November 28, 2008
"Hi, My name is Sarah Collins and I own a veterinary clinic where I practice both exotic and companion animal medicine. We recently acquired new medical supplies and a new mobile van and now offering to donate one ultrasound, autoclave and a pre-used mobile van. Please give me detailed information about your work and let me know if these contributions would benefit your organization.
Best Wishes, Sarah CollinsB.S., Veterinary Science.D.V.M.,Veterinary Medicine.Ph.D.,Veterinary Physiology."
November 27, 2008
Despite his impeding e-collar (which was upsized due to his immense agility at reaching his bandage), which he has gotten used to for the past month, and the constant bandage on his left hind, and the regular trips to the vet to have it changed and his wound reviewed, plus regular medication/supplements, he has shown good cheer and put on weight with a good diet too.
The first skin flap done on his wound has not been entirely successful. The stitched-on skin did not integrate perfectly into the surrounding skin, being at a tricky angle where the leg can be flexed, causing a small open gap where we're hoping for new skin to grow over soon. A new treatment cream is now being used on Balance and we would know by next Monday how he is improving.
Good news for him is -- after all he has been through, his days on the streets, the painful car accident, his discomfort, Balance could possibly have secured his own forever home with his charming nature. We'll update when it has been confirmed.
November 26, 2008
November 25, 2008
We move on. Strengthened in our united resolve to be the eyes, ears and mouthpiece of our silent animal friends.
We hereby seek your support to be a GUARDIAN to our 7 dogs
They've come a long way from daily abuse, accidents and threats of culling on the streets. Now safely residing at a shelter, we have hopes of good homes for them to come. Especially for Jamie and Jonah who are small in built, sweet-natured and easier to handle.
We thank you for your support in varying amounts for the past 2 months.
* To enable us to concentrate our time and efforts on more needy cases on the streets, we wish to secure a Guardian for each of our 7, from December onwards. To support 7 dogs each month is quite an effort. But if you are willing to be a GUARDIAN of ONE of them, it will be very manageable. Pls email us for more details.
~ Ben, Tiger, Tommy, Jordan, Jamie, Jonah, Star ~ (Anne is under Foster Care at the moment)
November 23, 2008
A bittersweet reunion. Joyous was the occasion of meeting each other after a few years -- she still remembers the sights and scents of those whom she greeted every morning with a happy wagging tail. Those who took her out for walks and a grandmother who lavished her with meat and snacks.
In a way, everyone, including Junior, has mellowed with age. And although Junior's bositerous side is still obvious, we can tell, with maturity, she's turned more patient and gentler. In subtle ways to the observers of her growth.
November 21, 2008
November 19, 2008
Not that W and staff are not willing to catch her for sterilisation, but they haven't got the coordinated teamwork and time to capture this sometimes-elusive female who's grown more confident to near herself to W during feedings times, but who's just lower on the hierarchy -- for she's often ousted by NiuNiu and gang.
Once, W got her into a carrier but ChoCho bulldozed her way out and fled, subsequently developing some fear of carriers and people like us who walk around with leashes to loop around unsterilised dogs unwares and bring them for sterilisation.
W, together with her clique of compassionate co-workers, are more determined to get ChoCho before she seriously turns into a mum. We're on standby to drive ChoCho to the clinic for the op when caught.
And here's sharing illustrations of the peace-loving dogs on the farm, where their enclosure is in the process of being built:
Buffalo is the obvious alpha male, but a lone ranger-like veteran, who has no qualms hanging around almost anyone. The young ones lick his muzzle sometimes to gain his favour, continually re-establishing their positions in their canine family
No specific resting spots for NiuNiu and co. W showed me one afternoon her charges snoozing the afternoon away in the nooks between boxes, wire mesh, canvasses and cupboards
W said this boy is a newcomer to NiuNiu's pack that has somewhat welcomed him to the premises. Like many, he's also not an easy target to catch for sterilisation
November 17, 2008
ANIMAL WELFARE EDUCATION.
Still unfamiliar with me, he was retreating as I approach.
Which means he was just dumped there by his previous keepers. Now left to fend for himself. With the many strays, still walking our streets. Right this moment.
I look forward to the day when we humans look at an animal, and see the same LIFE in their eyes. As they see in us.
