23.6.16

Why Adopt From HOPE?

Advantages of adopting from HOPE Dog Rescue.

1. Medical Screening/Vaccination/Sterilization/Microchipping

All our rescue dogs undergo a complete medical check and are given a clean bill of health before being put up for adoption. They are screened for Parvo Virus, Distemper, Heartworm, Tick Fever, and undergo tests for their kidney and liver functions. Upon request, we can provide you with the medical records.

Goldilocks, caught by AVA and bailed out by us. At the vet waiting for her full medical. (Adopted)

Compulsory blood test and full checkup for ALL our rescue dogs to ensure they are healthy before we put them up for adoption. (Bonnie)

They are fully vaccinated, sterilized, microchipped and put on monthly tick and heartworm prevention medication.

All of the above are just the basics that we do for each dog we rescue, for a minimal adoption fee of $350. It barely covers the above procedures, which could easily run into a thousand dollars, especially for the more complicated cases. We do all this for the welfare of the dogs we rescue, to ensure that they are well and have no underlying diseases or illnesses before we hand them over to the adopters.
  
2. Home-Cooked Diet

Research has shown that dogs on commercial pet food diets tend to have health issues in their senior years, and many eventually die from kidney and liver failure. Imagine eating instant noodles for all your life, and the amount of toxins your kidneys and liver have to flush out! At HOPE Dog Rescue, we advocate home-cooked meals for all our rescues. The benefits are evident, as our adopters spend less time and money on vet visits to treat medical conditions caused by poor diet, which are preventable. There is no good quality kibble. Kibble is kibble.

Healthy, nutritious home cooked food, perfect for dogs and their humans too!
Delicious meatloaf for the doggies, all human grade

If you are unsure about cooking for your new dog, we can come over to guide you and cook some sample meals to show you how simple it actually is to cook a nutritious meal for your furkid!   

3.     Mandatory House Visits  

We conduct house checks to ensure the safety of the dogs. We teach you how to leash your dogs and how to walk them properly and safely. This is primarily to prevent escapes, as some newly-adopted dogs will take time to get used to their new environment and surroundings, and their first reaction is to take flight. It is a nightmare when rescued dogs escape. You may have come across on Facebook many instances of dogs escaping (almost every other day) and usually they end up injured, dead or lost forever. This is the last thing we wish to happen after all the effort it took to rescue them. It takes a lot of experience to understand how strays think and behave. We have the experience and we will gladly share that with you to ensure that your newly-adopted dog is safe from harm and risks.

Athena (previously known as Fat Sister) (Adopted)

Amber (Adopted) - seeing such things make our day.

Ariel Beanie (Adopted)

4.     Dogs from Foster Homes  

We are proud to say that most of our dogs come from foster homes, not kennels or commercial boarding, and thus are used to human contact, elevators and general urban living. Every rescued dog also goes through basic training from us and we also have a professional trainer available to provide advice and behavioral training. The dogs have also been taught to walk on leash (somewhat), and are generally quiet, calm, non-jumpy and well-behaved. In comparison, some dogs from kennels inevitably pick up the habit of barking, through no fault of theirs; it’s just due to the environment they live in.

Matthieu (left) in his foster home with the resident dog.

The main reason we put them up in foster homes is to acclimatize them to home living, which will in turn shorten their adaptation period at their adopter’s place, and reduce their fears and wariness at an unknown place. Another excellent benefit that dogs from foster homes get is the chance to interact closely with humans 24/7. By placing dogs in foster homes, we get to know their temperament and character 100% inside out, rather than rehoming a dog that we don’t even know. We will share this information with you so that you'll know what to expect. We would have gotten to know their fears, quirks and behaviour, how they behave on walks, their attitude towards cats, kids, etc.

Dawn with her long time foster, Pam.

