Heartbreaking News About Baby Harper

Just when we thought things were looking up for Harper, we were hit with devastating news.

Harper on the way to the vet

Harper went for a CT scan today and the results were heartbreaking. The bone specialist told us that Harper was born with many deformities: The left side of her chest is larger than the right. Her left hind leg is shorter than the right hind, which makes her balancing harder than it already is. All of this, we knew.
What we didn’t know was how bad her spine was. Her spine is curved so badly you would think it might just snap! The doctor can only guess that when Harper was in her mommy’s womb, her mommy had either been exposed to toxins or had been hit hard enough to hurt the fetus in her.
Top view of Harper's spine, which should actually be straight!
We had sent Harper for a CT scan in the hope that we could find out if a spinal surgery would benefit Harper, and perhaps, help her walk. . . . but the news pierced into our hearts like daggers - a surgery would be very high risk and she may end up paralyzed.

Damage to the spinal cord can cause loss of voluntary muscle movement, muscle tone, muscle shrinkage, and loss of touch and pain sensations. This damage may be irreparable.

Harper has very little sensation on the lower part of her body. I watch how she tries to stand, loses her balance and knocks full force into furniture, she doesn’t feel the pain at all. Her spinal problem cannot be fixed, neither will the cells regenerate itself. This is devastating, especially when we thought she was on the road to recovery.
Still groggy from the GA

We were told, not only would she be unlikely to ever walk, she might one day just wake up paralyzed. In fact, the doctor predicted that within the next 4 to 6 mths, she would be hit with paralysis.

Shaved for her scan today


We have done so much for baby Harper and she has come a long way. Much as we find it extremely difficult to fathom what has been said, we knew from the start that she would always be a special puppy.
Having her first meal of the day after she got home. She needs her back harness to stand and eat.
(The harness is a normal front harness which we use for the rear)
We are all feeling down with this piece of sad news but we know we have to stay strong for baby Harper and the rest of our rescue dogs, who continue to hold faith and wait for the right families to come along for them.

As for baby Harper, all of 6 months, life has been a daily struggle. We will continue to give all our love, the best care we can provide and pray that a miracle will happen.
Sweet dreams Baby Harper
Harper continues to undergo twice weekly hydrotherapy sessions, while different volunteers take turns to walk her for half an hour every day after work, to continue to try building her muscles.But what Harper really needs right now is for a family to adopt her, someone with a garden as that is the only surface she is able to balance relatively well on. With a bigger space to move around in, we can then look into getting her a wheelchair of her own.

Have you bought a limited edition Harper – The Little Fighter tee? http://teefaction.com/hopeforharper We have 19 more shirts to go. Monies raised will be used to pay for her CT scan and her daily living.

Harper is also the cover girl of our HOPE 2014 calendar. If you have not placed your orders, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg


Timothy's Updates (Foster Needed Urgently)

He needs a home! He has to be out of the clinic in a week’s time. He has been caged for too long, is getting depressed and losing weight. He isn’t eating well either. It’s extremely unhealthy for poor Timothy.

Look how skinny poor Timothy is
It’s been almost a month since Timothy’s rectum surgery. We’re all glad to know that the surgery was successful! Timothy now seems comfortable and well-rested after the surgery, and doesn’t seem to be in pain.

After surgery, as good as new!

We have received the biopsy results from the vet and finally can put our minds at ease knowing that it’s not cancerous. However, this is a chronic condition and Timothy has to be on long term medication. Whatever medication he used to have (from the various previous vets) is not sufficient to control his condition and he would require additional medication or dosages. He will also need to be on a special diet, at least for the next few months. New food can be introduced slowly.

Darren and Hilda visit Timothy at the vet most days after school

Timothy enjoying a good wipe from his ladies

The worst seems over for him, but he still strains to poo. This gets pretty worrying for us because if he continues to force or strain, his anus may come back out again, which brings everything back to square one. The vets are unable to determine the cause of his straining, but still keep him on a special diet to monitor his bowel movement.

Timothy’s intestines are still very weak, which prevents his body from absorbing enough nutrients from the food. That’s why he’s still a bag of bones even after consuming regular meals. Hopefully, with the adjustment of his medications and the right diet, his stools will get firmer and he will eventually put on weight.

Seems like Timothy is responding well to the special diet and medications! Although he is on the road to recovery, his condition won’t just improve overnight. It requires a lot of patience, care and love towards him.

Hilda playing with Timothy

Timothy can’t stay at the vet for long and only has a final week there. He can’t stay at the kennels as well because this will make him susceptible to the flies and maggots. He currently has nowhere else to go after discharge and we are urgently looking for someone to foster or adopt him. He would require a clean home environment, and one with a backyard for him to run around. From our observations, Timothy is fine with dogs smaller than he is, although he feels threatened when they are bigger. He is extremely affectionate with people, especially children. He has lived his entire life as a stray and may never have seen or interacted with kids, yet look how well he interacts with Hilda! All he wants is just to be loved.

Timothy will most likely need to be on a long term special diet. Initially, he will also need to undergo blood tests every 3 months to ensure things are going well. His bills have already skyrocketed to $9000, but we have set our minds on finding Timothy a good home. He is a physically and mentally strong dog that has come a long way, surviving through his painful and infected prolapsed rectum. Look at his white muzzle! He’s not very old but looks very old with his prolonged pain and sufferings and the tough life he has lived. With his rectum tucked back in place, we hope he’ll be able to embrace a new beginning with a new family that will shower him with all the love he deserves.

Facts on Timothy :

Timothy is estimated to be about 5 or 6 years old, male, sterilized. He is a calm dog, kind and low energy. There is no extra care required except to feed him medication and walk him 3X a day. His wound has healed completely.

To foster or adopt Timothy and get more information on him, please contact hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg


Running for HOPE

If you’re an avid runner, you would know how tough it is to complete a marathon, much less a 50km marathon!

Roison O’connor, a senior pharmacist from Ireland will be running a 50km marathon in the upcoming North Face 100 Asia Pacific Series on 4 October 2013 in Singapore. She has been living in Singapore for the past 2 ½ years, loves travelling and adventure sports. Apart from her extremely active lifestyle, she is a passionate animal lover and has taken time off to do some volunteering at our local animal shelters during her stay in Singapore.

Roison clearly enjoys her volunteering experiences as she recounts how heartwarming her first volunteering experience was. She got to know the dogs better and understand their different personalities. She has also previously run the Dublin marathon on behalf of Dublin SPCA 5 years ago. This time, Roison is completing her marathon on behalf of 3 local animal welfare organisations and HOPE Dog Rescue is one of them! She has made these organisations beneficiaries for her run. Funds raised will help pay our outstanding vet bills.

Source: www.causesforanimals.com/running-for-the-dogs.html

Source: www.causesforanimals.com/running-for-the-dogs.html
So, please do support Roison this October 4th, by donating and sponsoring her. Through the donations, our fellow furry pals get to benefit from this as well! You can hop on to the following website (http://www.causesforanimals.com/running-for-the-dogs.html) to donate through paypal, mastercard/visa, bank transfer or cheque. The money collected will help support our dogs, especially in areas like food and medical bills. This event will be beneficial as it brings greater awareness to HOPE as we might be able to attract more attention and receive more help for our dogs.

We (as well as our furry friends) fully support Roison in her upcoming marathon and hope that you do as well!


Harper's Updates + Buy A LIMITED EDITION Harper T-shirt

Remember Baby Harper? Born with a broken spine, Harper was crippled from the waist down and had to crawl on her chest to move about, dragging her hind legs painfully over rough gravel. Constantly starving, Harper swallowed gravel and pins to quell her hunger. Such was the hard life that baby Harper had.

Rescued when she was barely a month old, weighing a mere 1kg, she is now 5 months old.

This was how she survived when Mr Aziz spotted and saved her
The night we rescued her and rushed her to emergency

Watch this inspiring video of how Baby Harper faces her daily challenges and tries her best to stand and walk. She lets nothing get in her way. Her strength and determination has been nothing short of amazing!

Watch Harper’s video:

Harper has been attending regular acupuncture and hydrotherapy sessions to build her muscles. Walking doesn’t come naturally to her and when she falls, she struggles to push herself up. Sometimes she doesn’t even make it up and needs help to be lifted up. Despite all this, she doesn’t see herself as a handicapped puppy. She is happy, sociable, intelligent and determined.

Taken in end June, and we wonder why she has such huge ears!

She finds it easier to stand and walk on grass, every other surface is a struggle for her.

Doesn't she resemble a German Shepherd?

In a few weeks’ time, we will be sending Harper for a MRI scan of her spine, to see if surgery can help her. It doesn’t come cheap, but it’s the least we could do for this little fighter.

Twice weekly hydrotherapy sessions

Now, fresh out of the oven, get your very own LIMITED EDITION "HOPE for Harper" t-shirt, featuring little Harper. Her life is a daily struggle but she will survive with your love, care and support, coupled with her never say die attitude.

For just S$40 per shirt and limited to 100 pieces, click here to order your shirt online.

Front & Back

This little puppy has been a huge inspiration to us with her brave fighting spirit. By purchasing HOPE for Harper t-shirts, not only are you cheering Harper on, it will also give hope to other dogs that we rescue.

All proceeds will go towards our rescue and rehabilitation programmes.

To ADOPT HARPER, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg


Ginger The Cat

This is how we met the ginger cat who was later named Ginger.

He is a young tom that used to wander around a coffee shop in an industrial estate. One day, HOPE’s founder, Fiona was running errands in that area when she came across the friendly stray cat at the coffee shop. Upon closer look, she found a gaping wound on his back near his tail. The wound was quite deep and the raw flesh could be clearly seen. As she was unable to bring the cat to the vet at the time, she asked Cherlyn, our senior volunteer who is experienced in both dog and cat rescues, to take him to the veterinary clinic for treatment. Cherlyn asked me to accompany her, as our volunteers always go out in pairs.

Cherlyn, her friend, Shawn and I arrived there around 7 pm. I alighted from the car first to search for the cat, while there went to park the car.

It took me just a few seconds to spot the ginger cat. A family of six was having dinner at a round table and there he was, rubbing himself against the father’s leg and begging for treats. He did not seem to be in agony (cats have quite a high pain threshold after all), but he was so skinny that I could count all his rib bones from a distance. (It must have been a norm for this little kitty to go without food for days on end, suffering from hunger pangs while he slept in the cold. It is heartbreaking to think of what these strays have to go through every single day.)

I told the family that I needed to take a look at the cat (to make sure that he was the cat that we wanted to rescue) and apologized for disturbing their family dinner. The father told me that they were regular customers at the shop and the cat was often seen hanging around there, eating table scraps given by some kind-hearted customers (who could not help pandering to his whims when he looked at them with his cute, beseeching eyes).

I inched gingerly (no pun intended) towards the ginger cat to take a closer look at him. He was standoffish at first and hissed at me in an attempt to shoo me away. I could feel that he is a really gentle cat though, as the hissing sound that he made was not as loud and fierce as what you would normally hear from his feline counterparts. I squatted down, let him sniff at my hand, and tried to assure him that I meant him no harm. He looked at me somewhat quizzically with his big, round eyes, as if unsure of whether to trust me or not. After a few seconds of hesitation, seemingly made up his mind that we could be friends, he came towards me and allowed me to pat him. My heart melted instantly when he rubbed his cute little head against my palm.

I examined his injury and found that the wound was already filled with pus. To make things worse, it seemed to be covered in black oil. Fortunately the maggots had yet to set in. I tried to ask the customers whether they knew the cause of the injury, but nobody had any idea how it came about.

Ginger's wound which was stained with black oil. Nobody had any idea how it came about.

I grabbed hold of the cat and lifted him up. He started panicking, so I put him down on the floor. I held him tight to prevent him from running away, while stroking his fur and saying whatever words that came to my mind to soothe him. Luckily it worked and he calmed down considerably. Cherlyn and Shawn had not yet come, so I loosened my grip to avoid scaring him further. He broke free and returned to his spot under the table, happily eating what was left of the table scraps given to him. (On hindsight, I realized I had made a mistake in letting him go, because he might have just scooted away and it would be really difficult to recapture him. We were lucky that he didn’t.) Cherlyn finally arrived with the carrier. She emptied a can of cat food onto a piece of newspaper and put it in the carrier to lure the cat in, but he did not take the bait. One of the customers (who was familiar with the cat) helped us capture and put him into the carrier. Cherlyn quickly slammed the door shut behind him and locked it. Realizing he had been captured, he meowed and clawed frantically at the door of the carrier. He literally meowed his way to the vet (he would stop for a short while though when we stroked him under the jaw, or when he was tired). We felt quite sorry as it seemed to be a traumatizing experience to him, despite our good intentions.

At the clinic, the vet examined his wound carefully and told us that she would clean the wound, shave off the fur surrounding the wound and stitch it up as soon as she could. The cat was estimated to be about 2 years old. After the surgery, he was dewormed, vaccinated and sterilized. We named him Ginger.

His wound was stiched up nicely.

Ginger was hospitalized for four days. We initially planned to release him back to where he came from, but seeing how docile and sweet-natured he is, Cherlyn could not bear to carry out the plan as she felt that it would be difficult for him to survive in the harsh outside world. So she decided to board him in the veterinary clinic and pay for the boarding expenses herself until we found him a fosterer or adopter. We sought help from a friend, Francesca, to find a fosterer for Ginger. Thanks to her efforts, a fosterer was found and Ginger is now in the safe hands of a kind fosterer who has had a lot of experience in fostering cats. He is currently resting and recovering well in the foster home. He behaves really well and the fosterer would lavish praises on him when we ask about his well-being.

Although Ginger is safe and sound in the foster home now, this is only a temporary solution as the fosterer will not be able to house him forever. We desperately need to look for an adopter who can give Ginger a forever home. As much as we wish to provide him with the best life could offer, our resources are limited and we have to face the harsh reality sometimes. We don’t want to release him back to the streets again. Are there any kind souls out there who can help dear Ginger? He has a really good temperament and will make a wonderful pet if you could give him a chance at a better life. Please adopt him if you can, or at least share this story with your friends so that Ginger will have higher chances of being adopted.

Ginger is estimated to be about 2 years old, male, sterilized, vaccinated and healthy.

Thank you Cherlyn for helping with Ginger's vet bills.

To adopt Ginger, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

Written by Wong Tze Ying.


Remember Oscar?

We’ve written about Oscar before. We’ve told his story, from his beginnings as a mangy, mite-infested puppy living in a cemetery to how he almost died. His life has been a rough ride fraught with turbulence, with only occasional bubbles of peace.

This is how bad little Oscar was when we first found him. He was 6 months old.

Oscar was found in a cemetery mid 2012 at just 6 months old. He, and his siblings, had contracted dermodectic mange. He was the only one that survived, and he was a sorry sight. Clumps of hair had fallen out, and his patchy, mottled skin was riddled with open sores. As it turned out, he was also full of ringworms and suffered from fungal infections. He almost had more skin diseases than he had skin.

All his siblings had died, he was dejected, in pain and didn't want to face the world.

When we picked him up, he was timid and afraid, and refused to come out of the dog carrier at the vet. It was impossible to coax him out, and the nurse eventually reached in, wrapped him in a towel, and carried him out. He spent the next four months shuttling between the kennel and the vet, undergoing intensive treatments with injections of steroids and antibiotics, and slowly getting better. Despite our best efforts, we couldn’t find someone who was able to foster this sweet young puppy, and had to put him up in a kennel. He hated it, and it made him sad, but it was the best we could do for him.

Oscar after two months of being rescued, his skin was starting to get better but he was still a sad puppy.
We had so much hope for the puppy. When he was well enough, we started bringing Oscar to adoption drives, as we knew that the kennel was no place for a young dog. So we were overjoyed when a young couple adopted him. Under their love and care, Oscar blossomed into a lively and affectionate companion. He knew simple commands like “sit”, “come” and “paw”, and loved going on runs with his new family. His tail was often wagging, and he was beginning to love his life. His charming puppy dog eyes would melt any heart. We thought that he had found his place in life.

But then things took a drastic turn for the worse. He fell critically ill all of a sudden due to an infection in his liver. He was so sick that he couldn’t even stand. His owners rushed him to the vet. We had to appeal on Facebook, several times, for canine blood donors for Oscar as his platelet count plummeted. The vet told us that he might not survive this time. There was nothing we could do but wait and see. We were all shocked and devastated.

He was put on oxygen support, an IV drip, antibiotics and liver supplements. He received numerous blood transfusions. He started getting stronger again, and his condition stabilized. We heaved a collective sigh of relief. 

But all of this had taken an emotional and financial toll on his young owners, who were saving up for the future together. In their bid to save their beloved family member, they had depleted their life’s savings. Oscar’s condition still requires ongoing treatment, and they couldn’t afford it any more. It was too much for them to watch Oscar suffer, when the best they could do for him wasn't enough. They had to let him go. He was a beloved family member, and we understand that it was a difficult decision. Everyone was heartbroken.

Oscar, going back to the vet for checkup 2 months back. 

Can you imagine all of this, happening to a puppy? Little Oscar, not even two years old, has gone through so much. Born homeless, he has since found a home, lost a home, and almost died twice.

Oscar urgently needs a new home. He’s feeling dejected, and needs a new family to cheer him on and, once again, give him the love he needs. He has a lot of love to give, and deserves a chance to grow into the dog he was meant to be.

A day out in the park together with handsome Cooper who is also up for adoption. (Cooper on the left)

Oscar as he looks today, a handsome young lad. Oscar will be featured in HOPE's 2014 calendar. 

Oscar’s medical condition has stabilized and he is looking good. He has come a long way and only needs to be on supplements for his liver, eat good nutritious food and have a balanced diet. He should avoid preservatives and go to the vet every two months for a medical check up. 

And what’s better news is, Oscar is HDB approved. He is a small handsome dog!

To ADOPT OSCAR, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

Please help to share Oscar’s story and help him find a new home!

Written by Elena Lin


Pray for Chloe

We write this with great sadness.

Chloe was rushed to the vet this morning after she collapsed on the floor. The vet has confirmed that she has suffered a stroke and she is now completely paralyzed. She can only lie down, blink her eyes, and look helplessly at us as her eyelids twitch continuously in discomfort.

Chloe’s paws are stone cold due to poor blood circulation; her right eye can no longer see as a result of the ulcer in her right pupil; and her poop is wet and bloody. The vet suspects she has renal failure and internal bleeding.
She was feeling very cold
An ulcer in her right eye

While we spoke to the vet this afternoon, Chloe went into a seizure. The vet told us to brace ourselves and be mentally prepared, as she may not make it through the night.

Chloe sedated after a seizure

She had some visitors
Volunteer Tze Ying talking to Chloe

Praying for Chloe

Sweet Chloe. Life has been tough.

According to Chloe’s foster, Chloe lost her appetite since three days ago and she had to hand feed Chloe to make sure she eats. Over the past few days, her health continued to deteriorate and she started vomiting yesterday, refusing to eat anything at all.

She also seemed to be in great discomfort last night as she cried and whined through the night. This morning, her health seemed to have taken a dive. Her walking was weak and laboured, and she could barely stand without falling every few minutes. We suspect she might have suffered the stroke overnight.

Chloe is currently warded at the vet and we are evaluating our options to see what is best for her. She has been through so much suffering it pains all of us here to see her go through another painful episode.
Happier, healthier times

We can’t help but ask, “Why can’t life have mercy on her?” Is Chloe never going to experience happiness again? Or is liberation the way to happiness?

Please keep Chloe in your prayers during this difficult time. We’ll keep you updated on her progress.

Email : hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg