Babu, The Final Leg (No Pun Intended!)

After battling with a serious leg injury from a hit-and-run accident, and nearly dying of distemper, Babu Boy, as you may remember, finally got his sweet homecoming back in June, when we returned him to the factory and his main caregiver, Sharma.

Handsome Babu Boy

Babu had seemed in reasonably good health when he was brought home, though the steel plate inserted from his two surgeries were not removed as the vet was worried that his bones might not have fused well and his leg wasn't strong enough to hold.

Sore and pus on Babu's leg since his previous surgery

Since then, volunteers and friends have continued to visit and provide food to Babu and the two other dogs he lives with, the Babu girls.

Mid October, a friend visited Babu, and noticed pus coming out from the wound, so we quickly made arrangements to take him to the vet. Due to his distemper history, we could not bring him into the clinic, so volunteers Nick and Iris sat with him outside the clinic for a two-hour wait.

Poor Babu sat there with his teeth chattering, something he has to live with for the rest of his life. The vet had told us that Babu's teeth would chatter even in his sleep, because of problems with his reflexes. Imagine how frustrating it must be to have your teeth chatter uncontrollably every few seconds.

Drs checking on Babu outside the clinic

The doctor gave Babu a check up, and prescribed him a month's worth of antibiotics for the inflammation and to clear his infection. He is to go back in a month for a follow-up. If his wound heals nicely, he would immediately undergo surgery to remove the steel plate. If the wound is still infected and weepy, then he would be put on another month of antibiotics, and the process would be repeated until the leg is good enough to be operated on to remove the steel plate.

If the plate is not removed, Babu will have infections and pus seeping from his wound for the rest of his life.

Poor Babu has been very brave throughout what he has had to go through - the accident that left him unable to move freely, the surgeries, the distemper that drained him of his health - and we hope this is the last round of surgery he needs to go through. We want more than anything for him to live out his days free of pain, illness, and time spent in surgeries and clinics.


Babu has just undergone a surgery to remove the steel plate from his leg. He is awake and doing well. He will be under close observation and warded for the next few days before he is discharged. His surgery is estimated to cost $2000. Please buy our HOPE 2013 calendars, which features Babu and help fund his hopefully final hurdle to good health!

Babu featured in our HOPE 2013 Calendar

Written by Lin Yanqin


One Life To Live

Just a few days back, I had mentioned to my team of dedicated volunteers that we are owing an extremely scary amount in vet bills. There is no choice but for us to slow down in our rescue work and we will not able to rescue anymore dogs for the next couple of months.

I have often been told that we live a hand to mouth existence, but how else do we live when people constantly call us for help? Not wanting to bite off more than we can chew, we often ask them to try saving the dog on their own. We advise them to raise funds to pay vet bills, find the dog boarding and then rehome the dog in their own capacity. Sometimes they heed our advice but other times, the injuries are so horrific that only a seasoned rescuer would dare to touch or catch the injured dog. 

On the verge of bankruptcy and having just declared to slow down our work, a lady called to ask for help with a badly injured dog. 

“His head is tilted to one side, blood is dripping and maggots are dropping out from his ears!” 

What's left of Scotty's ear after maggots feasted on it

Would you say “sorry we can’t help him because we owe too much in vet bills?” I always believe things happen for a reason and if this injured dog appeared in front of her, he must be appealing to her for help. So I threw caution to the wind and told her to take the dog to the vet. 

When I saw him, my heart broke and tears welled in my eyes. No matter how many times I have seen injured dogs . . . . it never gets any easier or less painful. No matter how much cruelty I witness, I’ll never understand how human beings can be so damn cruel. How can a person bear to see an animal suffer! This injury was just one of the dog's many sufferings in his 10 years of living. I thank God that this would be the last time he suffers. 

His ear was puffy but I was in for a shock when they flipped his ear open

A horrific sight

I can’t even explain in words how painful and horrifying his wound was. He was old, at least 10. He was bleeding; in pain; weak; emaciated; and maggots were falling off his ears and body as he struggled to walk. His frail body had to undertake and fight all that was happening to him. As I tried to imagine the cruelty he’s known, it was just too much to bear. No normal human would subject a living creature to this kind of abuse, cruelty and torture but yet feel he had not done nothing wrong. 

The moment the dog arrived at the clinic, he collapsed onto the floor and was then immediately sedated to have his wounds treated. He was a sweet old spotted dog. Despite having been abused for 10 years of his life, he was still trusting and good natured. I named him Scotty. (Phoebe’s story below would elaborate more on his abuse for the past 10 years.) 