5.     Matching Dogs to Owners 

We try to match dogs to owners as best as we can. As mentioned above, as most of our dogs are fostered; we are aware of each and every temperament/trait of the dogs, and will recommend a suitable furkid that fits best into your lifestyle. We do not rehome for the sake of rehoming, as we believe that is not how it should be. Adopting a dog should be a fun and happy experience for the whole family, not stressful and unhappy, so we find a dog that will complement your lifestyle. We even have specific dogs good for first-time pet owners, dogs that love babies, dogs that are perfect to be a second pet etc. That is how detailed and thorough we are. We take immense pride in our rehoming process. By finding a good match between the dogs and the owners, we are ensuring the lifelong welfare of the dog, as well as providing a fitting companion for the humans. All this takes a lot of effort on our rehoming team but we believe in doing the best for these rescued dogs, for their chance at a forever family.

Amber and her new Papa
Marley, with his new family, looking healthier, happier and younger too!

6.     After “Sales” Support

HOPE Dog Rescue provides excellent support after adoption. We don’t just give you a dog and turn our backs on you. We follow up, we visit, we check on the dogs and are concerned with how the new owners are coping. If there are issues, we'll step in to mediate before they escalate.

Best of all, we have a no-questions-asked return policy. Even after 10 years of adopting your dog, if you can’t keep it, call us. We’ll gladly take it back. We would rather you return the dog to us, than abandon or rehome it to someone we don’t know. Once we rescue a dog, it is our responsibility for all its life, so return it to us and we will continue to care for it and love it. Of cause we hope that this doesn’t happen, as it would be traumatising for the poor pet, but we do want to let the adoptive family know that this is an option in the event that they are unable to care for the dog any longer.

7.     Honesty

Honesty – we always believe in that. When we rehome a dog, if the dog is unwell, has aggression or any fears, we will inform you because we believe in being upfront and open. We don’t believe in keeping the truth from you. It is best that you know and understand the dog’s background and accept them as they are. Honesty works best when the adopters know what to expect, which thus increases the chance of a lifelong fit.  

Visit http://hopedogrescue.blogspot.sg/p/adoption.html to adopt a dog from HOPE.

Written by: Jamie Faith

16.6.16

On The Streets Where She Lives

About 2 months ago, a pregnant dog wandered into a factory to give birth. Luckily for her, the workers of the factory are very kind and allowed her and her 5 puppies to stay. Not only that, they even shared their food with her and her new pups. 

Poor puppies are going to spend their entire lifetime living on the streets 

We only first saw them a few weeks ago, while on one of our usual feeding rounds. The puppies, old enough to be up and about, were very hungry and had run out to the road to look for food. The roads in the area can get very busy with traffic and we worry that these pups, with little life experience under their belts, would get into trouble. To our dismay, 1 pup has since gone missing and now there are only 4. 

Her front right paw is bent at an awkward angle

Little Alyssa at the vet

On Tuesday, we received a call from 1 of the workers. He told us that 1 of the puppies had started limping on Sunday. Her front right leg was starting to swell and the joint area did not look normal. We immediately went down to pick the puppy up and took her to the vet. At the vet's, the vet took an x-ray and confirmed that the front right leg was broken. Due to the traffic conditions around the factory area, we suspect that she may have been yet another victim of a hit-and-run. However, the vet advised us that the true cause is hard to determine. Our little puppy could have been stepped on or gotten stuck under some heavy rubble and broken her leg while struggling to free herself. Not only did this little puppy come in with a broken leg, she was also infested with fleas and had a cut on her forehead!

Little Alyssa's fractured leg
She needs the cast on for 8 weeks. She has a cut on her forehead too


The course of treatment for Alyssa, as we have named her, is to set her injured leg in a cast for a minimum of 8 weeks. As she is only a puppy, she will need to return to the clinic every 2 weeks to have her cast changed so that her growth is not impeded. The cast will cost about $300-350 each time. She should not be returned to the factory while in her cast as there is a high risk of dirt and water seeping under the cast and cause irritation to the skin which can lead to infection. Therefore, we need a fosterer to care for little Alyssa as her leg recovers. 

To date, her bill is almost $800. She is ready for discharge but we are holding on till Saturday, in the hopes that a kind person will come forth to foster her. 

Alyssa is a female local crossbreed, and only 2 months old. If you can foster / adopt Alyssa, please fill up and submit the foster form here. To contribute towards Alyssa's vet bills, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

Unfortunately, she will be discharged back to the factory on Saturday morning if she fails to find a foster family. 

15.6.16

Peppa Updates

Peppa was found roaming the streets on 25 May 2016. She was not licensed or registered so her owners could not be traced. In any case, she was extremely sick when found, so it may have been a deliberate act of abandonment.



When we found her, she refused all food and water. Her breath was foul-smelling, and there was blood in her urine. Peppa was in pretty bad condition, as if she had been a stray for some time. Her teeth were thoroughly rotten and stuck to her gums with tartar. But even though her behavior was strange and she displayed signs of neglect, we were unaware of just how bad her condition truly was. A visit to the vet saved her life. She had pyometra, a critical womb infection. After her emergency surgery, she started to feel better but still wasn't eating or drinking. She had to go back to the vet twice for an abdominal ultrasound, so we could try to figure out what was wrong.

3 weeks after her rescue 

Initially, the vet thought her gums might still be sore after having a whopping 12 teeth extracted (and getting stitches in her gums), but checks revealed that she wasn’t in pain. Today, it's been 3 weeks since she was found, but the vets still can’t seem to find the reason for Peppa's lack of appetite. There's nothing really wrong with her. She just doesn't eat. She can go through an entire day without food or water. Sometimes she takes a few tiny pieces of meat, a few sips of water, and that would last her a day or two! We have tried every type of food possible, including liquids like goat milk and broth, but she simply is not interested. She just walks away. Sometimes you can hear her stomach growling, so you quickly cook something for her, but nope - still not interested. To make sure that Peppa gets enough nutrition, she is syringe-fed food and water when she refuses to eat, which is almost 5 days out of the week.


Outwardly, Peppa is energetic and alert. She doesn’t seem sick, weak or tired, considering how little her food intake is. She loves running and sniffing during her walks. She is a very good girl and very obedient. You only need to tell her something once and she will listen. However, she doesn’t really know how to play with toys, and was shocked by squeaky toys at first. She seems to have been abused before; she cowers when you stand over her, and she is scared of umbrellas and will run and bolt off at the sight of one. When you touch her bum suddenly, she will squeal and bolt. These behaviors make us suspect that she may have been beaten by her previous owners.

Peppa’s remaining teeth are white and clean now, and she is no longer peeing blood. She loves being outdoors and sometimes seems forlorn when she is at home, staring out the gate. We can only conclude that Peppa did live as a stray for a pretty long time, which may explain why she loves her freedom and being outdoors, and why she survives on so little food and water and yet still seems bright and alert.

It's strange, a seemingly healthy dog not eating or drinking. We are hoping that over the next few weeks or months, she will slowly start to learn to eat and drink like a normal dog.


Nonetheless, we're happy to announce that Peppa has been adopted and renamed as Button! Her new owner will continue to monitor her condition and keep us updated on her progress. We hope that Button starts behaving like a normal dog soon.

6.6.16

Adopting a Stray - What to Expect

Those cute and adorable pictures that we often post on Facebook of our rescued dogs up for adoption – have you ever wondered what the “Before” pictures look like? A total far cry from the carefree Doggie in the Window appearance!


A tiny lonesome puppy looking for food on the streets

A rescued stray, fur matted so badly over the years, it became an "extra tail". Today, she is known Goldilocks.

