A Christmas Kitty

As the volunteers were about to conclude their feeding rounds a few weeks back, they came across a tiny grey kitten in one of the factories. Slightly bigger than a palm, she was mewing pitifully for food, which they immediately gave. Imagine how hungry she had to be, to beg food from humans that she should be naturally wary of.

After seeing this tiny little grey kitten for two weeks consecutively, volunteers Val and Shiqing decided to prepare some cat food and milk for her in preparation for their next feeding round. However, to their utter disappointment, it was raining too heavily for them to make a trip down to find that poor kitten. It was only two weeks later, when the weather let up, that they managed to attempt to look for the kitten again. However, yet again, lady luck was not on their side. They could not find her despite much effort in combing the area. Refusing to give up, they asked the factory workers if they had seen a small grey kitten, but adding to their growing dismay, they were uncooperative and brushed away our questions with an unfeeling reply "all cats moved away already".

As they were standing outside the factory, feeling disheartened and extremely worried, Shiqing spotted a shadow of a kitten. Nudging Val delightedly and pointing excitedly, they found a little black kitten, even smaller than the grey one, which they named Cola. Even though they were unable to find the grey kitten, they were relieved to be able to save another. They had to call for the assistance of 2 other volunteers in the area, James and Crystal, as they did not have sufficient food on hand for the kitten. Due to Cola's small size, she was unable to cross the drain to get to them for food, and it was only when Shiqing crossed the drain to reach her did she notice what a pitiful state the kitty was in. She was whining pathetically in hunger and perhaps in pain and there was a lot of discharge in and around her eyes. Her eyes were almost glued shut.

We saw this tiny kitty while on our usual feeding rounds

Eating our food at the factory, living in poor conditions alone

They were all shocked and at a loss of what to do with Cola, as she was in a bad shape and they knew that no one in the factory would bother about a mere helpless kitten; thus placing her back would be akin to a death sentence. As they did not have any experience in rescuing cats, they had to call Fiona and Lisa for help. They discovered that Cola had fleas on her, and required a visit to the vet. As it was way past midnight, they were unable to find anyone to foster her temporarily. The volunteers had thought of putting her with some factories for the night but most factories had dogs and they were concerned for her safety. None of our volunteers could take her home as we either have dogs at home or our family members wouldn’t approve of it so we unanimously decided that the best and only alternative was to leave her in a carrier at someone's house for the night, until her vet visit the next day.

We put her into one of our feeding pails

This poor kitty had such a bad eye infection

She could hardly open her eyes

Sleeping soundly after we put her in a pail and covered her with a towel

So we waited till almost 2am for fellow volunteer, Annie, to bring a carrier down for Cola.

Safe in the carrier for the night

Early next morning, we took Cola to the vet for a health checkup and to find out what exactly was causing her eye discharge. We were told that Cola is a healthy, 6 weeks old female kitten, but due to the dirty environment she had to live in, she contracted an eye infection which resulted in the discharge. Cola was also infested with fleas.

She has been warded at the vet for the past few days and is due for discharge. However, despite it being a public holiday and the incurring extra costs, we requested for Cola to be admitted to treat her eye infection and flea infestation. All we want is the best for Cola - healthy and safe from the harsh conditions on the streets. She is just so tiny and vulnerable.

Cola is a very sweet baby kitten who craves for love and affection. If you can foster / adopt Cola and give her a home to call her own, please email us at hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

Thank you fellow volunteer, Annie, for bringing down the carrier for Cola in the wee hours of the morning.

Story written by Jamie Tan


Christmas Time. Give Generously

December is here and we all know this is the season of eating, drinking and being merry but let’s not forget about giving too! Give generously so that our rescue dogs may experience love and warmth this Christmas.

HOPE Dog Rescue is gearing up for the year ahead and this includes stocking up our inventory with everyday supplies. Evidently, this year has not only proved to be one of the craziest, rollercoaster journey for us – from experiencing the highest of high witnessing Elmo and Harper growing stronger by the day and also dealing with the lowest of low bidding farewell to Chloe - but has also been a resource-intensive year for us.

In preparation for 2014, we are hoping you can help by donating the following items to us – we can’t express just how useful these are to us:

Martingale collars (Brand - Red Dingo) We need size M only; preference for pastel colours, please do not buy red collars.
Long rope leashes – the longer the better
Wet tissues (Brand - Tena) available in Mustafa or select NTUC Fairprice outlets
Negasunt powder used for combating maggot wounds during our stray feeding rounds
Mamy Poko diapers (pants) for girls in Size L for Harper
Mamy Poko diapers (pants) for boys in Size XXXL for Matthieu
Pee pads (measuring 45cm X 60cm and bigger) for Harper, Matthieu, SiDa and Timothy.
Sun Chlorella antioxidant for older and weaker dogs; available in GNC stores and online
Frontline and / or Frontline Plus

*Frontline and Heartgard are used on our rescued dogs as well as the street and factory dogs we care for. Most of our street dogs are fully vaccinated, sterilized, dewormed, on Frontline and Heartgard, as good as any pet you know!

More details of the items can be found at http://hopedogrescue.blogspot.sg/p/help-our-dogs.html

Should you wish to contribute these items, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

Remember, a little goes a long way!

Merry Doggy Christmas!


Car Park Puppies

On one of our recent feeding rounds, we saw three female puppies gamboling in a car park (not the safest place for young dogs).

One black puppy was very friendly, while the other two were a little shy but even they warmed up to us after a while. We hadn't seen any mommy dogs around, so it struck us as odd that these three puppies had suddenly appeared. So we asked around with the people working in the vicinity, and not very surprisingly, we found out that someone had abandoned the three female pups. Now these poor puppies live under this container.

This is the puppies' home and playground 

Over the years, we have come to realize that this is very common. People keep the males in their factories but throw away the females, because they don’t want to deal with more puppies. This is so frustrating to us. Have they not heard of sterilization?

Little female pup (Poppy), not more than 5 mths old

Black female pup (Leila) exceptionally friendly and intelligent

So we immediately booked three sterilization slots at the vet for these puppies. Six of our volunteers left work on time to catch the pups in the evening. We brought three carriers, one for each dog.

Volunteers trying to lure the puppies out 

The black girl (Leila) was the friendliest, and therefore would be the easiest to catch, so we left her for last. We started with a brown pup (Poppy), and luckily, managed to catch her in the first 10 minutes. But the next brown one, a very cute Shar Pei-lookalike (Marigold), proved to be really difficult to coax and catch. We took almost three hours with her, but our volunteers were very patient the whole time because they know how important sterilization is, especially for female dogs.

Sterilizing each female dog costs $200, inclusive of 2 nights' stay. That’s $600 for just these puppies. Would anyone care to sponsor their sterilization?

They sleep under the container. This is their home. The heat and rain could easily get to them. 

On top of worrying about costs, we also have to worry for the very lives of these puppies. While we were trying to catch them in the car park, a group of people parked their cars nearby. The innocent puppies ran up to them, eager to be patted. One of the ladies started yelling, shouting that she was afraid of dogs. She ran and scrambled back into her car. Having witnessed that, we're afraid that someone will complain to the authorities, who would then cull these poor puppies for being “terrors” and “public nuisances”.

But just look at their pictures and see how friendly, cute and sweet they are.

Our haul for the night. It took us 4 hours to trap all 3 puppies. 

Black puppy, Leila

Sweet lil Poppy 

The most difficult to catch, Marigold, looks like a Shar Pei cross. 

All of them are now at the vet. They need homes by tomorrow (Friday) evening. They must not be returned to the car park because it's not a safe place for them. We are really at our wit's end because we're completely swamped and running over our capacity. Our hands are tied and we are unable to give these pups a home. Will someone please step forward to help?

We would like to appeal for the following :

1) Fosters for the puppies
2) Adopters for the puppies
3) Sponsorship of kennel boarding, which costs approximately $380 per month, per dog. We are a small organization and we do not have sufficient funds to run our own shelter, so we need to pay for commercial kennel boarding for dogs without foster/adoptive homes. The weather has been rainy, cold and wet lately, and the outdoors is not a good home right now for anyone or anything.
4) Anyone who has a factory and will allow these sweet puppies to live on their premises and care for them.

It's Christmas, have a heart, give these 3 little puppies a home, would you? If we returned them to the car park, they won't live very long.

If you or anyone you know is able to help, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

Written by Elena Lin


Updates on Elmo

It’s been almost 4 weeks since we rescued Elmo from his abusive past and we’re so excited to say that he has improved by leaps and bounds! Back then he was a sad scrawny dog weighing a mere 8kg, but now, he looks so much healthier and bulkier at 11.3kg! Elmo has been so much better, under the care of a fosterer, Michelle, since his discharge from the hospital. We’re always so ecstatic to meet a healthier Elmo and extremely grateful to Michelle for her dedicated care towards him. Unfortunately, Michelle will be leaving Singapore soon and poor Elmo will then need another foster from 22 Dec onward .

