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


Forever home found: Scooter is adopted!

Our dear Scooter is getting his best Christmas gift ever – a new home, a new name and a new beginning! Our sweet little boy charmed his way into his foster family’s hearts when they took him for fostering while he was recovering from his leg surgery in October 2019. (read the backstory here.)

Scooter is one of those who had a rough start in life. He was left alone in life at just five months when he lost his mother and sister in a road accident. To make matters worse, Scooter was hit by a motorcycle a few weeks later when he went in search of his family. He was in pain for about four days before we found him during our stray feeding rounds.

When we rushed him to the vet, things didn’t look good for Scooter; the vet advised that his leg may need to be amputated. Thankfully after a second opinion was sought, his leg was saved. And after three months of recuperation in his foster home, Scooter’s leg is completely healed, and he can now run and play and be happy like a puppy should.

We would like to thank Melanie for opening her home and heart to Scooter, who is now known as Spencer. Many thanks also go to our volunteers for their unwavering commitment to helping Scooter; for shuttling him between clinics, and waiting with him during the wee hours at the clinic. Our supporters for helping foot his medical bills, which helped us get a second opinion and saved Balloon / Scooter /Spencer’s leg.

This Christmas is truly a special one for everyone – Spencer, and his new family – Mama, Grandma, and Grandpa.

If you’re looking for an adorable new addition to the family, look to our rescues at http://hopedogrescue.blogspot.com/p/adoption.html.

By: Felicia Tan


Why is My Dog Not Eating

Imagine this. You return home after a day of work or school, and you're greeted by your beloved senior dog, wagging his tail from left to right. You head to the kitchen and prepare dinner for your pet only to realize that he does not dive right into the scrumptious meal like he used to. When old dogs do not eat, the first thing that pops into an owner’s mind is often the fact that their dog is being fussy, becoming a picky eater or simply just tired of having the same food over and over again. Occasionally, this assumption may be true but in some cases, this is not the only reason.

Owners with a senior dog must be alert when their pet is not eating their food, as this could be a sign that they are unwell. Kidney disease is a silent killer amongst older dogs. They might drink a lot of water, pee more than usual and develop poor appetite, leaving them feeling nauseous most of the time. Food that used to get them sprinting across one room to the next could be something that do not excite them any longer. In issues like kidney disease, dogs do not show signs until the final stage. If owners are not attentive to their dog’s behavioural patterns, their pet could start throwing up which may be caused by toxins build up in their kidneys. This may lead to death.

When a senior dog stops eating, this could also be a neurological issue caused by canine cognitive dysfunction. It might seem absurd but in some cases, old dogs forget how to eat and drink. They have trouble coordinating their eating like picking up food from the bowl, and if the owner tries to spoon feed them, they might have trouble biting from the spoon too. This might frustrate some owners, allowing them to believe that their dogs are fussy eaters. Sometimes, handfeeding might be the simplest and most helpful way to feed an old dog but just be careful they may unintentionally bite your hand because they have a lot of trouble coordinating. 

Senior dogs could also have bad teeth. Just like us human beings, a bad tooth makes us lose our appetite. However, unlike people who can choose softer food to lessen the pain, dogs may have to chew on hard kibbles, which causes their teeth to hurt even more so. Sometimes, old dogs have gum diseases and that could affect their appetite as well. In some cases, gum diseases could lead to blood poisoning and therefore, a heart attack.

It is no wonder that with age brings about more health issues.

However, it is always important to bring your pet to the vet if he is not acting like how he usually is. There are many other reasons as to why your dog is not as enthusiastic about food, eating lesser than he normally would or not eating at all, and it is best to not assume that he is simply just a picky eater. Bring your dog to the vet for a check-up, and see if their teeth and gums are healthy. The vet can also perform a blood test on the dog’s liver and kidney functions. One can also ask the vet if the change in habits is a canine cognitive dysfunction. It is better to act on it now rather than later and hopefully, owners can find the cause of their old dog’s poor eating habits.

Written by: Debbi Tan


Lil' Scooter Vet Update 4

Scooter was back at the vet recently for a review of his fractured leg and to be sterilized.

The good news is all's well for Scooter!
His X-ray images are normal. Bone fracture on his leg has completely healed, much faster than we expected. The vet has given him the green light to run, jump and do anything he wants! The sterilization surgery went smoothly although his blood pressure was a little low during the
procedure. It might have been due to the fasting before surgery. In any case, he's fine now.

The vet said that Scooter's weight is good although he can still afford to gain another 1-2 kg. But the vet cautioned that Scooter's metabolism will slow down after his sterilization, so we will have to
watch his meals from now on.

We thank Jean for taking time off from work to accompany Scooter on all of his vet reviews and for making the effort to visit him weekly. Scooter's vet visit this round costs $645. If you can help Scooter with his vet bill, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg for details.

Thank you!