Puppy Bruno. A Rare Condition

Samuel emailed us a picture of a little injured puppy that looked less than 2 months old. The picture he took showed the puppy’s raw face with missing skin around his nose and eyes. It seemed like he was suffering from some sort of severe infection. He was cowering under a shelf in a factory.

The photo we received that broke our hearts. Mommy Dog was very concerned and watching over puppy Bruno.

We were alarmed! We had never seen a puppy looking like that. There was no doubt about it, this puppy definitely needed immediate medical attention. Our volunteer, Annie, hurried to the factory where Samuel was waiting.

When Annie arrived, there were several other little puppies gamboling around the area. They were the litter mates of the injured puppy. But to her dismay, the injured puppy himself was nowhere to be seen. Samuel and Annie searched high and low for the puppy, and eventually found him hiding away from all his siblings. The poor pup was obviously in great discomfort, and had such sadness in his eyes. He was too sick to even move. He was curled up quietly, waiting for help. They scooped him up and put him in a cardboard box, and named him Bruno. Together, they left for the vet.

Arriving in a cardboard box

The stench from Bruno's infections was so strong that it was overpowering and nauseating. There were dozens of ticks crawling out of Bruno's cardboard box and dropping all over Annie’s car.

Outside the Vet, waiting his turn

We had to wait more than an hour at the vet before she was available to meet Bruno. We probably killed another 300 ticks while waiting. We tried to make him feel better by offering him food, but he refused. Then we took his weight. The puppy weighed only 5kg! We also noticed that his eyes were so badly infected that thick discharge was pooling around them. We flipped his ears over, and saw that both of them were also sticky with pus. They were so raw and infected that his hearing might have been affected.

Watch puppy Bruno's video here : 

Mucus and pus dripping from his little ear
Inside of Bruno's ears (right ear). Imagine the stench and the discomfort. His hearing may have been affected.
Bruno's other badly infected ear 
And you think that was bad enough? A more thorough examination showed that his neck had 3 deep holes, filled with pus. One was on the right side of the neck and 2 were under his chin. We couldn't tell what caused them, and we don't even want to imagine the pain that Bruno is going through. We could only feel sorry for the fragile puppy, too weak to even stand on his own. He must have suffered for almost two weeks before Samuel finally got help for him. Interestingly, it was Samuel's first day at work there and that saved little Bruno's life!

Deep infected holes under Bruno's jaw
The vet was filled with sympathy for Bruno. She kept lamenting, “Poor puppy...," as she attended to him. She took some of his fur to test for mites and drew blood to test for Parvo virus and Distemper. Bruno was so afraid. He started squealing so loudly, even before the needle touched him. It took a while for us to calm him down.

Bruno was tick infested
Bruno's tests came back negative for mites, Distemper and Parvo virus, but he tested positive for tick fever. Imagine getting tick fever at this tender age! His blood tests also showed an extremely elevated white blood count, signaling a severe infection. He also had a low red count from loss of blood. He had a low platelet count and is nutrition deficient.

Although the blood tests showed a plethora of bad symptoms, the vet wasn't sure what Bruno's illness was. Her best guess was an allergic reaction, but what was his severe allergy triggered off by? So senior volunteer, Lisa, who has an interest in canine diseases and medicine, spent some hours researching. She found that Bruno looked to be suffering from a rare disease called Juvenile Pyoderma or Puppy Strangles. This disease usually affects puppies from 2 to 4 months of age, and does not show up on regular blood tests. The disease is genetic, and could sometimes affect entire litters, or just one unlucky puppy. In this case, it was Bruno. With her new found details, she will be checking with the vet on the best course of action for puppy Bruno. 

The vet is extremely worried that Bruno is down with septicemia, so we'll have to monitor him closely for the next few critical days. He is running a high temperature and will be put on IV drips and given painkillers and antibiotics. The scarring on his face may be forever.

2-month-old Bruno is still just a baby. He suffered silently through this all by himself on the streets. Now, even though he's getting help at the vet, the young puppy is still in pain and in a strange environment. He must be so confused, scared and missing his mommy and siblings. Dear Bruno, please do not give up.

Exhausted after his vet check and poor puppy Bruno fell asleep on the consult table

We pray for Bruno and hope that he will fight through this ordeal. We will do whatever we can to help him. You can do your part to help Bruno too!

We are currently trying to raise funds to cover Bruno’s vet bill so that we can nurse him back to health. We hope to also find Bruno a foster so that he can be homed comfortably once he’s discharged.

In addition, when we found Bruno, we noticed 2 other female dogs (one of which is his mommy) and 5 of Bruno's siblings wandering around. They are in much better condition, but are also susceptible to the harsh condition of living on the streets. We need sponsors for these dogs so that we can deworm, vaccinate and sterilize them. We would also like to get them Frontline spray as most of them are infested with ticks. (Even now, a few days later, there are still hundreds of ticks on Bruno!)

Puppy Bruno's 5 siblings left behind 

Please do let us know if you can adopt the remaining puppies. We currently do not have any more capacity to take in the remaining puppies but will definitely assist in getting the puppies to you if you can help give them a home. Please contact us if you can help us in any way. We certainly need all the help that we can get. You can do your part for Bruno and his family. Please kindly reach out to us, thank you.

To offer your help for Bruno and his family, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg 

Written by Yun Lu


Beo Cat

One of our volunteers received a call one day from a lady saying that she noticed a cat lying motionlessly for 3 weeks under a HDB void deck. She had thought the cat was just lazing around but after a while, realized that it barely moved at all, and so decided to call us. One of our volunteers who lived nearby, rushed down to see the cat and immediately brought it to the vet.

Lying under the block of flats for 3 weeks

Beo was undernourished and emaciated, and was diagnosed with numerous diseases. Beo was an 8-10 year-old male cat, which the vet diagnosed to have liver failure, probably due to old age or poor nutrition. He needed to be hospitalized as he was also suffering from dehydration and jaundice.

Meet sweet Beo

Over the next few days, there seemed to be some hope as Beo responded well to liver supplements and antibiotics. He also had a huge appetite, which was unusual for cats with liver problems. The vet decided to keep Beo under observation and run a full blood test on Beo.

Beo suffers from Feline Fragile Skin Syndrome where skin accidentally tears when you touch

The results were saddening as we found out that Beo had Feline Immunodeficiency Virus Infection (FIV), or Feline AIDS. FIV attacks the immune system of cats, much like the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which attacks the immune system of human beings. The vet advised that Beo should not go back to the streets as he was old and needed a home to provide palliative care. As FIV was contagious, we needed a foster that didn’t have other cats in the house. We wanted to give Beo a safe and warm place for him to live out the rest of his days.

Eating extremely well at the vet

However, after a few days, we received yet more bad news from the vet. When trying to remove the catheter from Beo, he flipped over and part of his skin tore off. Apparently his skin was so thin that his outer skin peeled out, exposing his raw flesh. The vet then confirmed that Beo was suffering from hyperadrenocorticism (or Cushing’s disease), where the adrenal gland produces too much of the hormone cortisol, which can be caused by an adrenal tumour or a tumour affecting the pituitary gland in the brain). Moreover, this disease is extremely rare in cats, and they generally do not respond well to treatment and medication. This also explained why Beo was eating so well despite having liver failure, as an increased appetite is one of the symptoms of Cushing’s disease. Subsequently, Beo was also diagnosed with feline fragile skin syndrome, also a symptom of Cushing’s disease.

We wanted to give Beo a safe and warm place for him to live out the rest of his days. Beo was very sweet and had a nice and gentle temperament. Unfortunately, before we could even do anything, we received news that Beo passed away after receiving treatment at the vet for 15 days. He was estimated to be about 10 years old. We were extremely saddened that he was unable to receive the care and love he deserved in the final days of his life.

Farewell Beo. At least you didn't die on the streets unnoticed

Beo must have led a tough life as a stray; not knowing when his next meal is or having to hide under the staircase to keep out from the rain. He lived a long life out in the open, protecting his territory from other cats. To live almost 10 years on the streets as a stray is no mean feat. He ate whatever he could find and the poor living conditions took a toll on his body. He was one of the very lucky few who was found at the end and given a glimpse of what his life could have been like if he weren’t a stray. Imagine what life is like for all the other strays that live forgotten, unnoticed.

Beo's entire bill, inclusive of cremation, was $1800/-. Should you wish to help with his vet bill, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg so that we may continue to make a positive difference in more precious lives.

Written by Sherilyn Seah


ELMO (Updates)

I cried, when Hope Dog Rescue broadcasted in FaceBook (FB) about the plea of Elmo. However, I was not a suitable fosterer in the initial stage as Elmo needed intensive care.

Elmo when he was first rescued

I followed Elmo's story on FB and had been praying for his recovery. Then Hope Dog Rescue issued a FB request for a foster for a 3 week period and I jumped at the chance. I pleaded with my family for support and my wish was granted.

Look at the sadness in his eyes when he was first rescued 
It was my first experience fostering a blind, deaf and ex-abused dog. My knowledge and experiences handling normal stray dogs at another animal welfare shelter did not prepare me for what was in store.

Fostering Elmo was indeed an eye and heart opener. I had to unlearn everything and start from scratch. Elmo and I had to learn to trust each other in all basic activities that we always took for granted. Elmo is special. He can't see, except for shadows from a certain distance and he can't hear, but can sense vibrations I guess.

Elmo (breed unknown)

I started Elmo on a routine. It was a good move, he got used to things pretty fast. And very soon he was able to anticipate our next activity. He is actually very adorable when he looks at you curiously, learning to predict the next move. He is easy going, loves hugs and yearns for human touch. He will run around me in joy whenever he senses me coming with his food bowl. He will sit and wait for his food and start drooling. The moment I place the bowl down, he will dash for his meal. Contented after his meal, he will want to play. However, if you leave him alone for about 15 mins, he will turn into sleeping beauty and start snoozing. Perhaps he isn’t very healthy and needs some time to build up his immune and stamina. Or maybe he is still catching up on lost sleep. Haha ... he's an easily contented boy. On several occasions he will even make funny noises to expresses his excitement, however he never barks. I reckon he didn't know how to.

Look how happy he is! 
Enjoying a day in CCK Park for HOPE's adoption drive
Elmo also doesn’t know how to open his mouth and pant like a normal dog so when he is hot, his body heats up and we need to cool him down with cold water or a cold towel on him. Poor Elmo, he had no idea how to behave like a dog. He is also slowly learning how to climb up steps. When we tug at his leash, he knows he needs to go up a step. Going down steps is slightly more difficult to teach.

Star Vista Plaza for the Appaws! Cesar Millan event
He even has fur growing back on his tail! 
I love to hear him whine whenever I bathe him .... somehow his whines and small noises he makes are music to my ears, it reminds me how much alive he is now and how close to death he was. His snores remind me of how beautiful it is to save a life.

Elmo is very special. I pray that someone "special" will adopt this sweet little boy and give him a forever loving home. He really is very easy to care for and doesn’t demand a lot from you. He is just contented with food, love and a home to call his own.  

Written by Amanda Loh (one of Elmo’s fosters)

Note from HOPE : Elmo is a curious little dog and he indeed has come a long way. Thanks to all his fosters, Michelle, Amanda and Josephine, he has learnt to behave more like a dog. He loves his food, walks and is slowly using his sense of smell to cope with life.

Fosters Amanda Loh and Josephine Goh
When we rescued him in mid November of 2013, he was a mere 8kg. Today he weighs a healthy 15kg and has little brown fur slowly growing. He looks like a very sweet kiwi fruit who now has a new lease on life.

Little Elmo on stage 
Would you be able to ADOPT ELMO and give him a permanent home, after all that he has gone through? He is rather easy to care for, once you understand his needs, movements and behaviour. He spends most of his days sleeping and his next best favourite is eating. He occasionally snaps but it’s not out of aggression, rather it’s from the fact that he cant see and is just being cautious or overtly excited.

We don’t know what breed he is but he is HDB approved and about a year old now.

