Good Samaritans

There lived a family of 5 dogs in the East, where passersby like me will occasionally feed them. Over the years of feeding, some of the dogs were either knocked down by passing cars or went missing (could have been caught). What started out as a happy family of 5, ended with 2.

I had gone for reservist during early September and when I returned from my training, I was told by the uncles working over there that the mama dog was caught by people in a white van. We later found out that she was caught by AVA and the 2 year old son went missing soon after. We soon contacted a number of associations / groups / shelters / individuals for help regarding this matter hoping to find a suitable place for her to stay once we bailed her out of AVA. When we did manage to get someone to temporarily foster her, we decided to rescue her from AVA. I brought her for a groom and a check up and she was diagnosed with tick fever and heartworm. That was also when I met volunteers from HOPE Dog Rescue at the vet and found out more about the dog rescue work they do. As heartworm can be passed on from one dog to another dog, the foster's pets which are not on heartguard, were therefore put at risk and we decided to board her instead at a boarding kennel, while continuing with her medication and treatment.

Mama and son. Border Collie lookalikes.
Our search for her son continued and after a week, we managed to locate her son whom from the East, ended up at Little India. He was brought to SPCA where we had to bail him out as well. He was relocated to another address in Woodlands but he somehow managed to escape. Luckily a good samaritan spotted him walking towards Sembawang and managed to bring him home and they contacted us.

Both of them are now together in a boarding kennel. They have been through very hard lives and have been saved and given another chance in life. We cannot adopt them or take them home with us but we are hoping that kind souls who read this will understand their plight and open their hearts and homes to them.

Longing for a home to call their own

Mama dog is around 6 years old, while her son is probably around 2 years+. Her son has been to the vet and is in good health. Both of them deserve a loving home after living on the streets.

Name: Lucky (Mama dog)
Breed: Local Cross (Border Collie lookalike)
Age: 6+
Sex: Female
Sterilized: Yes
Temperament: Based on our observations, she is of very mild temperament and gets on with humans. She is quiet, calm and wants very much to be out of her kennels.
Contact: Chang Ming (96176422)

Name: Hebai (son)
Breed: Local Cross (Border Collie lookalike)
Age: 2+
Sex: Male
Neutered: Will be soon
Temperament: Gets along well with other dogs and because of his past as a stray, going on for days without food, he loves eating and is rather greedy.
Contact: Hui Ying (90276151)

We hope that kind readers will contact us if they have room in their hearts for one more dog.

Written by Chang Ming.


First Hand Experience by Leslie Kok

To date, there are two main locations where the feeding takes place. At the moment feeding sessions take place twice a week at each location. As there are lack of volunteers with own transport, it is logistically difficult to do more than two feedings per week. Having said that, most of the dogs I saw are not too skinny.

It is very heartwarming to see how welcomed the volunteers are. The dogs started running towards the vehicle from different corners as we approached and some of them were more interested in playing with us than eating. Our very first stop was at a factory where the old Chinese security guard called Ah Seng looked after 3 dogs and 14 cats. One of the dogs, Mookie, ( 9 years old, half blind, and has bad hind legs) loves to hang out with the volunteers and play. HOPE leaves packets of kibbles for the dogs and also dinner for Ah Seng whenever they are there. Ah Seng has been looking after Mookie for many years now. The only worry is the factory will be sold next year so the fates of the animals remain unknown.
Leslie giving Mookie a belly rub

We spent about 4 hours making our rounds to various parts of the industrial estate. HOPE has a log sheet where information on number of dogs, number of sterilized and non-sterilized dogs in each area is listed, names were also given to the dogs and I had the honour of naming one dog last week and he's called Smoky! The log sheet helps to ensure that no areas are forgotten and also to check to see if the dogs are still around.

This dog was probably involved in a slight traffic accident
The industrial estate can be a really hazardous area... 3 puppies were found recently crushed to death by falling beams. There are also many cases of dogs being knocked down by speeding cars and according to Fiona, when she first started feeding the dogs on her own 5 years ago, some of the workers used to hold on to a metal chain while riding their bicycles and started swinging the chains and hitting the dogs while they rode past. It has since gotten better once the regular presence of HOPE was established. There are also allegations that some of the workers eat the puppies, especially the chubby ones.

Lisa and a street dog

With each feeding session, HOPE discovers more and more stray dogs in need of food and a home. Any dog that is injured, HOPE will also bring it to the vet for medical help, if they can catch the dog. Hence there is the constant need for funds. HOPE is also trying to re-home some of the friendlier and younger dogs. Besides feeding, one of the main focus of HOPE is to sterilize the strays, although there is some difficulty in catching some of the older strays. Some of the dogs turn aggressive when we attempt to catch them, which is totally understandable. There is this nice old man who has been feeding some of the dogs for past 10 years and he can actually carry any of the dogs including one very aggressive female but sadly he does not agree with the idea of sterilization and HOPE so far, cannot convince him otherwise.
A heavily pregnant street dog. It costs $150/- to sterilize a dog.

With the presence of HOPE in the industrial estates, there is more awareness about kindness to animals, need for sterilization and also less cases of cruelty to the animals - a definite positive move in the right direction!
They don't always get spoon fed

Katie enjoying some time with a street dog, Johnny
One of the volunteers asked me how I felt about the whole experience at the end of the night. I felt that the dogs in the industrial estate looked pretty good, as in I have seen a lot worse in India and other developing countries, but that is also the result of years of regular feeding done by HOPE. She then asked me how would I feel if the dog that I have been feeding was killed or just disappeared. My reply - Of course I would feel sad, but at the same time, I take comfort in knowing that the poor dog did not die unloved and uncared for. It had at least experienced kindness and love in its lifetime and had gone to sleep on a full stomach before.
Leslie helping to apply Frontline on the dogs one night before they go for sterilization
Black hands after patting the dogs!
I will be going on another feeding session and have become more involved in HOPE’s activities. If you like to help, HOPE is always in need of volunteers with own vehicles who can help drive dogs back and forth from vets and of course, monetary donation is always welcome :)

Article and Photographs By Leslie Kok


Updates On Mookie And His Sweet Girlfriend

Remember Mookie  - an old factory dog whom we gave Hope to a few months ago by having sent him for medical treatment for his hematoma? This story brings good news to all of you, and we would like to thank everyone who contributed to his medical treatment or helped him in any way.

After staying at the boarding kennels for about a week, Mookie's ear was almost fully recovered and we took him home to his factory. Volunteers from HOPE Dog Rescue religiously visited him twice a week to check on his ear and ensure that it did not start to swell again. From his visits to the vet, we found out that he was anaemic and needed some liver to boost the number of blood cells in his body. Fiona gave Mookie's care-giver, a security uncle, a second-hand fridge so he could cook liver for Mookie. Uncle could also store liver in the fridge for the other dogs and cats in his factory since he cared so much for them. We would supply the food on a weekly basis.

Happy Mookie back at his factory after recovering

A month after Mookie's return to his factory, Uncle told us that another dog in the factory also had a hematoma! Ah Huey was Mookie's only friend left, besides the cats, after the death of Tang Tang . After hearing from Uncle that Ah Huey's ear was also swollen like Mookie's before his medical treatment, we were slightly worried for Ah Huey and were afraid to leave her ear untreated. Lisa and Jo arranged and made plans to take both Ah Huey and Mookie to the vet; to check on Ah Huey's ear and to give Mookie a final check-up to confirm his successful recovery.

Since Uncle does not have a mobile phone and is not contactable via phone, Lisa headed down personally one afternoon, a day before the vet appointment, to inform him about the scheduled appointment. Also, Lisa instructed Uncle not to feed Ah Huey after 8pm the night before the vet appointment, as she has to fast in case she was diagnosed with hematoma and required a minor ear surgery.

On the day of the vet appointment, Lisa booked a pet transport to fetch the dogs from their factory to the clinic. Since Ah Huey is extremely timid, Uncle helped us to leash her and put her in a big carrier. Mookie did not need to be in a carrier at all, as he was familiar with us and seemed to enjoy car rides. On the way to the vet, Ah Huey peed and poo-ed in her carrier out of fear. Most likely she had never been on a car ride before and was unsure of where we were taking her.

Sweet Ah Huey on the way to the vet
Cheeky Mookie loving his outings to the vet
Once we reached the vet, we registered Ah Huey as Daisy as it was an easier name to remember. Dr Ang examined Daisy's ear and to our relief, it was not a hematoma! Daisy had probably been involved in a dog fight, injuring her left ear - and because her ear was recovering, it seemed to be a little puffy. It was very good news that Daisy did not have to undergo the painful procedure of an ear aspiration.