Most of our newly rescued dogs come to us with matted fur caked with years of neglect, dirt-encrusted nails, starving, injured and scared out of their wits. A total difference from the confident and gorgeous dogs with beautiful, advertisement-ready fur that we proudly parade during our adoption drives. Welcome to HOPE Dog Rescue, where rescued dogs get a second shot a life, with a complimentary makeover thrown in. :)

Such friendly stray doggies!

In reality, it takes us ages and a lot of effort from the volunteers and fosters to prepare the doggies for the day they are adoption-ready. That’s the main reason why most of our dogs are fostered while waiting for their forever homes. Different dogs take on different behaviors and temperaments when it comes to a new environment; a fostered environment give them the space and time for them to adapt at their own pace, which has long-term benefits to the dogs as well as the potential adopters. Undesirable behaviors are corrected at the onset and good habits are formed and encouraged, leading to a well-adjusted furry pal and a happy adopter.


Many of them are terrified of their collars or leash. They leopard crawl and have uncontrollable poo (This is Horlicks)

Many are terrified of humans as they have never had human contact (This is Roxy, a pleasant, confident young lady now. Still awaiting for her forever home.)

For the first few months when the dogs are rescued, a huge headache (and major worry) for us is when they constantly try to escape. Newly rescued dogs are high flight risk, not because they do not like us, but simply because they do not understand that we are trying to help them. They are not used to urban living with confined spaces. To them it’s a sudden loss of freedom, as they are used to living on the streets with unlimited room for them to move about freely. They just want to go back to what they are familiar with, the factories, the construction sites and the dingy streets they grew up in.  


Whoever said all strays are aggressive?

Most of the dogs we rescued don’t even know how to drink water because they lived on the streets with no water source; they drink from drains when it rains; and the lorry oil that drips from the heavy vehicles at the construction sites. Most are often found with toxic poisoning too because they drink from dirty puddles on the road that might contain harmful toxins. Even months after rescue, these dogs will invariably still lick water from the floor or drains during their walks, for such is their lives before we rescued them. Many of them do not know how to eat from bowls as well; the fosters have to put food on the floor first, then slowly onto a plate, and then onto a doggy bowl eventually.

Watch a short clip on some sweet strays.

Many of the first-time adopters, when they welcome their dogs to their homes for the first day, usually expect that the dogs will know basics such as drinking and eating from water and food bowls, which usually comes naturally to puppies brought up in a home. However the sad truth is that these rescued dogs have grown up in forested areas with little or no human contact. Their only natural instinct is to survive with whatever scraps they can scavenge from the ground to fill their tummies, and to run away from humans. Their fear of humans is made worse when heartless dog-catchers invade their terrain and they see their friends being caught mercilessly and howling pitifully while being taken away. Some also experience cruelty from members of the public who shout and throw stones at them, with no qualms about injuring them. In some of the more severe cases that we rescued, the volunteers are advised not to move suddenly or abruptly near these dogs as they are already displaying apparent signs of anxiety and are extremely skittish around humans. We let them cower under the chairs or tables where they feel safe and slowly let them get used to us (which takes weeks or even months!) before attempting to pat or engage them.


Such friendly strays are often the first to be caught by the authorities. Culled for being trusting. 

Even a simple act like putting on a leash for them so that we are able to take them out for walks, is a major challenge for some dogs, and us. It is very heart-breaking to see them shivering and screaming in fear while we attempt to let them get used to their leash. Some are even so fearful that they cannot control their bowels and defecate everywhere while we are trying to walk them with their leash. But tough love we agreed, it has to be done, so that when they are rehomed, they are able to lead a normal and fulfilling life with their adopters.

It is definitely not easy for our volunteers and fosterers to rehabilitate every stray that comes to us, from rescuing them from the forested areas to cajoling them to take the first sip from a water bowl, and eventually even allowing us to shower them easily (ok we admit, some we bribe with doggy treats). Tears, sweat and even blood are shed often. But all of us agreed it is worth it, as each and every step they take towards being adoptable is a sweet victory for us, because it is our ultimate shared goal that drives us to do the utmost best for them. To take them off the cruel streets, to give them a chance to experience love and an adoring family in this lifetime.

