Caring For Street Dogs

A friend alerted us about 5 stray puppies in an open field at an industrial area.

So the next evening, Mul and I went to have a look and to check if they have sufficient food to eat and that their condition is fit for sterilization.

Playing in a field
Feeding the puppies
We got to know Uncle Tan who is their de-facto caregiver, as they were born in the workshop where he works. Uncle Tan, together with a few other kind souls, have been feeding the dogs there regularly.

Two years ago, there were only 3 dogs (1 female and 2 males). Unfortunately, only 1 of the males is sterilised. Recently, the unsterilized female gave birth to a litter of 8 puppies. One puppy died in an accident, leaving 7 puppies. The population then increased from 3 to 10 (4 females, 5 males and 1 unknown gender). From time to time, some people who passed by the area saw the cute puppies and took them home but "returned" them to the open field when the puppies grew too big for their new homes.

Uncle Tan feeds and cares for the dogs - they love him!

Mul befriending a sweet girl whom we named Trixie. 
She is available for rehoming.

The puppies looked 7-10 months old to us and we foresee that the first heat will come anytime soon. It is a race against time for us and we have to act fast before more litters of puppies are produced.

This is why sterilization is the key to controlling the population of stray dogs. These street dogs spend their whole life searching for scraps every day. If their population is not kept in check, this will result in overpopulation and fighting over already scarce food sources.

These are the challenges that we face when we sterilize street dogs:

1. We need to raise funds to pay for the sterilization costs. Since our funds are limited, we can only sterilize the females first.

2. We need volunteers who are available to pick up the dogs and send them to the vet’s clinic the night before the surgery as well as to return them back to where they come from the following evening after the surgery. In order to help us transport the strays, who will be in a large pet carrier, you would need to drive either a van or a SUV.
 3. If we cannot get volunteers then we have to arrange for pet transporters, which means we need to appeal for more funds to pay for the transportation costs.

4. We are given 2 sterilization slots every week, it means that we are limited to 2 stray dogs/cats per week. Thus, it has to be a weekly affair for the volunteers in order to cope with the huge number of strays waiting in queue to be sterilized.

5. The stray dogs are usually tick-infested which sometimes makes them anemic. Some even die from tick fever. We have to apply Frontline / Accurate on them weekly to get rid of the ticks before severe health problems surface.

An introduction to the 7 friendly puppies:

1 Tri Female (Trixie or Wang Wang)
1 Black Female (Timid)
2 Black Tan Females (White Nose and Sweet Girl)
1 Black Male (Snoopy)
1 Black Tan Male (Big Paw)
1 Black Tan Unknown (Missing For 2 Weeks)

HOPE Dog Rescue strongly believes that sterilization is the way to go, to control the stray dog population. Spay It Forward.

Contributed by Justina Han



Golden retriever, female, about 5 years old, red collar, microchip number xxxxxxxxxxxx485. Found at 3pm on 24 Nov 2011 in Sembawang Hills Drive, Upper Thomson area.

Do you know who she belongs to? Please contact us immediately!

Call Fiona @ 98391308 or Lisa @ 90477225

The dog, May May, has been returned to her owner. We would like to thank Mulyaty for her kind initiative in helping to find May May's owner. We hope that the owners will be more careful in future.


Healing Music CD For Pets

Have you ever felt a pang of guilt when closing the door on your pet as you leave the house, as it pleaded with you through its eyes not to leave it all alone? We know that we will come home at the end of the day (and we don't love our pets any less just because we go to work or hang out with our friends for one night), but your pet may not. As such, your furry friend may be suffering from separation anxiety the moment you step out, and may continue to be under stress until you return.
Fret not, for with the following music CDs, there is Hope: 
Animal Angels
Animal Healing
Music For Pets
These CDs are compiled specially for pets, by world renowned animal communicator, Margrit Coates. With soothing tunes that feature mellow instruments such as the guitar and piano, the musical pieces can be played while your pet is alone at home, as it can lull your pet into a calmer state of mind, allowing it to be less hyperactive, fearful or nervous.
Of course, airtime for these CDs is not limited to just being a solution for stay-at-home separation anxiety. These CDs also come in handy if your pet is afraid of being in the confines of a car or those necessary (or evil, as they think) trips to the vet. Further, if your pet has experienced some form of trauma, perhaps because it was rescued from cruelty, listening to the gentle tinkles and peaceful tunes may also help gradually relieve their emotional scarring.
An essential gift from you to the animal angel in your life. Each CD costs $30 (inclusive of local postage) and all proceeds will go towards our animal rescue projects - sterilization fees, food costs and vet bills. To place an order for these pet music CDs, please email Fiona at hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg the following details:
Mailing Address:
Contact Number:
#1 Animal Angels  :  ____ (qty)
#2 Animal Healing : ______(qty)
#3 Music for Pets  : ______ (qty)
Mode of Payment: DBS or UOB Fund Transfer (Please indicate which bank is preferred)

We use these CDs when we work with rescued dogs, street dogs, as well as pets who may have separation anxiety, fear, stress and many other emotional issues.
Just because we lead hectic lives doesn't mean that our pets have to suffer the same stress as we do. We have our iPods and our YouTube; they only have YOU. A little music goes a long way. Get your CD(s) today!


