Benji (Schnauzer) and His Not So Precious Stones

We are glad to report that Benji's surgery went well. They removed many, many stones from his bladder, some of which have combined over time to form larger stones. They also inserted a fibre scope camera into his penis to remove the stones there. Benji is quite sensitive to pain and the vet had to increase the dosage of painkillers by 3 times, but Benji is now recuperating well and has just been discharged.

X-ray showing the many stones in Benji's bladder

Stones that could be flushed out 

Stones that had to be surgically removed

Once back home, he will need to wear a cone for a while so that the wound will be undisturbed and he will be on antibiotics and pain medications while he recovers at home. No showers for Benji in the meantime as well, so that the wound can stay dry.

Poor Benji has had 3 surgeries in the past 1 month

His breed is susceptible to recurring kidney stones so the vet has recommended his diet be changed to Hill's urinary diet for the rest of his life. Benji’s neighbours are trying their best to help raise funds for this diet. Also, Benji will need to be encouraged to drink more water and pee more often to help prevent stones from forming.

Benji after surgery to remove the stones

In other good news, his arm wound is healing well and no longer needs to be bandaged. Just a topical application of medicine will suffice, and only if required.

His arm is healing well 

We hope that Benji's problems are now over for good and Auntie Soh will not need to worry about him anymore.

Being very brave about the entire ordeal 

Thank you everyone for your kindness and generosity, for stepping up to help a low income, senior citizen, whose dog means the world to her.

Written by : Sam


Puli Puli

We received an urgent call today from a worker from the fish farm that we visit monthly. He called us because one of the farm dogs have got a very deep maggot-filled wound on his rump.

Puli, during one of our visits

The dog they called about is named Puli by the workers. Puli means tiger, and like his namesake, he is strikingly handsome. Puli is a young dog, and one of a few who live on the fish farm. Each month we will visit them to check on them as well as to apply Frontline and Revolution. We also supply food monthly, thanks to a kind donor, June.

Handsome Puli
The workers had not seen Puli in a few days but that is not unusual as these dogs come and go as they please. The workers leave food at a common area daily that the dogs can come to eat as and when they get hungry. Puli finally showed up today, whining and crying in pain, with a very deep maggot wound. The workers reckoned that someone may have hit him but they cannot be sure. The workers tried to remove as many maggots at they could but the wound is too deep for them to clean it thoroughly and so they reached out to us. 

An extremely deep wound, poor Puli 

Some of the maggots that the workers managed to remove 

After work today, our volunteers took Puli to the vet. The vet said that his wound was really bad and tomorrow they will do a blood test before putting him under GA to have his wound cleaned and perhaps stitched up. He will most likely be warded for 5 days or so, depending on how his healing goes. When he is feeling better, Puli will be returned to the fish farm. The workers will continue to keep his wound clean and medicate him. It is heartwarming to see that these workers truly love Puli and the other dogs. 

Look how fat this flesh eating maggot is!

We need help with Puli's vet bills please. If you can help, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

Puli says Thank You for helping him

Written by: Sam


What To Do When You Find A Dog

You may have seen a dog walking around, looking out of sorts and think it might need some help, but you are not sure what to do. 

Here are some tips!

1.  Check whether the dog is microchipped.

All vets in Singapore provide free microchip scanning, so take the dog to any vet to scan for one. If the microchip is registered, you would be able to trace the dog's owner.

Using a microchip scanner, scan the dog to check if he is microchipped. 

2.  Examine and monitor - does the dog look unwell, dehydrated or hurt?

If so, take it to the vet immediately.

3.  Investigate. Do a due diligence check.

- Is this the first time you have seen the dog? Is he/she injured? What is his/her condition?
- Is the dog wearing a collar? Is there a tag with a telephone number on it?
- Walk around the vicinity and ask if people have seen the dog and if they know who the owner is.
- Not all dogs are abandoned; some are genuinely lost. Long nails and unkempt fur are often signs of abandonment. Dogs that are constantly looking around are most likely lost. Look out for these signs. It is unfair to the dog and owner if you rehome it before making the effort to search for the owners and reunite them.
- If you find someone to foster the dog temporarily, please ensure you take details of the person fostering the dog.

4.  Inform the relevant authorities.

- Agri-food Veterinary Authority of Singapore (ava_cawc@ava.gov.sg; 1800 476 1600)

- SPCA (shelter@spca.org.sg; 62875355 ext 25)

- Pet-Call (info@petcall.org; 6741-8466)

State the date, time and location where you found the dog; the dog’s breed, gender and colour; whether it was wearing a collar / harness/ leash; and if the dog is microchipped, the microchip number.

