While traveling through Liberia, animal rescuer Jenny Desmond spied the most upsetting sight she had witnessed in some time. And she had seen some terribly distressing situations in her line of work.
She instantly instructed her driver to abruptly stop the vehicle so she could rush to the side of the road where there was a dying puppy withering away in the sweltering heat. It was covered in sores and barely had any fur, as he was so malnourished.
Jenny squatted down beside the puppy and gingerly lifted up its chin. The light in his eyes had already extinguished and he was barely hanging on.
The puppy was so malnourished that his body had begun eating its own muscles. He couldn’t even walk.
“He has infections. He’s underweight. He’s going to die. Look at him. He has worms. He has a fever. He’s being eaten alive. He’ll be dead in two days.”
Jenny argued with someone in her entourage and refused to pay the woman they believed to be his owner. Nor was any way she would rescue the puppy and then return it to the very person who allowed him to lapse into such a terrible state of health.
“I’m not paying her for the dog. Do we just leave it here to die? I’m not bringing him back.”
She hopped into their vehicle with the mangy, filthy, dying puppy perched on her lap. Jenny was bound and determined to do everything she could to save this ailing baby and give it a second lease on life that it so deserved.
When they arrived at the chimpanzee sanctuary she operated with her husband Jim, a veterinarian, they get right to work bathing the distressed puppy, washing its exposed skin as gingerly as possible. Judging by the color of the water, this poor pup had never once had a bath.
The puppy paid no mind to the water washing over its skin. He surely realized that he was finally in good hands, that the people tenderly caring for him meant well.
Jenny spoke sweetly to the puppy who paid close attention to her gentle, compassionate voice. Workers around her shared stories of Jenny’s escapades rescuing other animals.
“She’s rescued a lot of chickens. Grasshoppers. The owls.”
Jim examined the baby and administered lifesaving medication to help him heal. He confirmed that the puppy was starving and was “digesting his muscle.”
After making sure the pup was clean and medicated, Jenny gave him a healthy slop full of nutrients to boost his growth and immune system. He slurped it right up, obviously elated to finally have something in his belly.
A few days later, Jenny showed off the new patches of fur he’d already grown in such a short amount of time. But he was still stumbling around while his muscles regained their strength.
“Every day we feel like he’s getting a little bit better. But with every rescue there’s a day where they take a turn. His open wounds are healing and he’s moving around better.”
As he healed, the little guy kept biting at his sores, so Jenny and Jim equipped him with a collar, or cone. They officially named him Snafu.
Jenny was so excited when Snafu licked her. It was their first kiss, his first show of affection to the person who saved his life.
Even sweeter was the affection the chimpanzees showed Snafu at the sanctuary. The Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection in West Africa and its affiliate 501c3 in the United States, Partners in Animal Protection and Conservation (PAPC), work to improve the lives of chimpanzees, both wild and orphaned, in Liberia.
As soon as the couple settled in Liberia, a flood of chimpanzees arrived on their doorstep in need of emergency care and lifelong protection at the sanctuary. An estimated 100 acres of forested land house chimps of all ages who need the medical attention and preservation of life available to them there with Jenny, Jim and their dog Princess.
The chimpanzees would carry Snafu up and down the stairs, play with his stubby tail and care for him. It was truly endearing to watch them interact, to see the affection they had for him.
Fast forward one year and Snafu had morphed into a brand new dog! His had grown exponentially, regained his health and loved frolicking around the yard with his chimpanzee buddies and Princess.
But Snafu’s life story wasn’t done yet. Jenny had arranged for Snafu to be adopted by her own sister and her family in Colorado.
They left behind the dusty African desert and flew to the States. They arrived in snowy Colorado where Snafu instantly latched on to his fantastic new family.
He loved scampering around the countryside and exploring the mountainous region of his new home. He likely would never forget his rescuer Jenny, the only person who cared enough to stop and save him from the heinous situation he was in.
Watch Snafu’s incredible transformation from puppy on the cusp of death to full-grown dog living life to its fullest. Thank goodness for people like Jenny!
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