Rescued shih tzu covered with tumours, warts after years of neglect, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Rescued shih tzu covered with tumours, warts after years of neglect

Nothing could have prepared animal welfare group HOPE Dog Rescue Singapore for the shock upon picking up their first rescue of 2022.

“The smell of rotting flesh that filled the room… How on earth can anyone keep a dog in this condition for so long, not feel sad, not ask for help, not be bothered by the condition and just keep the dog in the service balcony…” the welfare group shared in a Facebook post on Jan 5.

HOPE Dog Rescue had received a request to rehome “their mother's dog”. It was purchased by their late father and left in their mother’s care after he died. The family asked for help to rehome the shih tzu “due to personal circumstances”.

When volunteers went to the home, the owners “calmly surrendered” Buddy as if “everything was fine”, they said.

But the sight of Buddy was anything but. 

Volunteers were stunned by the dog's appearance. 

"When we looked at Buddy’s picture, it was so gruesome that we took a while to realise it was a dog," wrote the animal welfare group in the Jan 5 Facebook post.

What the owners described as “lumps” on its body and ear were actually multiple abscesses and skin tumours. 

“Most of the abscesses were pus-filled and leaking,” with the largest one on Buddy’s ear.

"The owners claimed Buddy is seven years old. I think in their minds, they probably loved the dog till he was 7 years old,” it wrote.

A full physical examination of Buddy uncovered the following conditions:

- Deaf and blind

- High blood pressure, elevated kidney readings

- Huge tumour under its neck (which cannot be removed as it is attached to the major blood vessels)

- Oozes of pus from its gums

- Rotten teeth

- Abnormal-size testicles (that have now been removed)

- Countless warts

Buddy also had a swollen and infected mass on his right ear which was successfully removed after a two-hour surgery. 

The mass was found to be a cancerous tumour, and Buddy was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, which has spread to his lungs.

As well, the vet has determined that Buddy is closer to 15 years old. 

The prognosis is rather bleak at the moment, said the welfare group, who added that Buddy has recently undergone two major surgeries. But volunteers are working towards the shih tzu’s recovery.

HOPE Dog Rescue said it has since reported the matter as a case of gross neglect and abuse to the relevant authorities.

If you would like to help with Buddy’s medical bills, e-mail