All Hail the Queen. Sida Has Adopted!

“I’ll adopt Sida.”

Yes you’ve heard that right. We daren’t believe the news when we heard it too. We have never thought this was possible. SIDA IS ADOPTED!!!

For long-time followers of Hope Dog Rescue, you might be familiar with one of our longest ‘resident’, Sida. She is part of The Diaper Club, a term affectionately used to describe the dogs under our care that we have rescued that are paralysed. Sida used to roam freely around with her pack at a construction site and was badly injured in an accident when a lorry hit and ran over her. She suffered serious spinal injuries and never stood up or wagged her tail after that day. Read her story here.

When Hope rescued her, she was despondent and depressed, not understanding why she was unable to feel the grass under her paws and to chase birds ever again. As we do not have a shelter, we decided the best place to house Sida was with a lady Anna, who had experience caring for dogs like Sida. We were assured that her meals and daily needs would be taken care of.

Ever the Manja Queen 

Hope paid for Sida’s upkeep, weekly massages and medications for her condition. Occasionally her boarding lady would help with her medical fees. We also arranged outings and frequently brought her out to cheer her up. Not one to be daunted by her condition, Sida slowly regained her confidence and naughty nature and we discovered her true colours.

The dog that needs treats in her water before she drinks 

Sida is one of the greediest dog we’ve ever had and is truly food motivated. She is also extremely intelligent and will gaze at you with those soulful eyes until you drop the piece of chicken you were holding in your hand into her mouth. She also has a bossy character and is suitably known as “The Queen” amongst the volunteers and other dogs.

Sida’s silly antics and lovable nature made us believe that we made the right decision when we decided not to go with the vet’s initial recommendation to put her to sleep, reasons cited as she will not be able to enjoy quality of life. I bet Sida’s quality of life now is tons better than most of us, weekly massages and all. We have not even mentioned about the delicious home-cooked food she gets daily and air-flown treats from all over world donated by some of Sida’s fans.

Never-ending pat pats 

However what Sida really wants is a home and family to call her own. For the longest time ever, we have been searching for an adopter for Sida. It would be such a pity to have her in long-time boarding, given her very affectionate and endearing nature. There were interests from some families but most could not commit after knowing the amount of work involved in caring for a special needs dog like Sida. As Sida is incontinent due to her spinal injuries, the potential adopter would have to express her bladder every 4 hours and clean up her poo after she is done with her business.

Imagine doing that daily with a 25kg furball! Just to add, this particular furball complains and whines when she is handled in the way she doesn’t like too. Depending on her mood (and whether she likes the potential adopter or not), she would either be on her best behavior or her most whiny. Yes that is why we love Sida to bits, very naughty but extremely cute. Sida is very intelligent and could sense that we were trying to help her find an adopter.

We had many screenings and viewings and most families lost interest and hesitated to commit after the 3rd or 4th visits. We can understand why, but seeing the miserable look on Sida’s face each time a potential adopter didn’t work out upset us. It made us even more determined to find the most suitable adopter for Sida. When The DoDo contacted us to help reach a wider audience to help Sida find her forever home, we were thrilled. Watch Sida’s video here.

SiDa & Harper giving back to society as Pet Therapy dogs 

A few weeks back, Anna reached out to us and expressed interest in adopting Sida. Anna mentioned that they had become attached to each other after so many years of living under one roof and her family could not imagine living without Sida. In addition Sida is getting on in age and it was in Sida’s best interest that they became her forever family. Sida also gets along well with her other dogs and they have forged a close bond after being companions for a few years. This was music to our ears!! All of us felt an immense sense of jubilance and accomplishment for Sida! Finally she will have a place to belong and a home to call her own!

Thank you Anna for your kindness and compassion in adopting one of the hardest-to-look-after dog in Hope. We are very sure Sida will bring you many years of happiness and bliss, which is what adopting a dog is all about. Bless you and your family!

CONGRATULATIONS SIDA! May you have a happy life from henceforth! 

We cannot change what God decides to take away from us and our fellow sentient beings, but humanity is the awareness that most times, it is in our hands to do something to make the loss more bearable for them and taking the action to do it.

Written by: Jamie


Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough

They say that love can conquer all; we strive to believe but sometimes it gets really difficult to keep the faith. We are a small group of volunteers with limited resources; but try to make do and scrape by with whatever we have, to do everything we can for our furry friends.

