Prison Break

As posted on our Facebook on 22 April 2015

We received this photograph of two badly neglected dogs in the playpen. It was sent to us by Patrick Cher of Purely Adoptions, asking us if we could help save one of these two dogs. Purely Adoptions had taken the dog in the background 3 days back but somehow did not manage to get both dogs to safety. The dog standing in front had been left behind.

Photograph received from Purely Adoptions

The look of desperation on their faces spoke volumes of their sadness and suffering. From the little we have gathered, the dogs are about 7 to 8 years, have been caged for the past 5 years, not vaccinated and never been to the vet.

We immediately agreed to help even though we are already stretched to the max with more than 30 dogs, no shelter and limited funds saved for a rainy day.

It seems that these two dogs belong to an elderly lady who had a stroke some years back. The dogs were left to the care of her 30-something year old son who didn’t bother very much about these two dogs, resulting in gross neglect. Neglect constitutes abuse; what different is this from a breeding farm? Looking at the blurred photograph, the dog standing in front looks senior, blind and unkempt.

With faith in our supporters and fellow dog lovers, we intend to take the dog out and rush him to the vet, in the belief that we will have your support. We hope he is still alive and we hope that they have not changed their minds about handing the dog over to us.

Stay tuned for more updates and thank you Purely Adoptions for helping the dog and allowing us to help the remaining dog.

Updates :
Two volunteers went to the home during midday to take the second and last remaining dog out. Our intention was to take him straight to the vet. An elderly lady greeted us at the corridor. She spoke English and looked to be in her mid 60s. She gestured for us to enter her home to take the dog away. Her left side of her body seemed to have mild paralysis, most probably from her stroke, but she was still able to walk with the aid of a walking stick.

We entered the house, towards the kitchen but could not see the Shihtzu or playpen. But we could smell him from a distance. He reeked of urine and smelled moldy as if he has not had a bath in years. Surrounding the playpen were chairs, tables and weights, to ensure the pen could not move / collapse and perhaps ensure that the dogs could not escape. The playpen and its surrounding were dirty and it blended in with the furniture and mess in the kitchen. Inside the small playpen was just a pee tray. There was no water bowl inside. The little Shihtzu was bouncing on his hind legs continuously, begging to be carried, begging for attention.

We bent over and gingerly lifted him up, as we weren’t sure if he had any injuries. Despite his thick badly matted fur, we could feel his ribs protruding. He was so excited to be lifted up and carried. His joy at just being lifted out of that playpen was indescribable. It felt as if he had not been touched or patted for ages. He reeked of urine and that stench stayed on our clothes, hair and car for the rest of the day.

The owner called him “Pui Pui” (fat fat) but he was far from that. His fur was so badly matted that it was hardened and stuck to his body. Parts of his fur was literally peeling off his skin, revealing red and raw skin beneath. He must have been so used to living with that pain and discomfort that he seemed unperturbed. He was just so glad to be carried out of the playpen. We wondered when was the last time he had a bath. The elderly lady said last month . . . . .We were thinking like last year . . . .She told us he had been fed with white rice and a few pieces of chicken once a day. We guess money was an issue . . . but the least she could do was to at least clean them up . . .She also said he was about 3 years old.

We decided to name him Ethan.

Ethan’s eyes were wet and teary and we could see an ulcer on his left eye. His ears smelled bad too, but these weren’t really big concerns. It was part and parcel of a neglect case. All we wanted to do was to get him out of the hell hole and take him to the vet.

The elderly lady bid her farewell and we left.

The fur on his chest had literally peeled off

Imagine the stench coming from poor Ethan

Once downstairs, Ethan was excited and curious. It must have been ages since he felt the grass under his feet and sunshine on his back. As the vet was closed for lunch, we took him to a volunteer’s home to trim off all his badly matted fur and clean him up. It took two volunteers 2 hours and it was still uncompleted but he was due for his vet appointment.

When we entered the clinic, the vet stared at him and said, “Oh my god, what happened to this dog and where did you get him from?” Poor Ethan.

The fur on his underside had peeled off too but it must have been a while, leaving dry scabs on him

What a cute, sweet face he has!

We spent 2 hours cutting off his badly matted fur

We had never seen this before, the fur on his chest was literally peeling off 

Ethan was given a complete health check and had his blood taken. He was also given a dewormer and a jab for his skin condition. While waiting for his blood results, we let him walk about the clinic and we noticed that his lower back would swing to the side as he walked. We went in for another consult and asked the vet to check his spine and vet confirmed that he his spine was degenerating, possibly from standing and jumping on his hind legs for years in the playpen, begging to be carried.

Ethan was a very good boy, just lying on the floor for 2 hours patiently waiting for us to trim his fur 

Conclusion of the vet visit :

· *Gross neglect, malnourished, underweight

· *Male, unsterilized, unvaccinated, estimated 3 to 4 years old

· *Negative for Heartworm and Tick Fever

· *Ulcer on left eye caused by an abrasion and left untreated (will need eye drops for life)

· *Ear infection

· *Kidney readings slightly elevated

· *Low muscle tone in hind legs, bow legged in front legs from lack of exercise

· *Spinal degeneration (needs to wear a waist band / corset). Must not be allowed to jump,stand on hind legs, climb stairs. Will need hydrotherapy to strengthen muscles

· *To be put on supplements for his bones

The vet felt so sorry for poor Ethan, who was so grossly neglected and had nowhere to go, he allowed Ethan to stay free for the night and the kind nurses spent another hour shaving off the fur that was peeling off his skin. All the clinic staff commented how sweet and adorable he is.

Ethan had an ulcer in his left eye

Ethan’s new family should be one that would devote all their free time to him, to be able to make up for all the things he never had, take him for nice walks, to the park, feed him yummy meals and love him like he’s never been loved.

He is due back at the vet in a week’s time to be vaccinated and in a month’s time for a blood test to recheck his kidney functions. We are glad we have him with us and from now on, things can only get better.

If you would like to help Ethan with his vet bills, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg