Day 6 - The Search For Sunday Continues

Friends have been combing the area every morning, noon and night in search of “Sunday”. A construction worker might have seen a dog looking like "Sunday" walking around a heavy vehicle car park near the junction of Beo Crescent, car park facing Delta House at 8+pm last night (Tues, 27 March). This is directly behind the School Exams Board (SEAB) and Tiong Bahru Park 2.

Sponsored by Melanie

We have had many calls and many leads but these leads led us to "wrong dogs". Nevertheless, we follow up on every lead we get.

We also have naysayers telling us we should not search for "Sunday" because she does not want to be found, or perhaps she prefers going back to the industrial estate where she came from. If everyone starts thinking that, then "Sunday" will NOT be found. Then we might as well conserve our energy, save money and hope she will appear when she is ready.  

To be rescued from the streets is not something that happens everyday. We often feel that they literally have to sacrifice themselves, get really sick, hit by traffic and be in such a pathetic state before we notice them and save them. How many get rescued? How many street dogs are rehomed? You can count them on one hand. The strongest survive the streets. The weaker ones suffer, get bullied and hopefully with some luck, are rescued.

With the help of our friends, fellow animal lovers and the angels that have guided us in our rescue work from Day One, we WILL find "Sunday". It wasn't easy for her to go from street dog to pet. She is our responsibility and we will not stop till we find her.

If you have some time to spare today, tomorrow, whenever . . . . .please walk around the area to look for “Sunday”. She is tired, scared and needs our help. We appreciate friends that have detoured to drive around that area just so they can help to look out for "Sunday".
If you have transport or don’t mind walking on foot, please help search. Print some posters, bring your own masking tape and paste posters around. Thanks.

There is a reward of$1000/- for the safe return of “Sunday”.

Emergency contact numbers : 9839 1308 Fiona  / 90477225 Lisa  /  98806082 Lily
We would like to thank everyone for their kind words of support and encouragement, helping in the search, circulating the messages, and doing their part to help find “Sunday” in one way or another. Everything you do makes a difference. We have been extremely touched by everyone’s concern and we hope to find “Sunday” soon.
We would also like to thank the following friends for sponsoring “Sunday’s” $1000/- reward.  Carol ($600), Veronica ($250), Effi ($100) and Haley ($50); and Lisa (Whiteclip) & Carol for the printing of “Sunday’s posters; Melanie for sponsoring the Chinese advert above in Lianhe Zhaobao.
Thank you everyone. Please continue the search. Keep the faith.

Contributed by Lisa Goh


"Sunday" Is Missing. Please Help Find Her!

Our rescued street dog "SUNDAY" ran out of Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre (Redhill) on 23 March (Friday) at 6.30pm. According to Dr Ang Yilin, Sunday ran out of the clinic when a customer opened the main glass door. I was on the way to pick Sunday and take her to her new foster home to start a new life and leave her street life behind . . . .but that was not to be.
The receptionist called to inform me of "Sunday's" escape and said she had run out 30 mins ago. I wish they had informed me immediately; 30 mins is precious time when we track lost dogs and how did "Sunday" manage to sneak past 2 doors in the clinic?
Would it have been different if it was a pet and not a stray?
I rushed down and together with 3 other friends, searched the vicinity from 7pm to 3am but there was no sign of our rescued dog.
Today we continued our search but it was futile. We are exhausted and probably, so is "Sunday".
She was wearing a green collar and is microchipped. Please do help us look out for her, circulate this email and walk around calling out for her if you live around Bt Merah, Henderson, Telok Blangah, Tiong Bahru, Lower Delta and Bt Purmei.
It's been more than 24 hours, she could have wandered very far. We didn’t rescue a street dog, spend good money, time and effort saving and helping her, for someone else to lose her.
If you see her, please keep your eye on her and call us immediately : 90477225 (Lisa) and 98391308 (Fiona). She is not aggressive. In fact, she is the sweetest little darling around, but she may be a little wary and is more familiar with us.
Photographs courtesy of Jo-Ann Spitzer and Lisa Goh.