November 16, 2008
Yes, to many who are unfamiliar with even pet dogs, our pups are perceived as eyesores to the farm business, who faithfully trail after their caregiver all over the place, or who are deemed as 'nuisances' with their audible squabbles or the random poo on the floor.
But these dogs, as far as we know, are sheltered by ground workers who have given them adorable names and who fairly treat them as part of their worklife. Niu Niu, for one, is a delight to kids who visit the farm for even though he can be labelled as a 'stray' by all standards of our legislation, he's a friendly, carefree and confident kid. The apple of the caregiver's eye.
Which is why after some 'ding-dong' with the management, the authorities and our ground workers, we have:
* Sterilised 6 out of 9 of the puppy pack, on top of the adult males we have brought for neutering a few yrs ago
* Come to some form of middleground between the management and the caregivers.
This week, a proper enclosure tucked behind the compound, installed with roofing and sturdy fences, will be constructed to house the dogs for indefinite time frames, in the sole aim to minimize all possible conflicts between dogs and the humans who avert them.
Here are two images of the pre-construction stage enclosure:
And in ways we didn't expect -- while we negotiated with contractors and worked through the plans and purposes of this enclosure -- Mr Y who allowed us to keep our initial Mama Girl-Ben-Jamie-Jordan etc. pack -- has offered to pay for the enclosure. On top of that, construction materials now come in kind by a close relation of one employee of the farm as well as the management!
As of now, nothing actually looks less than promising and we're right on track in kickstarting a responsible management of community dogs who can come into harmonious co-existence with humans -- workers, visitors, caregivers -- without the need for culling for the reason of population control.
All possible with kind sponsors, like Mr Y.
And hey, reconciliation is not exactly a remote goal or possibility. Likewise, you, as a member of the public, can do your part. Talk to the stray caregivers in your estate; they could be senior ladies in need of help to mediate between residents who can't bear the stench of cats' poo and the caregivers themselves who just want to help the cats.
Talk with uninformed individuals calmly. It could be matter of realigning perspectives. A matter of revealing to them the value of caring for the community cats or dogs. And demonstrating the strength of those who believe in their cause and are willing to take actions to better animal welfare in small ways they can contribute to.
Influencing them to have a heart.
And driving messages of humane/ethical treatment across to those whose decision to pick up the phone and call the authorities means 'life and death' to animals blended in our urban ecosystem. Daunting could be the task of mediation, but your voice matters, for it adds to the collective advocacy of animal welfare.
Enclosure. Let's see how it goes this week.
November 15, 2008
Yesterday, we were informed that his leg was swollen (which was something we had to look out for, as advised by Dr C). Initially a bit concerned, we rushed him to the vet and were once again relieved when the attending vet removed his bandage, checked through his leg and assured us all is well. No reason for concern. So, after another bandage change, Balance was taken back to caregiver's home to rest.
Good care and good food has added some chubby fats to our boy. Puts a smile on my face each time I meet him. Such a good and contented boy he is.
Having spent more time with cats these past months, I see the distinct difference between cats and dogs. One obvious example is the warm eagerness of a dog versus the cool placidness of a cat. Once I visited Balance while he was waking up from his nap. Seeing me, I got no eager beaver clammering of paws greeting I would have gotten from Junior, Ben and the rest of our canine clique. Rather, dear little Balance greeted me with an acknowledging meow in his sleeping stance. And then, in his own sweet feline time, he yawned....he stretched...he arched his back....he rolled over and gave me a back glance....he yawned again....and when he was finally ready, he sauntered over to welcome a touch from me. If I was ultra-senstive, I would have been highly insulted. :)
Well, things are looking good for Balance. How can it be not for a good-spirited cat like him? Flesh is growing well over the initially exposed bones which can be seen no more. Come Monday, he will be ready for stitching. Extra skin from his thigh area will be taken to cover up the new flesh. Give the area a few more weeks to heal fully, and our Balance will be good as new! Hey, he'll be New Balance! (ok...bad joke...)
Many thanks to all of you who have shown concern and support for Balance during this period of his life. It is a victory for him!
November 13, 2008
real cute. Like a canine Yoda!
Well, some good news - got an email from a lady who remembers seeing FurBall being walked by his owner before at Toa Payoh. Apparently, his owner (a man) used to let FurBall run free. Maybe FurBall just managed to run off too far that day and somehow got lost.
