Friday, April 1, 2016

A Prisoner of Love.. for Eight Years

April is the exact same month but it was many years ago - in 2007. At a HDB carpark in Aljunied, a medium-sized white and tan mixed breed dog stood there, tied to a lamppost. He must have been standing there for a few hours with neither food nor water, seemingly waiting for his owner. Many cars and people passed by, but nobody came forward to find out why the dog was there.

At about 10pm, a white van drove up and a man emerged from the van. He untied the dog from the lamppost and tried to pull him into the van, but the dog resisted and refused to go into the van. He still wanted to wait for his owner it seemed. As the man continued to coax the dog, a small crowd gathered around to watch. Suddenly, another man from the crowd stepped forward and took over the rope. The dog, strangely enough, allowed the man to lead him into the van.

All this happened within full view of Sarah who had driven into the carpark before the arrival of the van and had noticed the dog. Thinking that his owner left him there while he went about his errands, she did not give it a second thought. However, when she was returning to her car, the small group of people who had gathered around the barking dog caught her attention. She then saw that the van was an SPCA vehicle before it drove off.

She kept thinking about the dog over the next two days and on the third day, she called SPCA and confirmed that the dog was with them. She was also further advised that should the dog not be bailed out within a week, SPCA will then have to decide his fate according to their internal procedures. She could not get the dog out of her mind and she agonized over what to do with this dog.

Sarah was at that time, a working professional with two dogs in her small apartment but being true to her ever compassionate and generous nature, she called the SPCA again and claimed the dog whom she named TERRY. He was transferred to a commercial boarding kennel with the hope for a family to eventually adopt him. Although Sarah tried, with the help of her friends and contacts, no home was found for Terry. As we all practically know, it is a challenge to get any dog rehomed, let alone this dog – an adult mixed breed. Her only recourse to saving Terry's life was to continue boarding him at the kennel at great personal expenses. She constantly tried all avenues but still no one wanted to take Terry in.

Terry who stayed at the commercial boarding kennel for eight years waiting for a family to adopt him

At the kennel, Terry lived in a confined space, was taken for walks and medical attention was accorded whenever necessary. However, it was not the best that we could give any dog. When the suggestion was made to have Terry sent to Noah’s Ark Natural Animal Sanctuary (NANAS) in JB, Sarah refused as she still harboured the hope that he would be given a good home with a family in Singapore and she could see him whenever she could, compared to having him stay in JB. 

Terry waiting for the day to pass by

Time passed and all this while, Sarah dutifully paid for his costly boarding fees and all his medical bills. That was before she was unfortunately retrenched from her job. Even after that, she continued to pay for his up-keeping, until she found herself in financial difficulties. Sarah tried her best to return to the workforce but she was not successful in securing a job even after some time. Some kind-hearted donors helped her by but this could not cover all expenses, and there were also some accumulated debts from the past.

We turned to Raymund Wee, founder of NANAS and the saviour of many needy animals to take Terry into his fold. The sanctuary is already home to a thousand animals – dogs, cats, horses, monkeys, rabbits and even a boar, but Raymund accepted this case because Sarah was truly at her wits end and has exhausted all options. Arrangements were made, donations were sought for Terry's transfer to JB and he was finally given a new lease of life at NANAS. With two other dogs from Singapore, he found companionship with his new friends during the quarantine stay.

Terry, now a senior dog, over at NANAS. He was waiting to see the vet for his general review here.
Can you see the smile on his face? J

Today, he has the freedom of open space, interaction with many friends and kind volunteers who share their time and love with all the animals at NANAS. He is so much better off at the sanctuary now - though it might be less than a home with a family but it is a much happier and carefree life than the confined space at the kennel. For this, he owes Raymund and his team of volunteers who give so much of themselves to the care and well-being of these unwanted animals.

He is one more life saved by the selfless dedication of this one man, the Angel of the Ark at NANAS and his other Ark Angels! To support the work of Noah’s Ark CARES, please email to

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