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 Needed Help
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 The Puppy Needed Help
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.
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.
The Puppy Received What Was Probably His First Bath
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.
Snafu 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.
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'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.
Rescuers Were Heartbroken When They Realized Why This Homeless Poodle Refused Their Help
Each and every animal deserves a loving home. But sadly, not all animals are given one. Sometimes, cats and dogs end up on the streets, wandering aimlessly, attempting to fend for themselves. Yankee the poodle was one of these poor animals.
Yankee was discovered by a group of locals who said he had been living on the Los Angeles streets for some time. But whenever they tried to help him, the pup always resisted, refusing to leave his spot in the alleyway.
Yankee the Poodle Was a Los Angeles Stray
Yankee the poodle was living on the streets of Los Angeles, California. Although no one is sure just how long Yankee had been homeless, locals had seen him wandering around, fending for himself for some time.
It was clear that Yankee was struggling to make it through the day. He would search tirelessly for scraps of food to eat and water to drink before retreating to an alleyway to rest.
Yankee Was Afraid of People
By now, Yankee had been living on the streets of Los Angeles for a while so some of the locals recognized the scraggly-haired pup. Many of them would bring him food and water to eat, but no one had been able to give him a forever home.
Sometimes locals would try to catch Yankee but he would run away or retreat into his safe spot in the alleyway.
Yankee Didn't Have Much Time Left
Recently, the locals noticed that Yankee no longer seemed interested in eating any of the food they would bring him. They started to think that he might be on the verge of passing away.
Although the locals who knew Yankee couldn't give the sweet pup a forever home, they knew they needed to find someone who could. With the change in his demeanor, they were worried he might be injured or sick, so they called Hope for Paws.
Hope for Paws Came to the Rescue
Hope for Paws received a message about a homeless poodle that was possibly injured. They were interested in helping Yankee immediately and sent a rescue team his way. Two volunteers had just finished another rescue and rushed to find the poodle. When they arrived, it was clear that Yankee wouldn't last much longer on the streets. By his demeanor, he’d already given up.
Although Yankee had a sweet demeanor, he’d grown to be wary of strangers. Even though Hope for Paws was there to help, it took a while for the poodle to warm up to them.
Yankee Was Skeptical to Let the Volunteers Help Him
The volunteers approached Yankee, who was lying defeated in the corner of the alleyway. At first, Yankee didn't even move as they approached — but when they tried to put a leash around his neck, he retreated.
Yankee was understandably afraid of the volunteers from Paws for Hope. After all, humans hadn’t been much help to him so far, so why should he believe these people were any different?
The Volunteers Coaxed Yankee Out of the Alleyway
The volunteers had lots of experience dealing with stray dogs who were nervous and untrusting of humans. Thanks to their prior work with pups in need, they knew getting Yankee away from the alleyway he now called home wouldn't be a walk in the park.
Luckily, the volunteers were persistent in their pursuit to get Yankee to a safe place. After some coaxing, they were able to get a leash on the pup and walk him out of the alleyway.
Getting Yankee to the Van Wasn't Exactly Easy
Knowing Yankee would likely retreat into the alleyway the first chance he got, the volunteers gently scooped him up and carried him slowly to the rescue van. As they were walking back, a local woman walked up and started patting Yankee on the head. She said she'd been trying to help the pup for a few days but he was afraid of her. She was so grateful for the Paws of Hope volunteers.
Once they were in the van, the volunteers gave Yankee an initial check-up, looking closely for any blood, bruising, cuts, or scrapes.
Luckily, Yankee Didn't Have any Noticeable Injuries
Luckily, Yankee didn't show have any noticeable injuries, which was surprising considering he had been wandering the streets alone for some time. But Yankee was in dire need of food, water, and a nice warm bath.
The volunteers were so excited to give Yankee the love and care he deserved, but Yankee was nervous. He was visibly shaking in the arms of the volunteer.
To the Rescue Hospital, We Go
As the volunteers prepared to head back to the rescue hospital, they opened the hatchback of the vehicle to crate Yankee, but the poodle was hesitant. After some more coaxing, the volunteers were able to get Yankee loaded into the rescue van and begin their drive.
While in the car, the volunteers made sure to soothe Yankee as much as possible. Within a few minutes, the pup settled in and even started opening up a bit.
Yankee Slowly Started to Trust the Volunteers
The volunteers had placed Yankee in a crate in the back of the car but left the door open in case he wanted to move about. About halfway through the drive, Yankee slowly crept from the crate and even moved to the back passenger seat to sit next to one of the volunteers.
From the looks in Yankee's eyes, the volunteers were hopeful that this meant he was warming up to them and that he knew they were here to help.
A Trip to the Vet
Now that Yankee was safe in the care of the volunteers, it was time to get down to business. First up on the list was a trip see a veterinarian. Since Yankee had been on the streets for some time, he definitely hadn't been to the vet in a while.
There was no way to tell if Yankee had heartworms or some type of nasty infection brewing, but the volunteers were hoping for the best.
Yankee Gets a Clean Bill of Health
To everyone's relief, Yankee received a clean bill of health from the vet. He tested negative for heartworms and didn’t have any infections. He also hadn’t suffered any serious injuries while he was living on the streets.
Yankee had however developed some seriously matted fur. One thing was for certain — he needed a bath and proper grooming!
The Volunteers Realized Yankee's Trust Issues Were Severe
When the volunteers left the vet with Yankee, their next mission was to finally give the sweet pup a bath and proper grooming. But as they tried to clean Yankee, they realized his trust issues were worse than they thought.
Having worked with numerous neglected pups in the past, the volunteers weren't surprised by Yankee’s trust issues at first, but their next realization left them all heartbroken.
Yankee Had Received Little to No Affection His Entire Life
Although the volunteers were experienced handling dogs who were afraid of human, Yankee was a little different. After spending a few hours with him, they realized he had likely received little to no affection at all throughout his entire life.
The sweet pup had never been properly loved, cared for, or socialized. But now, Yankee was finally going to get the care he so desperately needed and deserved.
Yankee Opens Up
When the volunteers arrived with Yankee to the rescue hospital, the pup continued to shy away. Yankee was more subdued than ever, but he did seem to know that these people were all there to help him.
Soon enough, Yankee finally started to open up. He seemed to finally realize that the volunteers who picked him up from the alleyway, the vet, and those at the rescue hospital were all there to help him.
Yankee Started to Thrive
Yankee spent the next few weeks making a full recovery at the rescue hospital. Now that he had proper food, water, and hygiene, he was starting to thrive! Being around humans and other animals all day was really beneficial for Yankee. Slowly but surely he was opening up to others.
Although the volunteers who had rescued Yankee and helped give him a second chance at life were attached to the pup, they knew the next step was to find him a foster home.
Finding His Foster Home
Before they knew it, the time had come to start looking for a foster home for Yankee. Now that he was well enough, Yankee was able to leave the rescue hospital.
Yankee was released to a foster home from the Rescue From the Hart organization. At his foster home, he met a young boy who wanted Yankee to become a part of his family forever.
The Difference Just a Few Weeks Can Make
Just a few weeks before, Yankee had been living on the dirty streets of Los Angeles with little food and water. More than that, the poodle had received so little affection and socialization in his life that he was terrified of humans and even resisted their help.
But thanks to the kindness of strangers, Yankee was now healthy and happy. He also had a new best friend!
Yankee Makes a New Best Friend
It seemed like only yesterday Yankee was living in fear of humans, but now the once-homeless poodle had made a 180 in his life. He even found a new best friend!
The foster family that adopted Yankee had a young son, who fell in love with Yankee. Eventually, the boy and the pup became best friends. Now, Yankee's personality was really shining. Even better, he now has his own backyard to run around in!
Look At That Smile!
Would you look at the smile? You can't fake that kind of happiness! It’s almost hard to believe that this photo of Yankee and his new owner was taken just a few short weeks after he was rescued.
Finally, Yankee had found his forever home and he was truly thriving. After a lifetime of being alone, he was finally getting the love, affection, and care he so dearly deserved.
Yankee Became More Social As Time Went On
Anyone who works with animal rescues knows how hard it can be for animals to transition to a new home. Just because you know they're receiving the best care and are in a safe environment, doesn’t mean they know they are.
But Yankee seemed to be an enigma. The sweet pup only got more social as time went on! He made a quick transition into his foster family and was truly the perfect addition.
Before and After
This before and after shot of Yankee is nothing short of awesome. It's hard to believe that these photos were taken only weeks apart. But it just goes to show how far a little compassion and kindness can go.
If it weren’t for the amazing rescue volunteers, who knows what may have happened to Yankee. But now, this poodle has a new chance at life. We think his face says it all!