Thursday, May 31, 2012

Out of the bonnet and into a warm caring family!

Who would imagine finding a kitten in a car bonnet? A few faintish sounding 'meows" prompted our rescuer to open up bonnet for further investigation. A small and extremely filthy little kitten greeted her, not sure if we could call that a pleasant surprise? The rescuer whipped the little one out of the bonnet and settled her quickly into a carrier. The little one meowed relentlessly as she was likely not used to being confined to a small space. She was fed warm food and water, shortly after she fell into a deep sleep.

The rescuer named the kitten Chelsea and Chelsea was allowed to roam in the rescuer's apartment for a few days. Chelsea was extremely frightened, hiding under the bed most of the time. On the third day, her fear melted away and she became more inquisitive. When the rescuer first entered the room, she would stand and observe from a safe corner. Another day passed and she actually came running out when the rescuer entered the room! The rescuer had 2 other cats at home, but Chelsea was not bothered by them and was slowly introduced to the others through a playpen fence. A little intimidated by the bigger-sized friends, she would stand at the feet of the rescuer - a sign that she has an angel watching over her, what a clever little girl!

Adoption notices were posted on various online sites. Within a week, numerous enquiries came in for Chelsea. The rescuer was extremely careful when rehoming the kitten. This is because adopters need to agree to sterilizing the cat when she reaches 6 months of age, ensuring the cat stays indoors (cats can get into fights when they are allowed to roam outside and can also catch illnesses from other cats) and cat-proof the home to ensure the cat will not jump out of a window while trying to pounce on a bird outside (this happens a lot of times in apartments).

After screening the keen adopters, Chelsea was brought to the home of a couple who has just adopted Mario, another young kitten who was saved from the streets few weeks ago. Even kittens get territorial at a young age! During the next week and initially chasing after each other, both cats learnt to share toys and soon became inseparable. Chelsea was renamed "Mindy" at her new home. This is Mindy and Mario together below:

It takes so little to help a stray little kitten but the joy that comes after you find him/her a good home is simply beyond words. To us, it would mean there is one less stray on our streets.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Stray's Painful Days

It was a usual Sunday meeting up and carrying out some site work. We just had lunch and were about to leave the industrial estate when we spotted a male stray dog and decided to offer him some food. Another dog made a quiet appearance a distance away when we were alighting from the vehicle.

We did not pay much attention to this second dog until we got closer to her. She was exceptionally thin, even for a stray without a caregiver. Her thinner-than-usual frame had us instinctively concluding that it was a probable case of intestinal parasites (commonly known as worms). She might also be suffering from other underlying medical conditions which were not visible to the naked eye. Surviving on a diet of food waste and leftovers salvaged from the trash and streets, coupled with living in a hazardous environment, the strays lead a hard life. Sad to say, many of them do not survive the harshness out there.

As she sat down to scratch herself, the reason behind the scrawniness became evident. Her genitals had a humungous growth filled with numerous lumps. It was a painful and heart-wrenching sight. This poor girl was stricken with Transmissible Venereal Tumour, commonly known as TVT ( It was not an unusual condition as we had come across and treated a few cases before. However, judging from the size of her growth, she must have had this condition for several months. The tumours usually develop outside the body only many months after the dog gets infected. Male dogs could contract TVT as well and tumours would grow on their genitals during the onset of the condition.

Extracted from Care for Dogs Foundation in Chiang Mai, Thailand (
An infected female will develop the tumor internally in her vulva and this in time will increase in size and show itself like a large sagging bag of blood dripping meat, which will as weeks go by attract flies, their larvae and other dogs. The female will then keep her tail down, become paranoid of anything near her rear end and of course be in severe pain as the tumor eats away at her body.

Those who have ever experienced Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) could perhaps relate to the pain that the poor girl must be going through. Just the mere act of relieving herself would result in excruciating pain and discomfort. We would never understand the extent of the agony that she had been silently putting up with all this while. The heat cycle of a female dog normally spans four to eight months (some span even longer) and we certainly hope she had not been on heat in the recent period. It would be unimaginable to have had male dogs preying on her and adding to the anguish.

The girl went on to seek refuge inside a power station and was extremely skittish. Even with food on hand, we had to throw it under the gate and retreat far back before she would even surface to grab the food and run back in. H called SP Services to ask if they could kindly help with opening of the power station gate.

The SP Services personnel came by after a while. The staff were kind enough to grant us access into the power station and we got down to work fast along with two other stray feeders. M and L stood guard by the left gate of the power station while the SP Services personnel waited by the other gate. S and H went in to attempt to corner the girl. Being extremely wary and swift, she had us going in circles for a good twenty minutes. Just as we were getting worn out, we could see that she was as well. She had also thrown up some food which were fed to her earlier but was nonetheless fixated on trying to get away from us.

As the girl headed towards the power station gate from the inside, M and L were alerted. She saw the SP Services personnel standing by the right gate and she made a dash for the left, wanting to dive out from under the gate. M and L had already blocked the exterior of the left gate with fencing by then. As S and H closed in on the girl from both ends, she hastily crawled under the left gate struggling to get through. She was trapped between the exterior of the left gate and the fencing but still not within our reach yet!

M and L ran forward to grab hold of the fencing to prevent it from falling, moving it slowly and steadily along to make the fenced-up area smaller. The girl panicked and was struggling under the gate to get back into the power station. A carrier was hurriedly placed in the only “open” area for her to enter the power station and just as she thought she was safe back in the power station upon freeing herself from under the gate, we had her caught in the carrier!

Everything took place far too quickly and it was a pity that we had no extra hands to snap pictures for sharing. We were just relieved that we managed to get hold of the poor girl to render aid to her soonest possible. The SP Services personnel cheered us on upon the successful rescue. They were appalled by her condition too. They took a few photos and remarked at how “poor thing” she looked. We thanked them profusely for their help and took our leave.

TVT is commonly treated with chemotherapy as it has proven to be the most effective and practical method thus far. Vincristine is the most frequently used drug for the treatment of this condition and the vet estimates that a minimum of six to eight weekly jabs would be required by the female stray, now named Sandra. Sandra also needs to put on some weight before she could be sterilised. As she is safe from other male dogs for now, the procedure would happen at a later stage.

A close-up

Judging from her extreme fear of people, Sandra might never have had contact with humans before. She shivers whenever someone touches her and tries to run away. She often has to be cornered before she could be brought to the vet. It is always a huge struggle but the fosterer will continue to condition her behaviour. It is heartening though that she has a voracious appetite. We hope that with patience and time, Sandra would gradually overcome her fear and leave her sad past behind.

Strays, such as Sandra, count on us for help. She was lucky to have been spotted by us and we were just as lucky to have caught her and to be able to put her through treatment, thus eliminating other male dogs from the risk of infection.

Should you wish to contribute towards dear Sandra’s medical bills, please email us at As always, no amount of donation is too small and we are grateful for every cent as it comes straight from your heart. Thank you.

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Sticky Labour Day Affair

The human race, said to be the most superior of all animals, often does not give due thought and consideration to the repercussions of their actions. Whether or not the act is committed intentionally, it could be a fellow human being or an animal on the receiving end and the consequences or hurt inflicted might be irreversible.

Ever experienced having super glue stuck on your hand and feeling frustrated at not being able to remove it? Imagine if that were to happen to half of your entire body. There was an unfortunate case of an adult cat being caught on a glue trap just two months back in Jurong West ( and and the poor creature had to be euthanised due to the severity of her condition. We believe that is not an isolated case and there are definitely other occurrences. Sad to say, to the dismay of many animal lovers, glue traps have yet to be banned by the authorities.

It was a rare occasion that H was able to sleep in. The buzzing handphone roused her from sleep in the morning. As H scrolled through the message, the attached image jolted her up from her half-awake stupor.

