Jaspar's and Fudge's Updates

Jaspar's Updates

Jaspar the gentleman

We are so relieved to say that Jaspar's condition has stabilized. He eats like there's no tomorrow! However, despite being fed so regularly with such nutritious food, Jaspar has instead lost some more weight and is thinner than ever. The doctor told us that it’s due to a condition called proteinuria. His body is not able to absorb protein, and he pees it out instead. To get him well again, Jaspar will be put on a special k/d diet for a few months, and undergo urine and blood tests every week. Luckily, it isn’t chronic and can be treated, but it’s likely that he may die if he returns to a life on the streets as the workers may not monitor him as closely as we would like them too, and not notice if he becomes too anemic.

Jaspar's wound is much smaller although his health isn't all that good

Just the tip of Jaspar's fear of being caged up

Jaspar, however, has been a very naughty boy. He was transferred to a new clinic, The Pet Doctors, as he was being too mischievous at the previous vet. The boy chewed on an air-conditioning pipe till it broke and flooded part of the clinic! He also broke the metal cage in which he was kept. The vets were not amused, although we were. It was really quite funny! Having worked with strays for so many years, we aren't surprised by their antics any more. Since they are used to having their freedom, they really dislike being confined. Poor Jaspar must have been miserable. Anyway, the silly boy was discharged earlier than he was due to be; no prizes for guessing why.

He has been totally living it up in the new clinic though, enjoying lots of human company and attention. He loves rolling on the grass, although the vet tech needs to clean his wound again each time he does that! After which he spends up to 18 hours snoozing.
Look where he sleeps at The Pet Doctors
Thank you for making Jaspar smile
Although we're glad that he seems to be having fun, we can't help but be bothered by the nagging thought that it would be cruel to return him to factory life after he has gotten used to being treated like a king. We feel terrible about it, and we would like to implore you to consider adopting him. Rescued strays are really just homeless pets waiting for a loving family to claim them.
Jaspar is sweet and estimated to be around 6 to 7 years old. His rate of survival is not high without someone to care for him and nurse him back to health. The rescue process isn't truly over till they have found their forever homes, so will you please save their lives and help to give them one?

Fudge's Updates

Gorgeous Fudge. All of 10 months old

Little Fudge's wound was not healing so well, so it was stitched up two days ago. His wound is still bleeding. He really hates wearing the e-collar, like most dogs, so the doctor put a shirt on him instead. He has also been sterilized, and is still at the vet recovering. He has been allowed to stay on because he wasn't destructive like Jaspar. He loves attention and wants to be patted all day long. He is really well-behaved, given his young age, and we're so impressed! Fudge is really just like a baby; he loves being massaged and patted, and often hams it up and flips upside down to offer his belly for pats and attention. Whoever thought that strays would behave this way?

Fudge enjoying his pats from volunteers

Tough little Fudge's huge wound, all stitched up

When we rescue street dogs who need to be boarded at the vet, we try as much as possible to return them to the streets within 7 to 10 days. We feel that anything longer than that would be unfair to the dog as he would have gotten used to human contact and regular meals. Putting him back on the streets would be tantamount to abandonment in our opinion. Then again, there is no way we could afford to keep every dog we save or help. If we ran our own kennel or shelter, we definitely would. As it happens, we can barely afford our vet bills, let alone the costs of running a shelter, or even just renting one.
If nobody is able to foster or adopt these two sweeties, we will have to return them to the streets soon to minimise the emotional pain they will feel. We really don't want to do that.

His wound is not entirely dried
Fudge needed to wear a shirt as he truly hates the e-collar

Handsome little Fudge
We at HOPE Dog Rescue implore you to seriously consider adopting one of these dogs. Fudge is an energetic and affectionate dog, a loving addition to any family willing to have him. Jaspar is happy and playful, and will definitely amuse his new family to no end. They may not be pedigree breeds, but we can ensure you that they will give you as much love as them, if not more. All they need is a chance and a loving family.

Please contact us immediately if you are keen to adopt or foster Jaspar or Fudge.

Written by Elena Lin


Jolly Molly

Since the last update, Molly has been doing very well...

Molly, our little gorgeous, has indeed come a long way!
About 3 weeks ago, with a leash, I managed to coax Molly to walk out of the kitchen area and slowly into the front garden where she touched grass for the first time since her rescue. She sniffed at every corner of the garden, joined her furry friends in the house, and shared the big doggie mattress with Doris the Labrador. She was also very agile when she jumped onto the couch and chilled out with Cookie the golden retriever. Her foster parents had a very pleasant surprise when they came home to Molly coming out from the house with me in tow to say 'hello'. That day, for the very first time, Molly's foster dad managed to pat her (Molly is rather wary of males, probably due to previous bad experiences). From that day onwards, Molly was put on a long cable leash, allowing her access to the house, front porch and garden.
Molly's first walk in the foster's garden
On my second visit that week, under cloudy skies, I managed to bring Molly out for a walk. She was initially a little hesitant about going out but once she was out, she was walking happily next to me on threes. Considering she was a stray, Molly was surprisingly good at walking on a leash; she didn't pull at all. She favoured walking on my left and would follow my cues with just a gentle tug on the leash. When we headed back to the house, Molly resisted going through the gate, so I had to pull her in. But once she entered the compound, Molly was fine again. 
Molly's very first bath!

Look at that cute grumpy face after her first bath!

I decided to try walking her again after a half-hour interval, and this time, she did not resist going back home. On the day of the vet visit, I went earlier to walk her and had a chance to chat with her foster mom, Ann, about her progress. According to Ann, Molly has integrated very well with the other dogs, sharing beds with them and eating alongside each other at mealtimes. While the other dogs rushed out to bark at disturbances, Molly would do the reverse, heading back into the house for security. As always, her appetite was very good and she loved all food except apples and bananas. Both Ann and her daughter had no problems patting her at all.

Molly loves being brushed

Loves having her ears cleaned. All first time experiences for this little darling

Nice and clean. Dozing off

I brought Molly for a longer walk this time and she began running a bit. I actually had to run to keep pace with her. That was pretty impressive progress for a three-legged dog. On our way back, Molly was a little tired and stopped to lie down a couple of times before we reached home. Soon it was time to bring her to the vet... We had a van to transport her but as the van was too high for her to leap into with 3 legs, we tried putting a ramp for her to walk up but the incline was too steep for her. I had no choice but to carry her (for the first time) and dear Molly didn't resist much, allowing me to carry her onto the van. I sat with her on the way to the vet with her resting her paw on my foot and when we were nearing, she hid behind me, perhaps for security.

Leslie trying to coax Molly into the van.
Arriving at the vet

However, upon arrival, once the door was opened, Molly happily jumped down without any difficulty and was soon checking out the surroundings. She seemed to have no traumatic memories of the vet clinic at all and went into the clinic with no resistance. Everyone including volunteers and Molly's vet were surprised at her progress, saying she was like a different dog. The vet jokingly asked if this was the same Molly she saw as Molly was snappy and unfriendly when we first rescued her.

Her wound has healed well. She has obviously given birth on the streets previously and will be sterilized when she has put on more weight and cured of her heartworm.
A lot more comfortable with the human touch now
Molly made herself at home on the long bench, enjoying pats from everyone. Her vet review was positive: she had put on 2kgs, her wound had completely healed, she had her second vaccination and her second dosage of heartgard was due. As poor Molly has heartworms, she needs to be on heartgard medication to prepare her body for the actual injection to kill all the worms. The vet also said that Molly shouldn't run at all as any over-exertion could trigger a heart attack... So from now on, Molly can only go for short walks which do not put any stress on her heart. On the way home, Molly discovered the window in the van and was happily standing on threes and enjoying the sights, with me ready to catch her if she fell. The first thing the darling girl did when she reached home was to jump onto the couch and have a snooze :)

Molly and Leslie waiting to see Dr Raj
A couple of days after visiting the vet, I gave Molly her very first bath! The sweetheart was really good! She didn't mind the lathering and scrubbing at all, although she was definitely not a fan of the scoop bath. She tried to move away from the splash of water but never really struggled much. After the rinse, as I was reaching for the towel, Molly immediately went to hide under the table with Jack, the other retriever, giving me accusing looks but she eventually came to me when I tugged at her cable leash gently. After towelling dry, came Molly's favourite... the grooming! She laid down and let me brush her all over and had her ears cleaned with wipes followed by cotton buds. Then it was back to her favourite pastime, chilling on the couch!

Molly now comes to me when I call her. She loves it when I stroke her head and scratch her cheek. I gave her a big fat kiss on her nose recently, catching her by surprise but from her expression, not an unpleasant surprise. As her 'god mom' (that's what Ann calls me), nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing the progress Molly has made... she no longer wears a frown or worried look, she really seems contented and happy, and she is getting used to being a part of a family unit instead of being a lone stray. After the complete cure of the heartworms, her future will only grow brighter.

Story and photographs by Leslie Kok

Note from Fiona : Working with street dogs is very different from working with a rescued pet dog. With street dogs, often it takes months of patience, persistence and building trust as the dog is not used to being touched by a human and may have possibly been abused. These rescued dogs have no idea what a hug is, or what love is and rehabilitating them takes months, sometimes even years.

I thank Leslie for working with Molly, visiting her so regularly since her rescue, persisting and gaining Molly's trust, despite being snapped at countless times. The risks have finally paid off! Molly is more trusting of humans now, comfortable with being touched and happy with life.

Thank you Ann and family for loving Molly the way you have, despite your fear of being snapped at, you never gave up and you didn't return her to us!

Molly is a changed dog because of all the love and patience she has experienced in the past 2 months. This is what HOPE is all about and this is what keeps us going. Thank you to all our friends and fellow dog lovers for your generous support, contributing to our work and allowing us to touch and change more lives.


How do you say NO?

Within days of Jaspar’s rescue, just a lane away from Jaspar’s factory, another dog was badly injured in yet another dogfight. Although not as life threatening as Jaspar’s, as the infection had not yet spread to his blood, this little puppy’s wound was MUCH deeper.

Helpless Fudge
I recall watching him grow up, running across the road dangerously, chasing and playing with his sister, oblivious to the traffic and danger around them. They were less than 3 months old then. Even at that tiny age, he protected his sister from the bigger dogs and would bark and chase them away when they came near her. Interestingly, the big dogs would back off and leave them alone, quite an amusing sight actually! However, just 6 months later, Fudge lost his sister in an accident. This was a month ago. The amount of hardship he has experienced in his 10 short months of life is something that none of our blessed pets would ever experience in their entire lifetimes.
This time, we saw Fudge while on our regular feeds, with a huge hole on his back, just like Jaspar. We didn’t have our dog carrier at that time, and could not help him then. However, I returned to the factory the next morning and spent 2 hours speaking with the workers and searching for him. Some workers told me that the dog had died, while others told me that he was asleep somewhere and would only appear in the evening. Like déjà vu, I left my carrier and leash with the workers and told them to call me when they spotted the injured dog. I then headed to the vet to visit Jaspar.
Hardly half an hour into my visit, the workers called to tell me they had the injured dog in the carrier and I rushed back to the industrial site. The overpowering stench of rotting flesh filled the air once again as I approached the carrier. With the heat and humidity, the smell was magnified. I wasn’t sure if it was the smell, the situation of seeing two dogs with such bad maggot-infested wounds within a week, my tiredness or the fact that I have been terribly worried about chalking up high vet bills, but I suddenly felt overwhelmingly nauseated.

Finally managed to get Fudge into the carrier

Believe it or not, but these workers are the unsung angels of our street dogs

Agonizing pain

A horrendous sight
Fudge had a huge wound on the left of his back, rather similar to Jaspar’s. From my years of experience working with street dogs, I have observed that dog fights are common when a female dog is in heatWe tend to see more injuries on dogs. In my opinion, this is one of the saddest sights working with street dogs; watching up to 10 males dogs literally take turns on one female dog, not unlike gang rape. Of course the alpha male gets to mate first, and the lower-ranked dogs fight it out. This is when they get their injuries.

In the safety of the clinic

Our volunteer offering comfort and assurance to Fudge
In Fudge’s factory, there are 3 more dogs: 1 mommy dog, her 4-month-old male puppy and an adult male. We hope to sterilize all of them by next week. Please support our Spay It Forward program and help fund the sterilizations.
At the vet, Fudge was calm most of the time. He never tried to bite, although he didn’t like the muzzle and kept trying to take it off. There was such great fear in his eyes; fear of being in a new environment and possibly the severity of the pain. As two vet techs picked out maggots from his wound, he cried softly. His low whimpers made me sad. All this while, Jaspar lay quietly in his cage, looking at Fudge’s similar ordeal.

The look of extreme fear in those eyes

Trying our best to assure and comfort him

If only there is a way that we can make him feel better
Imagine your own dog at the vet, hurt or injured. While your pet has you to love, hug and kiss, these stray puppies / dogs have families wiped out, sometimes within months of each other. They have nowhere to call home, no one to love, comfort or reassure them. Us rescuing them is as close to experiencing love or kindness as they’ll ever get. What’s worse, this experience of love will be short-lived, because we will have to return them to the factories as soon as their wounds heal, unless some big-hearted family offers to adopt them and give them a permanent home.
A blood test was carried out and it showed that he had ehrlichia. His red blood count was low from the loss of blood, while his white blood count was high from the infection. His situation was not life threatening like Jaspar’s, but this puppy’s wound was a whole lot deeper. The maggots had literally created tunnels under his skin. The doctor mentioned that she would need to sedate him to cut away the dead flesh.
Apart from ehrlichia, he was healthy enough to be sedated. This would also make the cleaning of his wound easier for the technicians and a lot less painful and torturous for Fudge. He soon fell into a deep slumber, possibly the first proper slumber he has ever had. Street dogs seldom get proper sleep or rest, for fear of being attacked, hit by oncoming vehicles or other dangers. Often, when they are rescued, they literally sleep for days and weeks on end, just to catch up on the years of sleep deprivation. You would think they were sedated daily!
After he was sedated, two vet techs quickly started work on Fudge’s wound, pulling out a few hundred maggots over the next two hours. Had we not saved Fudge, he would eventually have died from septic shock (septicemiaor the horrible flesh eating worms would have claimed him.   
He would have died a slow death had we gotten to him any later

Finally sedated

Removing maggots from the wound

That's how deep his wound is

Doing all we can for Fudge

Now all we can do is pray that Fudge pulls through

A total of 3 kidney dishes of maggots extracted from Fudge
Recently, I seem to be seeing more dogs with such huge maggot-infested wounds, and am starting to feel nauseated by the sight and smell of them. It’s simply too much to bear within a few short days of Jaspar’s rescue. We have been trying to cut down on our rescue work as we have chalked up a huge bill with the vets but how do we say no to them when, often, we know that we are their only hope?
Please consider making a donation so that we may continue saving and helping the dogs who need us. No animal deserves to live this way.
Contact fiona@hopedogrescue.org to make a contribution.


Jaspar The Earth Dog

An office lady working at one of the factories where we feed regularly had gotten hold of Fiona’s number from one of her colleagues. “Injured dog in bad state and *address,” read her text message. The address she provided looked very familiar and after years of working with the street dogs in the same industrial estate, Fiona immediately knew it was the same factory where we found Sunday. That got us curious; which dog was it who got hurt this time? A wave of horror overcame us as we saw the photo in the attachment. Fiona immediately called the sender. We were coming to help.

Photo received from the office worker sent sadness through Fiona’s heart.
Shortly after, Fiona brought a carrier to the factory, along with a leash and food to lure the dog out. While driving down, images of Beano flashed in her mind. It was drizzling, but the dog was nowhere to be found. After searching in vain, Fiona left the carrier there for the night and taught the workers what to do in case the dog reappeared.

Waiting was the hardest part. We didn’t know what had happened, or what would happen if we didn’t manage to catch the dog. Had he gone somewhere to lie down and wait for death to overcome him? Such was the sad life of a street dog, just another nameless carcass for NEA to dispose of.

Years of struggling to live on the streets; they often look much older than they really are.

But late at night the next day, Fiona finally received a call from the workers. The dog was in a terrible state. Just as Fiona was rushing down to help, the worker called back to say they had got the dog in the carrier. He could hardly stand and was just too weak to struggle.

