Saving A Tiny Soul

From womb to tomb, is it written in their fates that life, to them, is but a mere rainbow bridge that connects the heaven to the earth? Is their first puppy cry a celebration of life, or an ominous greeting by death? Is it by default that strays are destined to die from the time of their birth?
The past month has been an extremely hectic time for the HOPE Dog Rescue team. While we have welcomed three lovely stray puppies – Harper, Ben and Jerry – to the family, none of them came without a hint of pain or sufferings. Such is the life of a stray. And just a month ago, we were dealt with another piece of sad news of three injured puppies, of which two survived and one died.
Tricia - 2nd day after being rescued. Note the swollen cheek and ear wound
Diamond - 2nd day after being rescued. Note the ear and tail wound
Jan, an amazing animal rescuer, contacted us and told us that she found two black puppies at the northern part of Singapore. At the time of discovery, both puppies had gaping wounds on their bodies and were on the brink of death. Their listless bodies were wastelands for maggots and ants that were feeding and thriving on whatever that was left of them. Both puppies were slightly more than a month old.

Without a second thought, Jan cleansed the puppies and was almost convinced that both of them had died until she detected a slight movement by one of them. She named this miracle puppy, Diamond. Diamond’s sibling, however, didn’t make it and passed away at the scene. Jan couldn’t bear to forsake Diamond and so she brought him home to nurse him back to health.

Diamond's tail wound

Diamond's ear wound
A couple of days later, Jan spotted another dying puppy – possibly from the same litter – in a drain, not far from where she first found Diamond and his sibling. She, too, had a maggot-infested wound on her body that had to be treated as quickly as possible.  She took this little girl home, and named her Tricia.

Tricia's ear wound and swollen cheek

Her swollen cheek wound

 Diamond and Tricia’s Mummy was nowhere to be seen on both occasions. She might have abandoned her puppies, or she might have been killed when she was out in search of food. Such is the life of a stray – laced with danger and uncertainties. 

If not for Jan’s help, both Diamond and Tricia might have already perished with their mother and siblings. Today, the wounds on Diamond and Tricia have started to heal under Jan’s care but they would need a permanent home as soon as possible. Jan is a rescuer herself, and she already has her hands full taking care of other foster dogs and cats.
Diamond - 8th day after being rescued. The white part is healed and the raw parts are healing

Diamond - on the 3rd week after being rescued. Ear wound is free of maggots

Dead maggots removed from Tricia's cheek wound
Jan has written to a number of shelters to seek help but the shelters that she have contacted are either full at the moment or have not replied to her. As for us, we don’t even own a shelter and we are treading on thin ice with the number of rescue dogs that are currently boarded at fosters’ homes and partners’ places – pet shops, boarding homes, vet clinics and etc.

As much as we would love to offload some of her burden, all we can do now is to help spread the word.

We know that dogs and cats can potentially live with one other harmoniously, but it is really unrealistic to expect Jan to keep both puppies and care for other foster dogs and cats. That would be no small feat!



If you have been thinking of doing something meaningful this year, whether it is helping unfortunate people or animals, please consider adopting Tricia and/or Diamond.

Diamond and Tricia are expected to grow to medium-size and thus not HDB approved. They are still too young, and they may not survive in the wild if they are released back to the forest. If you can adopt them, please get in touch with Karen at 9620 9976.


There is only so much we can do as rescuers, but as a community, we can achieve a lot more than we do as a group. Your help will keep us going in the long run, and your help will give these animals a chance to live.

* This is not a HOPE Dog Rescue case. No funds are required. We are helping in the hope that the puppies will find permanent homes.

Written by Claire Chai for the two puppies.