5.  Spread the word. Word of mouth is powerful.

 - Share the lost dog's information on Facebook, Instagram and any other social media.

- Contact various dog welfare organizations and ask for help to pass the word around.

6.  Advertise.

Place advertisements in The Straits Times and Lianhe Zaobao. 

* To post an ad on The Straits Times, go to www.stclassifieds.sg/placead. Include the following details:
- Date and time found
- Location
- Sex
- Breed
- Colour of dog
- If he/she was wearing a collar/has a microchip, etc

Do NOT state the microchip number in the papers. The real owner will be able to provide you with the microchip number and AVA license number. 

*  To post an ad on Lianhe Zaobao, call (65) 6319-8228.

7.  Put up “Dog Found” posters.

The conventional way could be the most effective way. Put up posters around the vicinity where you found the dog. Include the following details:

- A clear photo of the dog
- Date, time and location where it was found
- If it was wearing a collar (colour of collar / material of collar)
- Your contact number

Sample poster. Paste in the vicinity of where the dog was found. 

8.  Search for a foster home for the dog or place it in a boarding kennel temporarily.

Do not expect to find its owner immediately; the search may take a few days or even a few months. Ensure that the dog is safe and well taken care of during this time. Be patient and keep up your efforts to find the owner.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If you have done all of the above but are still unable to find the owner after three weeks, you can start looking for potential families to adopt the dog. In this case, here’s what you have to do:

1.You MUST let the new adopter know that it was a lost dog. 

2.If the previous owner shows up to claim the dog, the new adopter should be prepared to return the dog to its rightful owner, unless the owner decides to give up the dog to them. 

3.Ensure that a proper handover is done. This includes passing the new adopter AVA licenses, microchipping details, vaccination and sterilization certificates and any other important information of the dog. This could include his/her lifestyle habits, any health or medical condition, if he/she gets along with other dogs/children, etc. These would help the new adopter to be better prepared for the dog and help the dog better adapt to its new environment as well.        
Last but not least, make sure that the dog has been microchipped, vaccinated and sterilized before he/she is rehomed. Doing so protects the dog and yourself. You would not want to encounter a situation where the new owner does not vaccinate and sterilize the dog. And should the dog get lost, he/she could end up sold to breeders and turned into a breeding dog. Sterilize and vaccinate the dog to avoid such scenarios and spare yourself these nightmares and sleepless nights.


Keep Your Dogs Leashed

We sometimes see pet owners walking their dogs - unleashed. We can probably guess what's going through the owner's mind.

"I'll just let him run around for a bit."
"He needs some freedom."
"She's walking right next to me anyway."
"He won't run off, he's so well-trained."
"Should be fine..."

But the reality is, you never know what's going to happen. Dogs can be just as unpredictable as children. Even if they're very well-trained, an unexpected bird or cat could suddenly tempt them to step off the kerb and into the path of oncoming vehicles.

We've seen people walking their dogs off leash, when another dog approaches. Their dog dashes off to check out the other dog, and call as they might, their dog doesn't respond. He's busy sniffing the other dog and playing. It might seem amusing, albeit frustrating, at first, but that sort of situation can be dangerous. What if the dogs fight or attack each other? How will the owner be able to pull it back? It's going to take a while to run after your dog. What if the dog bites the other dog? What if it bites a person? In these cases, who will take the blame - the dog or the owner? You or the other party, for making your dog dash off to them? Did you know that your dog may risk being put down if he bites a person / dog? Would you forgive yourself if your dog was put down due to your irresponsibility?

Walking a dog off-leash is a common way for people to lose their dogs, especially a newly adopted dog. Some rescued dogs may be skittish and nervous, especially if they haven't gotten familiar or bonded with their new owners. The slightest provocation (a skateboard or bicycle zooming past, a crying child) could spook them and cause them to bolt. Not everyone is lucky enough to recover a lost dog. If an owner decides to walk their rescued dog off-leash and it bolts, that's a life they meant to save, but lost instead.

In Singapore, it is illegal to walk dogs off-leash. The penalty for breaking this law is a fine of up to $5,000 for the first offence, and up to $10,000 for subsequent offences. Not many people are aware of this; but if they are, a lot of them continue to flout this rule despite the costly consequences! Money aside, organizations like HOPE also put in a lot of time and effort to rescue a dog. It's emotionally and physically draining to trap and save a fearful injured dog. All that effort could go down the drain in an instant, due to an owner's overconfidence, or a momentary lapse in judgment.

