What is a Microchip?

You might think that you are prepared for anything when you first bring your pet home. You might have prepared a list of things that your pet might need and bought them all so you know you have everything you need. But have you ever thought about what would happen if your pet unexpectedly decides to display his/her Harry Houdini or David Copperfield-like escape artist skills and runs out of the house? What happens then?

Hundreds of lost dogs and cats end up in animal shelters every month, but only a fraction ever get reunited with their owners. That's why microchips are important: they help lost pets to find their way back to their owners.

What is a microchip?
It's a small permanent implant, about the size of a large grain of rice. Each microchip has a unique serial number, which you can register online with AVA and PETCALL. It's an important form of identification for pets, such as dogs and cats. A microchip is NOT a GPS tracking device. If you do not register the microchip, then there is no records of your contact information even if your lost pet is found and scanned.

That's a microchip

How is a microchip implanted?
The microchip is injected under the skin with a large needle. Usually, it's positioned at the nape of the neck. The procedure takes only a few seconds, and can be done at any vet. One microchip lasts a lifetime.

Scanning your dog for a microchip

Is it painful for my pet?
Microchips are inserted using a needle so your pet may feel a strong pinch much like how we might feel when we get an injection.

How much does it cost?
It costs about $50 to $80 for a vet visit and microchip.

How do you read a microchip?
A handheld microchip scanner is used to read a microchip. Veterinary clinics, animal shelters, and pet shops are usually equipped with microchip scanners. When a scanner detects a microchip, it will display a unique 15-digit serial number.

A handheld microchip scanner

What is the microchip registry? Why must I register a microchip?
Every new microchip needs to be registered in a database. By registering, you're providing your contact information to the relevant authority in the case that your pet is lost and found.

Here's what happens when a lost pet is found:
  • The relevant authority / vet will scan for a microchip.
  • If a microchip is found, a 15-digit serial number will be displayed on the scanner.
  • They will do a search in all the microchip databases.
  • If the microchip is registered, the serial number will be matched with the pet owner's contact information.
  • The owner will be contacted and reunited with his or her pet.

Don’t forget to ensure that you register your pet’s microchip details with the two registries that are available in Singapore, without which, a microchip is as good as useless:
  1. AVA (http://www.ava.gov.sg/e-services)
  2. PETCALL (http://www.petcall.org/)

Only then will the relevant authorities be able to help our lost pets find their way home.

Since 2007, it is also mandatory in Singapore to ensure that all pets are microchipped and registered under AVA. It is an offence if your pet is not licenced and the owner could incur a significant fine, if convicted in court. To improve the traceability of pets, the AVA introduced stricter licencing rules for pet businesses as well as individual owners in March 2017. Owners who sell or give away their pets will now have to inform AVA about the change of ownership and update them with the details of the new owners. These measures just go to show how important it is to microchip and register your pet details!

But even with the strict regulation, we still often find dogs that are not microchippped, so be a responsible pet owner and ensure that your pets are microchipped and registered! All of HOPE’s dogs that are up for adoption have been microchipped!

Written by: Annie & Sam

Emma the Rescued Kitten

During one of HOPE’s feeding rounds, our volunteers stumbled upon a small grey kitten looking famished all alone in the dark of the night. We named the little kitten, Emma. 

Emma’s physical condition was not looking great. At first sight, her ears were crusty and bleeding. It was unbearable to leave her alone and despite our financial difficulties, our volunteers brought Emma to the vet. Because here at HOPE, we believe that this gesture, though small, can bring a glimmer of hope to Emma and make a tremendous difference to her life. After a check-up at the vet’s, we found out that the crusty ears was caused by an ear infection. She was also flea infested and had a bloated stomach. In fact, her stomach was so bloated we thought she was pregnant and took her to the vet a second time for a check. Fortunately, she wasn’t yet and will be sterilized when her skin is better so as not to affect or slow down her healing.

Her platelet count was also extremely low so the vet advised us to feed her well and get her stronger before more tests can be carried out. She was given oridermyl gel to clean her ears as well as Revolution, a medication to be applied once a month for the prevention of heartworm, flea, and ticks. However, bringing Emma to the vet was one thing, finding a foster was equally challenging.

Emma had nowhere to recuperate. The vets and boarding places that we had contacted either had no vacancies or didn’t want to take Emma because of her flea infestation. Poor Emma spent a few nights in a carrier along the volunteer’s home corridor. It was impossible to keep Emma in a carrier for much longer. We did not wish for Emma to return to the streets, not with her condition and she needed medication. However, our options were limited and that was the final straw if we were unable to find her a proper place to stay within the next few days.

Things took a turn for the better and thankfully, one of HOPE’s volunteers found a month-long boarding place for Emma, who even forked out money from her own pocket. Under the care of this kind-hearted boarder, little Emma is looking better and stronger as the days go by. The crusts on her ears have lessened and Emma’s ears are looking good now.

However, a second visit to the vet indicated that Emma has swollen lymph nodes which may be a sign of infection. Emma is on antibiotics for 14 days, and she requires another vet review 2 weeks later. We will need help to defray her medical expenses.

Emma is estimated to be around four months old. She is an affectionate little kitten with a sweet temperament. She offers gentle purrs and loves to climb onto the laps of people. Emma’s boarding stay is ending in 2 weeks’ time and we hope to find her a home soon. If you can help Emma whether with her vet bills, sponsorship, foster or adoption, please email us at hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg and we will be in touch with you soon. Please note that potential adopters or fosters need to wire mesh their windows and main doors should the gap be wide enough for Emma to get through. Please spread Emma’s story to your friends and families for we believe that there is hope for little Emma. 

Written by : Debbi


Chester Is Sick

It’s a brand new year for all our four legged friends, including Chester. But unlike others, Chester has had a rough start this year.

He was back with the vet on 3rd January because his penis is dripping blood, again.

Chester at the vet 

In addition, Chester lost weight. He was about 24.9kg previously, and over the past few months dropped 3kg.

The vet found a mass in his penile region which is causing Chester to bleed. Chester needs to be operated under general anesthesia, then the vet will decide if the mass is to be completely removed, or remove some for a biopsy. Surgical cost is estimated to be $2,000.

Vets found a mass behind his penile region 

To top it all, Chester has slight conjunctivitis in his right eye, and a skin allergy. His stool is also yellow which might be due to his diet consisting of quinoa, greens, fish - which was initially recommended by his vet. We are now replacing quinoa with potatoes, hopefully it helps with his poop, some weight gain and his skin allergy. In the meantime, Chester was prescribed eye drops, lubricant and medicated shampoo to alleviate his eye and skin problems.

Handsome Chester is still waiting for his forever home 

We are hoping to raise $2,000 for Chester to go for his surgery and biopsy on 15th January. Hopefully, the surgery can stop the blood dripping that has been on and off since we rescued him almost 2 years ago. Chester is also quite a baby, he gets stressed having his nails clipped so nails clipping will be done while he is sedated during surgery.

Despite having a tough past as a factory stray, Chester is always looking forward to start the new year with a family who can love and care for his needs. He can be a little mischievous at times and will need a firm but loving family to bring out the sweetness in him. Chester is also HDB approved and about 6 years old this year.

You can also read more about Chester’s past here.

lease email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg if you are able to aid us in Chester’s medical bills, or if you wish to adopt him. Your help will definitely go a long way for him. We really need all the help we can get for our brave Chester to continue fighting!

Written by: Sam


Timothy, “Thank you for everything*

Timothy, one of our rescues who was successfully adopted, passed away peacefully in Japan on 22 December 2018.
A very handsome Timothy

It is never easy to say goodbye to a beloved family member, even though we know he died with his loved ones present.

Timothy had led a tough life when we met him in 2013 as an injured stray (see Tim’s story here). So we were very happy to see Timmy go to a loving home.

Shortly after his rescue, Timmy, who was about seven years old at the time, was adopted by Kanade and Kengo. Timmy’s calm, sweet and easy  personality meant that he was easy to manage, even for first-time owners like them.

When Kengo was posted to work in Hong Kong, Timmy went along. When the couple returned to Japan, Timmy, naturally followed suit. The family expanded when Kanade and Kengo had a baby, and Timmy (called “Ti Ti by the baby”), made an excellent older brother.

Best friends 

Unfortunately, despite the love and care from the family, Timmy experienced a tumour and subsequent complications from his surgery just five years later. Strays, who have led tough lives before, are more susceptible to illnesses and as such, and don't really get to enjoy their later years even if they're well cared for.

Timmy's last days at home 

Despite the family's best efforts in trying to make Timmy better, he passed on peacefully at home with his family by his side on 22 December 2018.

Farewell Timmy . . . . till we meet again

Thank you so much, Kanade and Kengo, for welcoming Timmy wholeheartedly into your family, and giving him a loving home all these years. We are only sorry that baby didn't have more time with his loving older brother to be with him while he was growing up.

Forever love <3 

Despite their difficult lives, abuse, lack of human contact and other forms of terrible experiences, strays still come up the sweeter for it. All they want, are regular meals and a loving home, in exchange for years of loyalty, dedication, and of course, love.

Adopt a dog, and you’ll know years of unwavering devotion and gratitude. It's not goodbye, Timmy. It's see you later. Enjoy your time over at the rainbow bridge for now.

Love, from all of us.

Writer: Felicia Tan