Too weak to stand
The photographs don’t do him justice, neither does my story. I can't express his pain and suffering, nor how he had tolerated the abuse for 10 years and then bearing with this painful injury for at least 3 weeks. There are also no words to describe his immeasurable strength and willpower to survive, to hope and find better days . . . . . had it been me, I would have caved in. I know I often say I have never seen such bad injuries but it just seems to get worse with every rescue. Scotty’s ear was almost torn off. It could possibly have been a dog bite on his left ear and left untreated, it became maggot infested. The maggots had eaten most of his ear, burrowed into half of his head, ate through his flesh and came out at his shoulders. He also had a deep hole on his back, filled with maggots too. Needless to say, he had lost his hearing in his left ear. 

Maggot holes - they had burrowed deep into his flesh
Deep maggot wound on his back

Wound on his back - not sure what had caused it

Some of the maggots from Scotty
Scotty lay exhausted on the floor as the vet technicians plucked the fat maggots from the deep holes on his body. Then I saw this yellow piece of thing in his ear and asked what that was. When the vet told me it was his ear cartilage, I almost blacked out. Imagine how much of his ear that the maggots had eaten, for his ear cartilage to be revealed! 

Never ever seen anything as terrible as this

My first thought was to put him down and free him from his suffering . . . . but that was just a fleeting thought. The fact that he had suffered all his life and now finally found help and freedom, how could I deny him of that one chance to find the love and happiness that he never ever experienced? I asked Dr Teo to then do a blood test before I made a decision. Apart from severe malnutrition, test results showed he was anemic from severe blood loss, his kidneys were not functioning well and he had heartworm. Dr Teo did say his life was at risk because of the severity of his injury, his heartworm and the fact that he was old and weak. He might not pull through the next few days but I decided that even if he didn’t pull through, at least he didn’t die alone. And more importantly, he didn’t die in that horrible place that he came from. 

Fighting hard for his life
I told Dr Teo that we would give Scotty till Sunday before we made any further decisions but deep down in my heart, I know he is like Matthieu, Benjamin, Fudge, Jaspar, and Molly. They are street dogs that only know one word – survival. And when Scotty finally pulls through and survives, we will start mending his broken heart.
Below is Phoebe’s story on how she met Scotty and I thank her for saving his life.

Story and photos by: Fiona Foo

On a fateful evening during my routine visit to a boarding kennel, I chanced upon a frail and skinny looking dog roaming aimlessly with his head awkwardly tilted to the left, looking distressed and lost, as if looking for something. I did not go near as I wasn’t sure of his temperament. He just kept on walking, dragging himself with every step. Every move and position just seemed to cause him a lot of pain and agony.

On a closer look, I recognized him - he belongs to the nearby fish farm. I found out they only let it out for a walk since most of the time he is caged up. And that was the first time, after more than 4 years (!) that I see the dog out of its compound. Over the night, I couldn’t sleep just thinking about the dog. Suspecting that something was amiss, the next evening I went down again. It was the same scene, the dog was again wandering aimlessly, but this time he slowly walked up to me with an agonizing look in his eyes…. perhaps deep down in his heart, he was hoping I could help him. Even though all these time, the humans around him did not treat him right but when we met, he must have felt a ray of hope and I could just feel it crying out to me, “please help me”…

His home for 10 years

I was appalled at what I saw next. His left ear was all puffed up, swollen and oozing blood, nothing I’ve seen before, and drops of blood was dripping from the ear with every step he took. My heart sank. He smelt repulsive and there was a stench. I suspected maggots but wasn’t sure. I was desperate. I needed to act fast before he moved away. Right at that moment the worker from the fish farm came over with a leash and wanted to bring him back. I seized the opportunity and immediately took over from him without thinking of the consequences. I walked the dog over to the kennel which is nearby and asked the owner for help. We put on the muzzle in case he snapped at us.

None of us could provide the proper treatment so we tried flushing the wound with solution to ease his discomfort. The maggots just started falling out one after another and blood trickled down his face. Most of its ear had been eaten away and we saw the raw and rotten flesh. It was simply too disturbing to see.

A body riddled with maggot wounds and wrecked with sufferings
The dog was very tough and did not put up a struggle throughout the whole process, as I believe it knew we were trying to help him. Running through my mind was how did a dog with an owner and a shelter over its head end up this way? It is such an obvious wound and the owner can just feign ignorance? What had it done to deserve this? Sadly, after treating him, off he goes, back to the rusty, cramp and filthy cage at the fish farm and constantly being swarmed by countless mosquitoes flying around attacking him every single day. It’s a horrendous living condition for a dog, and to think that he has been kept there for 10 years. I can’t imagine the kind of suffering he went through. It is so so very heart-breaking.

As I left the place, my heart felt really heavy. The dog did not deserve to be in this state. If he has been holding on for so long it only means he has the will to live. I know I had to do something. Hope Dog Rescue came to my mind and that same night I quickly sat down and wrote them an email requesting for help. Thankfully they contacted me the next evening as I was on my way to visit the dog again. I told myself I had to check on its condition and make sure it gets sent to the vet to be treated. Since he came to me to save it, it’s inhuman if I just left it as it is. Without delay, I approached the fish farm owner explaining that it is critical for the dog to receive treatment or else it will die from the wound and maggots infestation. He still did not realize the severity of it. After much convincing, he finally relented and allowed me to arrange for a visit to the vet the next day.

