Forever home found: Scooter is adopted!

Our dear Scooter is getting his best Christmas gift ever – a new home, a new name and a new beginning! Our sweet little boy charmed his way into his foster family’s hearts when they took him for fostering while he was recovering from his leg surgery in October 2019. (read the backstory here.)

Scooter is one of those who had a rough start in life. He was left alone in life at just five months when he lost his mother and sister in a road accident. To make matters worse, Scooter was hit by a motorcycle a few weeks later when he went in search of his family. He was in pain for about four days before we found him during our stray feeding rounds.

When we rushed him to the vet, things didn’t look good for Scooter; the vet advised that his leg may need to be amputated. Thankfully after a second opinion was sought, his leg was saved. And after three months of recuperation in his foster home, Scooter’s leg is completely healed, and he can now run and play and be happy like a puppy should.

We would like to thank Melanie for opening her home and heart to Scooter, who is now known as Spencer. Many thanks also go to our volunteers for their unwavering commitment to helping Scooter; for shuttling him between clinics, and waiting with him during the wee hours at the clinic. Our supporters for helping foot his medical bills, which helped us get a second opinion and saved Balloon / Scooter /Spencer’s leg.

This Christmas is truly a special one for everyone – Spencer, and his new family – Mama, Grandma, and Grandpa.

If you’re looking for an adorable new addition to the family, look to our rescues at http://hopedogrescue.blogspot.com/p/adoption.html.

By: Felicia Tan


Why is My Dog Not Eating

Imagine this. You return home after a day of work or school, and you're greeted by your beloved senior dog, wagging his tail from left to right. You head to the kitchen and prepare dinner for your pet only to realize that he does not dive right into the scrumptious meal like he used to. When old dogs do not eat, the first thing that pops into an owner’s mind is often the fact that their dog is being fussy, becoming a picky eater or simply just tired of having the same food over and over again. Occasionally, this assumption may be true but in some cases, this is not the only reason.

Owners with a senior dog must be alert when their pet is not eating their food, as this could be a sign that they are unwell. Kidney disease is a silent killer amongst older dogs. They might drink a lot of water, pee more than usual and develop poor appetite, leaving them feeling nauseous most of the time. Food that used to get them sprinting across one room to the next could be something that do not excite them any longer. In issues like kidney disease, dogs do not show signs until the final stage. If owners are not attentive to their dog’s behavioural patterns, their pet could start throwing up which may be caused by toxins build up in their kidneys. This may lead to death.

When a senior dog stops eating, this could also be a neurological issue caused by canine cognitive dysfunction. It might seem absurd but in some cases, old dogs forget how to eat and drink. They have trouble coordinating their eating like picking up food from the bowl, and if the owner tries to spoon feed them, they might have trouble biting from the spoon too. This might frustrate some owners, allowing them to believe that their dogs are fussy eaters. Sometimes, handfeeding might be the simplest and most helpful way to feed an old dog but just be careful they may unintentionally bite your hand because they have a lot of trouble coordinating. 

Senior dogs could also have bad teeth. Just like us human beings, a bad tooth makes us lose our appetite. However, unlike people who can choose softer food to lessen the pain, dogs may have to chew on hard kibbles, which causes their teeth to hurt even more so. Sometimes, old dogs have gum diseases and that could affect their appetite as well. In some cases, gum diseases could lead to blood poisoning and therefore, a heart attack.

It is no wonder that with age brings about more health issues.

However, it is always important to bring your pet to the vet if he is not acting like how he usually is. There are many other reasons as to why your dog is not as enthusiastic about food, eating lesser than he normally would or not eating at all, and it is best to not assume that he is simply just a picky eater. Bring your dog to the vet for a check-up, and see if their teeth and gums are healthy. The vet can also perform a blood test on the dog’s liver and kidney functions. One can also ask the vet if the change in habits is a canine cognitive dysfunction. It is better to act on it now rather than later and hopefully, owners can find the cause of their old dog’s poor eating habits.

Written by: Debbi Tan


Lil' Scooter Vet Update 4

Scooter was back at the vet recently for a review of his fractured leg and to be sterilized.

The good news is all's well for Scooter!
His X-ray images are normal. Bone fracture on his leg has completely healed, much faster than we expected. The vet has given him the green light to run, jump and do anything he wants! The sterilization surgery went smoothly although his blood pressure was a little low during the
procedure. It might have been due to the fasting before surgery. In any case, he's fine now.

The vet said that Scooter's weight is good although he can still afford to gain another 1-2 kg. But the vet cautioned that Scooter's metabolism will slow down after his sterilization, so we will have to
watch his meals from now on.

We thank Jean for taking time off from work to accompany Scooter on all of his vet reviews and for making the effort to visit him weekly. Scooter's vet visit this round costs $645. If you can help Scooter with his vet bill, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg for details.

Thank you!


A Little Help for the Fish Farm Dogs

A couple of years ago, the fish farm folks approached Hope’s volunteers for help when they saw us during one of the stray feeding rounds.  At that time, we were told, the farm dogs survived on fish food (Read the backstory here).

Volunteers helped the folks to arrange for the farm dogs to be sterilized, all 11 of them. We also gave them dog kibbles and canned food. Once a month we went down to apply Frontline on the dogs and bring them a feast of cooked food. We would also take their dogs to the vet each time they got sick or injured, and snake bites were common. We did this for a couple of months till the workers felt they could manage on their own.

Recently, we were informed that one of the dogs required a visit to the vet due to an ear infection. It looked like he had a haematoma.

On a Saturday, friends and volunteers went down to visit the farm and to assess the dog.

The farm has changed with time, but the folks around, including its immediate neighbours/workers, remain kind and are all trying their best to care for the animals around them.

We brought the dog with haematoma to the vet. The dog was very sweet despite the fact that he was nervous being away from his home and pack.

The vet examined the dog, cleaned his ears thoroughly and provided him with the necessary care and vaccination.  After which, the dog was returned safely back to the farm.

The folks would appreciate and could do with a little help with dog food for the dogs. If you would like to donate kibbles or canned food for the farm dogs and/or to support our weekly stray feeding session, please e-mail to hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.  Thank you.


Too Many Cats...It's Madness

Update (26 Nov 2019):

Cat Welfare Society (CWS) has clarified that their funds are focused on the sterilization of community or stray cats, and they are unable to extend assistance required of pet cats. As it does not have a rescue or shelter facility, it is also unable to take in any animals. We appreciate CWS's clarification on this matter.  Taking this  opportunity, we would like to thank CWS for assisting us with cat sterilization at some of our feeding sites.


Often, we hear of people hoarding cats. You know what? Recently, we were alerted to an elderly man with nearly 40 cats in a 3-room flat in an area that one of our volunteer feeds. We were concerned the cats may eventually end up being abandoned in the estate.

And so we made a trip to the flat.

The unit reeks of pee, and we were aghast by how many cats there were. We do not have an exact headcount yet, but the owner tells us it is near 40. From the looks of it, it ain't too far. And the cats are not sterilized. Gosh! It just means the numbers will multiply if we do nothing about it.

So what now?

First things first, sterilized the cats to prevent further breeding.

Good thing is, the owner seems open to the idea of sterilization and rehoming the cats.

The feeder called Cat Welfare Society and SPCA for help. They came down to assess the situation. Unfortunately, they don't have the budget to provide free or cheap sterilizations of this scale. 
Frankly, the feeder was extremely disappointed, but she thinks maybe they can’t afford it? So she approached us, and although we are essentially a dog rescue group who can’t afford to sterilize the 40 cats as well, we agreed to try our best and give it a shot, to do what we can. SPCA did eventually take in three kittens who were rather ill and needed medical treatment.

