When you dedicate your life to rescuing animals in need, you can’t walk past a helpless animal without doing something about it. Such was the case for Jenny Desmond, who operates the Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection facility in West Africa with her husband Jimmy. On the way back to the facility one day, Jenny saw a puppy on the road that looked like he was about ready to die. Though chimps were her specialty, Jenny knew she had to do something for this dog.
The puppy didn’t look like it was going to make it but something incredible happened once Jenny took over…
This Puppy Was On The Brink Of Death
All over the world, there are animals that are abandoned and left to fend for themselves. Such was the case for a small puppy found in a remote village in Liberia. This little guy was sitting by the side of the road, where it looked as if he was left to die.
None of the villagers seemed to care for the desperate pup, yet they seemed to take issue with it when one woman wanted to pick him up.
Jenny Desmond Noticed Someone To Rescue
The woman in question was Jenny Desmond. She and her husband Jimmy are co-founders of the Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection (LCRP) facility in West Africa. While the Desmonds primarily work to rehabilitate wild and orphaned chimpanzees rescued from the illegal bushmeat and wildlife trades, no species is excluded from the love and care of the LCRP.
Jenny and her colleagues were driving through a remote Liberian village when she noticed this puppy lying by the road.
Who Knows How Long He Was Suffering In These Conditions?
When they stopped to help her, Jenny instantly noticed that the puppy had worms and was sick with a fever but those were only two of the multiple ailments that this little puppy was suffering from. In addition to being severely underweight, the puppy also had eye and skin infections.
Jenny wanted to bring him back to the facility to improve his health. But she couldn’t do so without getting an earful from the nearby villagers.
When she held the puppy in her lap, Jenny was shocked to see the exact condition that he was in…
Jenny Had To Argue With The Villagers
Oddly enough, Jenny faced a bit of resistance from nearby villagers about saving this puppy. She didn’t want to pay them to take him, especially since she was certain no one was caring for him anyway. “You see he’s being eaten alive,” she told them, holding him out to show them his scabbed coat.
“You want me to leave him here and he’s gonna die?” she asked them. Rescuing the puppy wasn’t going to be as simple as Jenny thought.
She Vowed To Never Bring Him Back
“If the dog becomes better, do you want me to bring the dog back to you?” Jenny asks the villagers in a video. That seemed to be a good enough reason for them to allow Jenny to take the puppy.
“I’m not bringing him back. I’m just saying that,” Jenny can later be heard saying as they drive away. She knew for sure that the puppy would never have a good life in that village.
They Weren’t Sure He Was Going To Make It
It was a good thing that Jenny rescued the sick puppy when she did. She was certain that the puppy would have died in two days if she hadn’t have come to its rescue.
Upon further inspection, they found that the puppy was missing huge patches of fur and his skin was covered in dirt and sores. Jenny wanted to give the puppy a fighting chance at life even though it seemed like he wouldn’t make it.
It was clearly going to take a lot to help this puppy but luckily someone at the sanctuary knew just what he needed…
When they got to the sanctuary, the first thing they did was give the puppy a much-needed bath. Jenny and one of her colleagues gently scrubbed out the dirt caked into the puppy’s fur as he sat helpless under the running water.
This was second nature to Jenny. “She’s rescued a lot. She rescued chickens, she rescued grasshoppers, owls… she’s rescued a lot of things,” explained Jenny’s colleague. Jenny has never turned a blind eye to an animal in need.
They Named Him Snafu
The Desmonds decided to name this little guy Snafu. When he first arrived at the Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection facility, Snafu was a timid and fragile puppy. It was clear that he didn’t have the strength to carry on.
But amazingly, Snafu would make a strong recovery in a matter of days and it would seem the rescue was paying off. But first, there were some important things they had to take care of.
Treatment Was The Next Step
Snafu got treatment right away so that he could start healing. Jimmy Desmond is a wildlife veterinarian and consultant who specializes in emerging disease and the illegal wildlife trade.
Jimmy administered a treatment underneath the puppy’s skin that would be absorbed by the body. It was likely that the puppy had some serious infections that would have led to a fatal disease had he not been saved when he was.
The Desmonds took Snafu’s recovery day by day and they still weren’t sure he was getting any better…
The Puppy Was So Hungry He Was Digesting His Muscle
Snafu was so malnourished and starving that he had begun digesting his own muscles. Jenny and Jimmy made sure to give him plenty of food and water in order to nourish him back to health.
