A Happy Ending After All

It was a journey full of lessons that started on the first day I fostered Charcoal. After seeing firsthand how FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) had caused his breathing to be so laboured that he almost died, I knew I needed to help him get better. After all, I was one of the volunteers who brought baby Charcoal to the vet slightly more than a year ago when a worker found him inside a drain. 

Frankly speaking, I didn’t plan to adopt Charcoal when I first decided to foster him. My only aim then was to see him get better. But the long road to recovery had bonded us. The first few weeks were extra memorable as I tried to get a hang of caring for a cat. Despite being sick, Charcoal liked to mew late at night to a point that I was worried my neighbours would complain. It wasn’t that he was in pain - he probably was not used to the new home environment. That’s now all water under the bridge. Charcoal is now comfortable and he sleeps wherever he pleases. I am lucky that my bed is big enough for the two of us! 

I have always wanted to have a cat and I am grateful to have adopted Charcoal. I am also eternally grateful for the support from my family, my lovely volunteer family at HOPE, and the generosity of HOPE’s donors, that Charcoal has now been given a new lease of life.

Story by Fadzil


Vet talk for our volunteers

All of us at Hope Dog Rescue love animals. We could go through fire and water to relieve their pain and suffering. Just seeing the smiles on their faces is worth all that we have to go through. Even if it means crawling through mud, jumping into drains and getting through with no food and sleep during our rescue operations. We might be drenched in dirt, and weak from exhaustion by the time we walk through the clinic doors with the injured animal. But, we are always filled with hope, and a feeling of relief when the medical team receives us at the clinic.

Volunteer Kenneth helping out on one of our late night rescues 

We admit, oftentimes, we find ourselves ill-equipped to help the strays. How do we know if a limp or wound is serious, how should we carry an injured animal, when are urgent interventions needed, etc. It fills us with dread when we are confronted with an injured or sick animal. Some of us are not seasoned rescuers, but the stray dogs and cats we encounter are usually emergency cases from broken bones to badly infected bloody wounds.

Volunteer Daryl helping to shave Blackie for a procedure

So when our kind team of veterinarians and veterinary technicians asked if our volunteers would be interested in a sharing session, we were absolutely thrilled and jumped at the opportunity. For some of us, being a vet is a dream career but sadly we are not destined for it in this lifetime. Getting our kind vet to teach us is the next best thing.

ARVC staff, Dr Randy, showing our volunteers how to do a subcut

The sharing has been truly fruitful and enjoyable. We touched on several topics ranging from the different routes of parenteral medication administration, platelet factors, judging the severity of a limp, mange treatments, cat flu to feeling a full bladder, etc. We learnt, there are needle insertion angles for various types of parenteral administration of medication: intramuscular, subcutaneous, intravenous, and intradermal injection. Did you know? We had plenty to ask and thousands of questions.

The knowledge provided us with greater insights into the care of an animal and invaluable knowledge for our rescue work. Of course, we had to try out what we learnt. Poor Chloe was the guinea pig during our learning session on administering fluids via the subcutaneous route. We are pleased to say we did a pretty good job with her.

Volunteers Jean & Fadzil doing a subcut on Chloe

Everyone had a pawsome time despite the fact that we were tired after a long day at work.

We are very grateful to the team at ARVC for their time, effort and kind initiative. It is not every day that we get the opportunity to learn from veterinarians and veterinary technicians. Thank you very much to the lovely team at ARVC for supporting our work and helping us to further our cause of helping animals in need. We hope that we will be able to help more animals with our newly gained knowledge and skills.


Kai Kai the Lunar New Year Rescue

When we thought we had seen it all, along comes another rescue worst than what we have ever seen.

Brace yourself before scrolling down; it will make you so sad and so angry. This dog’s condition is much worse than the strays we have rescued and WORST than poor old Buddy and we thought that was bad. You can’t even begin to imagine his nightmare!

Eyes so infected he couldn’t open them

Kai Kai, 15 year old Shihtzu, male, unsterilized; left at home with huge wounds untreated because the family said, “he is not in pain because he can eat, sleep, walk.” How strong was the dog’s sense of survival, to be in so much pain, and yet still eat daily to survive? I would have turned violent at that moment but I needed to keep calm in order to save the dog. After lots of negotiation and discussion, the family finally agree to let us take the dog to the vet and they wanted the dog back by the end of the day and oh, please shave him while he’s at the vet. Fuming yet?

Nails so long it curled sideways

Here’s the list of Kai Kai’s problems :

  • dry eyes
  • multiple ulcerated and infected masses (both ears and right knee) 
  • grade 4 dental disease
  • chronic skin issues 
  • heart murmur 
  • possible mass in the abdomen 
  • a few bladder stones 
  • small uneven sized testicles (not castrated)
  • non regenerative anemia

Huge infected tumour in his right ear. He no longer had a ear canal 😭

Another tumour in his left ear

As I carried him and ran to my car to rush him to the vet, I felt his laboured breathing and prayed that he would not stop breathing just as he was saved. In the car, his wounds were so foul smelling, I had to drive with the windows down. And mind you, this was a pet.

Where’s his eye?

At the vet, the nurses and vets gasped in shock at the sight of his badly infected masses. Our 5th rescue in just one month and this sweet little dog was the worst of the lot. We said we couldn’t help anymore dogs and will not take in any rescues for a while – we don’t have fosters, adopters, funds and we can’t keep saving them with nowhere to go and bills to pay. Our volunteers are extremely exhausted.

Badly decayed teeth

For now, Kai Kai has been shaved, all his wounds flushed and cleaned and he managed to eat a bit. The wound on his right ear was so bad, we could see his cartilage. We will be arranging for a cardiac and abdomen ultrasound soon. When we get a better idea of his heart condition and what’s going on inside him, then we can decide if he is fit enough to undergo surgery to remove his ulcerated masses. The vet reckons it would have been a year or so that poor Kai Kai had been left in this painful and pitiful condition. 

His nails were so long and over time he became bow legged.

HOPE believes in speaking up for animals and standing up for them. Many of the abuse / neglect cases, we report and support with vet reports; after which, the outcome is not within our control. In the case of Kai Kai, the owner refused to let us take their dog to the vet. We could have left and then reported the case, but that may take weeks before the authorities do something and time was not on our side. We didn’t want to delay Kai Kai’s pain and suffering and so the deal was made that if they surrendered him to us, we will not report. Some may not agree with what we did, but in this case, standing up for Kai Kai meant helping him and taking him to get the medical attention he so badly needed. 

A big wart dangling beside his penis

Badly infected left eye

Badly infected right eye

Most shocking, a huge tumour on his back right inner thigh

A huge tumour in his back right inner thigh

Unkempt and extremely smelly

We had to shave him down

Long suffering soul

After cleaning his right ear, the vet noticed we could actually see the ear cartilage 😱😱

The huge tumour on the back leg

Here's what help we need :

  • Jasper – foster / adopter
  • Timmy – adopter
  • Tipsy – adopter
The huge tumour on the back leg

If you would like to help in any way, please email us hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg


Jasper; love means letting go.

Its almost the end of January and in just one month to the start of  2022, we have saved Peanut, Jackie, Blackie, Mimi the cat and taken in  Buddy, Tipsy the dog abandoned in the farm, Timmy the skeleton dog and  last night, one more. Lest you think it’s the season for spring  cleaning; let us tell you not to judge like we did. Not all owners who  surrender their dogs are unkind or don’t love them.

Dear old Jasper

Let us share with you the sad story of Leo and Jasper. Leo is human, Jasper is the dog whom we just took in.

Jaspar has a huge lump in his right ear.

Leo had adopted an ex-breeding Maltipoo from a breeder some 2 years back and he had asked the breeder if the dog was sterilized. Breeder said yes. A year later the dog came in heat, and he asked the breeder again and the breeder insisted that dogs sterilized will still be in heat. In the meantime, Leo’s father didn’t want the dog in his house  and so Leo and his dog moved in with his uncle.

At the vet with our volunteer

Discharge dripping from his nose

The second year, the Maltipoo had her heat again and this time Leo had planned to take the dog to the vet to check but sadly, before he could  do that, his dog suddenly collapsed. He rush his dog to the vet and  found out the dog had pyometra, infection of the uterus, common in  unsterilized females. She was only 9.

Checking for spinal pain

Anyway, during this period, he had moved in with his uncle, who had a  15 year old schnauzer. As the schnauzer got older, his brain started  to show signs of dementia. The uncle started getting impatient with  the old dog and would kick him away if the dog went near him.

Checking teeth. Nasal discharge observed.

Leo works long hours to make ends meet. When he is home, he takes care  of Jasper - feeds him, bathes him, lets Jasper sleep in his room etc.  Leo even bought diapers for Jasper so the dog would not pee everywhere and anger his uncle.

Rotten teeth. Left side of mouth totally no teeth.

Three weeks back, Leo had contacted us to say his uncle had an old  schnauzer that they wanted to surrender. Thereafter, we hadn’t heard from him again till yesterday. Leo told us he had thought long and  hard about giving Jasper up, but his genuine concern was that the  uncle would abuse Jasper when he was at work. And so, he made that difficult decision to surrender the dog.

Leo met us at the vet with a bag carrying Jasper’s food, bedding and diapers folded nicely for him. He had taken time off from work to give him a bath before meeting us. If a person doesn’t love the dog, they  will not bother to buy diapers, pack the stuff nicely etc – they would  probably give you a dirty, smelly dog in a plastic box, like Buddy.

Jasper weighs just 5kg. He is 15 years old.

Stomach full of food. Vet is concerned there is a blockage

Seems to have a narrowing of the trachea

We ran some bloods and did xrays as he has some nasal discharge, which  was a concern.

Here’s a summary :

  • Bad heart murmur (grade 4-5 out of 6)
  • Hind legs were so stiff like chopsticks, he can hardly bend them
  • Front legs – arthritis as well
  • No spinal and back pain
  • Poor vision, poor / no hearing 
  • Previously had hematoma in left ear
  • Left of mouth no teeth at all, right side 4 decayed teeth
  • Anaemic / pale gums – will get an iron jab
  • Lump inside the right ear but doesn’t seem worrying so to leave it
  • Dehydrated – will put on drip but drips needs to start slow as his  
  • heart is not so good
  • Not sterilized – left testicle is bigger than right.
  • Kidney / Liver ok
  • Xray shows stomach full of food – meds given to poo and try to clear  
  • food in stomach.
  • Incidental findings – bladder stones – can be caused by lack of water or diet
  • Ultrasound scheduled tomorrow to check heart and abdomen

Senior dogs are so precious

Inserting IV line as he was slightly dehydrated

Jasper will be warded for a few days till his condition stabilizes. To  foster or help with Jasper’s vet bills, please email  hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

For fostering, we require someone with some experience with senior  dogs and reasonably attentive to be able to pick up on his health if  he is unwell etc. Not leave him alone for more than 3 to 4 hours  as he may get hurt / stuck, or can't find water, etc.


Timmy the Skeleton Dog

Just this year alone, and its still January, we have rescued Buddy, Jackie, Peanut, Blackie, Mimi the cat and Tipsy the abandoned shitzu. That’s definitely one too many and we said we would not be rescuing anymore for a while as we have vet bills piling up. But when we were shown this photo of a dog that barely resembles a schnauzer, how do we say sorry, we can't save you? 

Left alone and forgotten, almost like his rusty cage

It all started in November when a volunteer, Irene, happened to see this dog being walked in her housing estate. The person claimed he walked the dog once a month. Irene was appalled and saddened by the state of the dog - furless, skin & bones. 

Irene asked around for a couple of days and managed to find out where the skeleton dog lived. We then went down to the home and offered to take their dog to the vet for free, to cook and deliver food but the family said they didn’t need help. They told us that the dog had cancer and their vet had said nothing more could be done. The door was closed on us.

Insufficient food for how long to reach this sorry state? 

Irene was persistent as she was worried about the dog’s well-being and so she wrote to NParks, asking them to check on the dog for possible neglect. We can't reveal the exact details but 2 months later, the family suddenly decided they wanted to surrender their dog to us and so we quickly rushed down to take him, before they changed their mind. 

he dog was handed to us in a rusty cage and he smelled so bad that the car was filled with his damp, mouldy smell. We named him Timmy.