Thank goodness for the kind-hearted workers who helped to locate and catch the dog

He must be in so much pain

We hope that he hasn't given up hope

The vet had closed for the night, so Fiona had to wait till morning to rush the dog to the vet.

As Fiona bent down to look at the dog, it was obvious he was in a very weak state. He was panting very heavily, struggling to breathe. The sickening stench of rotting flesh and crawling maggots filled the van as she drove to the vet. It was, by now, an all too familiar smell.

A massive maggot-festering wound
The vet tech picked out hundreds of wriggly maggots from his wounds
Jaspar left trails of maggots in his path
His wound was worse than we had feared. It was an impossibly deep hole on the top of his back. His festering flesh was teeming with hundreds of maggots, big and small, and flies swarmed about him. The pain itself could have overwhelmed him, or any one of us. He lay there weak as he struggled to keep his eyes open, almost motionless, as the vet examined him. The helpless, sorry creature looked so fragile as blood tests were run and the vet tech painstakingly spent hours removing the maggots in his wound. He had three holes on his back; a huge one and two smaller ones on the side of the huge gaping wound. Could those flesh-eating maggots have burrowed their ways through? It was a heart  wrenching sight.

Jaspar was too timid to come out of the carrier
He wasn’t just weak from the injury, which the doctor estimated to be about a week old. He was also extremely malnourished, just skin and bones and severely dehydrated. It was no wonder that he couldn’t fight the infection before maggots had set in.

The vet tech spent more than an hour picking the maggots from the raw, cavernous wound. There were hundreds and hundreds of them, some really fat. They had been feasting on his flesh for many days. Many of them were baby maggots too. He remained still throughout what should have been an excruciating process, too weak to struggle and too numb to feel.

He really didnt need to be muzzled, it was just a safety precaution. Jaspar is a sweetheart.

The blood tests came back, and to our dismay, the results were not good. He has tick fever and septicemia, or septic shock. The infection had crept into his bloodstream. The normal white blood count for dogs was 17, but his was well over the norm at 80! He could die anytime! It was the highest the vet had ever seen. She told us to prepare for the worst, as he might not make it through the night. A blood test would be done in another two days if he pulled through, and only if the white blood count had gone down, then we may allow ourselves and him to hope.

That feeling of despair and helplessness is what we dread the most. To be able to do nothing but watch, as a life slips away from us. We could only hope with all our strength, that he had enough strength too, to make it through the night. He was hooked up to a drip and put on the strongest antibiotics.  All that was left, was to pray that he would be there in the morning when we visited.

Cleaning his face
We named him Jaspar, meaning energy and courage.
The best news came in the morning. He had made it! Darling Jaspar received a steady stream of visits from our volunteers throughout the day, who brought him delicious and nutritious meals of beef and liver. By midday, he had already wolfed down three meals! It’s cliched, but it was really like approaching the light at the end of a tunnel.

It’s been three days, and he seems to be doing well, although they are still picking baby maggots from his wound. We hope to keep him at the vet for at least two weeks, to allow him time to heal. We would hate to release him back to the factory before he’s ready, only to have his wound become infected again. The vet says that she will be monitoring the healing rate of his wound, and if it doesn’t close on its own, we might need to get it stitched up.

Jaspar is estimated to be 6 years old. He weighs 12kg, though a dog of his size should ideally weigh 16kg. He’s gentle but tough, and has the sweetest eyes. It would be amazing if someone was able to foster or adopt this brave soldier, so that he will never have to face such pain again. Jaspar is extremely submissive and often bullied on the streets. If you or anyone you know is able to take him into your home, please contact us immediately!

Such a sweet, trusting soul
We are also in desperate need of funds as we’ve racked up quite a bill with the vet, with Jaspar and the other animals we’ve rescued lately. Not all our rescues are blogged about but our rescue work is on-going, almost a daily affair. Some days we simply don’t have the time, energy or manpower to write the story. It would be sad to feel that our work is hindered by the lack of funds as there is so much to be done, so many dogs waiting to be saved. If you would like to contribute to the work we do, please email fiona@hopedogrescue.org
Story by Elena Lin. Photography by Leslie Kok.