Jessica was tied up outside the Carlsbad, NM animal control during the night, in freezing temperatures. The staff knew she had given birth out there, because the placenta was frozen to the cement. The babies were weak and so was emaciated Jessica, and every bone in her body was visible through her fur, even on her tail. All had pneumonia. All would have to be destroyed, if a no-kill shelter couldn't be found- and in New Mexico, there are only a handful. We received the call for help late that night, and Jessica and her babies arrived after 10 p.m.
Jessica was very very sweet, and all had to be rushed to the veterinarian immediately. It was a week of hell, with trips back to the vet almost every day, as the babies went into extreme conditions, then improved, then declined. Midway through the week, we lost one of the puppies, who we had named, "Baby Herman." Jessica and the babies are depicted in a mural on our building, with Baby Herman with wings and a halo.
The rest of the family began to improve, and within weeks, all the babies were thriving. Jessica took longer to gain weight, as she was nursing the puppies, but also improved. With all the puppies attracting adopters, and the adopters coming weekly to visit them (with smocks and gloves worn), the puppies were all adopted. Now it was time to get Jessica spayed, but she was still in less than 'operable' condition for some time after that. Once spayed and recovered, it was time for Jessica to be moved to general population, but her past then caught up with her. She was fearful of other dogs, and having been a chained dog (the marks of her chain were still in her coat when she arrived), we'll never know what abuses she suffered from other dogs.
Kay McClune, one of our amazing trainers, developed a 'Dog Grumpy' class, with some of our other dogs who had the same issue. She came through that class with flying colors, and so did the other dogs. Later, she attended our basic K-9 class, and also did beautifully, accomplishing an 8-minute 'down stay' in our 1/3 acre training park, with dogs all around her, doing the same. We were so happy!
By now, Jessica was several years old, and it's very difficult to find a wonderful home for any pitbull-type dog in New Mexico, much less an older dog. So Jessica languished as to adoption, but has been one of our most loved dogs ever, here at Animal Village NM. She has gone through our classes several times, even with young volunteers, because she is so trustworthy with any age humans, and loves everyone. She loved to play tug-of-war with AVNM mascot, 'Pit Bullicious,', aka 'P.B.' She's just been a love! Her favorite toy is a dinosaur Nylabone, which she gracefully keeps from volunteers and staff who try to get it from her- at the very last second. She's hilarious, affectionate, cuddly, and low-energy, with maniacal bursts of incredible joy. We have spent tens of thousands of dollars on Jessica's care over the last 4 years, because that's simply what it costs to run a 9-acre facility with a full staff, and hundreds of dogs and cats coming and going.
Well, Jessica Rabbit has been adopted to the Guynn’s of Las Cruces, and, “She’s the best dog I’ve ever had,” according to proud new guardian, George. George is a teen probation officer, and Jessica is winning the hearts of the whole staff at the probation office, as well as the teens George helps. “The only problem is that when I don’t bring her with me, I miss her so much I have to leave early,” George laughs. Jessica is the perfect dog for George and Kathleen, who lost their beloved dog recently, and have had a long line of beloved pitbull dogs in their lives. We couldn’t be happier- and Jessica now has the home she always deserved, where she is treated like the Princess she always has been, underneath!
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