Diaper Club Buddies 

Over the years we have been tireless about our efforts to spread hope and bring new beginnings to street dogs and cats. However, this repetitive cycle has taken quite a toll on our finances. It is with certain urgency that we share this appeal, hoping it will inspire more to contribute to our cause.

Our latest rescue, baby Balloon. 

Bills : The dreadful but unavoidable word that weighs heavily on our shoulders. Currently, we owe $8,000 to a big-hearted vet - which is not a lot compared to some other shelters - but quite a substantial amount especially since we also need maintenance funds for our existing dogs.

Most of our money goes towards sterilization and stray feeding, which on average adds up to $1,000 or more per week, depending on how many strays we can catch each week for sterilization. How do we arrive at this figure?

Yes! We feed and rescue cats too.

A hefty part of it comes from the cost of food for strays (if nobody donates cooked food,) as well as the dog and cat food we distribute to workers to last them throughout the week since we can only go on stray feeding missions on Saturday nights. Another costly expense is sterilization, depending on how many strays we manage to catch and sterilize each week. More often than not, these cats and dogs are diagnosed anemic or carry tick fever, which means they have to stay at the vet for a week to boost their red blood cells count before we can sterilize them. Some can't be released because once we do, we may not be able to trap them again for sterilization; accommodating them rings up the expenses. Also, due to harsh living conditions, they are plagued by open wounds and infections which call for immediate medical treatment.

Love of our lives 

There are days when we are deterred by these extra costs, because there are hardly any funds coming in. Typically, funds usually come in only when we have a new rescue – no rescue equates no funds. But if we don't continue to sterilize the strays that we encounter, it would mean new puppies and kittens on the streets. This equates to more road kills or becoming nuisances in factories, which may lead to the bosses getting the authorities to cull them. Simply put, this is a never-ending cycle that leads us to forking out more and more money.

Adding to the seemingly never-ending list are the “tough-nut cases” - dogs with such severe aggression that they become near impossible to rehome. In these instances, we have little choice but to take on the financial responsibility of providing for these tortured souls till the end of their time. In the meantime, these dogs live a sad, isolated existence because we don't have the expertise nor the funds to send them to rehabilitation.

Tako, adopted as a puppy and returned recently for severe aggression. No one has been able to even go near him

Under our care, there are senior dogs with acute health issues and complications. They are too old to rehome because the process might cause them undue stress. For many people, special needs dogs require too much time and work; these inevitable factors render them less “adoptable”. Regardless, these are the dogs we love with all our hearts,

Mathilda has been waiting for a home for more than 3 years

Unfortunately, we have learnt the hard way that love doesn’t pay the bills. Keeping our dogs requires a steady source of funding: They need massages to promote their blood circulation, hydrotherapy so their muscles don't waste away and follow-up vet visits. Not to mention, hefty boarding costs because we don't have a physical shelter and fosters are not easy to come by, especially for dogs with aggression issues.

Cody has been waiting for a home for 5 years.

This just about sums up what we have to fork out each month. Our list is non-exhaustive, yet we often find our accounts running on empty.

The vet has been generous enough not to give us the final ultimatum that we can't bring in our dogs if we don't settle the outstanding amount. Fingers tightly crossed; we hope not (and never) to reach that breaking point, so please do help us if you can.

Adora, aggression and slow to warm up. Abused and abandoned by her previous owner, she often wonders why her??

You may choose to send your cheques directly to the vet clinic. Please email us at hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg and we will be glad to provide you with more details. Thank you very much for helping our dogs and cats – they will be so happy to know that they have not been forgotten in this world!

Xin Xin, waiting for her forever home too. 

Sweet Lil’ Balloon

What makes you happy? Is it the simple things in life like balloons and puppies? Well, recently, we found double happiness in a puppy called Balloon! Imagine that! How adorable.

A happy Balloon at his factory before the accident 

Like a child that lights up when you hand him a balloon, our eyes and hearts lit up when we saw Balloon and his sister wagging their tails at us and waddling excitedly towards us during one of our stray feeding sessions. They are so cute. We had intended to feed the cats in the factory but were pleasantly surprised by these two little puppies who suddenly appeared. It turned out that their mother had passed away in a car accident, so one of the workers brought them over to this factory. Yet, about three weeks ago, just after feeding them for about a month or so, we learnt that Balloon's sister had passed away in a hit-and-run accident too, leaving poor Balloon all alone in this big big world. The worker told us that he had been crying for days. Balloon and his sister tugged on our heartstrings and it really broke our hearts to hear that.