George Has A Foster

George has found a foster! Yesterday we picked George from the boarding kennels and took him to his foster home, where he will stay till this coming Saturday. Karen Soh had read about George on our blog and wrote in to offer to foster and feed him his daily medication. We are grateful to Karen for offering to help George. We would also like to thank the many other concerned friends and readers who called and wrote in to offer help. We are extremely touched by their kindness. 

Karen has given George a good scrub and says it took two showers before he was rid of the smell of oil on him. This smell is a familiar smell on many strays and it stems from them living under lorries and trucks to get away from the sun and rain.

He is only happy when we visit him.

George was at the boarding kennels for a few days and was extremely depressed as he didn't like being alone or caged up. He didn't eat for two days and has lost even more weight on his skinny frame. He is only happy and his eyes light up when a familiar face visits him.

George doesn't like being in the foster home either
With the new HDB ruling on strays and local breeds being allowed to live in HDB, George now has hope of finding a permanent home, which he so desperately longs for. Would you consider opening your heart and home to George? He is extremely well-behaved and really doesn't ask for very much. All he asks for is the occasional pat, a roof over his head and regular meals.

News from Channel News Asia (12 November 2011)

News from the Straits Times

George goes to the vet this Saturday and if his blood results are normal and he is no longer anemic, he will be returned to the streets to live life as a stray again.

If you can adopt George and make a positive difference in his life, please email fiona@hopedogrescue.org George will be waiting and hoping...

Thank you to all the animal lovers and good friends who have helped contribute to George's medical bills.


Help George!

On Monday, our volunteers visited George at the vet. When he saw us, he wagged his tail furiously and his eyes finally lit up. We took him for a short stroll outside the clinic, which he enjoyed so much that he refused to go back into the clinic. We had to carry him back in when it was time to return! Poor George; strays usually cherish their freedom, and are not used to being cooped up.

Dear old George outside the clinic
Volunteer Lisa taking him for a walk
George hiding under a tree, not wanting to return to the clinic
George was discharged the next day. After work, we fetched him from the clinic to the boarding kennels where he will stay for the next week, until the next vet visit to check on his tick fever and blood count to see if he is still anemic. However, he is really not dealing well with being caged up all the time, first at the vet, and now at the boarding kennels. He is depressed and longing for company and freedom. His appetite isn't good, and he has lost even more weight. But if all goes well, George will be released back onto the streets in 8 to 10 days' time.

Long stitch on his stomach
We have decided not to proceed with the hip surgery as it costs too much, and the money saved could be used to help more dogs. Although George is still not bearing weight on the dislocated hip, he should be able to learn to cope with the injury (right now, he's limping on 3 legs). Upon discharge, George's total bill came up to $2032 after discount. Costs were for his stomach surgery to remove all the bones, and his oral medication for Babesia (very expensive but necessary).

George's tick fever medication is very important. It must be fed to him orally 3 times a day for 8 days. Like antibiotics, if they are not administered on time, they will be ineffective and George might die from his sickness. However, at the kennels, there is nobody to feed George his medicine. We can only feed him after work, and that is not enough at all. His medication also needs to be refrigerated, and there is no refrigerator at the boarding kennels.

Urgent Appeal

We urgently appeal for a kind soul to just foster George for 8 days, to feed him his medicine 3 times a day. George is a really sweet dog and won't be much trouble. It is a very short period of time and it will mean the difference between life and death. Will you help us save a life?

If you can help, please email Fiona at fiona@hopedogrescue.org.


My Old Friend, George

Animal rescue has always been my focus. I don’t just write about rescues though; I write about life with an emphasis on how everyone can make a difference in the lives of these street dogs. Animal rescue is my passion and making the world a better place for the dogs is my mission. I know not everyone can adopt a dog. Not everyone can volunteer, foster or donate but I believe every single person in this world can do something to make it better.

Meet George.

Unable to bear weight on his left hind leg
I have been feeding George  on the streets of an industrial estate for the past 4+ years and over the years, I have seen age creep up on him. He ran and played less. He slept more. George is about 8 to 9 years old and extremely sweet and friendly.  He doesn’t ask for very much. A pat on his head, a hug from our volunteers and he is contented.
Last week, on one of our regular feeding rounds, we noticed that George hardly ate, as he lay on the road, listless. We patted and talked to him. His stomach seemed bloated and his weight loss was significant. We were concerned that he might have tick fever, as most street dogs do, so we made plans to bring him to the vet for a check up. He also walked with a slight limp, refusing to bear weight on his left hind leg. Traffic accidents are common amongst street dogs as they sometimes play on the roads, oblivious to traffic. Or they sleep under vehicles.
I picked George up on Thursday evening after work and took him straight to the vet. Dr Ang checked him and ordered an x-ray on his hip and stomach, as his stomach was extremely bloated and she could feel a huge mass inside. We were concerned it was cancerous. Blood tests were also conducted. Through it all, George was extremely obliging and cooperative, allowing Dr Ang to check him, draw blood etc. with not a single protest.
George being checked by Dr Ang

George looking really thin
While waiting for the results, George hobbled around the clinic, found a comfy spot, and settled down. I could feel his tiredness and pain. Tired from having lived on the streets all his life, fending away alpha dogs, fighting for food and struggling just to survive.  George had no life in his eyes; he seemed resigned to his fate.