So here we are, Hope DOG Rescue, seeking $7,000 to sterilize and treat 40 cats and kittens. The owner has contributed $600/- while the rest of the amount, we hope to raise to help the cats. This amount is assuming the cats have no medical issues that require hospitalization.

We have just sterilized our first batch of 15 cats at $1,600 including transportation and 2 nights of pre/post-surgery boarding.

Can we sterilize the remaining cats and re-home them eventually?

It depends.

Funding is very much needed. On top of sterilization, we need funds for basic health checks and boarding if we want to re-home the cats properly.

If you can contribute, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg. The feeder thinks she has bitten off more than she can chew to get involved and she has also chipped in quite a bit to get the 15 cats sterilized. Let’s hope we can raise enough to help her and the cats.


Lil' Scooter Update 3

It has been a month since Scooter's leg surgery to fix his fractured right hind leg.

Look at that happy puppy face!! 

Scooter (previously known as Balloon) was a 6-month old stray puppy living in a factory compound. During one of our stray feeding rounds, we found him immobile and in pain. A worker later told us that Scooter was run down by a motorbike, four days before we found him.

Coincidentally, Scooter's mummy and sister were involved in a separate road accidents too, but they were tragically killed. Scooter was hit by a motorbike when he went out in search of them.

The good news is, Scooter is recovering well after his surgery. We were fortunate that we took him to a second vet when the first vet said to amputate.

Few days ago, Scooter was back at the vet to have his wound staples removed under local anesthetic. X-ray images were taken to check on his bone healing progress. According to the vet who saw him, Scooter is doing well. The prognosis is, his bones may take 6 months to a year to fully recover. Lucky that as a puppy, his healing is much better and faster.

Scooter can now put his full weight on the fractured leg. He can also take longer walks, but has to refrain from jumping and hopping.

His leg wound is healing nicely - staples would soon need to be removed 

He was also vaccinated and microchipped during the vet visit. On the vet's advice, we will bring Scooter back for sterilization in 4 weeks' time.

A final X-ray will be done 2 weeks later, to check that the pins and rods on Scooter's bones are in place. 

Scooter is currently in a foster home. He gets along with his humans, dogs and even cats! He seems respectful of other dogs and even though he loves his food, he would wait patiently for his turn until the resident dogs have eaten. He would also wait patiently at a corner until his foster calls for "dinner". So far, he has not shown any allergic reaction from eating kangaroo, beef, pork, chicken or fish. But the thing is, he is starting to be fussy with food, so we will have to correct this behaviour.

An extremely handsome and well-mannered puppy 

Scooter is grass trained. He recognizes the word " No" when said in a stern voice; don’t most dogs :)

But, Scooter does not walk well on leash and will require some guidance and patience. He is a rather playful dog with lots of energy, as with most puppies.

Scooter's recent vet treatment cost us $500. If you would like to help with his vet bills, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg


All Hail the Queen. Sida Has Adopted!

“I’ll adopt Sida.”

Yes you’ve heard that right. We daren’t believe the news when we heard it too. We have never thought this was possible. SIDA IS ADOPTED!!!

For long-time followers of Hope Dog Rescue, you might be familiar with one of our longest ‘resident’, Sida. She is part of The Diaper Club, a term affectionately used to describe the dogs under our care that we have rescued that are paralysed. Sida used to roam freely around with her pack at a construction site and was badly injured in an accident when a lorry hit and ran over her. She suffered serious spinal injuries and never stood up or wagged her tail after that day. Read her story here.

When Hope rescued her, she was despondent and depressed, not understanding why she was unable to feel the grass under her paws and to chase birds ever again. As we do not have a shelter, we decided the best place to house Sida was with a lady Anna, who had experience caring for dogs like Sida. We were assured that her meals and daily needs would be taken care of.

Ever the Manja Queen 

Hope paid for Sida’s upkeep, weekly massages and medications for her condition. Occasionally her boarding lady would help with her medical fees. We also arranged outings and frequently brought her out to cheer her up. Not one to be daunted by her condition, Sida slowly regained her confidence and naughty nature and we discovered her true colours.

The dog that needs treats in her water before she drinks 

Sida is one of the greediest dog we’ve ever had and is truly food motivated. She is also extremely intelligent and will gaze at you with those soulful eyes until you drop the piece of chicken you were holding in your hand into her mouth. She also has a bossy character and is suitably known as “The Queen” amongst the volunteers and other dogs.

Sida’s silly antics and lovable nature made us believe that we made the right decision when we decided not to go with the vet’s initial recommendation to put her to sleep, reasons cited as she will not be able to enjoy quality of life. I bet Sida’s quality of life now is tons better than most of us, weekly massages and all. We have not even mentioned about the delicious home-cooked food she gets daily and air-flown treats from all over world donated by some of Sida’s fans.

Never-ending pat pats 

However what Sida really wants is a home and family to call her own. For the longest time ever, we have been searching for an adopter for Sida. It would be such a pity to have her in long-time boarding, given her very affectionate and endearing nature. There were interests from some families but most could not commit after knowing the amount of work involved in caring for a special needs dog like Sida. As Sida is incontinent due to her spinal injuries, the potential adopter would have to express her bladder every 4 hours and clean up her poo after she is done with her business.

Imagine doing that daily with a 25kg furball! Just to add, this particular furball complains and whines when she is handled in the way she doesn’t like too. Depending on her mood (and whether she likes the potential adopter or not), she would either be on her best behavior or her most whiny. Yes that is why we love Sida to bits, very naughty but extremely cute. Sida is very intelligent and could sense that we were trying to help her find an adopter.

We had many screenings and viewings and most families lost interest and hesitated to commit after the 3rd or 4th visits. We can understand why, but seeing the miserable look on Sida’s face each time a potential adopter didn’t work out upset us. It made us even more determined to find the most suitable adopter for Sida. When The DoDo contacted us to help reach a wider audience to help Sida find her forever home, we were thrilled. Watch Sida’s video here.

SiDa & Harper giving back to society as Pet Therapy dogs 

A few weeks back, Anna reached out to us and expressed interest in adopting Sida. Anna mentioned that they had become attached to each other after so many years of living under one roof and her family could not imagine living without Sida. In addition Sida is getting on in age and it was in Sida’s best interest that they became her forever family. Sida also gets along well with her other dogs and they have forged a close bond after being companions for a few years. This was music to our ears!! All of us felt an immense sense of jubilance and accomplishment for Sida! Finally she will have a place to belong and a home to call her own!

Thank you Anna for your kindness and compassion in adopting one of the hardest-to-look-after dog in Hope. We are very sure Sida will bring you many years of happiness and bliss, which is what adopting a dog is all about. Bless you and your family!

CONGRATULATIONS SIDA! May you have a happy life from henceforth! 

We cannot change what God decides to take away from us and our fellow sentient beings, but humanity is the awareness that most times, it is in our hands to do something to make the loss more bearable for them and taking the action to do it.

Written by: Jamie


Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough

They say that love can conquer all; we strive to believe but sometimes it gets really difficult to keep the faith. We are a small group of volunteers with limited resources; but try to make do and scrape by with whatever we have, to do everything we can for our furry friends.

Diaper Club Buddies 

Over the years we have been tireless about our efforts to spread hope and bring new beginnings to street dogs and cats. However, this repetitive cycle has taken quite a toll on our finances. It is with certain urgency that we share this appeal, hoping it will inspire more to contribute to our cause.

Our latest rescue, baby Balloon. 

Bills : The dreadful but unavoidable word that weighs heavily on our shoulders. Currently, we owe $8,000 to a big-hearted vet - which is not a lot compared to some other shelters - but quite a substantial amount especially since we also need maintenance funds for our existing dogs.

Most of our money goes towards sterilization and stray feeding, which on average adds up to $1,000 or more per week, depending on how many strays we can catch each week for sterilization. How do we arrive at this figure?

Yes! We feed and rescue cats too.

A hefty part of it comes from the cost of food for strays (if nobody donates cooked food,) as well as the dog and cat food we distribute to workers to last them throughout the week since we can only go on stray feeding missions on Saturday nights. Another costly expense is sterilization, depending on how many strays we manage to catch and sterilize each week. More often than not, these cats and dogs are diagnosed anemic or carry tick fever, which means they have to stay at the vet for a week to boost their red blood cells count before we can sterilize them. Some can't be released because once we do, we may not be able to trap them again for sterilization; accommodating them rings up the expenses. Also, due to harsh living conditions, they are plagued by open wounds and infections which call for immediate medical treatment.

Love of our lives 

There are days when we are deterred by these extra costs, because there are hardly any funds coming in. Typically, funds usually come in only when we have a new rescue – no rescue equates no funds. But if we don't continue to sterilize the strays that we encounter, it would mean new puppies and kittens on the streets. This equates to more road kills or becoming nuisances in factories, which may lead to the bosses getting the authorities to cull them. Simply put, this is a never-ending cycle that leads us to forking out more and more money.

Adding to the seemingly never-ending list are the “tough-nut cases” - dogs with such severe aggression that they become near impossible to rehome. In these instances, we have little choice but to take on the financial responsibility of providing for these tortured souls till the end of their time. In the meantime, these dogs live a sad, isolated existence because we don't have the expertise nor the funds to send them to rehabilitation.

Tako, adopted as a puppy and returned recently for severe aggression. No one has been able to even go near him

Under our care, there are senior dogs with acute health issues and complications. They are too old to rehome because the process might cause them undue stress. For many people, special needs dogs require too much time and work; these inevitable factors render them less “adoptable”. Regardless, these are the dogs we love with all our hearts,

Mathilda has been waiting for a home for more than 3 years

Unfortunately, we have learnt the hard way that love doesn’t pay the bills. Keeping our dogs requires a steady source of funding: They need massages to promote their blood circulation, hydrotherapy so their muscles don't waste away and follow-up vet visits. Not to mention, hefty boarding costs because we don't have a physical shelter and fosters are not easy to come by, especially for dogs with aggression issues.

Cody has been waiting for a home for 5 years.

This just about sums up what we have to fork out each month. Our list is non-exhaustive, yet we often find our accounts running on empty.

The vet has been generous enough not to give us the final ultimatum that we can't bring in our dogs if we don't settle the outstanding amount. Fingers tightly crossed; we hope not (and never) to reach that breaking point, so please do help us if you can.

Adora, aggression and slow to warm up. Abused and abandoned by her previous owner, she often wonders why her??

You may choose to send your cheques directly to the vet clinic. Please email us at hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg and we will be glad to provide you with more details. Thank you very much for helping our dogs and cats – they will be so happy to know that they have not been forgotten in this world!

Xin Xin, waiting for her forever home too. 

Sweet Lil’ Balloon

What makes you happy? Is it the simple things in life like balloons and puppies? Well, recently, we found double happiness in a puppy called Balloon! Imagine that! How adorable.

A happy Balloon at his factory before the accident 

Like a child that lights up when you hand him a balloon, our eyes and hearts lit up when we saw Balloon and his sister wagging their tails at us and waddling excitedly towards us during one of our stray feeding sessions. They are so cute. We had intended to feed the cats in the factory but were pleasantly surprised by these two little puppies who suddenly appeared. It turned out that their mother had passed away in a car accident, so one of the workers brought them over to this factory. Yet, about three weeks ago, just after feeding them for about a month or so, we learnt that Balloon's sister had passed away in a hit-and-run accident too, leaving poor Balloon all alone in this big big world. The worker told us that he had been crying for days. Balloon and his sister tugged on our heartstrings and it really broke our hearts to hear that.