In a Toyogo box, on the way to the vet 

Poor Balloon... it never rains but it pours. Balloon must have missed his family a lot and gone out in search of them very often. When we went to feed Balloon and the cats in his factory last Saturday, we were greeted by a deflated Balloon, not an inflated and flying Balloon. There was no wiggly butt and sloppy kisses. Balloon was just lying in a corner. Our hearts sank. What happened? On closer inspection, we discovered that Balloon was injured. He could not use one of his legs. The worker told us that Balloon had been run over by a motorcycle four days before we went for stray feeding. They applied medicine for Balloon and did not call us for help.

The motorbike had dragged poor lil' Balloon, causing very severe abrasions; most of his skin on his undersides were torn off. 

It was a double whammy for Balloon and us. We rushed Balloon over to the vet the next morning. Sweet Balloon was such a good boy at the clinic and allowed the vet to handle him without biting despite being in pain. Balloon is now eating well and does not have any fever. He has pain in the lumbar region and feeling in his toes and hind legs. He is also able to stand. However, the doctor advised amputation after x-rays had been taken. We will seek a second opinion and try to save Balloon.

His pelvis and knee caps were totally out of place by impact. His thigh bone had snapped too.
Winnie the Pooh said in A.A. Milne's book "The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh" that "no one can be uncheered with a balloon". Indeed, there is nothing that lifts the spirits like a balloon. Like a balloon, little Balloon always brings us hope and joy even when he is in pain. He is so sweet and good-natured. Let us hope that little Balloon will recover soon and run happily like a balloon that soars in the sky. Balloons also fulfil hopes and dreams. In the movie "Up", the balloon salesman Mr Carl Frederickson fulfilled his dream by tying thousands of balloons to his house and flying away to the wilderness. Life is unpredictable and tough, more so as a stray subject to the elements. Blessed as we are, we hope we can bring hope and happiness to Balloon too and find him a home before he faces the same fate as his family members.

Watch Lil' Balloon's rescue here.

Such a brave baby sweetheart, not once did he even struggle or try to bite. All he did was cry like a baby.

If you would like to help with his surgical bills / foster / adopt Balloon, please email us at hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

Thank you! *puppy eyes and slobbery kisses of gratitude from Balloon*

Written by : Weiling


Chester, How He Sneaked Into Their Lives

I got to know Chester when I first volunteered as a dog walker for Hope Dog Rescue last year.

I’ll be frank here and say that he is not an easy dog to manage because of his behavioural quirks, especially for a first time dog owner. I was initially hesitant to walk him on my own.

A few months into walking him, he suddenly developed a severe food allergy and had tummy troubles on top of bleeding from his penis (which we later found out was TVT - Transmissible Venereal Tumour). I felt that the boarding environment was not an ideal environment for him to recuperate. And so, I decided to foster him despite my parents not being very keen on the idea of having any pets in the house.

The initial plan was to foster him for only a short while. But, weeks turned into months and he crawled his way into my family members’   hearts with his crazy antics like chasing flies around the house. I’m just glad he didn’t destroy anything in the house because I was told he destroyed a sofa in his previous boarding place, oops! He also is a very smart boy that can pick up tricks very fast. He learnt “bang!” in 5 mins! (Watch his video here)

Deep down, he really is just a misunderstood dog that has acted out because of his insecurities, despite his "gangster bengster appearance". After a year of fostering Chester, I finally decided to adopt him. I hope he’s happy with being stuck with me for the rest of his life, haha!

Written by Chester's Foster and new Mama, Eileen Ho

Chester was a stray with a large head wound and ear problems when we found him in December of 2016. Fortunately we got him before the maggots did. He recovered, and his cheeky personality started to shine through. He was active and smart, but we also remember his mischievous side when he chewed up a sofa at boarding!

Today, Chester is happily settled and adopted by his young foster mama, Eileen.

Thank you Eileen, for adopting and 'sticking by him', even when Chester was unwell and dripping blood with TVT. We knew he was meant for you, and we can't be happier that both of you found each other.

We know there are families for every dog out there, it just takes time. Chester's story gives us hope.

By HOPE Dog Rescue


A Sad Start, A Happy Ending

Not too long ago, Cassie represented the tragic lives of strays in  Singapore. Today, she is doing exceptionally well and has even become  a guardian to adorable kittens, after being adopted and settling well  into a loving home.

Cassie and her new friends 

Cassie’s story began in Punggol some 5 years ago. She was a stray who  came under our care after she was discovered with a horrific wound on  the side of her neck. In fact, the trapper who trapped her was  originally doing work for another dog rescue group, but Cassie’s wound  was so bad that they offered to trap her for free.

The gaping wound at the side of her neck was one of the worst injuries  we had ever seen, and we could smell the maggots from a distance away.  Poor Cassie, a sweet and timid dog, had been attacked by her own pack,  and she was peeing and pooing everywhere out of fear.

Happy Birthday Cassie !

With proper treatment from a vet, Cassie soon recovered – but it was a  long process. Her lengthy journey to being whole again allowed us to  discover that she was the nicest, most innocent, playful and  easy-going dog we had ever come across. She got along with both people  and dogs. We couldn’t find a single fault with her!

Stories like Cassie’s gives us hope, and reinforces the fact that dogs  are truly amazing creatures. Despite a history of bad experiences,  they are often willing to trust and love again.


Read Cassie's backstory here.

Written by: Jeanine Tan


The Old but Gold; Charlie The Retriever

Last week the vet did two Fine Needle Aspirates on Charlie and both drew blood so the previous vet was concerned it might be something cancerous. Charlie's foster took him to see the Senior Vet on Monday.

After looking at Charlie's tail and elbows, the Senior Vet said that there is nothing to worry about the elbows as it is calluses due to applying pressure when he lies down. However, for the tail, it was most likely a Sebaceous Adenoma, a benign tumor affecting the dog's skin and occurs mainly in older dogs. Sebaceous Adenoma results from skin glands that produce skin oils. They are mostly found on the eyelids or limbs although it does appear on other parts of the body, and in Charlie's case, it is on his tail.

The Senior Vet mentioned that cancer usually starts spreading when we start doing invasive tests so he recommended to do a punch biopsy to minimize movements and refrain from aggravating the cancer cells, if that's what it is. There is also a possibility that Adenoma can become cancerous too.

Charlie was a good boy and allowed the vet to do the punch biopsy without fuss. He had to be fasted for the morning and his mind was probably on his meal after the tests!! You can see a tiny hole that was punch on the lump on his tail.

The results will be out in 10 days' time, we hope its nothing serious. Although with Charlie's age at 15 yrs old, there really isn't very much we can or want to do if anything at all, but to make him as happy & comfortable as he can till he rests forever.

The vet visit must have stressed poor Charlie out and he had a 3 minute seizure when he got home.

His vet bill cost $500 and any help would be very much appreciated. Please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg. Thank you.


Would You Like To Be A Pet Therapy Volunteer?

A resident patting SiDa. SiDa is a regular therapist at this Home

That was the question posed to me. At that point in time, I wasn’t sure if my dogs were up to the job and neither was I sure if we (hubs and I) could keep to the commitment. But well we decided to give it a shot after being assured that our dogs merely need to be friendly and ok with strangers and touch.

HAPPY, squished between happiness 

And that’s how we got started as we joined other volunteers and rescued dogs on their monthly visits to a home as therapy dogs.

Lassy, being a good girl and bringing joy to the residents 

To be honest, it isn’t a walk in the park, particularly for the dogs who had to deal with the warm weather and human contact.  And not all residents were comfortable with dogs and some even openly scolded us as we walked around with our dogs. And yet it is rewarding. When you see how the dog lovers amongst the residents visibly cheered up when they see us approaching.

An ex-breeding dog, Tiny, on her very first pet therapy adventure 

The huge smiles that lit up their faces. And for those who are more senior and who seemed to have lost some mental ability, it’s like seeing a cloud being lifted off their minds momentarily as they patted and stroked the dogs. Many started to tell us stories of a dog they used to have at some point in their lives. What they used to feed their dogs and how smart their dogs were... it’s like you catch a glimpse of the senior in front of you during his or her younger (kampong) days. It’s these moments that made us feel the journey and the time spent was all worth it.

Harper, another regular therapist 

Fast forward and we’ve been doing this monthly volunteering activity for almost a year (come Sep 19).  It is a commitment indeed but one that’s well worth undertaking. It corrects the misconceptions that dogs are scary creatures and that your dog must be a certified therapy dog to get started.

Little Ollie the butterfly boy 

As I finish this, it’s Friday night and tomorrow we are off to another pet therapy session again. Would you like to join us? 😊

River, recently joined the ranks of the regular therapists 

Written by : Syn Hwei
Photographer: Simon & Mendel