All dogs adopted from HOPE must never be off-leash in public, except in stipulated areas such as dog runs, dog cafes, etc. If owners are taking their dogs to the beach/cycling/running, they should keep their dogs on a long / training leash. Even if a dog has passed its Basic Obedience Training or other advanced training, even if a dog always responds to being called, he must always be leashed in public.

A dog definitely appreciates the freedom and the joy of running off-leash, and we encourage owners to give their dogs this opportunity as often as possible, but please bring them to one of the several dog parks or dog runs that Singapore has to offer.

If you're looking for ideas on where to take your dog for his next off-leash outing, check out the following places.

Dog runs
- Bishan Park
- West Coast Park
- Sembawang Park
- Katong Park

Doggy swimming
- Sunny Heights: 110 Turf Club Road Singapore 288000

- Ah B Cafe: Within Sunny Heights, 110 Turf Club Road Singapore 288000


Updates on Benji the Schnauzer

His biopsy results are finally out.

The biopsy shows that Benji has grade 1 soft tissue spindle cell sarcoma. Generally, these tumours are locally invasive (causing a problem where they grow). Grade 1 tumours usually do not behave aggressively and spread to other organs, which is fortunate for sweet Benji.

Poor Benji and his terribly swollen front leg

Another blessing is that grade 1 turmours seldom recur after complete surgical removal. However, given that Benji's tumor is very large, and close to many important structures in his limb, the vets do fear a possibility that it might recur. We are keeping our fingers crossed that after this removal, Benji will go on to live a healthy happily-ever-after with his family.

X-ray of Benji's front right leg

Debulking the tumour will definitely provide Benji with greater comfort, considering he has lived with this huge mass for more than half a year. His heart and blood test results are good and thus, he should be a good candidate for the surgery.

Benji’s surgery will take place tomorrow (Friday) afternoon.

We thank everyone for offering to help him in more ways than we could ever think of. We are very grateful for that. The surgery cost is expected to be about $1800 to $2000, depending on the number of days that he needs to stay at the vet because Aunty Soh might not be able to clean his wound or manage him after surgery. So once again we appeal to your kindness to please help Benji with his surgery bills.

To help with his vet bills, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg


Benji The Miniature Schnauzer

We were made aware of Benji's plight by a neighbour, Pam, who noticed that a lump on his leg had grown to a size that made his leg look as if it were swollen. Benji, a sweet-natured 9-year-old miniature schnauzer, once belonged to the daughter-in-law of the elderly couple, Uncle and Auntie Soh, who now looks after him. When the marriage soured, the daughter-in-law no longer wanted Benji and had even wanted to put him down. Fearing for his life, Auntie Soh swooped in and took him in, though she and her husband knew little about dogs. 

We received this photo by email and immediately agreed to help

Despite being in their late 60s, both Uncle and Auntie Soh are still working so that they can provide the very basic necessities for Benji, like food. They even, conscientiously, take Benji for his yearly vaccinations. Auntie Soh walks with a limp. Though her legs hurt, she never fails to take Benji out for his walks, once in the morning and another time at night, because she says he loves his walks. To save on grooming costs, she bought a shaver many years ago just so she can shave him herself. But now, the shaver has grown dull, and she says she will need to get another one soon. Benji eats Pedigree kibbles in the morning. In the night, Auntie Soh rushes home so she can steam some pork and rice to feed him. Benji's harness is very old and his leash is made up of a tattered leash and a rope tied together, yet we can see how much Auntie Soh clearly loves Benji. We were so touched that we gave her a new spare leash that we had on hand. She was so happy and offered to pay for it, even though we know she is not well-off. 

Sweet Benji at the vet with Aunty Soh

His teeth are really bad but this would have to wait as the lump on his right front leg is of greater urgency

We went to the vet last night as scheduled. The whole family, and even Pam, turned up for moral support. The vet saw the lump and warned that it did not look good. It had grown very large and very hard over the last 6 months. Thankfully, it does not seem to be causing Benji any pain or significant discomfort and he was still very happy and active. Thinking that, if it were cancer, it might have spread to his chest, an x-ray was done. If it truly had spread to his chest and bones, then the future would look grim as little can be done. Thankfully, the x-ray results did not show any metastasis. Benji is still not in the clear, though. A biopsy was done and the results expected in 4 days. For now, his wound is stitched up and will need to be kept clean. Kind neighbour, Pam, will check in on Benji regularly to ensure that his wound remains clean and uninfected. She will get Benji an e-collar if required, until his stitches come out in 10 days. 

