Good Golly Poor Molly!

Not the nicest picture to start a blog post with and I know that many might not have the stomach for it, but I sincerely beseech everyone to stay on and read about the ordeal of strong sweet Molly.
It was slightly after 2am on a weekday when I received a text from a friend, Astha. She had spotted a dog that had 'lost a paw', loitering at her block in Bukit Panjang. Lost a paw?? Fiona and I didn't really know what that meant but we rushed down all the same.

A bag of bones; a sad painful sight

Nothing could quite prepare us for the sight. The dog had literally lost a paw. (This dog would later come to be named Molly.) It was dark and we can't really make out how bad the injury was but we can see a good bit of the bone where her paw should have been. As the stench of rotting flesh filled the air, it gave us an inkling of the severity of her wound.

On top of that, Molly was also emaciated. (Later we learned at the vet that she weighs only a mere 10kg.) She was ravenous despite that Astha had already fed her. We tried to take advantage of that and used food to lure her into the carrier. But I have come to realise that rescue work is not easy. Molly was very wary of human and refused to come near us even when there was food. This was going to be a long night. 

There was no way we can rush things. We had to approach her slowly so as not to startle her. Although she was in pain and hopping on 3 legs, she was still very nimble. The slightest bit of movement from us was enough to scare her into running in the opposite direction. In fact, I remained crouched most of the time. Amazing that I can still walk after that.

Since Molly refused to come near us, we left trails of food leading to the carrier. The plan was for Fiona to push her in and close the gate, while my job was to hide behind the carrier and tilt it with all my might so that she can't come back out. Every time she comes near the carrier, I would hold my breath. In part was because of the nauseating putrid smell and the other was because I was so afraid that she would run off just by me breathing. It sounds silly but we failed so many times that I was despairing we might never get to help her.

All too soon, we ran out of food because Molly would eat up the trails of food but never venture far enough into the carrier. Astha kindly offered to run to a 7-eleven to buy more canned food. There was nothing else that we can do but to patiently repeat this over and over again. I must have been getting pretty desperate, for I started to plead with Molly in my head. And after what seems like eternity, Molly finally trusted us enough to forage deeper into the carrier for food. That was the cue and we sprung into action. Success! We can all finally breathe a sigh of relief, now that we managed to have her safely in the carrier and get her the help that she needs, after two hours of trying.

It was almost 5am by the time we got home and poor Fiona had only 2 hours of sleep before she was due to get up and bring 2 strays for sterilization. I have the utmost respect for Fiona and her team. The amount of dedication and sacrifice that they put in is unbelievable.

Molly waiting for the van from Green Haven to take her to the vet
The next day, residents from Green Haven helped us bring Molly to the vet as her carrier could not fit into our small van

In the daylight, we can now see the extensive damage to her leg. You can't see it from here but it was infested with maggots. Apart from losing a paw, there was also a deep puncture hole on her front left leg, equally maggot infested. It looks like her leg was caught in something. A wild boar trap maybe? Does anyone know if there're traps in Bukit Panjang area?
Molly had remained surprisingly calm throughout it all. It was as though she knew that we were helping her. I believe that she has a really sweet and gentle disposition because she did not turn aggressive like other dogs normally would when they are in severe pain.

Sweet, strong Molly waiting for the vet to see her

The vet nurse at The Animal Drs trying to leash Molly and take her out but Molly was snappy, possibly from all the pain and uncertainty

After almost ten attempts, the vet nurse finally managed to throw the leash around Molly's neck. By then, Molly was very exhausted.

Trying to muzzle Molly, in order to test her for distemper (standard protocol for all new clients)

One can never ever have the strength and resilience of a dog / animal. If it was anyone of us, we would have fainted from the pain and excessive bleeding

I can't even bear to look at the wound, let alone suffer from this pain. I don't know how Molly does it but I know it's beyond me.

Did you see the fat maggots crawling around in the video?

Finally allowing herself to be patted by the vet nurse

Molly lying in the consultation room waiting for her blood test results. Results showed that she has low red blood count and was positive for heartworm. To undergo a surgical procedure would have been a high risk. We may lose her on the table

Having her wound cleaned

Molly was put on drip to stabilize her condition before surgery was carried out

Molly would have to be amputated from the shoulder below. But the vet says that she might die on the table because she had very low red blood count from excessive loss of blood and she also has heartworm. There was however no choice but to go ahead with the surgery, as her leg was septic and had swelled to twice its size. Without the amputation, she would most definitely die from the sepsis. Everyone at HOPE Dog Rescue was very worried and kept her in our prayers as she underwent surgery.
Dear Molly who loves life had battled death and won! She is currently warded and recovering at the clinic. But sad to say her ordeal is far from over. Her next hurdle now is to find someone to adopt or foster her. If there's no one to take her in, she would have to stay at a kennel.
This stump at her shoulder would likely get infected if she is to stay at a kennel because it is dirty and wet. After Molly's struggle, she deserves a loving home that can nurse her back to health.

Molly's surgery is estimated to cost about $3500. While every cent is well-spent, it is something that HOPE Dog Rescue can ill afford.

If you can help in any way, be it adopting; fostering; or donating towards her surgery; please email fiona@hopedogrescue.org

Story by Esther Low. Photo credits: Esther Low, Leslie Kok, Iris Ng.