Sandy was waiting for her friend at the lobby of an apartment when she noticed a dog sitting alone in a corner. Curious, she approached the dog. As she drew closer, the acrid stench of urine wafted towards her and she knew that something wasn't right. The smell grew stronger and more overwhelming, until Sandy was close enough to see that the little dog's fur was matted, covered with her own stools, and that her nails were way too long. She looked confused and hungry.
|When we found her|
Sandy immediately phoned her friend, who then brought some dog snacks for the starving animal. The dog quickly wolfed down the meagre meal without hesitation. Judging from how hungry and eager she was, it was definitely not enough. She had obviously been neglected for quite a while.
Indignant and concerned, Sandy approached the security guards for more details. She was told that the woman who used to take care of the dog had kicked her out of the house that morning. The management had knocked on her door a few times during the day, but she flatly refused to take the dog back. Bewildered by this unusual situation, Sandy pressed further. According to the security guards, that woman used to love this dog a lot but then rumours started going around that she had become mentally unsound. So when the poor, confused dog wandered around the apartment complex and did her business along the corridor, her owner actually threw some of that poo at a neighbour’s door. The guards only learnt about this after her neighbour called the cops.
The police arrived to investigate and take statements; the authorities were subsequently informed of this abandonment case, so Sandy decided to wait for them to arrive. Meanwhile, she lodged a case with the SPCA to file a report of neglect. SPCA replied that their inspector will drop by to check if the owner is able to provide adequate care for the dog. 1.5 hours of silence passed before Sandy made up her mind to attend to the poor dog on her own because she felt the dog required immediate care.
She contacted HOPE Dog Rescue, and left a copy of her IC with the management in case the owner or the authorities arrived with enquiries. With our advice, Sandy then rushed the dog to a vet. We named her Lucky. Lucky had a thorough medical check at the vet, and it was revealed that her eyes were cloudy and dry; hence they did not produce tears. Although this is a common problem in the breed, Lucky’s condition was likely exacerbated by prolonged periods of neglect. She now needs to be medicated with eye drops thrice daily, for the rest of her life. Poor Lucky is merely 2–3 years old, but has already been through so much.
|Just rescued and taken straight to the vet|
|This was what came out of the carrier|
|Imagine the stench and the poor dog's discomfort|
|She looked insane|
|Not being able to tell the front from the back|
When we brought her to the groomer, we were told that she had probably not been groomed for a year to have become so unkempt. Her urine and poo had matted and hardened in her fur, and she had to be shaved down. After the groomer was done, it was like a new dog had emerged! We could see that she felt lighter and happier without all the grime that had been stuck to her for so long.
|How could anyone possibly do this to a living creature|
|Her eyes were blurred from years of neglect|
|Years of poo had hardened and stuck to her fur making her look like she had an extra leg|
|How would you start grooming?|
|Look at how long her nails were - how did she manage to even walk|
|Years of poo stuck on her|
|Looking almost like a normal dog|
|It wasn't American Ginseng. It was a lot of fur from one little dog|
|Getting rid of her past and starting a fresh life|
As we could not find a foster, we boarded her at a pet shop. At first, Lucky was afraid and didn’t eat for 2 days despite her hunger. Gradually, she bloomed into a friendly and playful dog, and has learnt to trust humans again.
Although we feel very sorry for the neglect that Lucky has had to go through in her early years, we also feel sorry for the owner who had put Lucky through it all. Like Lucky, her owner may be in need of help. It’s possible that she is unable to even care for herself, let alone a dog.
Nobody deserves what’s happened to them. We would like to sincerely thank Sandy for being a kind and proactive citizen and caring for the wellbeing of another.
Note : Lucky has been adopted by Melissa and we thank her for loving Lucky the way she does and giving her the warmth, comfort and real life she deserves!
|As she is today, pretty and loved|
Story by Elena Lin. Photographs courtesy of Lisa Goh