Stop Breeding Misery

There have been countless stories written about breeding farms and puppy mills. I have written many such stories myself but today, I decided not to write about how evil and irresponsible these breeders are, or how much these poor breeding dogs suffer in the hands of greedy humans out to make a fast buck from the poor defenseless animals. I am not going to persuade you to stop thinking about buying that cute little puppy from the pet store because if by now, you don’t know where your puppy came from or how they came about, then I doubt this story would change your mind. Instead, I hope these photographs will speak volumes of the suffering of puppy mill dogs, dogs born and bred in captivity.

Fresh from the farm
Five little puppies rescued from a breeding farm, ready to be discarded because they could not be sold, all of them barely a year old. The fact that the breeder had kept them alive for so many months, with no commercial use, amazes me because it’s extremely rare for these mercenary breeders to spend money on goods that bring no benefits or value.

When these little puppies arrived at the vet, the stench of urine immediately filled the sterile air at the vet. It was so bad that every few minutes, we needed to go out to take a breath of fresh air. They were soaked in pee and it wasn’t just from the journey from breeding farm to the vet. The dogs have been soaked in pee possibly almost from the time they were born; they smelled dirty and damp. White dogs had become brown dogs. 

Taking turns to be seen by the vet
Three siblings, two males and a female, could not be sold as they were cross breeds. The breeder did not microchip them as they were not sellable but they have since been microchipped by us. Despite countless guesses, we still have no idea exactly what crosses they are. All we know is that they look like miniature seals X polar bears. We named the two males Seal and Finn. The female is Dawn.

All three of them have demodectic mange, one worse than the rest. They are slightly underweight, had filthy, smelly ears that had probably never been cleaned and nails that were too long to walk with. They have been so used to being caged up in a small cage together, that they initially cried for each other whenever we took one out and we could see them looking lost. Again, for the fact that they had always been caged up, they feared open spaces. Each time we took them out, they would dash back into the filthy carriers that they were transported in.

Look at their photographs. It is often said that a picture paints a thousand words. In this case, their photographs depict their fear, curiosity, sadness, torture and even bewilderment and loss as to what was happening to them, why they were at the vet.

Drawing blood and running tests

Bad skin problems

Skin scrape test

Sad and pathetic looking


Meet Hansel, the white poodle cross. Filthy and reeking of pee, his coat was sticky and wet from the fact that he had never been cleaned or bathed. His stomach is distended so liver and kidney tests have been done for him. He is not more than a year old and he'll be a few shades whiter with some tender loving.  

Filthy, smelly and scared
Look at his paws

Hansel, the white poodle, cowering in fear and petrified just being out in the open
No life in his eyes

The poor brown poodle cross has the most issues – a bad ear infection, underweight, ringworms and decaying teeth.

Brown poodle, Elijah, feeling sorry for himself

Elijah's badly infected ear

Elijah's bad skin
Poor Elijah's elbow
Elijah's dry and flaky skin, and he has ringworms

Less than a year old and he has rotten teeth that need extracting when he is healthier

Life has not been kind to these poor dogs
In safe hands at last
By volunteer, Alicia Wong, relating her first experience with puppy mill dogs :
Fiona and her team brought the rescued pups to the vet for their check ups. There, they met dog lover Iris Chong, who, despite her shock at the condition the puppies were in and their stench that filled the air, kindly helped to look after the pups while they waited to be seen by the vet.

Even though the pups were far from the ‘pet shop perfect’ puppies we’re used to seeing, they managed to win Iris over, and she was kind enough to offer to foster the lone female pup of the lot. The female pup, Dawn, is about 7 months old, and might be coming in heat soon, so it was quite important to separate her from the rest of the male pups, as none of them have been sterilized. (They will be when they are healthier.)

Iris Chong, first time foster who has never been up close with a puppy mill dog :
“I'm happy to be able to help even though it’s just one of the pups. I wish I had the space and time to foster more.