Poor Benji, such a brave boy. Look how huge the lump has grown to. It's almost the size of his head! (Oh, that's the new leash we gave him.)

Regardless of the biopsy results, Benji will require surgery. If it were cancer, then his whole leg will have to be amputated to prevent it from recurring. If it were benign, then only the tumour will be removed. All we can do now is wait with bated breath for the results. No matter the result, surgery will take place next week. Costs, depending on the surgery, will be around $1.5k-$2k, including a 3-5 day stay as Auntie Soh may not be able to adequately care for Benji during his recovery. 

Poor Benji looks like a wounded soldier with bandages and stitches

Aunty's grooming is pretty good!

Except the shaver is dull so poor Benji ended up with bald patches

Seeing the love Auntie Soh has for Benji, we really want to help them out. Yesterday's vet bill amounted to $790, and we need a further $1.5k to $2k for Benji's surgery next week. We would also like to buy Benji a new harness, shaver and a better brand of kibbles. If possible, we would also like to pamper him with a proper grooming session after his surgery! If you can help with any of these, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

Don't worry Benji, we'll do our best to help you.


Adopt Baby Alyssa!

Alyssa was one of 5 new puppies we used to feed at an industrial site. Their mother had given birth there, and the workers were kind enough to let them stay, and they even fed the dogs with their own food!

Yet, we were constantly worried about her siblings and her. They're so young and inexperienced with the dangers of industrial traffic. Puppies are incurably curious, fragile, and helpless. Living in an industrial estate was a recipe for disaster, an accident just waiting to happen.

And of course, as always, it happened.

Accidents, deaths - they don't surprise us any more. But every time a worker calls us, "Dog no move!" It never fails to cause our hearts to sink, and our stomachs lurch with dread. This time, the worker told us that they had found one of the five puppies holding her leg at a weird angle, with a suspected break.

Her fractured bone has fused back although she will need strengthening exercises

We brought her to the vet and did the usual X-rays and tests. Thankfully, it was not a complicated issue and the vet fixed her up with a cast in no time. We named her Alyssa, and found her a foster home where she could rest while she healed.

Alyssa at the vet, when she was first rescued

This cutie pie is very well-behaved for a puppy this young, can be left alone while you're at work. Independent and no separation anxiety

During one of Alyssa's reviews at the vet, they remarked that her foster had done a very good job in protecting the cast and keeping it clean. Alyssa's leg is healing very well, much better than expected in fact. But the thing is, she's at the age where they grow really quickly. So it's likely that we would need to change her cast, if she outgrew it. So far, that hasn't happened yet, thankfully. It would cost another few hundred dollars per change of cast!

But that just reminded us that she's just a baby! Can you even imagine such a little baby in so much pain? It's heartbreaking.

Making herself comfortable at the vet when she went back for a review

What is worse is that her 8 weeks of recovery time is almost up. And if we don't find her a real home in the next few days, she will have to return to the industrial site where we picked her up. She's already accustomed to living in a home environment; it would be unfair to put her back on the streets. Furthermore, after her cast is removed, she might need to go for hydrotherapy for rehabilitation. It's in her best interest to find an adopter quickly. And we're sure that anyone could love her. She is the ideal dog in so many ways.

This is pretty Alyssa as she is today, still waiting for a home.

Alyssa has already been trained to do her business outside, and despite being only 4 months old, she already knows how to hold her pee and poo until you bring her outside. She's so sweet and intelligent, and is such a well-behaved dog! She absolutely loves humans and is friendly with other dogs too, although she will avoid some dogs if she doesn't like them. She is very non-confrontational and calm. She's playful, like all puppies, and loves playing on the grass. However, she's also great on the leash and not too high energy.

Baby Alyssa loves grass! 

Really, she is perfect. There's not a flaw in her character! 

Please adopt Alyssa so she does not need to return to the streets! Give her a chance. You might be surprised at how easily she will fit into your life. To adopt Alyssa, email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

Alyssa is a female, local crossbreed. She is about 4+ months now and her cast has just been removed. 

Basic requirements to adopting baby Alyssa :
1) she will need hydrotherapy for a while
2) home cooked meals
3) 2 walks a day

That's really not too much to ask for, is it? 

*Video was filmed a month ago. She has grown slightly since.