When given the food and water, Snafu would stand there inhaling it all for quite some time so it was clear that he had been deprived of these necessities while fending for himself in that village.
His Hair Started Growing Back In Five Days
By the fifth day under the Desmond’s care, the puppy’s fur started to grow back. “He didn’t even look like he had fur or hair,” Jenny said in reference to when they first found him.
“There used to be big chunks of skin [falling out] and there’s not that much of it anymore.” The puppy was showing incredible signs of improvement in less than a week of being cared for.
Snafu’s Recovery Took A Turn
“Everyday we kind of felt like he was getting a little bit better but with most animals that we rescue, there’s a day when they kind of take a turn,” Jenny explained. Slowly but surely, that day would come for Snafu.
One thing’s for sure, Snafu’s spirit was definitely changed within days of being at the LCRP. The once-timid dog soon started to move around playfully after he got used to his new environment.
Sanfu was finally on the mend and eventually, he started to look like a completely different dog…
They Put On The “Cone Of Shame”
As Snafu became more playful, the Desmond’s had to be more careful about his treatment. When they first got him, Snafu had multiple open wounds that were oozing with puss. “It was starting to heal with the medicine but then he was biting it, so we put the collar on him,” Jenny said.
Part of Snafu’s treatment involved having to wear the cone of shame, though we’re sure Snafu wasn’t ashamed to be healing.
Snafu Got Along With The Rescued Chimps
Even with the restrictive collar around his neck, Snafu still felt well enough to start interacting with everyone at the sanctuary — especially his new animal friends. Not only did he not mind sharing food with the older dogs on the property but he got along well with the chimpanzees too!
For their part, the chimps loved helping to care for Snafu by carrying him down the stairs when he was still small.
Snafu Essentially Grew Up With The Chimps
Under the Desmonds’ vigilant care, it wasn’t long before Snafu not only began healing but he also began growing as well. Within a year, Snafu had grown into a full-sized dog and was as happy as can be.
Not only that, he was happy to interact with the rescued chimpanzees having grown up on the sanctuary. Snafu actually got his second chance at life but that wasn’t the end of his story.
Snafu finally grew into the dog he was meant to be but his situation changed when the Desmonds realized he wasn’t getting the attention he deserved…
Snafu’s Future Was Up In The Air
Snafu looked like a completely different dog within a year of being rescued. It was all thanks to Jenny and Jimmy Desmond who had the resources and hearts full of love that Snafu was able to make a full recovery.
Life seemed pretty perfect at that point but suddenly, the Desmonds realized they couldn’t continue to care for Snafu. As new animals came in needing their help, space at the sanctuary was getting tight.
The Desmonds Wanted Snafu To Have A Life He Deserved
Lots of animals find their way to the LCRP but it’s not often that they have to say goodbye. Even though Jenny never discriminated against what animals she cared for, she realized that her’s and Jimmy’s busy schedule in rescuing chimpanzees was their priority.
Still, they wanted Snafu to have the life that he deserved. They needed to think of a solution so that he could continue to get the love they were giving him.
They Couldn’t Give Snafu The Attention He Deserved
Jenny and Jimmy fell in love with Snafu and were proud of his recovery but their work at the sanctuary had to come first. Running the LCRP involved a lot of travel, especially since they rescued chimpanzees from all over Africa.
They realized that all their travel prevented them from giving Snafu all the care and attention he deserved. Luckily, they thought of the perfect solution for Snafu’s situation.
Jenny’s Nieces Adopted Snafu
Jenny knew the perfect people to adopt Snafu and it was her sister’s family in Colorado. “He’s moving to Colorado to live with my nieces and he’s gonna have a great, wonderful life,” Jenny said.
“Look at him, he’s cute, happy, [and] fat.” It was certainly a huge improvement from when Jenny first found Snafu on the side of the road one day. She could only hope that Snafu would enjoy his new life.
Snafu Is Thriving In Colorado
Snafu loved his family at the Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection facility. She especially loved the new parents he had in Jenny and Jimmy, who hoped that Snafu would continue to be happy when he moved to Colorado.
Fortunately, that was precisely the case! Snafu loved being able to play with Jenny’s nieces and to have a new family that loved her just as much as the one back in Africa.