Awaiting reply from the lady for more info on which block FurBall comes from so we can trace his owner back. Keep him in prayer for his owner to be found real soon!
Email us at email@example.com if you have more info.
We have got info that FurBall has been seen before around Toa Payoh Block 4. Those staying around there, pls help to ask around.
Apparently his owner will let him out to run free at the park. However, if he indeed is a lost dog, his owner has not made much efforts to contact SPCA or respond to Lost ads.... So, we're not too sure how responsible his owner is, and whether he has been abandoned instead.
Anyway, let's give it a few more days to try to trace his owner, by walking FurBall around that area and talking with the people there. Failing which, FurBall will be rehomed to a good family.
Max is about one-year old, an active and intelligent boy who longs for human interaction. He has great temperament and is generally non-barkish. His most enjoyable activities are eating and walking. He has great appetite and preference for home cooked food.
He can be left alone for most part of the day but will await eagerly for his food, walk and play when we return. He is an ideal companion for a working family and those living in flat as he is only about 1.5 feet tall and less than 10kg. Max is also good with dogs and cats.
Max was first treated for tick fever & leg infection, which resulted in bacteria infection in the blood in Sept 08. The diagnosis was poor and the vet was not sure if he could make it. Truly by the grace of God, he overcame the infections and victoriously bounced back to life!
As Max was previously attacked by tick fever, he needs to maintain a strong immune system to avoid another tick fever attack. Daily supplements like Vitamin C, D, E may help. Also, his vision on the left eye may be slightly affected as a result of the eye infection though we are trusting God for complete healing. His right eye is perfect though.
As a growing pup, he also needs to be trained on chewing & housebreaking. Max is ready for a new home and if you can provide him with a loving family and devote time to interact & socialize with him, he will be a great addition to the family.
Please write to JoyEng1@gmail.com if you would like Max to be a part of your family. "
November 11, 2008
Now, in the best interest of their baby girl, they asked my contact if she could take back her kitten (who has grown into a full-blown adult cat) and their own cat!
What disappointment, what anger. C then replied that there's no correlation between a newborn contracting anything and a pet animal, really. C, a mother now, had three cats when her daughter was born. A mammoth task, on top of post-natal depression, but she loved her pets more than the average person.
A promising near-adolescent now, her daughter has developed a love for cats and animals and exudes a graciousness beyond what most could comprehend.
For those who have been through adoption, or those in the animal welfare circle... do you often face this dilemma? The dilemma of not wanting to help the 'dumpers', yet so fearful that they'll indiscrimately get rid of their pets? So mad at the family, yet you can't do much to confront their irresponsible approach to a pet's life?
Didn't they think of the consequence before adopting the cat? What if they have a baby, what if they move countries? What if they can't collectively commit to the cat?
November 10, 2008
For when we'd placed him backside-first into the carrier, he was pawing on the newspapers, semi-somersaulting in the crammed space of the carrier and howling like a suppressed, stressed-out being. One volume of a kid. Too active for a recuperating cat.
And so just a few hours ago, we picked him up from the foster's to the vet clinic for his change of bandage. His wound looked a little swollen and smelled kind of stale. Dr C tied a looser bandage around his wound which still showed a white spot of bone. The 'proud flesh' have formed around his exposed tendon. A sign of granulation, says Dr C.
Come Monday morning, we will bring Balance to the vet's for his stitching. Dr C explained she'll pull the skin from his thigh down to cover the exposed portion and in no time, he will be fine. If he's lucky, one stitch operation will suffice. But some cats require more than one just so the skin is stitched firmly over in place.
And because of the slight stench and swell, we've resumed antibiotics on the guy to reduce inflammation. The foster will keep a careful lookout on him: size of both feet, how he lands his foot on ground, how he walks around, his diet and how his bandage progresses throughout the week.
The red flesh are granulated portions surrounding his wound. Too much of this can make stitching difficult,
The estimated cost of this stitch operation is $200. We're hoping to raise as much as we can, not only to cover this cost, but also all costs that pertain to his boarding, maintenance fees, consultation fees and all medical treatment that has spanned a few weeks.
While J and I take turns to bring him to the vet for his regular bandage and back again to the foster's, we're also responsible for adopting him out -- hopefully finding him a home where I'm certain he'll tell his owner how hungry he is by letting out a meow in full stereo volume. That'll be as obvious a communication between species.
But before we strive for this outcome, we require your help to pitch into his medical costs which come additional to our maintenance of 9 dogs at the shelter.
We sincerely appreciate your help, esp. in these tough times. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you could be part of Balance's new lease of life -- wound healed and full walking ability restored.
With your support, Balance will epitomize a success story of recovery enabled by a caring foster and members of the public who do care -- with a true heart of compassion and kindness.
Furball's teeth aren't too good, so vet estimated him to be either 3 to 4 years with dirty teeth, or possibly 6 to 7 years. In any case, he's an active, playful, very friendly fellow. "Happy like a jumpy rabbit!" His pee-marking should subside after sterilisation.
Keep FurBall in mind - let's find him a good home now. Email: email@example.com to meet him.
November 9, 2008
Jamie, cleared of the dreaded heartworms, would like him to fatten up more.
The true alpha? Ben (right) is the winner for now.
Jonah, bit more apprehensive.
We aim to take our 6 regularly out into the outer enclosure to join Junior, Ginne, Tommy and see when they are each ready to be released to integrate.
With the year-end drawing close, we hope for your open hearts in being a part of their life for now. While long-term plans are sought out.
Supporting 9 dogs at the first look seems daunting. But individually, if each of them has a Guardian, it is very manageable. $130 a month will guarantee one dog a safe place to stay. Away from abuse and threats of culling. Away from premature death.
* We are in the midst of confirming a Guardian for each of our 9. Do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have the big heart to be a Guardian. $130 a month will secure for one of them the dignity of LIFE. Thank you so much.
November 8, 2008
It's interesting to see how Tommy is getting along so well with Junior and Ginne. He's usually around them both, and will ocassionally join Ginne when she chooses to laze under a flower shrub.
Guess the first encounter is always the most important determining factor in any kind of interactions - human or animals. I'm sure Tommy could sense that Junior and Ginne belonged to us, when I let him out to join them in the outer enclosure, cos both the girls were sticking close around me, nuzzling and coming for pats. He could sense their bond with us, and thus he feels safe and natural to bond with them.
Let Star and Jonah out one after the other for a romp around the pool. Tommy greeted Star happily, both licking and rubbing faces in greeting. Could see that he was more glad to be up close with Star. He was pretty neutral with Jonah though!
Under the late morning sun, Star enjoyed soaking up the coolness of the water, lying on his belly on the first step into the pool. Jonah was more interested to sniff around. Didn't quite sense that they are ready to be out on their own yet, cos when I let Star off leash after some time on leash with me, he became visibly antsy and showed some of his bratty self to the other residents. Jonah on the other hand was not confident enough, refusing to walk on at certain points.
Will try again. They all just need some time to strike that balance of security, confidence and politeness to live amicably in a free-roaming shelter environmant. Tommy integrated very well in this count.
Will share some photos soon.
November 7, 2008
Found by Y and W at Toa Payoh area, they have been going about searching for his owners in the hope that he is a lost boy, and not another heartlessly abandoned dog. Unfortunately, no one has claimed him yet.
He is a good and jolly dear fellow. We have not seen him physically yet but he looks youthful and in pretty good condition. Will be bringing him for vet check and microchip scan tomorrow. Hopefully he has a chip and be reunited with owner. If not, we'll be needing a foster home for him urgently.
For now, do help us spread the word to find out if anyone has lost a male Shih Tzu around Toa Payoh area. Email us at email@example.com. Thank you.
November 6, 2008
Exposed bones when we found him
With the help of a caregiver, Balance's sister Tortoiseshell and another female, Leopard, have been sterilised. Good thing Tortoiseshell was not pregnant as suspected! 3 other stray cats in that vicinity have also been rescused from certain death as some from that pack were already caught by AVA. These 3 will be relocated to a safe place.
As always, we appreciate and thank you for your support in the sterilisation and medical costs. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for contribution details. Thank you.
November 4, 2008
How I wish I can wake to the morning, knowing that my dogs have woken up and are gallivanting through the lushness of morning dew and the greens of my lawns.
How I wish I can take all, if not most, of them in so that before I go to sleep at night, I am assured of their basic safety. I rest for the day in peace.
How I wish I can save and take in more animals without having to worry about overarching laws, or say 'no' to those in need.
How I wish this possibily can unfold before my eyes and not be a figment of my wild imagination.
How I wish I can be an encouragement to those around me and show to others a dog is a dog is a dog. Dogs need to behave the way they should.
Primal instincts, born free, uninhibited. That's what they want sometimes?
The space to run and be free. Just be free.
November 2, 2008
# Male, estimated 7-8 years old
# In need of behavioural change: Previous estranged lady owner used to keep him in a crate for years, it's believed she didn't let him out at all.
At the current home, he is snappish in the morning but come afternoon, his behaviour changes completely and is a sweet and obedient dog to cuddle
# A team of rescuers saved him from the supposedly abusive ex-lady owner and brought him for medical checkup, that included trimming of his long nails
# Vet given him a clean bill of health, save for skin problem
# Recovering: Now on vitamins, antibiotics and steroids
# Metal chain around his neck had corroded into his fur and flesh; his front legs are bald
# Current home has family members who disapprove of him, hence standby fosterer is needed
With Charlie's size, he is certainly manageable in an apartment, so if you could help in his healing and rehab process, please contact email@example.com / 9838 3820
We are sure he will turn out as the fruits of the right dose of TLC. He's a fine chap.
November 1, 2008
For those of you following through with their story, you'd know that the hostility and dangers at the farm grew to the point where relocating the pack is a necessity to keep them alive - when rocks, sticks, stones, knocks by speeding vehicles became an almost daily terror in their life.
It is time soon for each of them to experience a warm and loving home. Finally, a place to call their own.
How we went to check on the farmer if he'd indeed dug a hole to bury the body. As opposed to conveniently disposing him in a dumpster.
How we chose to believe the farmer did as he vouched to us, and how V walked away with a forced assuredness that Diesel Junior now rests peacefully. Freed from pain. Respected as a being with a soul.
Cooling off under the shelter, on the cool grassy patch when the sun gets too hot.
* Be their Guardian for this period in supporting their monthly boarding needs, while we look out for good permanent homes for each of them. Thank you.
Both Balance and Ah K are now at the same fosterer, who like many others, has many cats under her wing. One major plus point about this foster home is the assurance it gives us and the cats, which stems from virtually round-the-clock care, cleanliness, eye for details and an attitude of selflessnes complementing good management of hordes of cats.
As a token of contribution, we have given but a mere sum to the caregiver who initially refused the donation. We all know the hefty amounts she spends each day on her charges.
So, TODAY, in the drizzle of a lazy Saturday morning, we took Balance to the vet's for his review and change of bandage. I'm still reminded that had we not sought a third opinion on his injured leg, it'd've been amputated by now.
In short, Balance's healing rate is faster than what was prognosed previously: there's a little bit of bone that shows now; he's reacting a lot to the pain, i.e., nerves are running in the area; he can somewhat land his leg, albeit gently, on the floor.
So in a week or two, the vet will decide if amputation should take place, as the worst case scenario. Given his good recovery, things look optimistic for this cat who once roamed the streets and shuffled between traffic and feet in a suburban shopping area.
'Balance' -- because of the symmertry of his coat from the front
In his new ward equipped with food, water and litter pan
With e-collar on to prevent him from licking his wound or messing the bandage.
Below Balance's ward, Ah K, who was en route to the authorities' slaughterhouse, has put on much more weight and a spunky attitude to life and his newfound caregiver. Just last Tuesday when we visited him with Balance in tow, he surprised us with heightened affability that replaced his past aloofness.
With confidence, our caregiver let him out of his cage to roam the living room for a bit. We watched him amble confidently and boldly around, snarling at other cats who 'stole the limelight' and eventually perched on a marble table with a different air about him. This is the Ah K who's regained confidence -- a changed individual from his street days.
NOW, he's ready for adoption. The caregiver reminded us of the possibility of change and rehabilitation: with decent care, any cat can flourish in health and spirit. Ah K is a fine example of a cat cleaned up of his past.
So much more radiant, plus a little paunch. When we gripped our hands on his back, we felt nothing but a solid package of muscles, plus fats, plus liveliness.
Look how majestic he looks
HOW YOU CAN HELP - Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to:
* Importance of sterilisation