The most heart-breaking cases for us are when a rescued dog departs even before being adopted, even before being loved and even patted. Some passed on from their injuries; some waited too long and was never given a second glance by potential adopters. However we take comfort that the least we could do for them is a dignified send-off and a bunch of caring volunteers who showed them kindness in their last days.





So do consider adoption, because seeing a rescued dog learning to live, love and trust is a rewarding and fulfilling thing that touches and changes our lives deeply.  

Written by : Jamie Faith

30.5.16

Peppa Updates: The Emotional Road

It’s been 3 days since Peppa’s life saving operation. She still isn't really eating or drinking. Her food is blended for now, as her mouth is still painful from the dozen or so teeth extracted last Saturday. She slurps 3 or 4 mouthfuls of food, another 3 or 4 mouthfuls goat's milk and that's all she needs to keep her going the entire day. She doesn't seem to need water.

The core of our work is rescuing strays. With Peppa, a purebred Schnauzer, her similarities with a stray dog are heartbreaking. One wonders how long she was on the streets. Or did she have a family who didn't care very much for her, fed her food and water as and when they remembered to and didn't even bother to groom her, notice that her teeth were all rotten and that she was peeing blood? Was she used as a home-breeding dog? We will never know. All we know is that her emotional scars are deep and the road to her emotional healing is going to be a long, winding one.

Peppa spends her days either sleeping or staring out the front door of her foster home. You feel her pain and longing. She misses her family, even though they didn't treat her well. She seems to long for the outdoors, which again convinces us that she did indeed live like a stray for a while before being picked up and rescued.

No joy in her eyes
With her stray lifestyle, over the years her stomach has shrunk, and her body has gotten used to it. This explains why she doesn’t seem to need to drink water and she doesn’t know how to eat from a bowl. The foster uses a plate and tries to hand feed her but once she has had her 4 mouthfuls of food, she's done with food for the day.

Her foster has also noticed that Peppa has some separation anxiety. She needs to have a human or dog within sight. If there isn't one, the poor little girl will panic, howl and wail. We hope this diminishes as she gets stronger. 

Cute little Peppa loves to snuggle in the resident dog's bed and he graciously gives in to her

Peppa is very tough. By the second day, she was no longer whining and crying in pain, although she is still on pain killers, oral gel and antibiotics. Her physical pain she has learnt to cope with, probably something she has lived with for a long time.


Her teeth are nice & clean now after her dental. She needs to have some oral gel applied on her gums twice daily to soothe her pain.
Her sterilization wound is now nice & dry

Tomorrow we take her to the vet again, to check on her sterilization wound and the stitches in her mouth. All we can do for dear little Peppa right now is to ensure that we try our best to teach and encourage her to eat and drink, like what a normal dog should be doing, and to give her lots of love, and hope that the emotional road is not too long for her.




Email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg if you would like to help Peppa in any way.

27.5.16

Get Rid Of Her

A female Schnauzer was found 4 days ago, possibly abandoned. Her rescuer could not keep her and handed her over to HOPE. We took her in 2 days ago.


She was in pretty bad condition when she went to her foster home. She was unkempt and had overgrown nails that had started curling sideways. Her breath was also extremely foul, due to several rotten and shaky teeth. Her nipples are enlarged, which indicates that she was very likely a breeding dog, either from a farm or a home breeder. Was she discarded because she had outlived her purpose? We aren't sure exactly how old she is, but it's apparent that the girl has endured a long, long period of neglect.

She had many rotting teeth and terribly foul breath
Been a Mama a couple of times

Nails too long, they curled sideways

Over the past 2 days, her fosterer noticed that she was refusing to eat, and was hardly drinking. There was also some blood in her urine, and we didn't know if it was because she's in heat, or if she's suffering from a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) or kidney stones. We took her to the vet today for a full medical check-up.

Ultrasound scan before she was rushed in for an emergency surgery

What we found out was much worse than we expected. We were shocked to hear that she has a serious, life-threatening condition called pyometra. Pyometra is an infection in the uterus, is life threatening and requires immediate surgery. This is common in unsterilized female dogs. Her uterus was so horribly infected that the vet thought she saw TWO uteruses when she conducted the ultrasound scan. The poor dog must have been in a huge amount of pain, which is why she wasn't eating. We're very lucky that her fosterer is experienced, and spotted the few odd symptoms to this life-threatening condition.

The vet has just rushed her into emergency surgery and we are now waiting to hear how it goes. Please keep Peppa in your prayers. Life has not been easy for her.

If you would like to help out with her vet bill, please contact hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

Update on Cammy

After her lifesaving operation, Cammy was in such extreme pain that she could not eat. It was only after the vet upped the dosage for her pain meds that she finally managed to stomach her first meal after more than 2 days. Although she has started to eat, the next 48 hours will still be very critical. The vet told us that we brought her in just in time as she would not have survived past the weekend. Looking back, it certainly seems like fate that we rescued her when we did.

Finally, a smile

Being black, Cammy blended right in with her surroundings, a dark, deserted factory. We definitely would not have found her if not for a furry friend's intervention. When we went on our usual feeding rounds that Saturday night, we called and called but Cammy did not come running like she usually did. We were about to leave when we heard another dog barking fervently some distance away, as if asking for help, and we decided to check it out.

It was a good thing we did.

When we saw Cammy, our hearts sank. We had put a collar on her a few months back, because she was so extremely friendly that we worried about how easily she might be caught by the authorities and culled. Without this collar, we wouldn't have been able to identify Cammy that Saturday. At first look, the black dog we saw was not the Cammy we knew. She did not run to us and flip over onto her back asking for her usual belly rubs. Instead, she lay in a puddle of water, motionless.

Still weak and groggy but forcing herself to sit up to look at us 

Her huge distended stomach was filled with more than 3 liters of urine! This is akin to her internal organs being soaked in acid! Can you imagine the pain she was going through? A small blister hurts so badly, but a burnt and blistered abdomen is unthinkable. We mere humans probably won't be able to survive the pain but this was what Cammy had been experiencing there in the dark for hours, with only a friend who thankfully decided to call for help.

Cammy may develop peritonitis (inflammation of the membrane around the organs and abdominal wall) due to the prolonged exposure to urea, and is also in grave danger of succumbing to kidney failure. Because of the tear in the bladder, her body was unable to excrete all the toxins accumulated by the kidneys. Cammy's kidney values were horrible as the toxins in her kidneys had built up to a dangerous level, and her readings were:
Urea >130 mg/dL (Normal range 7-27)
Phosphate >16.1 mg/dL (Normal range 2.5-6.8)

Cammy will need to stay at the clinic for a few more days as her condition is still very critical and she needs to be under strict observation. For now, the vet will continue to induce urination (diuresis) to keep Cammy's kidneys functioning. Hopefully, with continued diuresis, we can get her kidney values back down. How much lasting damage remains depends on how well her body is able to concentrate urine and what her kidney values are. We can only keep our fingers crossed and pray for the best.

Her vet bill has ballooned and we have spent more than $3000 in these few short days alone. Although we cannot afford the bills, which is snowballing by the day, we have no choice but to do all we can to save this little girl who had always greeted us with enthusiasm and many wet kisses.

Sweet Cammy, Mathilda's sister

Cammy has been a very brave little girl and we know she will pull through this critical period. After her discharge, Cammy will need a temporary home where she can comfortably recuperate. If you are able to offer a space in your home and heart for our little girl, or if you would like to contribute towards Cammy's vet bills, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg