Trixie; A Senior Rescue

It is often said, when you adopt a dog, you’re saving two lives. The dog you adopted and the dog you made room for. And tonight, this held true.

HOPE has always been known to take in senior dogs, dogs with special needs, and sick dogs - basically the less adoptable ones. We feel for them. In fact, we’re known as the rescue group with the most number of special needs dogs. Whereas with puppies, we know lots of people will rush to rescue them. We take in these old and special needs dogs, knowing we would probably be “stuck” with them for life. Of course, at the back of our minds, we hope that fellow dog lovers may open their hearts to them and take one in.  

The vacated factory
Taken 2 years ago when she still had a home in the factory

We have known this cream-coloured mama dog for almost 2 years. She used to have a factory, caregivers and doggie friends. Her best friend was a back female dog, probably as old as her and who may have been her sister. 

This was her best friend / sister 

Last year the factory closed down and left behind many dogs. The workers only took one young male dog with them. This is where Mathilda, Goldilocks, Hachiko and Horlicks came from. Some dogs continued to live in the vacated factory, loyal as dogs can be, waiting for the workers to come back for them. Some found ways out through holes in the fences and came out to look for food. During the day, they would sleep in the vacated factory.

Setting up the bait and carrier to trap her

We have been wanting to take this mama dog, whom we had named Trixie, and her black friend, but we did not have space for either of them. It was only last week that we managed to re-home one dog and thus, freed up room for Trixie. Sadly, her black doggy friend had disappeared some months back, possibly killed in an accident or caught and culled by AVA as this is a high culling area.

Volunteer, Weiling, coaxing Trixie to enter the carrier

After she lost her black doggy friend, she spent most of her days under a tractor, depressed. Her cream coat covered in sores, rough skin and oil. Each week when we fed her, we would notice her getting sadder and sadder. She probably missed her friends and her caregivers. Maybe she had seen so many of her fellow strays get caught and culled that she thought she would be next. 

Home was under this tractor 

We noticed that she was starting to develop difficulty in crawling out from under the tractor. Her hind legs were getting weaker and weaker. She wasn’t a young dog – she looked and acted more than 10 years old but stray dogs age faster so she could possibly be younger. Stray dogs just look old and tired from the years of hard living. Her body was weak and tired.

Looking like a ghost town

We planned to trap her one evening after work before it was too late. It had rained the entire day and it was cold, wet and chilly. Our volunteers braved the drizzle and cold to set up the carrier and lure her into it. It didn’t take more than an hour as she was really hungry (and trusting) and the smell of KFC was too irresistible. 

When we shoved her into the carrier, she didn’t even bother to put up a struggle. She was resigned to her fate. She must have seen too many of her friends get caught and disappear and thought that today, it was her turn to go. It was really sad, she had so much misery in her eyes. While we waited for the transport to take her to the vet, she just lay down in the carrier and trembled from being wet and cold. After a decade of animal rescue,  experience told us that this dog had given up on life. 

She remained despondent during the drive to the vet. Once at the vet though, she actually wagged her tail when she was let out of the carrier – she must have realized she wasn’t doomed. 


Volunteer, Gayle, assuring Trixie everything would be alright

Body covered with oil from the tractor

She was just so tired of life, she allowed us to do as we pleased

Sores on her body
Fractured tooth, missing teeth with pulp exposed. Vet reckoned these were caused by chewing on metal or stones.
As with all our rescues, we spare no expense in ensuring their well-being, so a full medical check and blood work was done. The vet estimated her to be around 7-8 years old, younger than the 10 we thought her to be. Her skin was badly infected and foul smelling. She had lumps in her mammary glands and discharge from her vulva. Fortunately the ultrasound scan showed nothing worrying, although her spleen was enlarged from tick fever. The scan also showed that her organs were all healthy and in good shape, and her uterus had been removed, signifying that someone had sterilized her. She was also severely dehydrated and her blood test showed her to be suffering from tick fever and was very anemic as a result.

Resigned to her fate 

Years of living on the streets

Bad and painful skin

Conduting an ultrasound on her was a breeze

Our monthly expenses are high because of the old and special needs dogs we have - recurring vet bills, supplements for the senior dogs, hydrotherapy and massage for the special needs dogs do not come cheap. And now we have Trixie to add to our monthly maintenance. We’re not burdened by this, because we know that there are many dog lovers and supporters that believe in what we do and will support our work and our rescues.  

Look at those eyes

A weather beaten body and eyes that have seen too much 
After living almost a decade on the streets, we believe that she deserves to be taken off the streets and to live her remaining years in a home where she no longer has to brave the rain, shiver cold and wet under the tractor or have to worry about her next meal. We believe you feel the same, too. 

Help Trixie forget about her sad pass and move on

We cannot imagine how being homeless feels like. Help us shower her with love and make up for all that she has missed out on. If you can help with her vet bills or sponsor her food or buy her a bed to finally rest in, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

Written by: Sam


Our Saddest Dog, Roxy, Is Now The Happiest! (Renamed Joy)

Who is the saddest dog in the world? Well, it's no longer Roxy that's for sure!

Roxy (now renamed Joy) with her new family and her megawatt smile! 

The dog with the big smile on her face now is a far cry from the sad-looking dog who hid in the corner and did not know how to eat and drink from a bowl. It was a long and slow process to get her to where she is today. Her 180-degree transformation is all thanks to our ever patient and dedicated volunteers and fosters. It's their love and patience that have turned turned Roxy's frown upside down. 

Rescued in November 2015 and happily adopted 1 year later.  How blessed she is! 

That million dollar smile that makes everything worthwhile!! 

Read her story here.

Joy in her new home, with her queen sized bed

Best pals! 

Roxy has also been adopted by Peter and family. We always knew that Roxy would do well in a big family as she loves children. Now, she not only has her own human mommy and daddy to love her, she also has a human brother and sister to always get into mischief with together, and an "ah kong" to spoil her as all grandparents do! It is no wonder she can hardly wipe that big grin off her face. That million dollar smile is what makes all our efforts worthwhile.

Forever home

Roxy is now called Joy. Her new name reflects the newfound joy in her heart. Thank you Peter and family for adopting Joy. May your hearts and home always be full of joy (pun intended)!


Brandy's Update

Once again, we are witness to just what an incredible tool social media can be. After the story of our latest rescue Brandy first went up (read it here if you have not already), her feeder happened upon it and contacted us immediately. We were happy to take her feeder, HP, to visit Brandy at the vet. 

Poor Brandy, in pain and in an unfamiliar place, was just lying listlessly in her cage and did not even know HP had come to visit her at first. But her demeanor totally changed when HP called her. She was as happy to see HP as HP was relieved to see her, and she jumped up to greet HP with her tail wagging non-stop like a propeller. HP told us that Brandy's street name was Puteh, which means white, even though she has her lovely brown patches. Brandy was born some time in 2009, and HP and friends have been feeding her since then. Brandy was 1 of 4 puppies who were dumped at the site by someone in a lorry, according to a security guard who had witnessed it. They were about 4 months old then, and the security guard had taken it upon himself to feed them. When Brandy was 6 months old, HP did the responsible thing and sterilized her and has been in charge of feeding her each night since then. Talk about commitment and dedication!

Imagine spending her entire life as a stray

Of the 4 puppies, Brandy is the only one left on the streets. 2 of her siblings were taken to a shelter after their sterilization, for their own safety, as they enjoyed chasing bicycles and the boss of a nearby factory had lodged a complaint against them. 1 other had taken ill a few years ago and passed on. Brandy loved her freedom and was a little wary of people so was not easy to catch. But she managed to stay out of trouble as, unlike her more enthusiastic siblings, all she wanted to do was take long naps at bus stops or under lorries. 

Brandy has a shoulder (scapula) fracture and the sling is to restrict movement, for her bones to fuse together.

