More Than Just The Basics

All of us have a skeptical side in us. And I think it is good in a way because being a skeptic keeps us out of trouble most of the time.

While we have a good base of supporters, there are still many out there who are learning to build their trust in us. Some people are uncomfortable with us asking for help with vet bills; some are scornful of our policies for collecting adoption fees.
However, what they fail to realize is that rescue work is extremely exhaustive – physically, mentally, and monetarily. So what keeps us motivated, you may ask? It’s the roller-coaster ride you embark on with each rescue dog, from the moment you rescue them, to rehabilitating and supporting them, to finding loving homes for them, and to witnessing them grow into confident pet dogs surrounded by love and care from the families who have adopted them.

Lisa with Cooper (Cooper is available for adoption)
The happiest moments of rescue work is also one of the hardest parts of this process. Because this is when we have to say our goodbyes and goodbyes aren’t easy to bid. Although we are overjoyed that our dogs are in safe hands and are finally able to lead a normal, healthy life, saying goodbye is still a painful process our volunteers have to learn to cope with and to overcome.
Street dogs, on the other hand, are a lot harder to rehome. For one, they are not exquisite enough for dwellers of this material world; secondly, they need time and rehabilitating to adapt to a home environment. For these dogs, we often have to release them back to the streets after they have regained their health – see Fudge’s story.
Could we have done more for the dog? Definitely, provided we have all the funds in the world, or if we have a good piece of land like other rescue organizations, then why not? The truth is that we don’t. We have to rely on our partners / fosters, volunteers and supporters to help accommodate our rescue dogs at shelters, pet shops and homes. Even as we put our best efforts in every dog we rescue – regardless if we saved them ourselves or if they are given to us because they’ve been rejected by other rescue organizations – and emptying our pockets in the process, there comes a time for us to decide when to set them free, to make room for other needy dogs.
Talia is an example of a dog deemed unadoptable by our country’s biggest rescue organization, but have found a loving home through us.

Sherry with Emma the Schnauzer and Talia the Cocker Spaniel
The above-mentioned scenarios are just some of the fundamentals of rescue work. At HOPE Dog Rescue, we make it a point to ensure that some of our volunteers specialize in niche areas that could potentially benefit the dogs. For instance, Lisa is trained in Reiki healing and Sherry is trained in Animal Communication. “Reiki” is the transferring of universal energy in the form of qi (Japanese: ki) through the palms, which Reiki practitioners believe allows for self-healing and a state of equilibrium, healing the animals, while “Animal Communication” depends on using telepathy to communicate with animals.

These unique skill-sets have come in handy when we are out in the field on rescue missions, or to locate missing dogs. I know it may sound gimmicky to some of you, but if it has proven successes with people who practice them, there is no reason not to try it.

Need Animal Communication or Reiki for your pets? Sherry and Lisa can help!


If rescue work is a simple formula of assessing an animal’s age, breed and health condition, and imposing rigid timelines to determine whether or not a dog should live, it doesn’t do our society, supporters and most of all, our animals justice.

The irony is that large animal welfare organizations that we used to look up to as a child are the ones guilty of this. They’ve possibly passed the most number of death penalties not because they house the most number of animals, but because they run their association like a business.
Dogs that have little value to them are euthanized. Dogs that require more effort to rehabilitate are euthanized. Dogs with minor health issues that are treatable such as scabies are euthanized. Dogs that are senior to them are euthanized.
Why? Because to them euthanizing animals is the simplest, quickest and most cost-effective solution. And as a cover up, they use the same, old, overused excuse that these animals have been assessed by their medical team and are deemed unfit to live. Death is the solution to them.

People turn to us to extend help to these animals, not to euthanize them mindlessly over minor reasons. Supporters help us with vet bills because they believe their funds would go into saving these unfortunate dogs, so they get the chance to live healthily and happily again.

Rescue organizations are here to rescue, to provide aid, and not to issue death penalties. Rescue work isn’t just about doing the basics and raising funds publicly. Although funds (or rather affordability) do play a significant role in determining what we can or cannot do (there is no free meal in this world), it is only sustainable if it is driven by a team of passionate, committed and dedicated volunteers who believe in overcoming austerities to make the impossible possible.
To learn more about the work we do, refer to our interview with Pets Magazine clipped below. Lisa, Sherry, with our beloved rescue dogs, Cooper, Emma and Talia are featured in the interview.

Pets Magazine February and March 2013 issue
As I write this, Cooper is still waiting for a permanent home. Cooper is barely one-year old but has already undergone three hit-and-run accidents. The last accident crushed his hip bones, rendering his hind legs immobile. Today, thanks to the support from our volunteers and supporters, Cooper is able to walk normal after months of rehabilitation. Although Cooper can’t go jogging just yet, he is fit to go on long strolls. Activities such as swimming would definitely help with his full recovery.

If you would like to adopt Cooper, please email fiona@hopedogrescue.org  

Should you wish to engage the services of Sherry and Lisa, please feel free to contact us.
Written by Claire Chai
Thank you Pets Magazine for the feature.