22.3.17

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

16.3.17

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

24.2.17

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

20.2.17

Why Feed Strays?

To be honest, I used to be scared of cats and dogs. I still am scared of cats but ever since my first canine friend, Lucky, came into my life 5+ years ago, everything changed. He was about 8 years old, abandoned with a body full of ticks and his breath was bad from his rotting teeth. Since then, I developed a soft spot for senior and abandoned dogs. I wanted to help them in little ways that I can so that they have a second chance in life, like Lucky did. I guess you can say that Lucky was my greatest motivation and inspiration to help dogs in need out there.

A handsome stray enjoying his once a week feast

That said, I do not have any experience with other dogs besides Lucky, let alone big dogs. I didn’t know where to begin so I started with writing. And also because I wasn’t sure if I could handle seeing dogs with no homes and food, and not feel like bringing them home. Just when I finally took the first step to join the feeding session last December, my source of motivation fell ill... and I lost Lucky.
  
Poor puppy . .. . a future of bleakness. 

Your food contributions are very much appreciated

It was difficult but I went for the first feeding session three weeks after Lucky left. Every dog I saw that night made me wonder how Lucky must have felt when he was out there on his own - lost, scared, helpless and yearning for love and a home. While some of these dogs are luckier, staying in factories with people feeding them everyday, there’s always that risk that they will be left behind one day when the factories close down or move away. Or worse case scenarios - being knocked down by vehicles, or getting caught and culled by AVA.


Contrary to what people think, these street dogs aren’t all that aggressive at all. The look of happiness on their faces, and their wagging tails when they spotted us, made me realised why the volunteers did what they did for the past ten years. No doubt it is upsetting to see these dogs in this state, homeless and always on the lookout for food and shelter, and worrying whether they will still be there the following week, it didn’t stop them from spending that few hours every Saturday night driving through the industrial estate, feeding these dogs with donated home-cooked food. This does require quite a bit of time and financial commitments and I’ve nothing but respect for them.

Street dogs, as well as pedigrees or humans, are very similar - there are the nice & friendly ones, as well as the aggressive ones. 
Eyes that melt your heart


I’ve only been to three feeding sessions so far and it warms my heart each time to know that there are actually many compassionate people who are willing to come together to help these animals in need. Whether it’s the people who are physically there to feed the dogs, or those who cooked and supplied food for them, I am sure the dogs are very thankful for it. Well, yes, it still breaks my heart to see these dogs like this and I really fear the worst for them. But if everyone starts to think that way and stop going altogether, what is going to happen to them? Won’t it be selfish of us to strip them away from that few moments of happiness that they look forward to each week?

35kg of food is what we require every week to feed the hungry street dogs

It has been a very meaningful, and perhaps healing, experience for me. In reaching out to help other dogs in need, a small part of me was hoping that this will also help myself to cope with the loss of Lucky. I’m sure Lucky would have wanted me to continue helping his doggy friends too.  


If you are looking for ways to help animals in need and don’t know where to start, I would really encourage you to join the feeding sessions on Saturday nights. Or if you are unable to be there to feed these dogs, you can also consider donating home-cooked food such as rice, meat, eggs, chicken liver, etc. What can be more meaningful than spending your Saturday nights bringing happiness (and food) to these homeless dogs?





Written by: Shi Hua
Photography by Dean

14.2.17

Valentine's Day

Do you believe in love at first sight? If you don't, maybe it is just because you have not met The One yet. Celebrating Valentine's Day, we have a whole line of eligible furry bachelors and bachelorettes who just can't wait to be your special one. 

Harper (4 years old, female, special needs, HDB approved)

You can never go wrong with choosing a furry significant other. Dogs don't wait one year to show you they love you. They will show you just how much they love and adore you every single day of their lives. Sure they can't buy you flowers and chocolates on Valentine's Day, but they will shower you with sloppy puppy kisses and wiggly butts every day. You will never have to question your place in their hearts. Dogs are probably the only creatures that will love you more than they love themselves, and they will prove it daily in their actions. It does not matter to dogs what you look like, or whether you are rich or poor. They just love you for you and all they ask is that you love them in return. Likewise, we should love them for them, regardless of their breed or lack thereof. Street dogs are no less than pedigree dogs. Their capacity to love you is the same. 