I feel that the breeders are wicked and irresponsible. Even if they can’t sell the pups, whatever the reason is, they should at least provide basic care and meet the pups’ basic needs. They could easily seek help from the animal welfare groups to put up these pups for adoption!

It broke my heart when I first saw them; it was really my first time seeing puppies in such a bad shape! From head to tail, eye and ear infection, skin problems, infected with mites, fleas, ticks. Plus there are problems that cannot be seen, problems with their liver, kidney, heartworm, tick fever etc.

And one more thing: the smell. Wow… it cannot be described. I showered Dawn twice within a few days and she still smells bad! It will take many more washes to get rid of the smell completely. I don't think the breeders clean the pups, and they were soaked with pee and poo, and goodness knows what else when they were rescued, hence the stench.

As for Dawn, the pup I’m fostering now, she is such a sweetheart.

When she first settled in my house, the way she moved – she was crawling, scared, nervous and unsure. She moved slowly, sniffing away and was startled easily by the slightest sudden noise. When I set up the fence, she automatically went in and sat down. I almost teared. It was as if she was saying, “The cage is my home. This is the only life I know”. After showering and feeding her, I could see a slight difference. She seemed more lively and happy. She did not wag her tail that night though.

But the next morning, when she saw me, she wagged her tail. That’s the moment every dog owner loves to see! Now after a few days with me, she's doing just fine. Puppy nonsense surfaces – she’s playful, bites and pulls the rag, runs round in the kitchen especially after dinner, trying to get my own dogs to play! All dogs are beautiful in their own way. It’s some humans that are ugly.

This is my first time being a foster, and it is not an easy task. It’s more stressful than taking care of my own dogs. I have to see that they eat well, sleep well, don't fall sick and be careful not to pamper them too much so that her future adopters will not find them a nuisance and will love them.

Now, Dawn doesn’t like to go back to her cage! She loves to come out to play (at the moment in the kitchen only as she might have ringworms. We are still waiting for the skin culture results) and sit beside me when she's tired. All she wants is love, some human touch and most of all... . . the assurance that she is finally safe.”

By Alicia Wong :

With Dawn under Iris’ safe care, I met the remaining four pups on Monday at the vet, as they had to undergo some tests.

One of the first things that struck me was that they didn’t have that innocence and joy that young pups have. They looked scared and rather wary, some more so than others. One of them, Seal, was visibly shivering and because they never had the luxury of walks or ever leaving their cages, they were not used to being leashed and kept struggling on the leash.

But thankfully these pups are resilient. They were boarded at the clinic, and when I saw them on Wednesday, they looked so much happier. Maybe it’s because they are in a much more comfortable environment, or maybe it’s because they’ve finally experienced some care from people.

Either way, they looked more like puppies – active, noisy, inquisitive, playful. They were running around the room, pouncing on each other, peering out of the glass door, and bravely learning to climb the stairs. Finn, one of the pups, is too short to climb up the stairs properly, but it does not stop him from trying!

I don’t believe that it’s going to be an easy time taking care of any of these pups – it’s never easy taking care of an animal. But looking at them play today and the laughter they drew from those watching them, I just know that the joy they could bring to any household, if they have the chance, would make any effort more than worth it.

Now look at them! We see HOPE. Do you?

More info on the rescued pups:
1) Three siblings (2 males Finn & Seal + 1 female Dawn) – generally healthy although slightly underweight. They have demodectic mange and awaiting skin culture results to find out if they have ringworms. (Dawn and Seal are with fosters). (Finn needs foster)
2) White poodle cross named Hansel. Distended stomach, testing for liver and kidney problems. Awaiting skin culture results on whether he is positive or negative for ringworms. (Needs foster)
3) Brown poodle cross named Elijah. The one with the most issues. Bad ear infection, skin problems, ringworms, underweight and at 8 months, his teeth has decayed from poor nutrition. He needs a dental scaling when he is sterilized. (Fostered)

If you think such cruelty in breeding has nothing to do with you, please think again. The breeding industry, like all industries, is about supply and demand. If everyone stops the demand for “perfect pets”, the supply would eventually end. A true animal lover should never consider purchasing a pet.

Animals cannot speak or tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer any less just because they have no words. I hope these photos have shown you what they cannot say, and if by now you still harbor the thought of buying a pet from a store, I am not speaking to you!

To foster / adopt them or help with their vet bills, please email fiona@hopedogrescue.org

Special thanks go to Iris Chong, Iris & Nicholas, Lisa Goh, Joceline Loo, Haley & Tim, Alicia Wong, Rina, Sherry and Mabel for helping.

Written by Fiona Foo, Iris Chong and Alicia Wong.
Photographs courtesy of Lisa Goh and Joceline Loo.



Warning : Photographs in this article might upset you.
We named her Laurel.

Laurel is sweet, docile and sensitive. She is a small street dog we came across on our regular feeding rounds. Laurel has a sweet face that anyone would fall in love with.

Meet Laurel

 Look deep into her eyes.
Time and again I have highlighted the strength and resilience of street dogs, the hardships they face on a daily basis throughout their lives and Laurel is no different.
Laurel's wound

Behind those eyes belie a deep pain that we could never imagine. A pain she tolerated, possibly for weeks or even months.
TVT – just three little alphabets and yet, the pain is immense. Transmissible Venereal Tumour. This is what Laurel has.
We saw her lying by the side of the road, and as she saw us pile food on the grass, she licked her mouth in anticipation. When we approached her, she stood up and moved away but the pain she felt must have been so intense that she lay on the road again just after a mere few steps.
Having worked with street dogs for quite some years, we know this isn’t normal behavior. With a feast laid in front of them, they would only do two things; eat or walk away. Walk away because they are wary of humans but they might come back to eat once we leave. So Laurel’s behavior was rather odd and fellow volunteer, Lisa, went closer for a better view. I was across the road with a group of male volunteers from Green Haven that we have recently partnered, when I heard my name called. I dashed across the road and was told that this dog had a huge wound on her private parts. As I approached, Laurel got up and gingerly walked into a factory to seek refuge. Lisa tailed her while I rushed back to the van to take out 2 leashes and a huge carrier. This was Laurel’s lucky day, she was meant to be saved! I had a huge carrier with me which I don’t usually bring along on feeding rounds as it takes up too much space. I quickly briefed two male volunteers on what to do, how to assist me and went in search of Laurel, who was by now lying inside the factory.
I could see that she was hungry so we took out a can of dog food and tried to trick her into eating while we sneaked up on her from behind to leash her. Unfortunately she was just too smart. A kind security uncle was there observing so we asked if he could lure her into his guard house where it would be much easier for us to catch her. He said she wasn’t very approachable but was willing to help.
As more workers gathered to watch, Laurel beckoned further into the factory. The noise and people scared her. The kind uncle followed her in and slowly leaned over to pat her. He then grabbed her by her scruff and held her down. Immediately I ran in with my leash and shouted for the men to come in with the carrier. With some struggling and what felt like eternity, I managed to leash her and shove her into the carrier. She was bleeding so profusely from her wound that blood stained the carrier, my hands, my arms and my clothes. The volunteers were concerned that I had been hurt in the process as there was blood all over me.

Volunteers from Green Haven helping to put Laurel in the carrier

Laurel safely in the carrier and all set to go to the vet

We managed to catch her!

The volunteers quickly carried the carrier and loaded it into the van, while I found some water to rinse off the blood from my hands and arms. I thanked the uncle and left hurriedly.
When I see pain and despair, I just feel the need to help. Sometimes rescuing a stray can be risky. Is it easy doing what I do? No. Is it worth it? YES.

Just arrived at the vet

Blood stained carrier
At the vet, Dr Teo Jiawen attended to Laurel and commented to her vet tech that this was the largest tumour that she had ever seen and then further commented that Laurel would be discharged within 3 to 4 days’ time. We found that a little odd considering she just mentioned she had never seen such a large tumour, but we have great respect for Dr Teo and as a vet, she would know best.

