Nano Tribute

Nano was rescued by Hope in 2012 – when his owners returned to China and left him behind.  He was blind, underfed and unkempt.

Fortunately for him we found a foster in Michelle McDonald, who was then living in Sentosa as her husband was posted to work here in Singapore. Nano was extremely well loved and well taken care off. He adapted well despite not being able to see.

When Michelle and family had to leave Singapore to return home, they were so in love with Nano that they took him back with them to USA.

All these years we have kept in touch with Nano's family – he lived a life that many dogs could only dream of – he travelled halfway around the world, lovely walks, playing in snow during winter and boat rides during the summer. He was so loved.

As age caught up, Nano started having seizures. Over time, the seizures got so bad that medication could no longer control it and that dreaded decision had to be made.

From the bottom of our hearts, we thank Michelle and her family for loving Nano the way they did and giving him the best life any little dog could ask for and we hope they are keeping well.

*Photo credits : Michelle McDonald


Animal Cruelty (Jolly the Shihtzu)

Do you believe in fate?

I definitely do.

I don’t usually look at the Lost & Found page on Facebook, unless someone I know has lost a dog. However, last night (Saturday), I happened to look at my Facebook and the first thing that appeared was a photo of a very badly matted Shihtzu, found by a guy by the name of Fabian Ang. He had commented on Facebook that he would bring the dog to the vet the next day to scan for a microchip.

This was the post that started it all

I happened to be not too far away so I offered to go down with my microchip scanner and save him the trouble of bringing her to the vet the next day. It was 11.30pm but he agreed for me to go over as there was a family there to verify if it was their lost Shihtzu that went missing sometime in June.

I scanned the dog and unfortunately, the microchip number did not match theirs.

At the lift lobby scanning the microchip

While we were talking, I noticed that the dog was rather listless and her breathing was shallow. I suggested we take her to the emergency vet right away. Fabian kindly offered to come along.

How our hearts hurt just looking at her

On the way to the vet, I found out from Fabian that he had found the dog at about 8+pm and the dog was left outside his door step. His dog had started barking, so he opened the door to check and found the lifeless Shihtzu right in front. He took the dog in – she was covered with pee and poo and smelled so bad. Her fur was badly matted and her nails were so long it grew sideways. He gave her a quick bath, dried and fed her. The dog took a while before she started eating, drinking and even managed a poo.

She hardly moved in the car
How did the dog end up outside his door step and it wasn’t a ground floor unit. Whoever who brought the dog all the way up had deliberately taken the lift up and probably knew Fabian had a dog and would help this dog.

Waiting to see the vet
At the vet, we did the basic checks as it was after hours and the emergency charges weren’t cheap.
The vet had listened to her heart and lungs but her fur was so thick and badly matted, she could hardly hear through all that fur. Typical of this breed, she had very dry eyes and her eyes were so dry that there was scarring on her eyes and the vet reckoned her vision might be only about 20% or so.
Her gums were red and sore, she had gingivitis. Her nails were so long that she could hardly walk.
Today during the vet’s normal hours, we will do some blood tests to find out her kidney & liver functions, and also check for tick fever and heartworm. We have asked the vet to help clips her nails as well.

What did evil humans do to her?
Such a painful sight
Vet checking her eyes
Poo stuck on her fur
Nails so long it curled sideways
The vet noticed a long scar on her belly while shaving her - what was that scar for?

We have reported this case to the relevant authorities and will update more on this poor dog’s condition when we have more information.

For now, the vet has named her Jolly because I had named her Shihtzu 😊

We would like to thank Fabian for being so kindhearted and taking her in to clean and feed her. Let’s hope she pulls through this.

Thank you Fabian for helping Jolly

If you would like to help with Jolly’s vet bill or have information on this dog, please email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg. Thank you.

Written by Fiona



Last Saturday, we saw an injured senior dog living in an abandoned factory. He had abrasions on the right side of his body and was limping in agony. We just had to get him to the vet.

Watch his rescue here.

The next day, Sunday, our dedicated volunteers again went down to look for him, this time with towels, leashes and a carrier, to trap him.

He snapped at us a few times but who wouldn’t, if a total stranger caught you! Perhaps it was his age, the amount of pain he was in, or he was actually a sweet dog deep down inside, but he didn’t put up much of a struggle. Maybe he was happy to be caught, after having lived on the streets for a decade, he was tired; every day was a day of survival, trying to escape traffic and searching for food.

The vet’s initial examination revealed he was severely dehydrated, blood pressure was very low and white blood count was very high, possibly from infection and inflammation, but otherwise, his organs were all perfect and he was even tested negative for heartworm and tick fever.

