Gong Xi Fa Cai!

All of us at HOPE would like to wish you a very happy Lunar New Year! In this festive season of reunion and celebration, we wish you abundant joy and prosperity. Though it's not the year of the dog, we hope you won't forget our furry friends at HOPE. If you'd like to add a new member into your family this time of year, do consider adopting one of our rescue dogs. Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Email : hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg 


Dogs Grew Up On Fish Food

During one of our weekly feeding sessions, Robert, a worker working in a fish farm around the area, approached us for some food for the dogs living in the fish farm. He had seen us feeding and distributing food to factory workers so he was hoping that he could seek help too. While collecting food from us, he told us that there were a total of eleven dogs in the farm, consisting of five adult dogs and six puppies. Even though the workers there really care for the dogs, they were unable to provide proper food for them. The workers often fed them fish food, which the dogs ate hungrily anyway because they had nothing else! Poor dogs! The workers also fed them leftover food from their own meals, and this was never enough for these eleven dogs. When asked whether we can sterilise the dogs there, he gladly agreed to help us in the sterilisation project.

2-month old puppy

These poor dogs grew up on fish food
Start of the sterilization project

Taking the dogs to the vet to be sterilized

Workers helping to load the carriers into the van

We had to wait for these to get older before sterilizing

When volunteers Fiona, Annie and I went there for the first time, we realised that only the adult dogs could be sterilised as the remaining puppies were too young, about 2 months old or so. We dropped off 2 carriers the night before and taught the workers how to catch the dogs. They also had to fast the dogs the night before. Each week we would sterilise 2 dogs till we had sterilised all the dogs in that fish farm. After sterilising the five adult dogs, we had to wait for the remaining six puppies to reach the appropriate age before we continue the sterilisation project. Generally we sterilise them when they are about 4 months old because as they get older, they get more wary of humans and it becomes more difficult to catch them. It is really sad when this happens because it means that they have lost faith due to possible abuse and threats from the humans around them.

This is their home
Puppies were everywhere

Mommy dog

Robert loves the dogs

Helping is catch the dogs for sterilisation 

Meanwhile, Hope Dog Rescue will continue to supply the dog food weekly during Hope’s feeding sessions. As this allows Hope to keep the strays fed by relying on the support of the community, we hope to be able to continue this in the long term. A bag of 40lbs kibbles which cost us about $55, can feed only 11 dogs for about a week. With more and more workers reaching out to us for help, and more hungry dogs that need the food, we hope to be able to supply more food to the dogs. If you wish to sponsor our stray feeding programme, you may help by purchasing dog food from one of our suppliers.

2 months later, we contacted Robert regarding the sterilisation project and visited the dogs again at the farm. The puppies were old enough to be sterilised so we continued with the project. However, we noticed that the dogs were tick infested and the ticks were really very very big! We had to apply frontline on them every two weeks initially until the problem went away. That’s 11 tubes of Frontline at one go!

Applying Frontline on the dogs monthly

With two dogs at a time, it took us three weeks to sterilise them. One of the dogs had blood in his pee so medication was prescribed. We had to monitor the dog’s progress even though it was staying at its farm so our volunteers had to contact the workers every day to track the progress of the dog.

A vet review was arranged for the dog two weeks’ after. When our volunteer Annie went to the farm to pick it up, she was told by the worker that one of the dogs, Junior, had a swollen nose and discharge coming out of his nose. Considering the state Junior was in, it was also brought in to see the veterinarian.

Junior had a very swollen nose, possibly bitten by ants
The veterinarian told us that Junior’s swollen nose was giving him difficulties breathing and could have been a result of being bitten by ants. When Junior returned to the farm, our volunteer explained the instructions on the application and usage of the medication to the workers as they had to apply it every day.

The workers cooperated with us in ensuring the welfare of the dogs living in the farm. Whenever the dogs were sick or need any other help, Hope Dog Rescue would be informed and we did whatever we could to help the dogs. Now, on a regular basis we supply food to Robert’s dogs every week and apply Frontline to the dogs on a monthly basis and hence need Frontline tubes and Heartgard each month, at least 11 tubes for just this one farm of dogs.

If you could help us help these dogs, by providing them food for their empty bellies, or the Frontline / Heartgard that they sorely need, please drop us an email at hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg so that we can continue our community work for these dogs.

Written by Buven



People say that a first-world country has its first-world problems. True enough, we are faced with many first-world woes such as the skyrocketing cost of living, fierce competitions for jobs and school placements, and the contentious need to create a “street-dogs free” image.

However, as I come across more rescue stories from Hope Dog Rescue, I’m beginning to see more “third-world” mentalities surfacing from our cozy first-world nation. Gollidog’s story is a fair reflection of this observation.

Gollidog was previously named Orh Bin, which means “black face” in dialect. Born with a short, white coat and a couple of irregular, black spots, he resembles a cute, miniature calf. More uniquely, Gollidog has a characteristic ebony spot that covers most of his head and neck. However, what I crown as unique is considered an eyesore to superstitious people. These people hold the ridiculous belief that dogs who have a contrasting coloured head is considered inauspicious.

Gollidog before he was injured

Gollidog’s story is the reverse of our usual, childhood fairy tales that typically begins negatively but ends positively. He was born into a doting family but his owners grew tired of him quickly. They left him at a temple to fend for himself when he was just an innocent puppy, wishfully thinking that temple-goers would take pity on him and keep and feed him. Unfortunately, this was never the case, especially not in our less than perfect world that has little tolerance for such idealistic plans.

Due to the way he looks, people found Gollidog repulsive and hated his presence. He was detested by passersby everywhere he went and was transferred from the temple, to a shipyard and finally to an industrial site. All for the same, superficial and absurd reason – his looks.

How could you detest thisseweet face?

At the industrial site, Gollidog spent most of his time with a security guard, Ah Pek, who similarly detested his looks. The only difference was that he allowed Gollidog to stay put. Ah Pek didn’t take Gollidog seriously, and would throw leftover food, dirty tissues and cigarette buds at him. Gollidog had no choice but to feed on whatever that was thrown at him so as to avoid thrashings by Ah Pek. Despite being mistreated by Ah Pek, Gollidog adored and respected him for who he is, and would greet him affectionately every morning without fail. He would even escort and protect Ah Pek wherever he went.

The industrial site where Golllidog had to live in

One day, a regular feeder came to know of Gollidog’s predicament and tried cajoling Ah Pek to go easy on the beatings. Ah Pek was not only unreceptive of the feeder’s suggestion, but also bragged that his approach was the best way to train a dog. He even told the feeder that he encouraged truck drivers to give Gollidog a kick because he is “jinxed.” How is it possible to deduce something like that based on one’s look? Such is what I call a third-world mindset.

During one of the feeder’s visit, she noticed some ghastly wounds on Gollidog and decided to contact us. Fiona and Lisa arrived at the site and spent the next two hours trying to trap him.

The process wasn’t straightforward. Gollidog was extremely distracted by a female dog that was on heat, and was chasing her throughout. After an hour of wild goose chase, Gollidog finally gave up and settled under a trailer. Fiona took the opportunity to go near him and caught sight of the puncture wounds on his head and neck. Surprisingly, Gollidog inched forward and allowed Fiona to give him a pat. Seeing that he was shaking his head in discomfort, Fiona took the chance to check on his ears and realized in horror that his ears were so horribly infected that it was coated with dried blood.

We had a tough time locating him

Then we saw him going after a female in heat

Fiona had to go under the container to keep him in sight

He finally stopped running from us

As Gollidog grew up in an abusive environment, he was particularly wary of people. Fiona had to be extremely careful when handling him. She finally managed to lead him into a carrier without a leash – he didn’t like been leashed and struggled through the process – by soothing, calming and whispering words of encouragement to him, telling him that everything will be fine from now on. Till today, we are all puzzled at how a dominant canine like him behaved so submissively and cooperatively on that day. Perhaps he knew that refuge was here, or maybe he was just too weak from his ailments and injuries-ridden body.

Exhausted with wounds all over his body

After the team got hold of him, Gollidog was sent to the Vet. The doctor found multiple wounds on his body and legs – most of which are battle scars accumulated from dog fights over the years – and joked that we should have named him “Warrior.” A detailed medical report found that apart from his infected ears and puncture wounds, of which one needed three stitches, Gollidog was severely dehydrated and was on the brim of going into a septic shock.

Dried up wounds from previous battles

His right ear was bleeding badly

A bite wound on his neck
his leg swollen from infection
A wound on his left leg

His leg swollen from infection

At the vet, Gollidog seemed to be at peace in the presence of Fiona. He laid his head on Fiona’s hands and fell asleep while the doctors examined him. We knew at once he wasn’t just tired from all the chasing, but it was a sign that his mutilated body was slowly crumbling under all the infections that were setting in.

A handsome dog ostracised because of his black face

Gollidog is estimated to be five years old and has led a hard life for the past five years, living in discrimination, mental and physical torture. Gollidog isn’t unworthy of love but just that he was never given a chance to be loved. He has succumbed to a life of abuse, all because we chose to believe in something so superficial. Shouldn’t we, humans, be in the best position to know that every child deserves to be loved and respected, no matter how ugly, naughty or frail? How will you feel if someone labeled your child a jinx and rid him/her of the right to live just because of the way your child looks? Can we not extend the same respect we have for people to animals too?

Mealtime after he had recovered from his injuries and returned to the industrial site

His water pail

In our years of operation, we have seen many dogs transform from innocent, sociable fur kids into human-created monsters who growl and bark at the sight of humans. Why? Because they have been grossly mutilated and abused by human. It is only understandable that they put up such defense of what they fear.

Happiness when he was returned to his work site after recovery

Happy to see his feeder

Waiting for pats!

Despite all his sufferings, Gollidog has since recovered from his wounds and has been returned to the factory. He is ready to start anew and is willing to forgive us for the misery our human kinds have inflicted upon him, trust us and love us. Just look at how he placed his trust in Fiona. This is a huge step for him to take because who knew if the next human he meets is a friend or a foe?

Written by Elaine Quek


Farewell Sweet Talia

Talia had lived a life of abuse and neglect, a fate even worse than that a breeding dog.
However, all that changed when Annie and kids, Hilda and Darren, decided to adopt Talia, knowing that she was 13 years old, blind, at risk of suffering a cardiac arrest any time and given 3 months to live.  http://hopedogrescue.blogspot.sg/2013/10/talia-my-incidental-adoption.html

Talia is featured in HOPE's 2014 calendars. (We still have calendars for sale)

What a big heart this family had – and Talia blossomed in their hands. With a new family to love and spoil her, she started looking younger, happier and her health problems seemed to be under control.
Talia had 9 months of happy family life with Annie and the kids, and their other dog, Spike.
Darren and Hilda with Spike and Talia
A few days ago, Talia started getting picky with food and then eventually stopped eating and drinking. She was 15 years old and the vet diagnosed that 90% of her kidneys had failed.

Annie and family decided to bring Talia home.
Although blind and unable to walk, Talia’s final wish was to smell the grass and feel it under her feet. So today, the family took her to the Botanical Gardens and Hilda carried Talia on the grass to sniff and walk abit. Talia had a pleasant day and as they headed home, she crossed the Rainbow Bridge, feeling extremely contented, loved and happy.
Off to the Botanical Gardens

Talia and her best friend, Hilda
From the bottom of my heart, I thank Annie and family for adopting a blind 13-year-old dog with a host of problems, knowing that she didn’t have much time on earth. You have made Talia a very happy dog. What you have given her in these past few months were more than she has ever experienced in her entire life and for that, I am eternally grateful. Thank you.
Farewell sweet Talia
Talia will have a private cremation tomorrow, attended by HOPE volunteers, family and friends.
Rest in peace, Talia. You will be dearly missed.