Indescirbable pain
Volunteers Lisa and Lynette were at the vet with Laurel and were amazed that Laurel was so sweet and calm throughout the cleaning of her huge wound. She was muzzled, just in case, but there really wasn’t a need to. Despite the massive pain she was in, she allowed the staff to clean her and in the midst of it, Lisa saw two worms crawling out of Laurel’s anus. Fortunately, it was just two.

Worm crawling out of Laurel
Watch video of the worm crawling out.

Laurel's pain

I can’t bring myself to complete her story without tearing, without heartache. How can we ever imagine the pain of indescribable pain? How long has she been suffering? Imagine the itch and pain. Then imagine all that and lying on the hot, rough road surface . . . . .

I recalled having sterilized her slightly more than a year ago. How was it possible for her to contract TVT after she had been sterilized? The following day I spoke to Dr Chan Mun Ling, the vet in charge of Laurel for that day. Dr Chan explained that perhaps it could have already been harbouring in her and no one noticed. After sterilization, I hardly saw Laurel on the streets but I often believe things happen for a reason and for her to be helped, our paths had to cross again.
To help Laurel be rid of the pain and recover, she needs a month of weekly jabs of Vincristine, a chemo jab. She has had the first jab with her second jab scheduled for Thursday. This drug has side effects but it’s something that Laurel needs.

Laurel is presently warded at Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre (Bt Merah). She is eating well and is feeling extremely depressed and sorry for herself. She patiently allows the vet techs to clean her wound daily and administer the necessary medications. She needs to be carried out to the grass to pee and poo, then carried back into the clinic. Imagine the pain when she relieves herself. I shudder just thinking about it.

Laurel will be discharged on Thursday evening because Dr Teo says she is well enough to go home. Where is home? She doesn’t have one unless we are planning to return her to the streets. We could ask for sponsors to board her at the commercial boarding kennels till she recovers fully, which might take a month or two . . . . .but who will clean her wounds, assure her and love her daily? Furthermore, the kennels can sometimes be dirty. What if more infection sets in?
We thank the male volunteers for assisting us in catching Laurel, Lisa for taking Laurel to the vet and Lynette for her soon-to-be-famous nutritious meals served to all our sick / injured doggies at the vets.
I never thought my journey was to rescue dogs but these days, I am beginning to see it well defined. It’s not easy doing what I love because it is not always fun or a walk in the park and it certainly isn’t always practical in a country where we are constantly reminded to choose a path that provides stability and security, but I do it anyway because I have a purpose to fulfill. It’s simple to discard our dreams for security but instead, I just had to reflect on those definitions, rearrange my priorities and separate my “needs” from “wants”. Simple as that. Instead of perceiving what I do as “sacrifices”, I view them as “contributions” and this, in return, has given me wealth with the animals.

If you have always wanted to make a difference in somebody’s life, START NOW. Don’t wait. Don’t spend time regretting. Just make that change, you will find it extremely meaningful.
Laurel is estimated to be just slightly more than 2 years old. She has her whole life ahead of her. Life has been painful, to say the least. With your love and kindness, help put her back on the road to recovery. Help her with the following :
1)      Fostering and cleaning of her wounds daily (TVT is contagious to other dogs)
2)      Aid with her medical bills
Thank you for saving a life.

Photographs courtesy of Lisa Goh


Harry Lives On In Our Hearts (A Tribute To Darling Harry)

Dear Harry passed away in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, surrounded by his family (Hailey and Bryan) with volunteers Fiona and Lisa. He was the first dog that HOPE rescued and he will always have a special place in our hearts.
From the moment that we met him, he was nothing but strong and courageous. He has fought against all odds to survive, despite coming down with one illness after another. Each visit to the vet, the doctors always gave him just a few weeks to live, but amazing Harry miraculously pulled through every time, and lived another 7 wonderful months with his adoptive family.