In a Toyogo box, on the way to the vet 

Poor Balloon... it never rains but it pours. Balloon must have missed his family a lot and gone out in search of them very often. When we went to feed Balloon and the cats in his factory last Saturday, we were greeted by a deflated Balloon, not an inflated and flying Balloon. There was no wiggly butt and sloppy kisses. Balloon was just lying in a corner. Our hearts sank. What happened? On closer inspection, we discovered that Balloon was injured. He could not use one of his legs. The worker told us that Balloon had been run over by a motorcycle four days before we went for stray feeding. They applied medicine for Balloon and did not call us for help.

The motorbike had dragged poor lil' Balloon, causing very severe abrasions; most of his skin on his undersides were torn off. 

It was a double whammy for Balloon and us. We rushed Balloon over to the vet the next morning. Sweet Balloon was such a good boy at the clinic and allowed the vet to handle him without biting despite being in pain. Balloon is now eating well and does not have any fever. He has pain in the lumbar region and feeling in his toes and hind legs. He is also able to stand. However, the doctor advised amputation after x-rays had been taken. We will seek a second opinion and try to save Balloon.

His pelvis and knee caps were totally out of place by impact. His thigh bone had snapped too.
Winnie the Pooh said in A.A. Milne's book "The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh" that "no one can be uncheered with a balloon". Indeed, there is nothing that lifts the spirits like a balloon. Like a balloon, little Balloon always brings us hope and joy even when he is in pain. He is so sweet and good-natured. Let us hope that little Balloon will recover soon and run happily like a balloon that soars in the sky. Balloons also fulfil hopes and dreams. In the movie "Up", the balloon salesman Mr Carl Frederickson fulfilled his dream by tying thousands of balloons to his house and flying away to the wilderness. Life is unpredictable and tough, more so as a stray subject to the elements. Blessed as we are, we hope we can bring hope and happiness to Balloon too and find him a home before he faces the same fate as his family members.

Watch Lil' Balloon's rescue here.

Such a brave baby sweetheart, not once did he even struggle or try to bite. All he did was cry like a baby.

If you would like to help with his surgical bills / foster / adopt Balloon, please email us at hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

Thank you! *puppy eyes and slobbery kisses of gratitude from Balloon*

Written by : Weiling


Chester, How He Sneaked Into Their Lives

I got to know Chester when I first volunteered as a dog walker for Hope Dog Rescue last year.

I’ll be frank here and say that he is not an easy dog to manage because of his behavioural quirks, especially for a first time dog owner. I was initially hesitant to walk him on my own.

A few months into walking him, he suddenly developed a severe food allergy and had tummy troubles on top of bleeding from his penis (which we later found out was TVT - Transmissible Venereal Tumour). I felt that the boarding environment was not an ideal environment for him to recuperate. And so, I decided to foster him despite my parents not being very keen on the idea of having any pets in the house.

The initial plan was to foster him for only a short while. But, weeks turned into months and he crawled his way into my family members’   hearts with his crazy antics like chasing flies around the house. I’m just glad he didn’t destroy anything in the house because I was told he destroyed a sofa in his previous boarding place, oops! He also is a very smart boy that can pick up tricks very fast. He learnt “bang!” in 5 mins! (Watch his video here)

Deep down, he really is just a misunderstood dog that has acted out because of his insecurities, despite his "gangster bengster appearance". After a year of fostering Chester, I finally decided to adopt him. I hope he’s happy with being stuck with me for the rest of his life, haha!

Written by Chester's Foster and new Mama, Eileen Ho

Chester was a stray with a large head wound and ear problems when we found him in December of 2016. Fortunately we got him before the maggots did. He recovered, and his cheeky personality started to shine through. He was active and smart, but we also remember his mischievous side when he chewed up a sofa at boarding!

Today, Chester is happily settled and adopted by his young foster mama, Eileen.

Thank you Eileen, for adopting and 'sticking by him', even when Chester was unwell and dripping blood with TVT. We knew he was meant for you, and we can't be happier that both of you found each other.

We know there are families for every dog out there, it just takes time. Chester's story gives us hope.

By HOPE Dog Rescue