Volunteering With HOPE (no pun intended)

Warning! Volunteering is rewarding, contagious and highly addictive!

Share your time, talent and skills for the interest of the animals. I am sure most of you would have a few extra hours to spare in a week? A soft spot for helping animals? Skills that need an outlet? Or are you a couch potato and need motivation to get off that couch? Well, we may not have the perfect “job” that you want, but if you start by doing small things for the dogs, you will soon realize that it is extremely gratifying, time well spent and you may even think of new ways to help them!

We do get quite a few volunteers who would love to have a dog but mommy says no; so this would be the best avenue to be able to work with our rescue dogs, gain that experience and work towards being committed to your future pet.

I remember my first rescue some 5 years ago. It was a stray I happened to see while driving. She was standing by the road looking at me as I drove past. I had initially thought she had a red collar on, but as I drove closer, I almost threw up because it was NOT a red collar she was wearing, but a thick red wound cutting into her flesh, revealing her muscles!

The incident didn’t immediately inspire me to be an animal activist, but it did make me want to help her and I did. I could not catch her that day but I paid some Bangladeshi workers to set a trap using some scrap metal from their construction site and taught them to put food inside to lure her in. It took two days but they did finally trap her and called me at 7am to inform me. I remember rushing down to get her and sending her to the vet. She had a thick wound around her neck, and I could see her muscles. She seemed young and her wound looked as if she had been chained round the neck for a long time to be that badly hurt. Her wound took some months to heal and she was eventually adopted by a kind lady who took pity on her and I am grateful for such people in our lives.

My very first rescue dog, found with a severe neck wound.

She was put under GA right away, to have her wound cleaned.

She was young and she recovered quickly.

Not all volunteering experiences are this dramatic. Please don’t let me scare you into not volunteering. If you don’t have a strong stomach, there are many other ways you can help the less fortunate doggies :
  • Writing stories / creating an awareness of their plight / education
  • Designing of adoption and other posters
  • Thinking of and organizing fund raising ideas to help us pay our vet and food bills
  • Sharing our work with your friends either via email, blog or Facebook
  • Feeding the strays and befriending them so we can sterilize them (you need your own transport to feed the strays)
  • Providing pet transport – when we need to take the strays to the vet. For this, you would need a SUV or a van as the carrier is too big and would not fit into your boot nor back seat. For smaller dogs, a normal car would be fine. If you are not fussy about the strays sitting at your back seat, then we have absolutely no issues with that!
  • Photography – to go down to the vet to take pictures of the dogs that are at the vet. As most of us hold full time jobs, we do sometimes need volunteer photographers during the work day.
  • Visiting our dogs at the factories, bringing food for them and ensuring they are well
  • Taking the strays to the vet – this might take a few hours (inclusive of traveling and waiting time)
  • Do house checks for adoption and rehoming (although rehoming isn’t our top priority) – our main priority is sterilization of the street dogs and feeding them in the hope of befriending them
  • Calling and coordination of vet appointments
  • Calling companies / factories in industrial estates and educating them on the importance of sterilization - and asking them to help catch the dogs in their compound for sterilization

We do have friends and fellow dog lovers who love dogs but can’t bear to be directly involved as they would be too upset by the animal rescue experiences. Fear not! You can help by contributing in other ways – helping with their vet and food bills! 

HOPE Dog Rescue does not have a shelter because our rescued dogs are either with kind individuals who have offered to foster, or the dogs have recovered and have been released back to the streets.

Please don’t feel that because you don’t work directly with the animals, you are not involved. You are! Help in any form is needed and much appreciated. Without dedicated volunteers, we won’t be able to help as many doggies as we do.

Allow me to introduce to you some of our core volunteers :

Save a Stray - Fiona with darling CafĂ©

Mul bathing a rescued stray

I have always wanted to help out in some way but did not have the time to spare like a regular weekend volunteer, due to my personal commitments. Previously, I've chosen the simple way of donating money. Recently, I asked if I could follow them on one of their "feed the strays" routine on a Sat night. It was an extremely gratifying night out and I got hooked. Why? Just look at the smiles on the dogs' faces and the many thank-you's received from Fiona and team. Instead of feeling bad for not being able to be there on all weekends, I feel good knowing the doggies appreciate any minute I can spare.

HOPE Volunteer, Mul

Our young volunteer, Elena showing some love to two rescued puppies, Cocoa and Mocha

For some reason, us humans have been lucky enough to climb to pretty much the top of the food chain. We have somehow managed to become the dominant species on this planet. And with great power comes great responsibility. Since we now have all this power, it's really important that we do right by all the other animals that share this planet with us. The life and death of many animals are at the mercy of Man, and I choose to help them live. Although I am only one, I believe that every bit of effort counts and I'm proud to be able to help what little I can. Here's a story I want to share.
One day, a young man was walking along a beach. Off in the distance he could see an old man gong back and forth between the surf's edge and the sand. Back and forth, back and forth the old man went. As the young man approached, he could see that there were hundreds of starfish stranded on the sand as a result of the receding tide. The old man was picking up starfish one by one and throwing them back into the sea. The young man was struck by the apparent futility of the task. There were far too many starfish and most of them were sure to die. As he came up to the old man, he said, "You must be crazy! There are thousands of miles of beach covered by starfish. You can't possibly make a difference." The old man looked at him. He then bent down and picked up one more starfish, and threw it back into the sea. He turned back to the young man and said,
"It made a difference to that one."
HOPE Volunteer, Elena (21 yrs old)
Chiew Guat with Cocoa

"I can and I want to."
HOPE Volunteer, Chiew Guat

Lisa visiting Mookie at the factory to ensure he is well and to also clean his ears

When I first started helping animals, I did not think so much into feeding or sterilizing them. I had not yet understand or know what feeding or sterilization entails or how I could help. All I thought of doing was very simple; I just thought of loving them, that's all. I do notice that many people do not like street dogs, and I don't just love them for the sake of doing it. I truly feel for them, I genuinely love them - even if they are old and many people term them as "ugly". No dog is ugly - all of them are precious and beautiful.

HOPE Volunteer, Lisa

I want to be a volunteer with animals because I have read HOPE Dog Rescue's blog about stray dogs. Many of the dogs die because of those people driving heavy vehicles and those who are speeding. Some are also even eaten up by people, or they starve to death on the streets. I want to save as many of their lives as possible, and find good homes for some to live the rest of their lives in safety. I have also been influenced by my friend, Jo, who has already been volunteering in animal welfare for HOPE Dog Rescue.

HOPE Volunteer, Jasmin (17 yrs old)

Being a volunteer touches the lives of many individual animals and enhances skills you already have or develop new ones, but the greatest benefit of volunteering with animals is knowing that you are part of a team providing care to so many animals in need and you will soon realize how valuable you are to the animals.

After some time, you will find yourself wanting to do more for them and they will warm your heart the same way you touch their lives. Who knows? You might even take a stray home for keeps.

Hope Dog Rescue is made up of amazingly dedicated people who spend their time and lives trying to 'make a difference' in the sad, lonely lives of abandoned, abused, homeless and generally unloved dogs and without them, there will be no HOPE. I am truly blessed and grateful for such a wonderful team of dedicated, passionate volunteers.
Volunteer with HOPE Dog Rescue and you will find your love returned with interest; that the more you do for them, the happier you feel and it’s the best therapy and coping mechanism to all your problems.  I know it works wonders for me.
To offer help in any form, please email Fiona at hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg
On behalf of all the street animals out there – Thank You!