Rescued dog was so starved he forgot how to eat

Rescued dog was so starved he forgot how to eat

SINGAPORE - On Nov 14, a local group of volunteer animal rescuers were alerted to a starved and severely sick dog which was not eating and required immediate medical attention.

The man who rescued the dog could not provide much food for the male dog, so volunteers had food delivered to him.

When volunteers finally got to the dog - which was eventually named Elmo - he was emaciated to the point that his ribs were jutting out from under his skin.

A full grown local dog usually weighs 15kg to 25kg. Elmo weighed a mere 8kg.

Veterinarians ran a host of tests on the dog and found no contagious viruses. However, they could hardly poke a needle into him as his skin had hardened. Drawing blood was also difficult as he was severely dehydrated.

The vet suspected that Elmo had not eaten for weeks and tried giving him food and water, but he refused to eat. He was struggling with his sense of smell, and animal rescuers suspected that he had gone without food for so long that he forgot how to eat.

Rescuers weren't clear how the dog came to be in this state.

Volunteers are now working with klapsons The Boutique Hotel to raise funds for sick dogs like Elmo.

The hotel will be donating $20 from each $70 ticket sold at its Santa Doggies event on December 7. The money will go to Elmo's medical and rehabilitation bills.

The event, held at klapsons' alfresco sky terrace, is a special Christmas party for all dog owners and their dogs.

Next: Elmo's skin like 'sandpaper' >>


Low body temperature, dehydration

Hope Dog Rescue Founder, Ms Fiona Foo said: "His skin feels like sandpaper, and he can't smell well."

"Starved, abused & abandoned to a slow, sad death, this innocent soul has known nothing but cruelty from humans. Luckily, Elmo was rescued by a kind man, & passed to Hope to help. This battered dog now has a new lease of life," she added in an email.

Apart from being severely dehydrated and anaemic, Elmo also had a high white blood cell count, which is indicative of an infection in his tiny body. His stool also contained a lot of bacteria.

Updates from Hope Dog Rescue on Nov 15 state that Elmo was placed on a drip of antibiotics, glucose, and multi-vitamins to help boost his immunity.

He made it through the night, but was not out of danger.

Elmo's low body temperature and severe dehydration is the biggest threat and could potentially kill him.

The vet has placed heat pads and heated body bags around him to help keep him warm. He was also force fed him to make sure he takes in some food.

Jesse Leung, a member of the public, said on Facebook that it would be better to prevent these things from happening instead of intervening after the damage has been done.

Hope Dog Rescue replied: "Hi Jesse Leung, thanks for your support. Unfortunately, these things are beyond our control.

"We can only rely on the public's and the government's support to educate people to treat dogs nicely and to not turn a blind eye on these needy dogs."

To help with Elmo's vet bills, please email More information can be found on Hope Dog Rescue's site

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