, happier and safer place for strays. When someone adopts just one dog, he is saving not just one life but two because he frees up the resources for another dog to be saved. We might go as far as to say he is saving three lives because his life gets renewed with the addition of a new fur baby to the family. I shall leave you with this song: ‘Heal the world, make it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race’. To that, let us add, ‘and all our animal friends’. 

Written by : Weiling


Get A Life

Today is a very special day.

Every Sunday, for the past many months, our team of volunteers make that trip to the far away makeshift shed to bathe, feed, walk and spend time with the 3 dogs caged 24/7 because of human selfishness. Just 3 hours once a week, that’s all the freedom they get.

Today is different. We are going to give them their freedom back.

First thing in the morning our team will be going down to free them from their makeshift sheds. Pet transport and vet appointments have been booked and on standby. The 3 dogs will be going straight to the vet for a full medical checkup. We will then ward them at the vet for a few days till we find saviors.

Marley (male) – estimated 5 to 6 years old, sweet, well-behaved, obedient, walks well on leash and loves life, despite having been banished to life imprisonment by humans.


Marilyn (female) – estimated 5 to 6 years old, intelligent, occasionally bossy to other dogs, sweet and affectionate, walks well on leash and drinks water with one paw in the water bowl.

Drinking water with 1 paw in the water bowl


Signature 1 paw in the water bowl pose

Marilyn knows some commands

 Phoebe (female) – estimated 2 to 3 years old, quiet, affectionate, sweet, walks well on leash, well-behaved, underrated.

The health of all 3 dogs are unknown but we will have more updates on their health after their vet visits and full medical checkups.

Now that they will soon have their freedom back, something that was rightfully theirs, let’s give them a life too. If you can be their savior or guardian angels, please email us.

Marley, Marilyn and Phoebe need help with the following :
*help with their vet bills

We don't have funds or resources to save and keep the 3 of them till they are rehomed, but we have great faith that you will come to their rescue and won't let them down.