Dry flaky skin

Inside his ears

Timmy is 15 years old and is supposed to be a schnauzer but all you see is his skeletal frame, red sore skin, pressure sores from lying down long term and hardly any fur. To say he was a sorry sight would be an understatement. 

Pressure sores from lying down long term

Itchy scratchy

Timmy weighed just 5.8 kg, a fraction of what he should be. In order to reach this skeletal state, the dog would either be extremely sick or starved for a very, very long time.

Eyes that have given up on life

Guess what? His blood tests revealed he is in perfect health! Kidney and liver functions perfect! We thought maybe he had thyroid or diabetes and so that was tested too – came back negative. Blood pressure perfect too. The only issue he seems to have is malnourishment, bad skin and bad teeth. We don’t think he has cancer as the owner said because if he did, his white blood count would have been high, but it isn’t. Nonetheless, like all our rescues, we do our best for all of them and so Timmy has been booked in for a cardiac and abdomen ultrasound next week. 

How can this not be constituted as animal cruelty?

Paw pad has poo stuck in the fur

Scratched till his neck has no fur

Irene has offered to foster Timmy till he has gained weight and is stronger, before we put him up for adoption. 

Will you please save me?

Email us hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg if you would like to help Timmy the skeleton dog.


Tipsy, abandoned in the farm

 We received a message via our Facebook page at 12.15am two nights ago.

“Hello, anyone there?” 

“I just found a dog.”

“Are you guys able to keep it?”

And that started a string of messages that sent us into yet another frenzy in the middle of the night when we were all set for bed.

The lady told us that they were driving along Neo Tiew Road, which is a dimly lit farm area way out in the boonies, when they saw a small dog in the middle of the road. There were two stray dogs near her and we saw a small wild board when we went to pick her up.

Picked up from the main road and kept in a discarded trolley

Worrying about the small dog’s safety, from being road kill as well as being attacked by the strays or wild boar, she immediately pulled her car over and put the dog in her car. 

It was way past midnight and the area was very ulu (deserted) – we needed to find two volunteers who were not asleep and had cars to quickly head down. It was too risky to send one lone volunteer to such a place in the wee hours. 

We got to Neo Tiew Lane at 1.15am and found the abandoned shitzu in a discarded trolley. The lady had put her inside to keep her safe while waiting for us. 

Extremely dirty and neglected

The dog seemed blind and was trying to sniff the air when we approached. Her face was so dirty, her eyes full of discharge and her fur so sticky, it stuck to her skin. Her coat was dry and flaky and her nails were so long it curled sideways.

She was extremely sweet and allowed us to carry her. 

By the time we got to the vet, it was 2am! We ran bloods on her and her blood results were not too bad, except for the fact that she was dehydrated and her adrenal glands enlarged. She is estimated to be around 14 to 15 because of her neglected state but she is rather high energy and could actually be younger. 

Dry, flaky skin

She is unable to pick up food with her mouth; we have not figured out why yet. All she can do is lick her food, so soft / pureed food works best. The vet reckons it could be a jaw structure issue – we will observe further. She will require a dental eventually, when she gets stronger. 

Such a sorry sight, with eyes pleading for help

Her hind legs have bilateral hip atrophy, when she walks her hips are very unstable, wobbly and xrays show severe arthritis. She also walks with her head tilted slightly to the left, as if she suffers from vestibular issues but we can be certain yet. With her cute head tilted walk, we have named her TIPSY.

Long, curled nails. How painful it must have been for her to walk.

To date, one person has come forth to claim her but his details do not match.

We have reported the case to NParks as that of pet abandonment. There are no houses in that vicinity so there is no possibility that she had slipped out of her home. That area is really out of the way, and dangerous with many strays and wild boars. How in the world did a sweet, old dog end up in the farm area walking in the middle of the road at midnight? 

Tipsy is still warded at the vet as she has not yet found a foster.

To support the work we do, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

Underweight and malnourished