So if you're looking for that furry love, look no further. Your doggy soulmate (or soulmates) may just be waiting for you at HOPE. Scroll on down to check out some of our eligible candidates, or head on over to http://hopedogrescue.blogspot.sg/p/adoption.html where you can find out more about their backstory. 

Alyssa (estimated 11 mths old, female, HDB Approved)
Adora ( estimated 2 years old, female, HDB Approved)



Bella (Female, 8 months old, HDB Approved)

Blake (estimated 3 years old, male, not HDB Approved)

Brandy (7 years old, female, HDB Approved)
Charlie (12 years old, male, not HDB approved)

Chester (estimated 2+ years old, male, not HDB Approved)

Cody (Estimated 4 years old, male, not HDB Approved)

Happy (estimated 4 years old, female, not HDB Approved)

Matilda (estimated 2 years old, female, not HDB Approved)
Matthieu (estimated 14 years old, male, special needs, HDB Approved)



Pumpkin ( estimated 6 years old, female, HDB Approved)

Sida (estimated 5+ years old, female, special needs, HDB Approved)

Trixie (estimated 7 - 8 years old, female, HDB Approved)


Written by : Sam

10.2.17

Hard Luck (Sterilization)

Most of you know by now, strays lead very hard lives. The worst ones are those that live in forested areas and have no feeders. They are exposed to the rain, the cold, snakes and who knows what else. It’s even sadder when one female dog comes on heat and the unsterilized males come from miles away to literally hunt her down and mate with her.



Took us 3 hours but it was well worth the wait - biting the cage to try to escape

We reckon she's about 5 to 6 mths old, got her just before she comes in season
Volunteers hard at work

One can imagine the fear of being cornered by many males, being raped, the pain, the cries, and not just once but many, many times over the next few days until all the male dogs have had their turns on her, starting with the most alpha. The males often get hurt in the process as they fight for the female dog, this is when we see them with maggot wounds.


First time coming in contact with humans, terrified

The first time I saw a female dog being mated upon, almost a decade ago, I could not sleep for days. Her cries played through my mind, over and over again. The guilt I felt, that I could do nothing to stop them as there were more than 8 male dogs chasing after 1 female and I would risk being attacked if I stepped in. And that was when I realized the importance of sterilization.

After sterilization, still groggy

Two nights back, a team of volunteers went down to try and trap a mama dog and her 2 young puppies. We had managed to ask CAS for help in paying for the sterilization costs, while we paid the dog trappers and Exclusively Mongrels had agreed to take in the two 2-month old puppies. This was a perfect example of animal welfare groups working hand in hand for the betterment of the dogs and I hope, is just the start of a wonderful working relationship. We didn’t see the mommy and her puppies so we drove around the vicinity and chanced upon 7 strays living in a forested area; 2 females, 5 males (one had a maggot wound on his back). Of the 2 females, one was in heat and the males were all cornering her. The other female, a young puppy of about 5 mths, was left alone and by a twist of fate, she entered the trap that we had set up for the other female in heat.

Imagine a 5 mth old puppy looking so old, sad and tired

"Am I going back to the forest?"

She is now at the vet undergoing her sterilization and CAS have kindly agreed to let her stay for 5 days to ensure the wound is nice and clean before releasing her back to the forested area where she will spend the rest of her lifetime scavenging for food, and living in the cold and wet forest. Next week we will be going down to trap the other female and if we can’t get her, we’ll take any dog we can for TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release).

Although I have always known the importance of sterilization, I have also always dreaded catching them to be sterilized because I often feel bad releasing them back to their sad, horrible lives. And did you know, AVA doesn’t care if a dog is sterilized or not, when they trap and cull? So even after we return this puppy to that forested area, all it takes is one phone call from an intolerant member of the public and AVA would be there for the kill, regardless of whether the dog is sterilized.
   
And so, time is running out and I have been losing sleep over this puppy who has 3 days left of hope, before she is returned to the forest.

If anyone can save her, sponsor her, foster her, adopt her, please please email us hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg Do bear in mind that she is a fresh rescue, fresh from the forest and has had zero human contact. Do not expect a dog that is going to be sociable with you, friendly, walk well on leash, good during shower, pee pad trained etc because she has lived in the forest all her life.

I thank you for hearing me out and pray that although I can’t save the world, I can at least save one puppy from the forest.

With gratitude,
Fiona
Founder
HOPE Dog Rescue