George waiting for his x-ray and blood results
When his x-ray and blood results were out, what Dr Ang revealed came as a shock to me. George had a dislocated hip bone. His hip had come out of its socket! Can you imagine the excruciating pain he must have gone through? Next came even more awful news – the x-rays showed what seemed like stones or bones in his stomach and as it was life-threatening, he was immediately warded, put on drip and a stomach surgery was scheduled the following morning.

X-ray of George's hip dislocation
The shiny parts show how many bones there were in George's stomach
As if life hadn’t dealt him a hard enough blow, poor old George also had a flu, was extremely anemic and had Babesia (a stronger strain of tick fever).  Because of his flu and anemia, there was a 20% to 30% risk of death during the surgery but it was inevitable, as what seemed like stones or bones in George’s stomach was life threatening and had to be removed immediately.

George being warded
The following day, Dr Ang performed a stomach surgery on George. She had to make two cuts on his stomach and intestines and inside, she found LOTS of bones, some of which had ruptured his intestines. Someone had fed poor George a whole lot of bones and had we not taken George to the vet, he may have died a slow death on the streets. While George was under GA, Dr Ang also popped his hip joint back into its socket but this may not be a permanent solution as it might pop back out again when he moves or walks.

We visited George after his surgery. He was miserable and feeling terribly sorry for himself. His tail wagged slightly upon seeing us but that was the only response we could evoke. He lay on his cushion which volunteer, Leslie, had bought for him, refusing to make eye contact with us.

Dr Ang said he had to be warded for a few days, after which we should place him in a boarding kennel for about a week, for his stomach wound to heal entirely, before releasing him back to the streets. George’s surgery and boarding is estimated to cost about $1000.

The many bones removed from George's stomach
His hip surgery is estimated at about $2000 but we have yet to decide if we will proceed with it, because not only is it extremely expensive, but George would need to be fostered after the surgery to have his wound cleaned daily and to undergo therapy. We may not be able to provide him with this. Dr Ang assured us that although George’s muscles in his hind leg has wasted away, he should be able to cope with his hip dislocation. As long as he does not bear weight on that particular leg, he will not feel the pain.

George is warded at Mount Pleasant (Sunset Way) and should be there for another day or two before we transfer him to the boarding kennels for about one week. Should we decide not to proceed with his hip surgery, George will be returned to the streets when his wound has fully healed and like all our rescue cases, our volunteers will continue to monitor the dogs closely. 
After surgery. George, feeling sorry for himself and longing for a home of his own
With each tiny act of kindness, someone, somewhere feels the power of hope. And with each tiny bit of hope, the world becomes a better place. All George wants is a home of his own. He is tired of living on the streets.  If you can foster or adopt him, please do let me know. Perhaps if George has a place to call home, we could give him the hip surgery that he requires.
Making one dog smile... counts. And it matters. Do something amazing, make a sad dog happy. Help George.
To help George, please email Fiona at fiona@hopedogrescue.org
I apologize for the poor quality of some of the pictures taken with a mobile phone. The better quality pictures are courtesy of Leslie Kok and Lisa Goh :-))
Written by Fiona


Party For A GOOD Cause!

It's JUICE magazine's 13th birthday party and you're invited!

date: 11.11.11
time: 8.30pm till late
venue: Zouk

What's happening
It's JUICE magazine's 13th anniversary, and they're throwing a party to celebrate.

Why you'd wanna go
What's even better than an awesome party? An awesome party for a cause! JUICE is kindly donating 100% of their proceeds from the event to Hope Dog Rescue. The funds will go directly to the vets we work with. While you're there, you may also buy raffle tickets at $2/- per ticket to support our cause. The more tickets you buy, the more you'll stand to win fabulous prizes - and of course, the more you'll contribute towards helping the dogs!

Buying raffle tickets
Each raffle ticket costs just $2/-. If you can't make it to the event but would like to purchase raffle tickets to support our work, please email Fiona. The more you buy, the more dogs you will be helping as funds will go directly to the vets we are in partnership with and used for medical aid for street dogs such as Harry, Sprouts, Mookie and many more whom you have come to love and care for. Without your support, we would never have been able to help them.

Raffle Tickets
How to get in
Entry is by invitation only and invites are limited. Email fiona@hopedogrescue.org now for invites! Usual Zouk member privileges still apply.

We would like to thank Michelle and Ros for sponsoring the printing of Hope Dog Rescue postcards.

When you're there, look out for our team of volunteers at the booth outside to collect your invites and say hi.

See you there!!