Before going to the vet

As the dog did not have a name, we named him Scotty. Just imagine, nameless for 10 years! The dog obviously means nothing to the owner. It was just a guard dog to him. A life that is worth nothing to him.

It was only at the vet that we realized how badly wounded he was and full of ticks as well. A very very sorry state, all thanks to the owner’s negligence. And I was told the dog never had a bath before, only sprayed with water to rinse occasionally.

Owner dragging a very weak Scotty to the vet after much persuasion from us
The vet’s report stated severe heartworm condition. At this age there is a slim chance that he will make it through the heartworm treatment. But it’s a gamble that we want to take. He has suffered and wasted 10 years of his life, he does not have another 10 years. Let Scotty feel the true love and warmth if he does get to live on for a few more weeks, or hopefully years, if he does pull through the treatment. A dog’s life is just as precious as any other living creature on earth.

Scotty is now warded at the vet. His fate is unknown. Once again, we need kind souls who will step out to help another of our canine friend with the medical costs. Scotty has suffered many years of mistreatment. But now, he has a glimmer of hope of being treated right… and loved. That is the life that he deserves.

A whole lifetime of suffering showing on his world-weary face
 Note: The case has been reported to SPCA and they were very prompt and efficient in collecting the evidence to carry out the necessary investigations.

Story by: Phoebe Lim


Kembangan-Chai Chee Pets' Carnival 2012

Come meet us and and some of our beloved rescued dogs Gorgeous, Emma, Gabriel, and Ashley at the Kembangan-Chai Chee Pets' Carnival this Sunday. We'll be there to talk to anyone who wants to know more about our work and our dogs, and we would love to meet all our dear friends and supporters who have stood by us, believing in the work we do.

The organizers have informed us that there will be no sale of merchandise at this event, thus this event will be purely an adoption drive as well as to share our work with the public.

There is also a carnival with games and snack stalls to entertain the kids while animal welfare organizations and various government agencies involved in pet issues will be present to answer your concerns and questions about pet ownership.

Dog owners can also enter their dogs in contests such as Fastest Eater, Fastest Runner and Fancy Dress.

Date: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Time: 2pm to 4pm
Venue: Interim Park (bound by Lengkong Tujoh, Jln Selamat, Lengkong Empat and Lengkong Enam)
Address: 5 Lengkong Tiga, Singapore 417408
Map Link: http://www.pa-nc.com.sg/whats-up/locations/interim-park-bound-by-lengkong-tujoh-jln-selamat-lengkong-empat-and-lengkong-enam/

It's an outdoors event, so check the weather, and don't forget to bring your dogs along!

Find out more about the event here: http://www.pa-nc.com.sg/whats-up/kembangan-chai-cheepets-carnival/

Dogs for Adoption:
Name : Gorgeous
4 months old
Local Breed, her siblings have died from a virus but she is in good health. Full medical check by Vet.
Name : Gabriel
8 years old
Breed : Miniature Schnauzer (abandoned)
Sweet natured, craves love.
Name : Emma
5 years old
Breed : Miniature Schnauzer (rescued from a breeder)
Name : Happy
10 months old
Breed : Local Breed (loves playing)
Name : Sparky
1 year and 8 months old
Breed : Local breed (rescued from construction site. Completed Basic Obedience Course)
Name : MoMo
1 year 8 months old
Breed : Local Breed (intelligent and agile)
Very small local dog, HDB approved.

Name : Ashley
5 years old
Breed : Ministure Schnauzer (rescued from SPCA)


The Fishing Dog

Terry and his friends were fishing on what started out as a normal day, but turned out to be something else entirely. A few hours after they arrived, Terry caught sight of an injured dog nearby. The tiny dog had a huge, gaping wound that covered almost the top of her entire head. He got worried, and lost the mood to fish. Immediately, Terry told his friends that they had to give the dog the help she clearly needed.

This is little Sasha

Look what the big dogs did to her

The wound covered her entire head and neck
To his dismay, the dog had wandered out of their sight. Though it was already late in the evening, Terry was determined to wait for her to reappear. However, despite searching till well past midnight, Terry couldn't find the dog again. He didn't give up. When he got home, he wrote to us for help. Our volunteer Iris responded, and guided him on what he could do, how he could catch the dog and recommended vets to him. Iris recommended two local dog catchers to Terry, and HOPE also offered to pay the vet bill once the dog has been treated.
The thought of the poor little dog wandering the area on her own, with such a horrific injury, was just too much to bear. From experience, we know that stray dogs seldom get the nutrition or rest needed to heal such injuries. Their wounds would only get bigger, deeper, and more infected with bacteria and maggots over time, until eventually, it kills them. Both Terry and us knew that doing nothing to help this dog would have been letting her die.
So the next day, kind Terry and his friends went down to the same spot at noon. Terry waited for the entire day once more, and stayed even after all his friends had left. To help him catch the injured dog, Terry had called Raj, a professional dog catcher who arrived just after midnight. It was just in time, as the dog reappeared less than a meter away. However, Raj didn't have a dog carrier and suggested that he use netting to catch the dog instead andTerry agreed. He asked Raj to act immediately, as he had already waited over 12 hours for two consecutive days, and the dog really required immediate medical attention.
However, Raj refused, saying that the dog was too smelly (due to the huge maggot-infested wound on her head) and that he needed a mask. Despite Terry's frantic urging, Raj strolled over to his van to get the masks. While this was happening, the dog got up and disappeared into a forested area yet again, to Terry's dismay. Terry was obviously frustrated and quite upset, but Raj assured him that the dog would reappear. Together, they then waited another two hours, but unfortunately, she was nowhere to be found. They called it a day, and Terry reluctantly paid Raj $80 for his time. It was to be another sleepless night, fraught with thoughts of the disturbingly huge wound, too large for the tiny dog's fragile body.

In the morning of the third day, HOPE informed the clinic and our volunteers to be on standby to receive the injured dog. Terry was determined to get the dog this time and headed to the same spot at noon. He called a different dog catcher, Damy. At about 730pm, the dog reappeared. She was very hungry, and was lured out by the smell of food. Finally, Damy managed to catch her, and she was rushed to Mount Pleasant Bedok. Our volunteers were there to meet Terry and the injured dog, whom he had named Sasha. 
Removing hundreds of maggots from her wound

Some of the maggots from her wound

Sasha cried a little but was otherwise a very brave girl 

The maggot wounds were really deep as they had burrowed in

We really have to commend Terry for his patience and persistence in wanting to help a stray dog. Despite waiting several days with only a few discouraging glimpses of the injured dog, Terry never gave up. Very few people are as kind as he is, and it's because of his persistence that he managed to save the dog in the end.

Sweet little Sasha

After her wound was cleaned

Enjoying her first decent meal

Resting at Mount Pleasant Bedok 

Worried about her future
Thankfully, Sasha is otherwise in good health despite her massive wound. The maggots have been removed, her wound has been cleaned and she will be staying at the vet for a week while her injury heals. HOPE will be footing her vet bill. Sasha is very young, less than a year old, and long coated. She is really sweet and enjoys being patted and touched. We think she was most likely attacked by bigger and fiercer dogs, so we really hope to find her a home off the streets, where she can be safe from such attacks. If you or anyone you know is interested in fostering / adopting her, please email fiona@hopedogrescue.org

Written by Elena Lin


Meet Benjamin and Matthieu This Sunday

Come down and meet our brave survivors this Sunday and make them smile.
Both Benjamin and Matthieu  are still warded at The Animal Doctors.
Benjamin is due for discharge but sadly, he has nowhere to go. He can’t be returned to the construction site for fear of being attacked again. He can’t go to the kennels either as his wound is still slightly wet and we are concerned of a further infection. We have spent more than $5000 treating him and hope he finds a foster soon so we can save the funds for our other rescue dogs. Furthermore, Benjamin is terrified of being out in the open and would benefit from being in a home environment where he feels safe with a patient foster who will teach him love, confidence and trust.


Will anyone come forth to offer to foster Benjamin? Come by and meet handsome Benjamin.

Date  :  18 Nov (Sunday)
Time  :  2pm to 3.30pm
Venue  :  The Animal Doctors Pte Ltd. Block 108, Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4, # 01- 94, S (560108). We will be outside of the clinic so as not to crowd the clinic’s entrance and disrupt their operations.

Matthieu has been very depressed in the cage. He has had one acupuncture and two massage sessions but we have been told that it might take months before we even see any improvement.  Time is not on his side, his muscles have deteriorated. He has lost quite a bit of weight although he eats well. Both Benjamin and Matthieu are blessed as our volunteers take turns to provide them with nutritious meals twice a day.
Supporting Matthieu

Today we decided to take Matthieu out to get some sun and fresh air. Initially he was a little anxious being out in the open as this was his first time out, since his rescue, but after a while, his eyes lit up and we lay him on the pavement to just enjoy the grass and to watch the world go by. It was the first time we have seen him smile!

Matthieu can no longer use his hind legs

Happy to be out in the sun!

Would you like to meet sweet Matthieu and Benjamin? Come down and meet them this Sunday. Our volunteers will be down to spend their Sunday with the boys and we hope to see you then!

HOPE 2013 calendars will also be on sale inside The Animal Doctors.