By: Yusrina Yusoff
What brought you to Singapore?
My husband was transferred by his employer. After living in London, we thought it was a good idea to move to tropical Singapore.
Tell us about your job.
I studied veterinary science at the University of Sydney. When I approached The Animal Doctors via email from London, they happened to be looking for a part-time vet. Now I’m a veterinarian at The Animal Doctors veterinary clinic, which helps out local animal rescue groups.
What made you decide to foster a dog?
Little Cooper was rescued by HOPE Dog Rescue and brought to our clinic. He’d been found with two broken legs and a broken pelvis after a car hit him. They’d taken him to a veterinary orthopaedic specialist from Australia who performed surgery on him, but he needed a place to recover. Shelters can’t accommodate all the animals that need shelter, and they are not ideal for animals recovering from surgery or illness. As I am a vet, with the ability to give him the care he needed, we welcomed Cooper into our home.
What was your biggest challenge?
We had to keep going up and down in the lift at odd hours of the night and early morning to get him toilet trained. It was tiring, but his positivity in the face of serious injuries made it worth sacrificing some sleep. Cooper was unable to walk at first. We bought an old pram from a charity store so we could wheel him around the neighbourhood in it. It was very amusing to watch people’s reactions!
Will you be adopting him?
Fostering requires a serious commitment, time, energy and also some money. My family and Cooper have grown very close, but unfortunately we are unable to fully adopt a second dog at this time. We also feel that we could be of more use if we take on injured or sick animals during their recovery period and then let them go to a new home.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to foster or adopt an animal?
A temperament assessment by a professional such as a vet or a dog trainer is recommended. They will assess if you’re fit to adopt an animal, as they want to ensure things will go smoothly once the dog leaves their care. HOPE Dog Rescue’s adoption fee is $350 per dog: all their dogs have been neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. Another option is to foster an animal temporarily while the charity tries to find a home for it.