Harry was a fighter and a lover too. He never gave up on life no matter how tough it got, and he was such a sweet and gentle dog despite it all. He loved nature, and would spend hours standing in plants, feeling the leaves on his back. Although Harry had lived out most of his life as a factory dog, he managed to find happiness in the last few months of his life. He finally had people who loved and cared for him, and whom he loved very much in return. We are so grateful to Hailey and Bryan for providing a home for Harry, and for showing him the love he never had. 

Elena and Harry 
Harry has brought joy and hope into our lives, and now he is free from pain and disease at last. Dear Harry, you will be sorely missed. May you rest in peace.
By Elena Lin

Message from Hailey and Bryan (Harry’s adoptive parents)
Harry enjoyed his time with us and we hope that we were able to make him happy. We were blessed to have celebrated Christmas and Valentine’s Day with him. He will forever be in our hearts. We will miss his snore, his smiling face, his tail wagging moments and the way he loved the sunlight on his back and being in the garden with the plants and greenery. We love you, Harry.
Hailey and Harry

Message from Fiona

Early Monday evening Harry had been rushed to the vet because he had suddenly become weak and could not control his bladder. At the vet, it was discovered that he was suffering from internal bleeding and a decision had to be made by Harry's Mommy, Hailey, if they should operate on him to stop the bleeding. Harry has a heart condition and had already defied all medical odds to have come this far. Hailey decided to proceed with surgery and do her best for Harry, like she always has.
Harry had lived as a street dog for the past 10 years of his life and is now estimated to be about 11 or 12 years old. To have survived the streets for almost 10 years was no mean feat.
During the surgical procedure, it was found that he had a ruptured spleen and his spleen was removed. However, Drs also discovered a huge mass in his bladder and there was nothing further they could do for Harry. He would have woken up from surgery and perhaps live in pain, suffer for a few days or weeks and then pass on. Hailey did not want him to suffer or be in further pain and so the difficult decision was made to put him to sleep while he was still under GA.
Harry left us, surrounded by his family and friends, people he meant the world to.
Harry was a brave and courageous dog, never once complaining about the pain or hardships he had, and always grateful to what God had given him. I will miss him dearly and he will always have a special place in my heart.
Thank you Hailey and Bryan for all that you have done for Harry.

Message from Harry
Thank you Mommy, Daddy, Fiona, Lisa and all the volunteers and friends for giving me the best time of my life here. I love all of you. You have opened a new hope of living in this world. I trust all you have done and continue to do, always at your best efforts. I have had the best Mommy, Daddy and siblings in a perfect loving home. I love the garden most because it has my favourite  plants and sunshine. I love the smell of after rain and the morning air. I love my family who had nurtured my soul to love and trust again. We will meet one day but not now as you still need to carry on your journey, but I will be watching over you, blessing all of you. Stay faithful to your soul as I had in my willpower to overcome the hardships that life had thrown me. I thank God who has kept me safe and whole. Forever grateful to your grace and love . . . . Harry.
HARRY. Estimated 2000 to March 2012
Message from a friend, Leslie Kok
Dear old harry, even though I have known you for a short while, I could tell you are a very special being. Thank you for being so accommodating during our photo shoot and I'm grateful to have known you and spend some time with you...
You will be dearly missed. 

May you become fast friends with my beloved family members who have gone to doggie heaven, Noi Noi and Faye. 

Lots of love,

A Song for Harry
With Gratitude
We thank Kenneth for informing us about Harry’s plight when he first saw Harry at the factory.

Harry and Kenneth at the factory (August 2011)

Susan Dhanwant, for feeding and checking on Harry in the initial stage when Harry was still living at the factory.
Cindy Lam, for introducing Hailey to us.
Cindy and Hailey with Harry. The meeting that changed Harry's life.
Leslie Kok, Francesca Lok, Lisa Goh, Ai Wei, and everyone else who had helped and touched Harry’s life and made him a happy dog.
Thank you.