Should you wish to adopt ELMO, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg


Say NO to Black Dog Syndrome

We've all heard that it's bad luck when a black cat crosses your path. And most of us don't believe it. We might even laugh at such an old-fashioned idea. Harry Potter fans would also be familiar with the Grim, a large black dog that brings death to those who have seen it. But nobody thinks that's real.

Why, then, are the adoption rates for black cats and dogs so abysmally low? At animal shelters, they are consistently being passed over for adoption, in favour of their less ominously-coloured peers. This happens all over the world. We've seen this happen firsthand at HOPE. We call this the "black dog syndrome".

Why does this happen? Is it superstition, or superficiality? Either way, we find this syndrome incredibly sad, and even a little bit ridiculous. We believe in equality. All dogs are gorgeous, inside and out. Old black local crossbreeds have the same unconditional love to offer as white pedigree puppies. You wouldn't treat a person differently based on the colour of their skin, so why does this happen with animals?

If you're looking for an addition to your family, give a black dog a chance. Most of our rescue dogs are black, because black dogs frequently tend to get into accidents in the night, when drivers can't really see them that well. We have several who are up for adoption, some of which have been with us for years.

Meet our black beauties, and perhaps you'll find yourself falling in love.

Our black dogs (or almost black) for adoption:

* Male, 2 years old, local breed
* Sterilized, vaccinated, microchipped 
* HDB-approved (Under Project ADORE)

A victim of hit and run, Alfie was hit by a speeding motorcycle and was flung to the side of the road. A security guard at a nearby factory saw the incident and called us. Alfie’s front leg was broken and had to undergo surgery. However he has recovered well from the incident and is fit as a fiddle now. Timid and shy, Alfie is a sweet and affectionate soul and is looking for a loving family to welcome him home.

Walks very well on leash, gentle and is alright with calm children. 

Read his story here and here.

* Male, 1 year old
* Sterilized, vaccinated, microchipped
* Not HDB approved

Blake's mother had died in a car accident not long after he was born, leaving him and two siblings to fend for themselves on the streets. A few months ago, Blake was found with two large barbed fishhooks embedded in his front leg, running a fever from the infection. We brought him to the vet where he underwent a surgery to remove the deeply embedded hooks from his legs, but he still has yet to find a safe home. He's not even a year old yet, but he's already been through so much.

Read more here.

HAPPY (has been with HOPE for 18 long months!)
* Female, 2+ years old, local breed
* Sterilised, vaccinated, microchipped
* Not HDB approved (tall and lanky)

Gets on well with other dogs and people. Happy was a victim of abandonment. She was tied to a bench on a very short leash before a passerby informed us of her predicament. Happy is the healthiest of all our rescue dogs, in perfect health. She is contented just playing in the garden and being the occasional gardener.

Read more about her here.

* Female, 1.5 years old, local cross, chocolate coloured
* Sterilised, vaccinated, microchipped
*HDB approved (under Project ADORE)

More of a dark chocolate colour, Marni used to live in a factory with a caregiver but sadly, he had to move to a new location upon completion of the project. Marni misses her caregiver but we promised both dog and caregiver that we would find her a very good and happy home. Marnis is extremely sweet, calm, affectionate, easy-going and cheeky! When she is happy, her whole body wags!

Walks very well on leash and is good with children.

Read Marni's story here.

MATTHIEU (has been with HOPE for 18 months)
* Male, 11 years old, local breed
* Sterilised, vaccinated, microchipped
* Doesn't have the use of his hind legs, moves about on a wheelchair, incontinent

Our favorite old man, Matthieu is pretty much a loner but gets on well with other dogs. Matthieu’s story touched, and broke, many hearts. His perseverance to survive was seen when he was injured and paralyzed from the waist down and yet survived by hiding under a lorry for two weeks. Since his rescue, everyone has been working hard to help Matthieu regain muscle tone in his hind legs. Matthieu has undergone more than 50 sessions of hydrotherapy and also numerous acupuncture sessions.

The hard work has paid off. He is able to WALK for at least 15 minutes unaided! Miracles do happen and it would be an even greater miracle if he found a home of his own!

Read more of his story here and here.

SASHA (has been with HOPE for 14 months)
* Female, 2.5 years old, local breed
* Sterilised, vaccinated, microchipped
* Not HDB approved

Sasha came to us with a huge gaping, maggot-infested wound on the nape of her neck. Despite her painful ordeal, Sasha preserves her fun-loving spirit and she is always up for some fun. Sasha is a fast-learner, obedient and intelligent. She is sociable and clicks well with children, dogs and cats. Her only pet peeve is being caged up.

Sasha is very affectionate to humans and loves being with company.

More of her story here and here.

* Female, 2 years old, local breed
* Sterilised, vaccinated, microchipped
* Doesn't have the use of her hind legs, moves about on a wheelchair, incontinent

Sida is a victim of a hit and run. She was trying to get away from an oncoming truck when it hit her. The back wheels of the truck rolled over her back, crushing her spine completely and leaving her paralysed. She has fought hard to survive this incident, and seems to be in brighter spirits. She loves human company and is very affectionate. Sida gets on well with other dogs.

Read her story here and here.

Please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg if you would like to adopt one of these darlings. You can also visit our adoption page here.


Clover (Yet Another Cat Rescue)

Every day we come across many cases of injured strays that are reported by members of the public, with even more cases of those that go unnoticed. For those that we hear of, how many of them truly receive any help at all? How many of them survive?  It is with the help of animal lovers that this cat managed to get the medical attention she needed.

Sweet Clover sitting at the void deck
Recently, a kind lady Jenny informed us about a cat that she saw limping around with an injured leg, and it only appeared during the nights.  We decided to help the cat and with the assistance of a professional cat catcher, we caught her after midnight and brought her to the vet the next day. Despite being injured, this cat was such a darling and so people friendly. We decided to name her Clover.

                                                              Watch how Clover was limping

Gorgeous Clover
Clover was really sweet at the vet. The Dr took her out and kissed her on her forehead and called her a darling! Clover was initially examined for a fractured leg as she was seen limping but as the vet examined her, drops of blood dripped onto the consult table. It was then that the vet realized that part of her paw pad was torn off which was presumably caused by stepping on something sharp, or perhaps her paw was caught in a drain cover / hole, and she may have hurt herself while trying to get out. The tear was deep and unforgiving on such a fragile body. Apart from that, she seemed perfectly fine. The vet cleaned up and bandaged her wound, and said that Clover will be good as new once her wound heals.

Torn paw pad
Clover at the vet
Swollen leg
As we were short on foster homes, we sent Clover to a cat boarding house for her to recuperate and allow us monitor her wound. As a community cat, Clover had also already been sterilised as part of Cat Welfare’s sterilisation programme. We thought the worse was over for Clover but the boarding house called us a few days later with bad news; Clover’s injured leg was now swollen.

It seemed like her wound had become infected despite having received treatment. The vet also noticed how her toes were in an awkward position, which may mean that more damage had been inflicted to her paws than we initially assumed. The vet suggested taking an X-ray of her toe to ascertain what exactly was wrong with it.

However, X-ray revealed that everything was normal and the swelling of her leg was most likely caused by the infection on her paw. Clover was warded at the vet for a few days till she was feeling better. During her stay at the vet, she was tested and found to have Feline Leukemia Virus, also known as FeLV, which can be transmitted to other cats. 

By a twist of fate, we managed to find Clover a foster just before her discharge.

Clover will be with the foster till the end of this week before she is returned to the HDB void deck where we found her. She looks to be about 2 to 3  years old, extremely sweet, friendly and affectionate. She allows us to carry, check and medicate her without any struggle. She doesn’t deserve to spend the rest of her life on the streets or under a block of flats.

If you have room for one cat, why not give Clover a home. Clover will be released this weekend as her paw is almost completely healed. If you can save her from the streets, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg Please bear in mind, should you wish to adopt Clover, she would need to be the only cat in the household, or to be with cats with similar FeLV.

Thank you!

Written by Yun Lu