Eaten Alive!

Little Scout, so tame and docile, was suspected by his feeders to be either a lost or abandoned dog, despite being less than a year old. People think that when they abandon a dog in an area with other dogs, their abandoned dog will appreciate the companionship. They are so wrong. This poor dog ended up so badly attacked, because he was an outsider and the dogs living there had already established their pack and were territorial. 

Feeders first spotted him in their regular feeding area back in October 2013. Scout was all alone then, and he has continued to live alone as a refugee in that area for the last 8 months. The poor dog was often seen running from other dogs in fear, not even daring to come out to eat. His feeders would only get to see him once in a blue moon. He would suddenly appear out of nowhere, grab a pack of rice, and run away just as quickly as he had come. Such was his sad life, he lived on the run and in great fear.

The territorial packs in the area would always try to hunt him down. Eventually, as it was bound to happen, little Scout got careless and was badly attacked. Despite being submissive and timid, the pack of dogs didn't spare him. There were 7 deep puncture wounds on him, including 3 huge ones on his back. But because he was always hiding and hardly appeared, the feeders hardly ever saw him. Nobody knew yet that he had been hurt.

Poor Scout, hurt so badly
Last week, one of his feeders was doing her routine feeding rounds when she finally got a good look at him. She noticed 3 huge puncture wounds on his back. But they couldn't catch him. The next time they saw him was more than a week later. Maggots had infested his wound so badly that the 3 holes had merged into one huge, gaping and badly infected crater. The maggots had been feasting on his flesh and he was literally being eaten alive.

One feeder aunty called another feeder aunty; and in the end, 3 aunties went after this poor little puppy. He tried to evade them by running into a nearby condo, but they managed to corner him there and put a leash around him. Scout didn't even put up a struggle. He completely gave up and let them leash him. He must have been so weak and tired from running away from the bigger dogs that he knew this was best for him. Or maybe he simply couldn't care any more.

The aunties carried him to the car and took him to the vet for emergency rescue. They drove with the windows down, the overpowering smell of rotting flesh wafting through the air. The little dog sat silently and trustingly beside them. It felt as if he had been in cars before. Poor fellow, could he be reminiscing and missing the family that abandoned him?

Maggots feasting on Scout's back, eating him alive 
Maggots kept falling off his body and into the car, but the kind aunties didn't care. They were only concerned with saving this sweet little boy. His wound was a lot worse than Champ's. Although Champ's wound was huge and his skull was exposed, he received medical attention earlier, so the wound was not as badly infected. Scout's wound was deep and at least 10 days old. He trembled in pain but not once did he whine or complain about the situation he was in. He was just grateful to be saved. 

Flesh from half of his back had been eaten by maggots

Scout is about 1 year old and small-sized. He is probably HDB-sized. He has been sterilized previously, and has an ear tattoo instead of an ear clip. He is very sweet, and doesn't mind being handled. He allows us to open his mouth and check his teeth, hand-feed him, etc.

Handsome lil fella

Fortunately, he tested negative for heartworm and tick fever. But he is suffering from low protein levels and his white blood count is extremely elevated. He is very, very weak and lethargic. He keeps lying down and sleeping, and we fear that septicemia might be setting in because his wound is very badly infected. The next few days are crucial.

Extremely pale gums

                                               More puncture wounds caused by the bigger dogs.

Most of the time when our volunteers visit, he is asleep. He could be lethargic and weak from the severe pain and infection. He could also be tired from months of being on the run. We take turns to visit this little one daily, bringing him nutritious food and comforting him.

Change the lives of those who have no Hope. 

To contribute to Little Scout's vet bills or foster him as our vet bills are sky high and we can no longer afford to keep our dogs at the vet for too long, for treatment, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg 


Lost And Never Found?

Do you know this dog? He has a sad tale to tell.

He was found by a kind young lady on the morning of 27 May 2014, on her way to school.

This was how he was when he was first found, dirty and bleeding. The kind young lady bathed and cleaned him up.
She saw him running along the pavement at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, near Block 324. Despite being so dirty, her first instinct was to catch him before he ran onto the road, so together with another lady, they managed to get hold of this little dog.

He looks like a Silky Terrier, male, microchipped and not sterilized. He was extremely dehydrated, tired, hungry and thirsty when he was found. We suspect this poor little dog has been roaming the streets for a very long time, months possibly.

Exhausted from months of roaming the streets
Parts of his body was bleeding, he was covered with dirt, his fur badly matted, he smelled bad, his eyes were tearing, his ears so dirty you could hardly see the ear opening.

He fell asleep on the consult table. He knew he was finally safe
Left ear was bleeding and part of it was missing, it looked like someone had tied a rubber band around his ear for a period of time. 

His eyes were tearing, possibly from all the dirt and irritants on the streets

His ears were so dirty we couldn't even see the ear opening.
He had a sore on his right leg

One can only imagine how a little dog managed to survive for so long alone on the streets.

We sent him to the vet immediately and he has been warded.

No matter how many dogs we rescue, it always breaks our hearts
We have named him Elliot. The case has been reported to AVA and SPCA.

Elliot's details :
Breed : Silky Terrier
Sex : Male (Not sterilized)
Estimated Age  :  4 years old
Microchip Number : 98200910*******
Found On : 27 May 2014 at 9.45am
Found At : Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, near Block 324

If you know this dog, please email us. If you know of anyone who has lost a silky terrier in the past few months or years, please ask them if this is their dog. We think he could be a lost dog that was never found.

And if you can foster this poor little dog or help with his vet bills, please let us know. Email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg


Shooting Darts With The Intent to Hurt?

A fellow animal lover had informed us of a recent case that he had come across – a dart stuck in the shoulder blade of a stray dog. Who had done this evil deed to a poor innocent dog? We were terribly disturbed and upset by the thought of someone going around shooting darts and arrows on these homeless dogs, for fun, with the intent to hurt. 

This was the dart lodged inside the dog's back
The dart did not seem like a tranquilizer dart so we didn’t think that the intention was to tranquilize then trap the dog to bring it in for sterilization. We did a quick research on tranquilizer darts and found out that these darts can cause severe harm and injury such as severe tissue injury, including haemorrhage and bone fractures to small animals.

The poor dog undergoing surgery to remove the dart from his back
Looking at the photographs and x-ray, the dart was very deeply lodged into the back of this dog. Whoever who shot that dart would have been someone with great strength, shot from close range or both. Was it intentional to hurt the dog? Kill it? Or was the dog mistaken for a wild boar?

X-ray showing the dart lodged in the dog 

The culprit’s actions didn’t seem like it had the intention to tranquilize and rescue the dog for sterilization. Was it for culling then? Was it a homemade dart? Are these legal in Singapore and who has access to them?

Fortunately kind souls managed to save the dog in time, send it to the vet and the poor dog underwent a surgery to remove the dart from its back.
Undergoing surgery. Thank God for fellow animal lovers.

The fortunate dog survived. 

We would like to appeal for information. Has anyone seen or heard of similar cases? Do you have photographic evidence? Email us at hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg  We need to know more in order to protect these innocent stray dogs from being walking targets. 



As I was driving round the area searching for the dog with a neck wound, I saw a dog running to the coffee shop area and a kind lady working there feeding him. I rushed down wondering if that's the wounded dog I was looking for. But it wasn't. They informed me this dog (Xiao Huang) has a back wound, a 2 cm-long narrow wound. As it was past 8 pm and the vet clinic would be closed, I decided to come back the next day to try trap him and bring him to a vet.

The subsequent days passed without anyone spotting Xiao Huang. The feeder aunty then shared with me that Champ (the dog with the head injury) is Xiao Huang's buddy. Both of them have been standing by each other ever since their factory (their home) got demolished, rendering both of them 'homeless'.

On Friday, the feeder aunty called me and said she spotted Xiao Huang, and was trying to stay by him so he won't run away. I rushed down with a leash, while the feeder activated her hubby to bring a cage over to facilitate us catching him. It was urgent. It was an emergency. It had been 3 days since I last saw Xiao Huang and I prayed silently that his 2 cm-long narrow wound didn't deteriorate.

We were saddened by what we saw
To my horror, the 2 cm-small wound had deteriorated to a gaping huge hole with lots of maggots eating into the flesh. Panic set in and we knew we must catch Xiao Huang and get him to the vet.

Maggots feasting on poor Xiao Huang's flesh
While feeder Esther lured the famished and thirsty Xiao Huang with food, I slowly looped the leash around his neck. But the challenge came when we had to get Xiao Huang into the carrier. By this time, the second feeder aunty and the coffee shop helper had come over to help. They have been feeding Xiao Huang for the past year. She helped us hold, comfort, and reassure Xiao Huang as he had become very stressed and agitated. He struggled and attempted to break free and escape. We had to coordinate our efforts. One person held the carrier, one covered the dog's face, one held the leash, and one carried Xiao Huang. With everyone's help, we managed to get Xiao Huang into the carrier.

We called Fiona from HOPE Dog Rescue who immediately assembled and activated her team of key volunteers to attend to this emergency. Everyone rushed to the vet immediately. The smell of rotting flesh permeated the car as we sped to the vet.

Xiao Huang is extremely sweet, seen here taking his weight
I watched with despair and horror, holding back my tears as I watched the vet and technician sedating him and cleaning his wound. There was another smaller wound on his left but thankfully that's still a pretty fresh wound and only had 2 maggots. There were soooo many maggots in the huge hole and they were huge, fat and having a feast on poor Xiao Huang.

Xiao Huang is now safe at the vet. It's thanks to HOPE and their kind and immediate attention that we managed to save the life of another street dog. 

Written by Hedy Ling 

Note from HOPE : 

Xiao Huang is a sweet dog. He isn't terribly young, perhaps between 6 to 8 years old, although they do sometimes look much older than they really hard because of the tough life they have had, living on the streets.

Xiao Huang was attacked by some dogs from a different territory and according to the aunty that feeds him, this isn't the first time. Some years back he was injured as well and someone else had sent him to the vet. Xiao Huang is very sweet, calm and affectionate. He is appreciative of the attention you give him, loves pats and walks so well on leash - better than many pet dogs we have seen!

Lines of hardship written on his face
Sweet and affectionate. All he wants is for somebody to love him

Today Xiao Huang will undergo a surgery to close the two wounds on his back, as well as be sterilized and ear tipped. We will then wait a week for him to fully recover before releasing him back to where we found him. We know that he would risk being attacked again, but unfortunately we have too many dogs in our charge, our dogs are not getting adopted and we have no means of taking more in.

If you can foster Xiao Huang long term or adopt him, please send us an email. We are not sure how he is with other dogs and children, but he is an absolute darling with us.

To help with Xiao Huang's vet bills, foster or adopt him, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg


Ah Boy. Give Him Hope To Live On

Ah Boy
Ah Boy is safe in his foster home. Like an old person, he has good and bad days. On good days he eats well and walks about a little to explore his new environment. On not so good days, he spends his days in deep sleep and hardly eating. Perhaps, like a stray dog, he is used to very little food.

Watch the video of Ah Boy walking  

His legs are stiff and weak as he wobbles about slowly. His left hind leg seems to move in an awkward position as he walks. We will have the vet look at it on his next vet visit this week when he goes back for a review. He needs a blood test to check if his seizure medications are of the right dosage. He has not had any seizures since his discharge and he is slowly getting stronger but his progress is slow, possibly because of his age and years of malnutrition. 

His bones protrude from his body and his entire body in hunched. Poor Ah Boy reminds us of a Chinese Crested

Sweet Lil' Ah Boy
His vision and hearing are good and he enjoys freshly cooked food daily. His food needs to be blended as his teeth are all rotten and darling Ah Boy is fed 4 to 5 small meals throughout the day. He has a new love, fresh milk! 

His fur is badly matted but we won’t shave it just yet as he hardly has any fur on most parts of his body and often shivers from the cold. Our volunteers and the foster have bought him some shirts as well as liquid glucosamine in the hope that it helps strengthen his bones and rids his arthritis.

He doesn't seem to know his name. When you call Ah Boy, he looks at you but he doesn't seem to know that it means he should come to you. He has been neglected in many ways and indeed has had a sad past.

Things can only get better for Ah Boy. With Hope, all things are possible.

To support the work we do, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg


He's My Buddy

Another dog had appeared a few months ago from the same golf course that William and Timothy had come from. Thanks to the kind Uncle R, a security guard at the golf course, we were informed of this new stray who seemed to be in trouble.

This new stray first started wandering around Uncle R’s guardhouse, perhaps desperately looking for food. Uncle R, out of the kindness of his heart, took pity on him and took him under his care and fed him with duck necks. The dog appeared weak and seemed to be suffering from skin problems. Uncle R observed that the dog would scratch himself nonstop till his skin bled. Uncle R, ever thoughtful, even tried to take extra care of the dog’s diet to ensure the food he gives will not exacerbate his skin allergies, but it did not seem to improve. Uncle R couldn’t bear to see this any longer and approached us to bring this poor stray to the vet.

Buddy on the way to the vet

They tied him with lots of rope for fear of him escaping
Uncle R speaks well of the dog and seems to have a special bond with him. In the few short months of time spent together, they have gotten so close that the dog will sleep in the guardhouse with him. The dog even knows Uncle R’s work routine. He accompanies Uncle R when he makes his rounds, following Uncle R around faithfully. He copies Uncle R's shift pattern and only appears at night. He is indeed Uncle R’s best friend at work; hence we decided to name him Buddy.

Uncle R plays his part in protecting Buddy. He knows that his boss does not welcome stray dogs, so he shoos Buddy away with a stick when his boss comes around. He refuses to give the boss a chance to alert the authorities to take Buddy away. Buddy being extremely intelligent quickly got used to this new drill, he often disappears once Uncle R picks up the stick signaling that the boss is here. He then appears again only after the boss leaves.

In order to help take Buddy to the vet, our volunteers loaned Uncle R a carrier and instructed Uncle R to bring the dog in. Uncle R managed to catch the dog for us and we sent Buddy to the vet the next day. It was amusing to see how Buddy was caught; Uncle R was worried that Buddy might panic and run away so he wrapped ropes around Buddy like a straight jacket so he wouldn’t make a run for it.

When we brought him to the vet, Buddy was so weak that he could hardly stand. His legs kept giving way to his body weight. To better assess his health condition, we had to run blood tests on Buddy. Thankfully, he was tested negative for Parvo and Distemper. However, he has ehrlichia, heartworm and smegma.

Buddy had skin problems and his legs were weak.
Poor Buddy wondering how to get out of this mess
He is actually very sweet and didn' t need to be muzzled
We had to ward him immediately due to his poor condition. When Buddy recovers, we will definitely return him to his best friend, Uncle R. For now, we just pray for best for him and hope Buddy can recover well.

Just like other strays, Buddy does not lead an easy life and does not get as much love as a pet dog would. He certainly looks much older than he really is. However, despite the harsh life of being a stray, Buddy is lucky enough to meet someone like Uncle R who cares so much for him. Many strays out there are not as fortunate; they are still wandering out there with injuries or have health conditions that we do not even know about. If only we can help and rehome every stray dog. However it is never going to be possible if there is no change to the governing rules here in Singapore.

Uncle R and his furry friends keep each other company
This certainly does not mean that there is nothing we can do. We can play our part by changing people’s perception of stray dogs. A little goes a long way and we should not underestimate any effort each person can put in, as you are playing a part in changing the life of our less fortunate man’s best friend. Look at Uncle R, how his kindness has helped rebuild the life another stray. Remember, we can all do small things, but with great love. Let us bring a healthy Buddy back to Uncle R!

To buy kibbles for Uncle R's dogs or support the work we do, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg  Each large bag of low grade kibbles (40lbs) costs just $50/- and can last Uncle R and his dogs about 2 weeks as he supplements the food with duck and chicken necks that he buys too.

Written by Yunlu


Ah Boy. Does Neglect Constitute Abuse?

On 22 April, we were approached by a girl, V, who wanted to give up her dog, Ah Boy. She told us that her family was not able to take care of him any more. This didn't sound very terrible at first, and HOPE was prepared to offer them aid. But as it turns out, Ah Boy's situation was much worse than "family not able to take care of him".

The first photo we received of Ah Boy when they asked us to remove him from their home
Ah Boy lived in a flat with V's brother, father, and grandmother. V's email to us said that Ah Boy was unusually smelly, that the smell was bad for their health and to please take him away. V suspected that he was suffering from some sort of chronic illness, but she claimed that his family was unable to send Ah Boy to the vet. We thought that the foul smell could be from his severe ear infection or his rotting teeth, both of which are possible cases of neglect.

Ah Boy's first vet visit with us. So hunched from arthritis, he could hardly stand straight.
Almost a walking skeleton. With no fur, he reminded us of Prince and Elmo.
HOPE always tries to help those who are unable to care for their dogs, rather than just remove the dog, especially in cases where a senior dog is involved as the dog may pine away for the family if taken away. We offered them financial aid. We were willing to cover all the medical bills for Ah Boy, for as long as he lived, and provide the family with pet food, supplies and grooming. We would also send volunteers to check on him twice weekly and bathe him every week. We just wanted to enable the family to continue caring for him and for him to be with his family in his golden years.

Ah Boy is 14 years old.

V bargained with us. She doesn't live with Ah Boy and his family and doesn't have much say in his care. She needed us to also take care of all transport and logistical arrangements for visits to the vet. It wasn't too much to ask, but it showed us that her family really wanted nothing to do with the dog any more. They were only begrudgingly letting Ah Boy continue staying in their house on the condition that we take up full responsibility for his care. We realized that they were not unable to care for Ah Boy, but unwilling.

Since Ah Boy is very old, we didn't want him to have to deal with separation issues at this age. On hindsight, we should have just taken Ah Boy in when V first called us. What happened to Ah Boy next taught us that we will really need to learn how to be less naive, less idealistic and more realistic in such situations in the future.

We brought Ah Boy to the vet on 28 April and 30 April. He weighed a mere 1.8 kg and we found that he had heart murmur. He was also suffering from enlargement of the heart vessel, which was pressing on the lungs and causing persistent cough. He had bacterial infections in the ears, which is probably the cause of the "foul smell" that the family has been complaining about (although personally, we didn't think that he smelled bad). He has arthritis and weakened leg muscles, which causes him to limp. His arthritis is so severe that his body is hunched and he can no longer stand straight. His hair loss is due to possible hormonal changes and malnutrition. He also has low blood pressure and is grossly underweight as he had not been eating. We later found out the family had been feeding him fried chicken wings this whole time. They had only switched to dry kibbles last year, which he couldn't even eat since his teeth had all rotted, but they continued with leaving the kibbles for him. 

After each visit, he was sent back to V's grandmother's place. Our volunteers showed his family how to feed him his new diet of canned food and medication. We promised to come and bathe him so the grandmother didn't have to, since she had difficulties walking.

But on 6 May, Ah Boy started having a seizure on the floor. His family didn't want to deal with him, so they took a cellphone video of him twitching on the floor, flailing in his own excrement, and sent it to us. When we received the message, we were horrified. What are these people doing?! We rushed to their home immediately, intending to bring Ah Boy to the vet. On the way there, we called them and instructed them to put a towel under him, so that he wouldn't hurt himself banging his frail body on the floor. They flatly refused. They said that Ah Boy was dirty with diarrhea and they didn't want to touch him. We were flabbergasted, but the worst is yet to come.

When we arrived, they opened the door and asked us why bother taking him to the vet. They had wanted to just wrap the thing in old newspaper and toss him down the garbage chute! We couldn't believe our ears. What were these people thinking? How could they say that about their own dog?

We didn't have time to argue. We grabbed Ah Boy and rushed him to the A&E, where he continued to seize, even after three hours. The vet on duty examined Ah Boy and found multiple bruises, which he got from slamming against the floor while seizing, since his family had refused to cushion his body with a towel. He had a large bruise on his head and several more on his back along his spine, and on his hind legs. He had been thrashing on the ground for over two hours. Ah Boy was warded, put on drip and kept under observation for the night.

At A&E. He had been having a seizure for almost 3 hours
His body was covered in pooh for having been left on the floor for hours. His spine was so badly bruised we could see the red mark running down his back.
More bruises and pooh on other parts of his body
A huge bruise on his tiny little head, caused by thrashing on the floor for hours
How could you do this to me? 
V told us not to return Ah Boy if he survived. The family was always fighting because of him, and she was worried that they might take their anger out on him. Apparently, Ah Boy had urinated on the floor in the apartment that day and they got angry with him. V claimed that the family beats Ah Boy. Whether she said this so that we would not return him, or it was a fact, we didn't want to find out.

More bruising caused by the seizure
Rotten teeth
We were furious. Furious at his family, and furious at ourselves. We were terribly mistaken in our hope that they would care at all for this animal that they had lived with for the last 14 years. We just couldn't fathom that a family could feel no love, no attachment to an animal they themselves had chosen to bring into their home 14 years ago. This animal that depended on them for his survival, that trusted them with his life and loved them unconditionally and faithfully. They didn't care about him at all. They really felt nothing towards Ah Boy. We couldn't believe that people could be this cold. But now we know better. We just wish that we had taken him in sooner. We should really have taken him when V first called.

They wanted to wrap this up in newspaper and throw him down the rubbish chute

Now that Ah Boy has been taken out of his unhappy environment, we are positive his life will be happier with brighter days ahead. The old boy is 14 years old, and he should be enjoying lazy days in the sun, or on a lap. Despite losing faith in humanity, we are certain that there are many kind souls who would be willing to open their hearts and homes to Ah Boy. When you meet him, his bright personality will amaze you. He is such a sweet, forgiving, darling boy.

If you're able to foster / adopt Ah Boy, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg
Ah Boy is still warded at the vet, waiting for a foster to take him home.

Written by Elena Lin