Elmo seeing Dr Ly

Checking Elmo's eyes

To make matters worse, we visited Dr. Ly, who informed us that Elmo is almost totally blind. It could be that he was born blind or had a brain / neurological problem. As if that wasn't enough, Elmo is also deaf and has congenital skin problems. He still has slight traces of blood in his pee but it has improved significantly as compared to when we first rescued him. Elmo sees Dr. Ly again in a week’s time.

Little Elmo has almost no sight

Ribs no longer protruding

Dr. Ly reckons that Elmo is a very young dog and probably a Sharpei cross. We’re curious to see what he grows out to be!

Elmo arriving at the klapsons Christmas party, carried by volunteers, Iru and Eva
Elmo's friend, Lois, finally got to meet him
Volunteers fussing over Elmo

Guiding his face to the water trough as he can't see

All Elmo wants is to be loved

Enjoying his Christmas pasta, compliments of klapsons The Boutique Hotel
Exhausted halfway through the event

Thankfully Elmo is still eating and drinking well, although the food and water has to be placed right in front of him, or he wouldn't be able to find it. He has learnt to sit despite his disabilities. When we first rescued him, he showed signs of food aggression and bit a volunteer. We have ruled that as his defense reactions caused by his abuse and starvation. Now, with regular meals, more certainty and routine in his life, he no longer shows food aggression and is comfortable with people cleaning, touching and even carrying him!

Elmo is already on the road to recovery. He is such a talented dog, willing to love and learn, despite his shortcomings. Seeing how much he has improved in such a short period of time, we are desperate to find Elmo a fosterer or adopter soon. He has already achieved so much, come such a long way, and it would be the greatest gift for little Elmo to be accepted into a family that can shower him with plenty of love.

Elmo urgently needs a foster from 22 December 2013 to 11 January 2014.

To adopt/foster Elmo, please contact: hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg


Updates on SiDa (After Surgery)

Remember we left off mentioning that SiDa will be undergoing surgery? SiDa is still warded at the vet. It has been 6 days after her surgery. Dr. Ly has performed the surgery whereby SiDa had steel plates and screws inserted into her back. This will stabilize her back and minimize movements. She also has a drain on her back to let fluid out. SiDa is currently in a body cast which means she doesn't move too much. She might have to rely on a catheter for life.

SiDa isn't eating much but at least she's drinking. To prevent her from straining her back by moving about, we placed her into a giant carrier. She sometimes tries to sit up for a few seconds but flops back down shortly since she’s still pretty weak. She cried in pain on the first day post-surgery but we're glad she seems more comfortable now.

Recovering at the vet, wearing a body cast

She has a drain on her back for excess fluids

We made the carrier as comfy as possible

As she can't reach her water bowl, our volunteers have been on shift duties from 9am to 10pm daily since the surgery last Friday, to feed her water and food. Our volunteers have committed themselves to accompany SiDa, pat her, talk to her, and making sure she is not alone and is recuperating well from the surgery.

Watch how her HOPE "maids" care for her http://youtu.be/OmCq71sF3LM 

Through these few days, we have witnessed how strong SiDa was and we're amazed at how tough these dogs are and their tolerance for pain. Their strong spirits touch us. We have so much to learn from these beautiful animals.

Yongyurt visiting SiDa
Dr. Ly mentioned that it will take 2-3 months later to tell if the surgery was a success. It would have to depend on SiDa's willpower to overcome her injuries. Thankfully, SiDa will be discharged to a foster home this afternoon (Friday) and we are grateful towards her fosterer for agreeing to take SiDa in. SiDa is truly a blessed girl. Her fosterer will act as her caregiver, occasionally turning her over so that she doesn’t get bed sores, expressing her bladder and feeding her etc. Hopefully, SiDa will be able to gain some sensation in her hind legs in 2-3 months' time and maybe even walk again! Even if she can’t ever walk, at least she will not be in pain by then and we can get her a wheelchair. That way, she can be more mobile and not lie down every day feeling despondent.

We will still fetch her best friend, factory worker Yongyurt, to visit her every Sunday, so that they don't miss each other too much. We are hopeful for her recovery.

Thank you so much everyone, for your help towards SiDa. We are most grateful and touched by your kindness and generosity. Please continue to keep SiDa in your prayers.

SiDa says Thank You!

To adopt SiDa, please email : hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg 


Blake. A Victim Of Animal Cruelty

You might have read about Blake the black puppy on our Facebook page.

We got a call from a worker who said that she saw a black puppy whining and crying in pain. When she took a closer look, to her horror, she saw two enormous metal hooks sticking out of him. She panicked and immediately tried to yank the hooks out. One came free with some resistance. She didn't notice the vicious barbs on the end of it. She tried to yank the other one out too, but soon realized it was embedded too deep in his flesh. Desperate and scared, she called us for help. She had meant well when she tried to pull out the hooks, and didn't realize that it was hurting him.

Hook was deeply embedded
We immediately dispatched pet transport to pick up the puppy, named Blake. This happened during office hours, so few of our volunteers were available, and none of them could drive. Two of them headed to the vet to receive Blake.

Fear in his eyes
Bad skin from poor living conditions
When he arrived, we noticed that his left front leg was terribly infected and so badly swollen. The other people at the reception and waiting area of the vet's office saw this too, and were shocked at this act of cruelty towards such a young dog, and told us how sorry they felt for the pup.

Blake's front left leg was terribly swollen and infected
Blake was running a fever from the infection, and was immediately warded and put on a drip. The next day, he underwent surgery to remove the remaining hook. While sedated, he was also sterilized and ear-tipped. Although the worker said that she had pulled out one hook, the doctor couldn't find any other wounds on him. Blake also has terrible skin, possibly due to mites or ringworm. When he's feeling better in a few days' time, the doctor will run a few tests to determine the cause of his skin problems.

Huge 6cm hook removed during surgery the following day

Recovering after surgery
Poor Blake has been feeling very scared throughout the ordeal. He is Velvet's brother. She too had been injured and was rescued. Fortunately, we were able to find a foster home for her before she was adopted by Karen and Gerben. Velvet left behind two siblings, Blake and another brown and white puppy.

They had grown up together in a vacated factory and their mom had died in car accident some months back. Since then, we have been trying to catch Blake and his sibling to bring them in for sterilization but they're extremely wary and afraid of us so we couldn't even go near them. The workers don't understand the importance of sterilization and refuse to help with catching the dogs (unless they're hurt, like in Velvet and Blake's cases).

So now with Velvet rehomed and Blake at the vet, their poor little sister is left all alone at factory to fend for herself. We will be engaging the services of a dog catcher and these services don’t come cheap, but we MUST catch her before she comes on heat. She is about 6 months old, and it's about time that she is going to be gang-raped by the male dogs.

The last sibling left behind. We are engaging the services of a dog catcher to trap, sterilize and release her.

Recovering. Blake is a 6 mths old local crossbreed dog
This is no doubt a scary and lonely time for her, and we don't want her to experience the additional stress and trauma of mating and giving birth. We don't want another litter to be born into a world that would only be full of suffering for them. Just think of how much hardship this one little family has experienced. Blake, a victim of terrible animal cruelty. Velvet, who was injured living in a dangerous environment. Their 4 other siblings who had all died as young puppies one by one, from accidents or disease. Their mother, dead from a car accident. And her previous litter that had been wiped out by a distemper outbreak last Christmas.

Ideally, every dog should have a home and live in a loving, nurturing environment. Dogs are man's best friends. We domesticated these animals, and bred them to be loyal and loving companions for us. But then we abandoned them and called them strays, leaving them to grow wild again, to fend for themselves in a hostile world. Homeless dogs breed and bring even more dogs into a world that doesn't have enough love for them. How many dogs will be homeless and without love this Christmas? It's a brutal life on the streets; for the females, it's continuous and painful mating as soon as they come in heat, being mounted by male after male for hours and days and weeks until they can't walk any more. Then there's the fighting and scavenging, scrounging for every scrap of food they can find. Even with our weekly feeding rounds, there's never enough.

Handsome Blake feeling much better
We put a lot of effort into catching and sterilizing street dogs, to eventually reduce their number so each one of them will have a better chance at survival and an easier life. We meticulously get to know each and every dog we see, keeping track of new puppies and those who are coming of age. Our street dogs are fully vaccinated, on Frontline and Heartgard. We work with the factory workers who are willing to work with us, catching these dogs so we can bring them in for sterilization. Some of them act as caregivers and form loving bonds with the dogs they care for, like Yongyurt and Sida.

Will you please adopt me and save me from the streets?
While we're doing all we can, not all dogs are lucky enough to even experience anything like love or care. Blake will be at the vet till this Sunday to give his wound the chance to heal thoroughly, and he will be returned to the factory, where his sister is waiting for him.

If anyone would like to give Blake a real home, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg before he is discharged.

Written by Elena Lin