HP reckons that Brandy's accident may have taken place on Saturday night as she did not come out to eat, and they could not find her. She must have been in so much pain after getting hit by a car, and went into hiding. Brandy has since been discharged and staying temporarily with a volunteer as no one has come forth to offer to foster her. She is on pain medication for her injury and is also being treated for her ear infection and heartworm. Though a little depressed, she is eating well, and absolutely lights up when she gets visitors. She also had her first bath experience at the vet. She is fitting her old street name more, now that some of the "brown" have washed off! Her injured leg has been put in a sling, to prevent her from moving it too much or resting any weight on it so that it can heal properly. Her arm would need to be in a sling for 2 months or so for the bones to fuse back; she has a fracture on her shoulder.

Brandy is gorgeous! 

Brandy needs help with her vet bills and a foster who can keep her confined in a room and feed her meals and medication twice daily. Also, since she is used to going wherever she pleases, whenever she pleases, she will try to escape so her foster home should be doggy-escape-artist-proof.

If you can foster Brandy, or help with her vet bills, email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

Written by: Sam


Brandy. Shaken, Not Stirred

Just another HOPE rescue day. We received an email from a lady, Monica, who told us about an injured dog lying at a bus stop in the Jurong industrial area. She said that she had tried to feed the dog but it was too weak and unresponsive. Not knowing what else to do, she emailed us for help.

In pain and lying under a parked lorry to rest
Brandy, unable to use her left front leg

A HOPE volunteer happened to be in the vicinity and went over to investigate. Monica had told us that the dog was a brown male. The first dog she spotted was a white female with brown patches. Not fitting the description, our volunteer circled the area a few more times looking for the brown male. After driving around for a while and not spotting the brown male, she made her way back to the white and brown female she spotted earlier to check up on her. As our volunteer approached her, she tried to stand and that's when we knew that she must be the dog Monica was talking about. Her left front leg seemed broken and swollen and she was not bearing any weight on it. Her eyes were all red, and she had abrasions on her face, around her eyes, and on her tail – all signs that she may have been hit by a car and dragged a distance. Our volunteer was alone and not equipped to catch her, so we called SPCA for help. Our volunteer sat in the sun and waited with the dog for SPCA to arrive. While waiting, the dog moved to lay down under a parked lorry to rest. This was a good thing as we did not want to risk her running off and getting hit by a car again. SPCA arrived and took her back to their shelter. We then paid a transport company to pick her up from SPCA and send her to our regular vet.
Brandy's video  https://youtu.be/wuZOQboiu4I

Checking her teeth and gum colour

Strays have a hard life on the streets. It is hard for them to find food and shelter. And more often than not, they become victims of hit and run of people who don't place any value on animals' lives and don't bother to slow down for them. Maybe, sometimes, it is hard to avoid hitting an animal who have not learnt to look left and right before crossing. And maybe, you really cannot take the time off your busy schedule to take the dog to the vet yourself. But, is it too much to ask to call someone who may be able to help rather than leave the animal to suffer in pain and possibly die a slow and painful death? In this case, we got lucky and a kind Samaritan thought to contact us even though she did not know for sure if we would help. Better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all. The dog, whom we now call Brandy, is the sweetest dog. She wags her tail even though she is in pain. We may not have had the chance to meet this sweet girl if not for Monica.

Examined at the vet
At the vet, a blood test and x-ray were taken. The x-ray showed a fracture in her shoulder blade. Her eyes are very red, and the vet thinks that she may have been hit from the back, fracturing her shoulder and the impact caused the vessels in her eye to burst. The accident may have happened about 2 days ago as abrasions are drying up.

This x-ray shows metal shards in her tummy
Fortunately her front legs are uninjured 
Her shoulder fracture

Though her front left leg and paw were slightly swollen, the vet reckons that these may be due to an older accident. Upon further examination, the vet found her radial nerves on that leg weak and she was knuckling a little. This was common in dogs who are suffering from neuropraxia, which is often caused by trauma to the nerves. And the news just does not get any better. Brandy's spleen and liver are enlarged, and so is the right side of her heart due to heartworms. She also has an infection in her right ear, which is causing it to be wet, sore and smelly. She also has skin issues, and her whole body is pink or slightly raw. The x-ray also showed that she has arthritis in her lower back, which leads the vet to think that she is not a young dog, probably around 7 to 8 years old.

Brandy will need to stay at vet for 5 days. The good news is that no surgery is required as the vet says the bones will fuse back on their own in about 1 to 2 months time. In the meantime, all she needs is bed rest and her left front leg to be put in a sling. This is to prevent her from walking and putting pressure on that leg to allow the bones to fuse back together properly. 

Tomorrow, the vet will start her on injections to treat her heartworm. She is now put on drip and pain medicine to stabilize her condition. 

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

Written by: Sam


Matthieu’s and Harper’s Very First Sentosa Outing

How many times have you been to Sentosa? Or out to a shopping mall, to the park or just out from home to any place other than school or office? For our dear rescue dogs Harper and Matthieu, an outing is a luxury. Although dedicated volunteers walk them every day, the radius of their travel never extended 500m beyond their foster’s home as they have weak legs from their accidents and are not able to walk long distances. 

Happy tongues from Harper & Matthieu, from Sentosa!

This was until last month, when Hope Dog Rescue decided to organize a very special outing for Matthieu and Harper to Asia’s Favourite Playground, Sentosa! Finally, Harper and Matthieu could leave the comfort of their home and explore more of Singapore. Imagine the dogs’ euphoria when they were at Sentosa! 

Our favourite old man, still so handsome at 14 years old

For Matthieu, this was his first foray into a place away from his foster home in three years. Matthieu is about fourteen years old now and apart from the factory that he came from and his foster home, he has never been to any fun place. His life is worlds apart from our pet dogs at home that get to visit dog cafes and parks every now and then. This was also Harper’s first time at Sentosa, so imagine her delight. Both Harper and Matthieu could not contain their excitement. Their exhilaration bubbled over to the volunteers and everyone was really high-spirited.

The ladies' man

Blessed with clement weather, Harper and Matthieu were as happy as larks. They were like excited little children at a playground and could not stop smiling. We found a nice large green patch of grass near the beach that Harper, Matthieu and the volunteers chilled on for a few hours, in between walks and photo requests from random tourists. Yes, Harper and Matthieu were hits with the tourists! They were such stars. Everyone commented on their cuteness and sweetness and a few of the tourists asked if they could pat Harper and Matthieu and take photographs with them. Harper and Matthieu were overwhelmed by the attention that they received.

Matthieu getting photo requests from tourists

Chilling on the sand while the sun set

After some time, one of our volunteers, Hui Juan, realized that Matthieu kept turning towards the beach wistfully and seemed to yearn for the beach very much. Although Hui Juan was worried that the soft sand might not be good for Matthieu’s spine, she finally caved in and brought him there for a short while. After all, what is an outing to Sentosa without some sand and sea? Matthieu is in his twilight years and should be able to enjoy life. Matthieu loved lying on the sand and did not want to go home. Hui Juan had to carry him back to the grass. Aww… We will bring you back to the beach another day, Matthieu!

Harper ran around the grass with wild abandon. We are so in awe of her and really forget that she is on wheels sometimes, because she runs faster than dogs without any disabilities and has such an indomitable spirit. It has been some time since we have seen Harper run around so happily. We will bring you out more often, Harper!

Against the setting sun, our doggies had their last walks at Sentosa and parting photographs taken with the volunteers. It was a long day for the doggies and at the end of the day, we could see that they were tired, although they did not seem to want to go home to rest. They are so cute huh, like little children!

Next month, we intend to bring the doggies to Sentosa again! Would one of you kindly offer to fetch the doggies to and from Sentosa pawtty please, so we could save on transport charges and channel the money towards more pressing needs? We would like to bring Sida along too and would require volunteers to help to hold our doggies in the car. Won’t you join us? Email us at hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg now to express your interest! Thank you! *hugs and kisses from the doggies*

Written by: Weiling