He has abrasions on his right side and a broken left hind leg, fractured in many places. His right eye has a mass and his left eye is blind. The vet estimates him to be at least 10 years old. He is skinny but he is a huge dog. He weighs 28kg on his thin frame.

Was he beaten by someone? Or was he a victim of a hit and run, like most strays?

He is now warded while we try our best to raise fund and make decisions.

The vet has given us two options :

Amputation $2500
Try to repair his femur fracture $4800

And then we have to worry about the costs of being warded, medication, follow ups and reviews, looking for a foster etc Rescuing a dog isn’t easy; neither does it come cheap. It is a long process of worries.

We will provide more updates when we can. Meanwhile he is resting at the vet and they say he is a gentle giant.

We have named him Duke. Please help Duke.


Happy for Jessie!

It is a happy time for many people in Singapore as they are finally allowed out to meet friends they have not seen in 2 months or more. Here at HOPE, we have even more happy news to share - Willow is a failed foster case! How is that happy news, you may ask? Well, Willow's foster family turned out to be bad at fostering a lovable being such as she that they decided to adopt her instead!

Willow is a 10-year-old senior schnauzer who came to HOPE in early Feb as a victim of unintentional neglect. Her previous owner was, herself, elderly and could not provide the necessary care and attention to Willow, so her daughter sought HOPE to help find a new home for Willow.

When we first met Willow at the vet, she looked to be in such a sorry state with dull and unkempt hair, wherever they managed to grow in patches on her dry and flaky skin anyway. She was riddled with health issues, but thankfully, none of them major.

It was difficult to find a fosterer willing to take her on such short notice. Fortunately, Volvo's former fosterer, a SAHM, came to our rescue. Despite the awful condition of Willow's skin, and having to already juggle the care of a senior cat and her children, she took Willow in without hesitation.

Willow quickly settled in in her new home. With TLC, her skin started to improve under medication, and her playful and curious personality started to emerge. She was easy-going and affectionate with everyone, including the cat, and she fancied herself a foodie, always shuffling at her humans' feet, waiting for her next meal or snack.

Although her skin had started to improve, she still had bald patches where fur might never grow back in, just like a burn victim. Over the CB period, we had numerous applications to adopt her. However, they all amounted to nothing once they learnt of her skin and the care and attention it required. Also, because she was a senior dog who seemed to thrive in people's company, we did not want her to be left alone at home once the CB period is over and people have to go back to the office for hours on end a day. Meanwhile, the bond between Willow and her foster family seemed to strengthen in the CB period. Willow found a great feline friend in Ollie, the 15-year-old family cat adopted from SPCA, and became a fantastic playmate to the children in the family. She not only tolerated being cuddled like a baby by the children, but seemed to enjoy her role as the baby sister the younger daughter in the family never had. It soon became clear to the family that they could not part with Willow, nor trust anyone else to provide the proper care for her as well as them.

Willow is now named Jessie, which means God is gracious. We are really happy for Jessie and her now forever family. Her family loves her just as much as she loves them. Thank you Jaime and Derek for taking a chance on Jessie and taking care of her medical and emotional needs and will continue to do so as you officially make her a permanent part of your family. This is like a fairy tale come true and may you live happily ever after.

The tale of Willow (or Jessie now) is a tale of how adoption saves lives, and how adopted dogs make great pets. Adopt, don't shop! It matters not how dogs come into your life, only that they do.

 Written By: Sam


Why is fostering important?

Many people have the misconception that fostering is just a short period of dog ownership - a less permanent form of adoption; something for people who can't commit to the years of responsibility, perhaps. But that couldn't be further from the truth! Fostering requires a high level of commitment, both emotional and time-wise.

Unlike pet dogs that have only ever known a sheltered, pampered home life, the dogs we rescue have endured and suffered much more. A fosterer is not taking a perfect dog into their home; they are rescuing a damaged dog and helping it to get its life back on track, bit by bit.

Just after their rescue, HOPE's dogs are often fearful, confused, untrained, and usually in bad shape. It's the job of fosterers to nurse them back to health, to train and socialize them, and to get them ready for adoption. A fosterer helps a dog become the best that it can be. It's like taking a raw hunk of coal and turning it into a diamond. It is by no means an easy task!

Being a fosterer means keeping a watchful eye on a foster dog, feeding it nutritious food and giving it its medications, making notes on its progress, looking out for any abnormalities, teaching it how to act with humans and other animals, and of course, giving it lots and lots of love. All of this requires a lot of time and dedication, arguably more so than just caring for a healthy pet.

After all of this, a fosterer is sure to develop an emotional bond with his or her foster dog, which is essential to the development of the dog. A foster dog needs to learn how to form healthy and trusting relationships, something that is new to a lot of street dogs and abused dogs. Loving a foster dog, and having it love you in return, is the healthiest and the best thing that you can do for it. It makes for a bittersweet goodbye at the time of adoption. After all, it's never easy giving up a piece of your heart. But at the same time, you'd know that you've helped to groom a dog into the perfect pet, and you'd be proud.

Chester, when he was first rescued.

Chester, after fostering

HOPE Dog Rescue is always in need of foster homes for our rescued dogs. As far as possible, we refrain from ever putting our fresh rescues in commercial boarding kennels. Lonely and neglected, a recovering dog will never receive an adequate level of care at these places. Financially, placing dogs in kennels also doesn't make sense, as the money could be better used to pay for medications and medical care.

Read our Fostering FAQ to find out more.

If you feel that you are ready for this life-changing experience (and the responsibilities that come with it), please fill up online form here.

Button, The Hokkien Therapy Dog

How is everyone doing? Hope all of you are keeping safe and staying home! In the midst of all this uncertainty and gloomy news hitting our TV screens daily, we have some positive news to share! Have you heard? or NOT?! Our founder Fiona had written a book about Button, her rescued Schnauzer.

Button, The Hokkien Therapy Dog 

Button, the rescued Schnauzer 

Remember this woebegone creature? For long time followers of Hope, this face may ring a bell! Yes that's Button, when Fiona first rescued her.  It took months of patience, love and effort to turn her into this.

Button, the resident therapy dog at Assisi Hospice 

From living a life of neglect with multiple health and social issues, Button blossomed under Fiona's care and became Singapore's first and only Therapy Dog trained in Hokkien!

Sadly, although Button is no longer with us now, her transformation and journey into a Therapy Dog is nothing short of amazing and she had touched the lives and hearts of many.

Fiona's main objective of writing the book is to show the world that a senior rescued dog can achieve such milestones, given the right opportunities and love.

Read about Button's quirky nature and her funny adventures on mastering Hokkien, her life with her Kor Kor, Popsicle, and her best friend Harper. The book also features Button's role as a therapy dog in Assisi Hospice and her interactions with the patients.

It also depicts the harsh facets of the dog breeding industry in Singapore and the sorry plight of the stray community.

Proceeds from the book goes to Hope Dog Rescue's efforts in rehabilitating strays and also our TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release) efforts.

We hope you enjoy reading the book, it would mean so much to us!

To order, please fill up our online order form   https://tiny.cc/hokkienbutton or email us at hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg.

The book is also available at the following locations :

Mount Pleasant Vet Care
2 Jalan Gelenggang
Singapore 578187

Animal Recovery Veterinary Referral Centre
466 Serangoon Road
Singapore 218225

Animal Wellness
1 Vista Exchange Green #01-15
The Star Vista
Singapore 138617

Pet HQ
221 Boon Lay Place #02-112
Boonlay Shopping Centre
Singapore 640221

Yappily Petmetology (after the Circuit Breaker period)
Blk 395A Bukit Batok West Ave 5 #03-08
Singapore 651395

Singapore and overseas orders welcome.


Fish Farm Dogs

Have you heard about HOPE’s “Fish Farm Dogs”?

We first met this group of dogs living at a fish farm in 2014. They grew up eating fish food as the workers did not have anything else to feed them. You may read more about the story here.

Over the years, we have sterilized and vaccinated all 11 of them while the workers there have been the main caregivers, feeding and taking care of them. It was only recently when one of the workers, Segar, reached out to us again.

He had been buying rice to cook for them but he needed help as he was also feeding the dogs in the neighbouring farms. That was really kind of him! This was also what sparked our recent appeal for food for these dogs.

We are really thankful for the response we received and we couldn’t  wait to bring the donated food down to the dogs! So despite having a late Saturday night feeding the strays, our dedicated volunteers got up early on a Sunday morning to bring the donated food and medications (such as Frontline) supplies to the fish farm. That was our second visit in recent months.

The volunteers managed to apply Frontline on the dogs and fed them while they were there. We are planning to visit them once a month for now until we feel that the dogs are settled and doing well again. One of the dogs was so skinny that we suspect he has parasites in his body, so the next thing we will be doing would be deworming them. We will bring dewormers on our next visit—thanks to fellow dog lovers who bought them when we needed it.

All these would not have been possible without the kind and generous help rendered by the donors and volunteers. We are ever grateful for the volunteers who spend their precious weekends helping out the dog and we are happy to see how they have become bonded over their love for animals. Till our next visit to the fish farm on the morning of March 15.

If you have a car and would like to help us bring food down, please email us. We also hope that we can have a volunteer photographer offer his / her services. This place is not accessible by public transport. Email hopedogrescue@singnet.com.sg

Written by: Shi Hua
Photo credit: Jonathan Tan