Dogs Don’t Cry

At HOPE, we're always talking about the horrors that stray dogs face on the streets. We all know how tough life is, for a dog who doesn't have a home. But once in a while, we get a call about a neglected pet, and it breaks our hearts. A home should be a warm, loving, safe place, not a cold, damp prison. Once we adopt an animal, we are responsible for its life. They will have no other source of food, love, or comfort except us. We are all they know.

Joey, a 7 to 9 year old Silky Terrier, had a miserable home. For a large part of his life, he lived in a tiny cage in the corner of a toilet. His world was dark, dirty and lonely. He didn't get walks. He didn't get to smell fresh air. He didn't receive any affection, or get any acknowledgement that he was even alive.

Life wasn't always like that. When Joey was young, he too knew happiness. He had a loving owner, Mama, who would give him hugs and kisses. But one day, Mama was moved into a home for the aged... and Joey was moved into a cage in a toilet.

He missed Mama. He didn't understand what had happened, or where she had gone. He didn't know that his life had changed forever. As he got used to his new surroundings, he waited hopefully, anxiously for Mama's return.

But time passed, and Mama did not return. His naive hope slowly turned into despair, then lifeless depression. His family slowly stopped paying any attention to him. They did only bare minimum to keep him alive. They didn't groom him or give him showers. His meals came only once every few days, when they remembered to feed him. He was shriveling up, becoming skin and bones.

His very first bath after his rescue

According to the wife, Joey's owner would beat him when he was noisy. But Joey lived in a cage, so we're not sure how he was beaten. Maybe he was brought out of the cage to be beaten - in which case, it's no wonder that he would make noise. Even if he did receive a harsh beating, it was still an opportunity to leave that tiny hell. Maybe the owner opened the door just enough to stick a foot in to kick him, or maybe he just hit the outside of the cage. Who knows what creative ways of abuse Joey had experienced?

Maybe it was after one of these beatings that Joey's ear became so badly injured and infected that he could no longer hear. Maybe it was an ear infection left untreated. There was pus flowing out of his ear, and the ear was so swollen and heavy that it was hanging down, instead of perking up.

Badly infected ear filled with pus 

A kind woman had heard about Joey's plight from an ex-colleague. She saw his picture, and decided to foster him. She met him for the first time on 15 August 2015.

"His spirit was low, his teeth badly decayed, his left ear badly inflamed and infected and a body which is made up of skin and bones. I looked into his eyes and I wondered what made him live. Hope, I guess? Hope to be loved again. I fed and bathed him but I know he needed much more. He needed immediate medical help. I contacted HOPE Dog Rescue. Immediately they set up an appointment with the vet.

On the day of the appointment, they took over Joey’s case and did a blood test to check on his organ functions, ultrasound and urine test. Joey has 3 stones in the kidney area and one at the prostate, near the bladder. His urine was acidic. The vet suggested to do a surgery to have the stones removed and at the same time, sterilize him. It was also needful to clean his badly decaying teeth. Joey was given some antibiotics and steroid pills for his inflamed ear, and medication to clean his ear. He was also placed on a special diet due to his kidney stones.

Let’s hope the surgery can restore his hope."

Sweet little Joey at the vet

Imagine our shock and disgust when we were called to take Joey's case. A pet that was so badly neglected and abused that he needed immediate medical attention. Joey was skin and bones. He was peeing blood. He had pus flowing from his ears, which were so painful that he would instinctively snap and bite if we tried to touch them. His teeth were so rotten that we could smell them from a distance. He also had extremely poor eyesight.

Joey's pee

Badly decayed teeth that you could smell a mile away

Nails weren't as bad as we expected

Although Joey is almost blind, he can still see shadows up close. If your hand goes near him, he will growl and be very fierce. He must have been so badly abused for his behaviour to have become like that. Imagine a senior dog having to muster up all his energy to be fierce, to have to protect himself.

When we did the ultrasound scan, we saw stones in his bladder, kidney, and prostate. We scheduled his surgery to take place as soon as possible. In surgery, Joey's blood pressure plunged when he was under anesthesia, which was worrying, but the vet managed to bring the pressure back to normal. She said that some dogs are just sensitive to general anesthesia. Poor Joey! Luckily, the vet managed to complete the surgery and sterilize him.

Poor Joey's vision is so bad, he only sees shadows 

The big stone in his prostate has been removed. The clinic will send it to a lab for a biopsy test. The stones in Joey's bladder are no longer visible. The vet mentioned that they have been flushed out by pee, a side effect of the medication that Joey is taking for the blood in his pee.

The infected ear has been flushed and most of Joey's rotten teeth have also been removed. The good news is that the clinic managed to save some of his teeth by cracking off the tartar build up.

Sweet Joey looking really cute with his muzzle during the vet check

The vet also advised that we put Joey on a renal diet, probably for life, as she was concerned that he might be prone to having stones in his kidneys. Since he's already a senior dog, he may not be viable for surgery to remove any more stones in the future.

Overall, the surgery was successful and Joey will be kept in the clinic to be monitored for a few days before he is discharged. Joey has gone through so much. We're so glad that he has finally received the care he needed. We look forward to him starting his life anew, in a proper home where he is wanted and loved.

Poor Joey will be warded for a few days till his condition stabilizes 

If you can help with poor Joey’s vet bills, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg