Pet Abandonment Is A Crime

We received an email this afternoon about a dog tied to a bench in Woodlands. It was near a jogging track, which was not really visible from the main road. Had the person not paid attention, the dog might still be tied to the bench.

Message we received via email

It was during office hours so none of the Hope Dog Rescue volunteers could go down but we posted the message on Facebook and a few hours later, some of our Facebook readers had gone down to search for the dog.

Khommi was the first to arrive, despite the rain.

The dog was tied on a very short frayed leash. He was terrified, cold, wet and hungry. Khommi tried to untie his leash from the bench but he tried snapping at her a few times. He wasn’t aggressive at all, just terribly fearful of the shocking situation he was in all of a sudden. After an hour or so, she managed to remove his leash from the bench. She then fed him with food and water, while waiting for our volunteers to arrive on the scene.

Look at the fear and worry on his face

Sadness on a frayed leash

In the meantime, our team members were frantically trying to arrange and coordinate pet transport, book a kennel space etc. Each time there is a rescue, the entire team will be mobilized as a lot of coordinating goes into one single rescue. And even more so, if the dog is injured and needs to be rushed to a vet.

The person who had spotted the dog mentioned she had seen him at 9am. We suspect he could have been tied to the bench either the night before or in the wee hours of darkness, without anyone noticing. His owner was most likely a man because while we were waiting for the pet transport to arrive, he would try to drag himself to male joggers who ran by. He didn’t have that same reaction with women.

He was found behind this slope

What a huge park. Thank goodness we found him.

Looking out for his owner and still hoping

His leash was terribly frayed so we looped our blue leash over him, lest we ran the risk of losing him after all that trouble we had gone through. He is rather thin, not microchipped and not sterilized. Looks to be about a year or two.

Look at  his frayed leash

Wet from being drenched in the rain all day long

A slightly happier dog

We have taken him to the vet for a full medical checkup and he will be microchipped and sterilized if he is fit and healthy. We will carry out all our usual blood works, as well as test him for distemper and parvo virus.

Hoping his frowns would go away soon

He will be staying at the boarding kennels temporarily till we find him a foster / adopter. Kennel life is not a life, so if you can help, even just a garden space, please step up and offer your help.

Isn't he handsome?

With each rescue, its not just the saving but what follows after that is tedious and extremely time consuming. We will have to rehabilitate him, if need be, and observe his temperament then rehome him. This entire process can take anything from a month to a whole year, which means many volunteer hours and money spent.

If you need to give up your dog because of whatever circumstances you’re faced with, do the responsible thing and surrender your dog to an animal shelter or animal welfare group. There are so many animal welfare groups in Singapore these days and many would be more than willing to help. Even if they are overflowing with dogs, like us, we are sure they would still provide advice and point you in the right direction to help your dog. We can’t guarantee you wouldn’t get any flak or be judged; that’s inevitable but at least you did the right thing by seeking help and not abandoning your friend.

Please take him home

To foster or adopt this Woodlands dog, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg 


Are YOU Coming To Our Party?

Have you booked your tickets to Singapore’s inaugural wine and dine night at Fabrika on 7th September? Located on the 17th floor of klapsons, The Boutique Hotel, Party With HOPE is the first event created specially for pet lovers all across Singapore to indulge in fine food along with friends, family and their fur babies in a chichi hotel bar! And a breathtaking scenery to boot!

Have you booked your tickets?

What’s more, it’s all for a good cause. Ticket sales will go towards paying vet bills and saving the lives of many more neglected, abandoned pets and injured street dogs.
We have limited spaces left (only open to 100 humans, and 60 dogs) so hurry book your tickets and spend some quality time with your fur babies, network with fellow animal-loving comrades, and just chill out and have fun on a relaxing Saturday night!
Tickets are priced at $55 for one person and one dog, and each ticket includes one drink, pasta of your choice, and one doggie chow. Yums! Even if you don’t have a pet dog but you love animals as much as we do, join us for the night too and we guarantee you’ll have fun!

Read more about the event here and visit our event page here
See you on 7th September to dine, wine, and woof together!
To register, please email us with the details below:                                      
Mobile Number:
Payment Mode: DBS Fund transfer OR Cheque ________________
Ticket Collection: On day of the event / Maxwell Road
Bringing a dog: Yes / No
Breed of dog (in order for us to determine size and prevent overcrowding): 
*Should you have more than one name to register, please include all the individual names and breeds of dogs attending.  
To register for this inaugural event, please send the above details to partywithhope@gmail.com

* Hurry! Only 20 tickets left for this inaugural event.


Bring Your Dogs Down To Meet Us This Sunday!

Remember the Bukit Batok strays and the pups we rescued? 
Since then, the puppies have been successfully re-homed and we have been working with the Bukit Batok Town Council to help sterilize the remaining dogs, hopefully making a difference in controlling the number of strays in that area. We have also provided advice and guidance in how to address the stray issue with the public. However, there are still many strays left in that area that we’re trying to help too.

Bukit Batok Town Council is organizing Save Our Strays, an event that is meant to bring awareness of street dogs and also educate the public about them. Many people have the misconception that street dogs are ‘fierce’ or ‘ferocious’ and we hope that this event can teach the public about how dogs and humans can live side by side peacefully. After all, a dog is man’s best friend. So do come down to the event on Sunday, 25 August 2013, from 3.30-6.30pm. Don't forget to bring your furry friends and join the Six-Legged Walk, where we march together to show unity between man and canine. Participation is free and the first 100 early bird supporters in the walk will receive an attractive goodie bag!
You can also purchase tickets to our “Party With Hope” event at Klapsons Hotel on that day too.

Also come on down to say hi to dear Cooper and Oscar! Dogs are allowed so why not bring your own furry pals along with you?


Imagine Not Being Able To Sit For Half A Year!

Meet Timothy. He has just undergone a surgery to tuck in his prolapsed rectum. As we would very much like to be able to keep Timothy at the vet for another two weeks for observation and after-surgery care, we are appealing to you, our readers, for help in footing Timothy's surgery and hospitalization bill. Please email alicia@hopedogrescue.org should you wish to make a contribution.

Meet Timothy!

"Please help me."

Timothy is a fighter, but he has gone through so much pain for such a long time. It's a miracle that he still remains so optimistic and sweet. He is extremely friendly and lovable, and has a never-ending supply of patience when being treated, even without sedation or anesthesia.

The following story was contributed by the lady who first saw him. She was the one who saved him, and didn't give up on him despite their ongoing troubles over a large part of the year. HOPE had initially wanted to slow down operations as we are, once again, low on funds with 13 dogs to rehome. But the lady's determination and perseverance, as well as the dog's courage and will to survive, was truly inspiring. We decided that we would do all that we could to help.
Sweet timothy has lovely eyes and cute little ears.
He has white fur on his muzzle but the Vet estimates him to be about 4 to 5 years old.
The lady first saw him on a golf course in Dec 2012. She works in office support at the club and doesn't have a lot of spare cash, but she saw how skinny the dog was and noticed that he was dripping blood, so she rushed out to help. It has been more than 6 months of vets, kennels and farms, and she has spent thousands on helping the poor dog recover. Despite her good intentions, however, things have just gotten from bad to worse. The dog has been suffering from rectal prolapse (http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/digestive/c_multi_rectal_prolapse#.Ug3uapKw18E) and the doctor says that it's the worst case they've ever seen.

Look at his anus protruding.

It was maggot infested.

Her account
Timothy was first spotted lingering along the corridor of our golf club, in the upstairs corridor, by my cleaning supervisor in late December 2012. Timothy's anus had one big portion jutting out with blood dripping along when he moved around. He was very skinny and hungry. Immediately I gave him some dog food. He ate very very quickly and was very obedient. I tied him to a corner in the toilet corridor. But unfortunately, my general manager saw him and told me to call SPCA to take him away. I knew that once SPCA took him, he would die. So, secretly, I called a commercial boarding kennel for help. I put him in the kennel first, then arranged to send him to see a vet.

Timothy was dripping blood and poo.
He went to a vet in Jurong on 3 Jan 2013. He had rectal prolapse. His anus had come out, caused by long term diarrhea and straining when pooping. It was the start of a long string of visits. He was in and out of the vet clinic since then. 16 Jan, 28 Jan, 29 Jan, 3 Feb, and 21 Mar, again and again. It had already been four months. He was still not okay.

The boarding kennel staff complained to me that in one day, they had to wash the place 20 times, whenever Timothy pooped a bit here and there. But I kept paying them extra and persuading them to help to accommodate Timothy at the boarding kennel, as my workplace was exposed to open air and not suitable for Timothy. The trees attracted flies, which would make his condition worse.

Then the bad news came. The vet at the Jurong clinic gave up, and said that he could no longer help any more. He asked me to bring him to another vet. Again, he went to the vet on 17 Apr, 20 Apr, 24 Apr and 7 May. Then the head vet suggested that we conduct an ultrasound scan. After he did the ultrasound scan, he gave Timothy a strict diet. He was to take just one yogurt serving, one egg, one tofu and some rice. We tried the diet at the boarding kennel, but it didn't work. He still strained to poo and the blood came out again. I was very sad.

Finally, in end July, I was able to get a contractor to construct a small kennel to accommodate Timothy. On 5 Aug, I brought Timothy back to the newly built dog kennel. But it didn't help. He still continued to strain whenever he pooped. The worst thing was that our garden had flies. Maggots started getting into his prolapsed rectum. More and more maggots went into his anus, and eventually I had to rush him to the vet at Mt Pleasant where he has been staying until now. Someone told me to contact HOPE and I called Lisa.

He's eating very well, but is still skinny. His body isn't absorbing nutrients.
HOPE's story
We were hesitant to take over the case. A case is not as simple as just footing the vet bill and providing advice, it's also about worrying for the dog’s future and making sure that he will be safe for the rest of his life. We have to take charge of everything, from post-surgery aftercare to seeing through the fostering and adoption processes. With our increasingly limited funds and the other 13 dogs for which we have yet to find homes, we had our hands full. But we just couldn't turn down this case as the poor dog had already been suffering since December last year! Both the lady and the dog had already faced so many difficulties; we didn't want to be another dead end for them. We didn't want their stoic optimism to falter. We had to help.
The day after his surgery.

Can you see his surgical scars?

His stitches up close
We didn't want to prolong his pain and suffering due to the lack of funds. We felt that he deserved the surgery as he has hung on for such a long time, waiting for help and never giving up. The least we could do for him is to give him a fighting chance. As Timothy's condition was severe, the vet needed to operate to suture his rectum back into its proper place inside his body. The surgery cost a hefty $4,000 that we could barely afford, and we really hope it helps. Timothy's case is the worst that the vet had ever seen, and they advised us that there is a possibility that Timothy may suffer a relapse (his rectum might fall out again, despite the surgery) but we are keeping our fingers crossed that it doesn't happen. Otherwise, we'll just cross that bridge when we get to it.

No longer in pain!

This is the first time that he's been able to sit in more than 6 months.

Timothy loves humans, and he loves being patted.

It also appears that his body is unable to absorb nutrients because he remains a bag of bones, although he is eating very well. We suspect that he may have cancer. The vet had collected tissue samples for testing from the small and large intestine during Timothy's surgery, and we're waiting for the test results to come back. We're hoping for good news. The most heartening thing in all of this is that his results from basic blood tests for heart-worm and tick fever, and tests for kidney and liver functions, all came back normal.

He's still skin and bones, despite eating well.

We would really appreciate any help with the following:

- Vet bills. Please help us pay for Timothy's surgery and hospital stay.
- Fostering. If anyone is able to foster Timothy after he is discharged, we would be eternally grateful. A fosterer would have to help Timothy with recovery and ensuring that he receives the adequate post-surgery aftercare.
- Adoption. The best thing for Timothy would be to have a stable, loving home for the rest of his life. The doctor estimates him to be about 4 or 5. He has been dirty and in pain all his life, but he is incredibly sweet and so grateful to be saved. We'd like for him to have a chance at a comfortable life, and it would be amazing if he could finally have a real home.

Please email Alicia@hopedogrescue.org if you are able to help. Also, please help to share Timothy's story to increase his chances of finding a home!

Written by Elena Lin


Matthieu Needs A Home (5th Update)

It has been about 9 months since Matthieu was discharged and found a temporary home at Bee Yan's. In these 9 months, Matthieu has learnt what it is like to be loved and taken care of and not to have to worry about going hungry or finding shelter when it rains.

Matthieu and his wheelchair, which he dreads!

Few of us at HOPE visit Matthieu regularly to help exercise him and bathe him weekly. While he is still apprehensive about the water hose, Matthieu loves the lathering and massaging. He also enjoys basking in the sun after his bath and will doze off while we chatter away. HOPE volunteers also take turns to prepare home-cooked meals for this dear boy. A while back, Matthieu developed a system with Bee Yan's helper, Sharon, when it comes to his toilet habits. He will 'howl-talk' after he has peed or poo-ed and when Sharon asks him (through the window) what is wrong, he will 'howl-talk' more, and Sharon will know that he has relieved himself and come clear the mess. Matthieu lives in the front porch. Matthieu has made friends with Kiwi, Bee Yan's lovely 3-legged dog and will sometimes spend time by the front gate together, watching the world go past. He has also been verbalizing his excitement when we come visit, always greeting us with howls and 
big grin on his face:)

Matthieu and his merry women! One to fan away the flies and the other to scratch his head!

Two kind animal lovers, Ethan and Emily, read about Matthieu’s plight on HOPE's blog and contacted us to ask what they could do to help. As Matthieu needs help with supporting his lower torso / hind legs while being encouraged to walk, Emily ordered a walkabout belly from the States for us to help support him while exercising, while Ethan read about a canine wheelchair company in Thailand and decided to sponsor Matthieu's customized wheelchair. He went down to take Matthieu’s measurements, ordered the wheelchair and with the help of his sister, brought the wheelchair to Singapore from Thailand. Matthieu is still getting used to the wheelchair and needs to be encouraged to move with us using a water hose to spray the floor near him, making him move away from the water.

Since his rescue till now, everyone has been working hard to help Matthieu regain muscle tone in his hind legs. Matthieu requires many hydrotherapy sessions to build up his muscles and 
as of last week, has undergone more than 40 sessions on a twice weekly basis at Canine Wellness and Rehab Centre. With the aid of a life jacket and neck float, and under the guidance of Lynn, the hydro therapist, Matthieu swims for a good 45 minutes with breaks in between. It was so lovely and heartening for us to see Matthieu paddling hard with his front legs while Lynn exercised his hind legs at the same time. He definitely enjoyed the weightless feeling and could stand on all fours easily when in the water. We hope with regular hydrotherapy, Matthieu will regain more use of his hind legs. In fact, he has been using his right hind leg a lot more in recent months.

Lynn and Matthieu

These sessions don’t come cheap but we refuse to give up on Matthieu and we’re determined to have him walk one day! On the average, each hydro therapy session costs us $110, inclusive of two way transport.

Matthieu waiting for his hydro therapy session to start
While Matthieu is doing well emotionally, we have concerns about his health. It has been more than two months since Matthieu’s treatments but his urine still contains blood, sometimes seemingly fresh blood. Since the last update, we have brought Matthieu to the vet a few times, during which he has had an x-ray, biopsy and ultrasound done. The ultrasound results showed irregular bladder lining which can indicate possible clots, formation of crystals or even a tumour as the bladder wall is thicker than normal. The other organs look fine. The vet was concerned as the clots in his urine were not typical in Urinary Tract Infection (which he was initially treated for) patients. For a more conclusive result, we decided to have a biopsy done where the vet would explore his bladder, check for stones, flush and take a tissue sample to check if it's cancerous or the thickening of the wall is due to inflammation of the bladder. Urine culture and sensitivity tests will also be performed.

This is what Matthieu is peeing out

Matthieu recently had his biopsy stitches removed and the wound has healed beautifully. His biopsy results just came in from Australia. While the pathologist cannot see the presence of cancer cells, he did notice a large amount of bacteria embedded in the tissues. There are a lot of dead tissue cells possibly caused from inflammation and infection of the bladder. The vet suspected that Matthieu had scars in his bladder. During the biopsy operation, the vet noticed the surface of the bladder was filled with yellow pus as a result of the tissues of the bladder wall getting destroyed. 

Please pray for our dear old Matthieu who has already gone through so much, that the bacteria in his bladder can be treated without causing any negative side effects, that he will regain use of his hind legs and that he will find a forever home soon.

Special thanks to Bee Yan and family, and Sharon who have been so patient, kind and loving to Matthieu, offering him a temporary home and taking time to help with exercising him and cleaning him.

Irresistibly handsome

All the volunteers who continue to visit Matthieu and cook for him since his stay at the vet till today, and everyone who has helped or contributed in one way or another.

Matthieu needs help with :
1)   Diapers (Mamy Poko children’s brand, XXXL) as it is cheaper than pet diapers
2)   Lots of pee pads
3)   Lots of old towels and newspapers as we use this to line the floor
4)   Sponsor his hydrotherapy session (each session is $110 which includes therapy and 2 way transport with one volunteer going along to accompany Matthieu)
5)   His upcoming vet visit and he is still peeing blood after 7 mths, despite all the tests and biopsies done

Most of all, Matthieu needs someone to adopt him in his finals years. Perhaps with a home to call his own, all his worries and health issues would disappear like magic.

To help Matthieu in any way, please email alicia@hopedogrescue.org


A Tiny Life Lost

One evening, we received a call from a stray feeder about two black puppies that she found at a forested area. She told us that the puppies were covered with worms, and that they were currently at her house. Even after a long day of animal-related activities, we decided to drop by to see what we could do. Nothing could prepare us mentally for what we were about to encounter.
The rescuer had separated the rescued pups in a room, away from her dogs in case they had any infectious diseases. Upon entering of the room, the frightened 2 month old puppies were hiding under the bed. When the rescuer pulled one of them out, what hit us was most disturbing and upsetting. At that point, I closed my eyes and willed myself not to throw up. I could see the other volunteers’ faces turn pale and choke with hurt and pity for the little pup. Till today, the image of it all is still fresh in my mind, and I feel pain physically and cringe even thinking about it.
A huge deep wound on the tiny pup

Wound on the puppy's back

The poor black puppy had a palm-sized hole on its back, revealing its flesh, and hundreds of tiny worms were wriggling in and out. The hole was so big and deep, I could not bring myself to imagine the degree of pain the tiny pup was experiencing. She was shivering terribly from agony, and salivating badly – an indication that her body was surging with extreme pain. Septicemia had set in.

The other puppy had a small wound and could be treated without going to the vet as it was emergency hours and the rates were expensive.
Salivating badly

Worms and insects crawling all over her face

Worms and insects were crawling in and out of the pup through her big wound, as well as from her eyes, nose and mouth. I looked into her eyes and saw so much pain; I wanted to hug her and take it all away from her. She was suffering so much that she could not cry or whine. All she did was to stare into our eyes, pleading with us to help her. She was so small, so vulnerable; I felt sorry that she had to go through such extreme torture. She reminded us of baby Harper who was fortunate to be rescued before it was too late.
Imagine her pain and suffering

Worms all over her face

It was close to midnight when we rushed the little puppy to the vet. Worms and insects were crawling and falling out of the box that we had put her in. The car was full of tiny worms, it made our hair stand on end.
Worms were falling off her body
Poor puppy
After the vet had examined the poor puppy, it was recommended that we put her down as septic shock had set in and her chances of her survival was slim, given her tender age. Her wound could have been inflicted by a bigger dog, and possibly about a week old. The realities of rescue work, we can’t save every dog. And so with deep sadness, we said a prayer for her and let her go to the rainbow bridge.
Dear puppy, sorry that we could not save you

Had she not been found, she would have died a slow death in the forested area, prolonging her pain and suffering.
Stray dogs live a very hard life. They endure lots of suffering, abuse and eventually dying, totally unnoticed and not missed at all. No one had even noticed their existence.
Sometimes we wonder if it’s a better fate to leave this world earlier and not suffer as a stray, or to live a long life and suffer as a stray . . . .
HOPE receives many calls and emails on a daily basis but limited by funds, volunteers and fosters, we can only do what we can, within our means. Dogs that have been saved by us are truly blessed. For those that whose path we did not cross, we can only hope that we will be able to do more one day for them.
Attend our upcoming event, Party with HOPE and support the work we do. A lot of planning and preparation goes into an event so we hope to make it a huge success but we can’t do it without your presence so hurry and buy your tickets to our inaugural hotel event. Come down and say Hi to our volunteers who slog away endlessly for the doggies!