Dr Ang then continued with other checks and tests on Daisy. She is estimated to be around 7-8 years of age and has hardly any front teeth! Her loss of teeth might perhaps have been due to years of chewing and biting on hard material like metal wires; maybe due to the boredom of living in a factory! She was also positive for heartworm and was a carrier of tick fever. Due to her age, Dr Ang recommended us to treat Daisy with Heartguard to kill all the worms in her heart instead of proceeding with the strong heartworm injections that might put her life in danger. We gave her the first dose of Heartguard, mixing it into a yummy packet of chicken and char siew rice. She was also given a vaccination against Canine Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis (bacterial of sorts) as well as Parvovirus.

Sweet old Daisy aka Ah Huey

Ah Huey at the vet; extremely uncertain of her surroundings
Daisy seems old, with not many teeth left. She could also have been biting on metal 
Daisy having blood samples taken from her
As for Mookie, his ear had fully recovered but tests reflected that he was still heartworm positive even after the 3 jabs of Immiticide to expel all the worms in his heart. Dr Ang explained that in some dogs, it may take 6 months or longer for the worms to be completely removed. She recommended that we put him on Heartguard to kill the baby worms and as a preventative measure against a new heartworm infection. Fortunately, Mookie is finally free from tick fever! Lisa also noticed that a growth resembling a small "cauliflower" on the top of his eye lid had miraculously disappeared! We asked Dr Ang about it and she said that it could have been a canine papilloma, and probably went away on its own after blood supply to the growth was stopped naturally. It might return in the future, so we will still continue to check on him regularly. Mookie also received a vaccination just like Daisy's, and was given a dose of Heartguard too.

Taking a blood sample from Mookie

In a nutshell, Mookie and Daisy have no severe health problems and are doing very well back at their factory. Uncle feeds them every day and ensures that they are well, while volunteers visit the doggies twice a week! Mookie and Daisy are due for a review at the end of the year to check if they still have heartworm, and to ascertain that they are healthy.

Lisa checking if she fits into the carrier!  Actually Daisy had peed and poo-ed in the carrier and Lisa was cleaning up. Volunteer, anyone?
We would like to thank Lisa for sponsoring Mookie and Daisy's pet transport and vet bills.

We would also like to thank all friends and volunteers who have played a part in Mookie's recovery from his hematoma. There are many dogs out there just like Mookie, who may need medical help and we would like to give them some Hope. We can't do it alone and we need your help and support. Let's work together to help improve the lives of street animals and give them the Hope and care they deserve!

Written by Jo-Ann


Adoption Drive This Friday!

Oh My Dog!
STOP buying
STOP breeding cruelty
For dog's sake - ADOPT!

When: Friday 21 Oct 2011, 7pm to 9pm
Where: NEX Shopping Mall (Serangoon Central, next to MRT) Doggie Style Cafe
Who: 7 little doggies and you!

SMS Lisa at 9047 7225 or email Fiona at pops_snaps@singnet.com.sg for questions, and to confirm your attendance.


The Dark Side of the Puppy Trade

Tucked far away from the beaten track, is a puppy farm with hundreds of dogs kept in appalling conditions.  These dogs are not loved pets; they are breeding machines.  Never ever let out of their small cells, they are used to make their owners rich through sales to pet shops.  

Longing for attention and freedom

Imagine your own pet living in a cage all its life. Can't imagine? Then STOP buying pets! ADOPT.

 I am tucked away in a corner. All I do is get pregnant and have puppies, only to have them taken away from me.
 'How could they be so cruel?’ was the only thought running through my mind as I drove the five breeding dogs to the vet. We had received a tip off that they were due to be discarded, so we immediately stepped in to save them. Their eyes, when we carried them out of the breeding farm, showed eyes of terror, telling a life of confinement and deprivation suffered by them their entire lives!  They were wet, smelly and sticky; drenched in their own pee and within a few seconds of entering the van, the stench of urine filled the air. 
Leaving the breeding farm

Where are you taking us?

Just rescued
Intensive puppy breeding is the hidden cruelty behind the pet shop window. The general public are unaware of these puppy breeding farms where thousands of dogs are kept imprisoned for life, churning out litter after litter of puppies. Female dogs come on heat at approximately 5-7 months of age and this is when many unscrupulous breeders mate them for their first litter, when they are still mere puppies themselves.
Imagine this little 5 month old puppy (Fifi) giving birth?
Leslie carrying Murphy at the vet
Lisa arriving at the vet with Ally
Murphy at the vet
Checking how old little Murphy is
Mother dogs are not given any rest or reprieve between litters and are kept in a continual cycle of pregnancy. Stud dogs live their entire lives locked in cages and are let out only when it is time to mate. Both the mother and father dogs spend day after day after day ceaselessly pacing back and forth in small enclosures, their only way of coping with endless despair. These intelligent animals are never walked, socialized or given any love; they are simply breeding machines. Puppies are weaned from their moms between 4 and 5 weeks of age and transported to pet shops for display to the unsuspecting and uneducated public. What the buyer doesn’t see is the puppy’s mother imprisoned miles away in her small cage, awaiting repeated pregnancies.
Ally, sadness in her eyes.

 Drawing blood for a test on kidney, liver, heartworm and tick fever.

Despite being only about 3 + yrs old, Ally's teeth have decayed 
These four puppies and a mother dog were taken from the breeding farm, straight to the vet, then to the boarding kennels for temporary housing.
At the vet, it was discovered that the adult female Scottish Terrier (Ally) had an ear infection and is possibly a carrier for tick fever. Although estimated at only 3 years old, her teeth were showing signs of decay, possibly from poor nutrition. Her front legs are slightly bow-legged, from standing on the wire mesh in the cage all her life. She was due to be discarded because according to the breeder, she was fierce and fought often. We have not seen that side of her as she has been an absolutely darling since we rescued her. Perhaps it was just her ploy to get out of the hell-hole. It was a good move.
Scott, his fur is very sparse and he is lethargic
Scott, being an extremely good boy.
As for the puppies, aged between two to six months, we are concerned as they are young and weak. The youngest girl (Little Lea) is extremely thin and weak, while the male Scottish Terrier (Scott) seems a little lethargic. Both these dogs were also throwing up their food, but we attribute it to the fact that they may not have been fed for some days and so their little stomachs were very empty. You should have seen the way they gobbled their food, as if there was no next meal. The two weaker puppies will be closely monitored and if need be, taken to the vet again.

Little Lea at the vet
At the kennels. Despite removing the top of the carrier, they still feared coming out.
Scotty, looking terribly miserable
Tun Ling and Vivien bathing the pups

Volunteers let the puppies play, run and bask in the sun but the puppies just sat huddled in a corner. Someone asked why the puppies didn’t play. They didn’t know how to. They sat staring blankly into space, just like what they have been doing since they were born. That’s the only life they have known.
After their bath, despite having so much space to play in, they huddled together, not knowing how to play or what to do with themselves.
Each puppy had to be bathed two to three times, and even then, they still reeked of urine. Their fur was badly matted and sparse; you could see that they have not had proper or regular meals. It was sad, at this tiny age, their life of misery had already begun.
Some good loving after his bath; you're safe now Murphy.
Breeding dogs live a sad life. A life of confinement where they are either pregnant or feeding puppies, and this goes on from the time they themselves are puppies, until the time they die. Imagine the damage all this does to the dog's body.  The cruelty is indescribable.
It was only after MANY hours that they realized they could run!
In Singapore, we kill thousands of dogs every year because they are homeless, lost or abandoned.  Why are the authorities on one hand spending money euthanizing dogs and on the other hand, allowing breeding farms to operate, especially at sub-standard? It is time we get them to stop breeding misery.
The next time you or a friend wants a Designer Dog, think how much is that doggie SUFFERING in the window?

Ally (Scottish Terrier / female) – Estimated age 3 years old. Ear infection, tick fever carrier. Due for dental, sterilization, follow up on tick fever and ear infection.
Little Lea (Pekinese x Terrier / female) – Estimated 2+ mths old. Underweight.
Fifi (Maltese x Poodle / female) - Fifi and Murphy are siblings.
 Murphy (Maltese x Poodle / male) - Estimated 5 months old

Should you wish to help with their vet bills, please email Fiona at pops_snaps@singnet.com.sg

If  you're interested in adopting any of these dogs, please stay tuned to our blog for adoption details, which would be up in a day or two. Our preference is for Murphy and Fifi to be adopted together; while Little Lea and Scotty be rehomed together as they are extremely attached to each other.
Little Scotty, clean and happy after his bath!
(Scottish Terrier / Male / 6 mths old)
Thank you for saving our lives
With appreciation

Lynette, for immediately opening her heart and home to fostering Ally.
Photo Credits by Leslie Kok and Lisa Goh
Written by Fiona