The first thought that came to H’s mind (and many others when H showed them the photo thereafter) was that the kitten was burnt. As H stared at the image further, that did not appear to be the case. Regardless, H immediately called her friend to gather more details and with a cat carrier in hand, H was swiftly on her way down to Bukit Batok. During H’s journey there, the lady who was seeking help for the kitten informed H that the kitten had run back to the bin centre to hide. A kind-hearted soul had actually managed to remove the kitten from a glue trap but did not know how to help the kitten further. As the kitten was placed in a low basket, it ran off shortly after.

Upon arrival at the scene, H saw a huge glue trap at the entrance of the bin centre. The grotesque image of the Jurong West glue trap case immediately came to mind – the expression on the adult cat’s face was firmly enacted in H’s mind although she had only read the article once. H instinctively grabbed hold of some waste paper around and stuck it onto part of the glue trap. Though it was insufficient, her priority was to render help to the kitten first.

Holding her breath and having rolled up her denim jeans, H went into the bin centre with G to try to locate the kitten. It was almost noon at that time and the stallholders from the market nearby were packing up for the day. Stallholders with pails of trash were throwing H and G weird stares and at the same time discarding wet waste such as fish scales, intestines and the like into the huge bins just beside them. It was honestly not a pleasant sight and we believe no further details are needed to describe the scenario.

After what seemed like eternity in the bin centre, H and G went out for a breather. One stallholder was kind enough to advise them to seek help from the cleaner to unlock the area beside the bin centre entrance so that they could try searching for the kitten there as well. They went back in to find the cleaner as he was said to be residing in a room inside the bin centre but he did not seem to be around. Thankfully, he returned after a short while and after explaining the situation to him, he immediately undid the padlock to let them in.

Both H and G had thought that it was unlikely for the kitten to be found there but they still tried their luck nonetheless. H then spotted some brown fur inside a big black bin and they stared at it momentarily to figure out what it actually was. All of a sudden, there was movement from that motionless pile! Their jaws dropped and a long-haired lady (whom H heard was also a stallholder from the nearby market) swiftly reached out into the bin to grab the kitten out.

The kitten was merely a month old. The right side of its tiny body had loose wire, styrofoam pieces and bits of dirt amongst many other things stuck on it. It kept meowing non-stop and its gums appeared terribly pale. A couple of stallholders had already gathered around by then and H only managed to speak to them briefly before departing the scene. Some seemed to know who the culprit was but were reluctant to reveal anything. As they were in a rush, H and G unfortunately did not manage to get more details but had asked the lady who had grabbed the kitten out to help get rid of the glue trap lest more cats or other animals fall victim to it.

Most vet clinics were closed that day given that it was a public holiday but H and G had to get the glue off the kitten soonest possible. After numerous frantic phone calls, H and G brought the kitten to a friend’s place. As soon as they reached L’s home, L used kerosene to slowly rid the glue off the kitten. The kitten was extremely lucky; there was also glue just by its right eye but thank goodness the glue did not get into the eye. The glue removal process took quite a while and they hurriedly bathed and dried the kitten thereafter for fear of the sweet young thing catching a cold.

We are very appreciative to P for kindly agreeing to help foster the kitten at such short notice. It is also a great blessing that P is experienced with handling cats. G had tried feeding the kitten some milk formula after its bath but it did not take any. H and G believed that it might still be in a state of shock, so they decided to let the kitten settle down at P’s place first, after which P would syringe-feed it.

We earnestly hope to bring more awareness with regard to the cruelty of the use of glue traps and implore pest control companies or even individuals to use more humane methods in dealing with pests.  We have reported this incident to the authorities and will be working with them on the matter. Cats might not have been the intended ‘pests’ to be caught in this particular case and this kitten is a lucky little one who managed to survive the ordeal. Had no one discovered it in time or had it been stuck elsewhere, it might have starved to death or even got bitten by rats.

On a happier note, the kitten is recuperating well at P’s place but is in need of a loving home. If you would like to open your heart and home to this little one, please email us at We believe Kitty will be lucky enough to have a place to call home too. 


Unfortunately, the kitten did not make it. We understand that it was brought to the vet the very next day but due to its tender age and toxity of the glue, it was unable to pull through this traumatic ordeal. Rest in peace little one, our thoughts are with you.

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