Tuesday, July 24, 2012

HOPE Dog Rescue - Molly (Warning - content may make you uncomfortable)

Not the prettiest picture to start a blog post with and I know that many might not have the stomach for it. But I sincerely beseech everyone to stay on and read about the ordeal of strong sweet Molly.

It was slightly after 2am on a weekday when I received a text from a friend, Astha. She had spotted a dog that had 'lost a paw', loitering at her block in Bukit Panjang. Lost a paw?? Fiona and I don't really know what that means but we rushed down all the same. 

Nothing can quite prepare us for the sight. The dog had literally lost a paw. (This dog would later come to be named Molly.) It was dark and we can't really make out how bad the injury was but we can see a good bit of the bone where her paw should have been. As the stench of rotting flesh filled the air, it gave us an inkling of the severity of her wound.

On top of that, Molly was also emaciated. (Later we learned at the vet that she weighs only a mere 10kg.) She was ravenous despite that Astha had already fed her food. We tried to take advantage of that and used food to lure her into the carrier. But I soon come to realise that rescue work is not easy. Molly was very wary of human and refused to come near us even when there was food. This was going to be a long night. 

There was no way we can rush things. We had to approach her slowly so as not to startle her. Although she was in pain and hopping on 3 legs, she was still very nimble. The slightest bit of movement from us was enough to scare her into running in the opposite direction. In fact, I remained crouched most of the time. Amazing that I can still walk after that.

Since Molly refused to come near us, we left trails of food leading to the carrier. The plan was for Fiona to push her in and close the gate, while my job was to hide behind the carrier and tilt it with all my might so that she can't come back out. Every time she comes near the carrier, I would hold my breath. In part was because of the nauseating putrid smell and the other was because I was so afraid that she would run off just by me breathing. It sounds silly but we failed so many times that I was despairing we might never get to help her. 

All too soon, we ran out of food because Molly would eat up the trails of food but never venture far enough into the carrier. Astha kindly offered to run to a 7-eleven to buy more canned food. There was nothing else that we can do but to patiently repeat this over and over again. I must have been getting pretty desperate, for I started to plead with Molly in my head. And after what seems like eternity, Molly finally trusted us enough to forage deeper into the carrier for food. That was the cue and we sprung into action. Success! We can all finally breathe a sigh of relief, now that we managed to have her safely in the carrier and get her the help that she needs.

It was almost 5am by the time we got home and poor Fiona had only 2 hours of sleep before she was due to get up and bring 2 strays for sterilization. I have the utmost respect for Fiona and her team. The amount of dedication and sacrifice that they put in is unbelievable.

The next day, residents from Green Haven helped us bring Molly to the vet as her carrier could not fit into our small van.

In the daylight, we can now see the extensive damage to her leg. You can't see it from here but it was infested with maggots. Apart from losing a paw, there was also a deep puncture hole on her left front foot, equally maggots infested. It looks like her leg was caught in something. A wild boar trap maybe? Does anyone know if there's traps in Bukit Pajang area?

Molly had remained surprisingly calm throughout it all. It was as though she knew that we were helping her. I believe that she has a really sweet and gentle disposition because she did not turn aggressive like other dogs normally would when they are in severe pain.

I can't even bear to look at the wound, let alone suffer from this pain. I don't know how Molly does it but I know it's beyond me.

Did you see the fat maggots crawling around in the video?

Molly would have to be amputated from the shoulder below. But the vet says that she might die on the table because she had very low red blood count from excessive loss of blood and she also has heartworm. There was however no choice but to go ahead with the surgery, as her leg was septic and had swelled to twice its size. Without the amputation, she would most definitely die from the sepsis. Everyone at HOPE Dog Rescue was very worried and kept her in our prayers as she underwent surgery.

Dear Molly who loves life had battled death and won! She is currently warded and recovering at the clinic. But sad to say her ordeal is far from over. Her next hurdle now is to find someone to adopt or foster her. If there's no one to take her in, she would have to stay at a kennel.

This stump at her shoulder would likely get infected if she is to stay at a kennel because it is dirty and wet. After Molly's struggle, she deserves a loving home that can nurse her back to health.

Molly's surgery costs $3500. While every cent is well-spent, it is something that HOPE Dog Rescue can ill afford.

If you can help in any way, be it adopting; fostering; or donating towards her surgery; please email alicia@hopedogrescue.org

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Hope Dog Rescue: Oscar's update

I had blogged about Oscar previously, but I'm willing to take a bet that you have no recollection whatsoever of this cute little face. And there is a good reason for this. Oscar has been steadily putting on weight and is well on the road to recovery! When I fetched Oscar for his vet review today, I can barely recognize him myself.

Oscar is looking so much more alert and a lot less tense than when I first saw him. The vet said that he had put on 1 kg in a mere 1 week! I had been told that this little boy loves his food. And that is a good sign :) Skin culture was done, hence the small white patch on the body.

This was how grotesque poor Oscar looked like when HOPE Dog Rescue first picked him up at the cemetery. I can only imagine life as a living hell for him. Lest everyone forgets. Oscar is only 6 months old. Still a baby. (Photo courtesy of HOPE Dog Rescue)

And this was when I first met Oscar. Although slightly better but still a pathetic sorry sight. His skin was extremely raw and there were patches of open sores. He was also huddled up like a ball and terribly afraid of his surroundings.

Take a look at our brave little warrior now! He has come a long way and I am immensely proud of him. However, this does not spell the end of the ordeal. Oscar has to go back to the vet weekly for jabs and it will take him a few months to completely recover.

HOPE Dog Rescue is now paying for his lodging in a dog kennel as they are not able to find a foster. A volunteer also goes down daily to feed him his medication. While Oscar's physical condition is improving, I am worried about his psychological condition. When I entered the kennel today, all the other dogs were jumping up and down, barking excitedly. All but Oscar. He lies unmoving, only looking at me with his big brown eyes. As you can see from the photo, he is all by himself, confined by cold slabs of concrete. This is no way for a puppy to be growing up. 

I was cradling Oscar all the time while we were waiting for the vet and I can see that he was slowly warming up to me. His body relaxed and he started to check out the surroundings. And when I placed him in the car, he shifted himself and propped his head up on the hand-rest to look at me. I was all mush when that happened. My heart was won over by him 100%. It became apparent to me that all it takes was love and human touch to mend this broken soul. 

When I returned him to the kennel and placed him on the cold hard floor, he seemed resigned and reverted back to his lifeless self. I was devastated. Sleep will be difficult for me tonight as Oscar's gentle helpless eyes keeps coming to mind. 

Little Oscar desperately needs a home, even if not a permanent one but at least something temporary, so that he need not be placed in a kennel. If you can foster or adopt Oscar, please email alicia@hopedogrescue.org.

Thank you for giving Oscar a chance at life.

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