Sometimes there’s a lot more to a story than what immediately meets the eye, which definitely seems to be the case with the latest animal-themed social media sensation. Jasper, 'the smiling dog' lives at the Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento, California, and has a condition that leaves his face in a permanently fixed grin.
While this seems outwardly amusing, and has made Jasper a hit on the shelter's Facebook page, the truth about this is actually quite sad.
“He looks happy on the outside, but that’s not how he feels,” a representative from the shelter wrote. “Jasper has an unknown condition that affects his facial nerves, causing them to pull back into a constant smile. Sadly this is uncomfortable for him and causes lots of twitching.”
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While we feel incredibly sorry for Jasper, there is potentially hope for him. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Jasper and the other dogs at the Front Street Animal Shelter, which you can access here.
Currently, officials at the shelter believe his smile may be caused by a neurological condition, which could cause as much as $4,000 to treat. He also has kidney issues that need to be treated, and the shelter are looking into getting him an MRI scan.
Moreover, despite his troubles, the shelter are still hoping to one day find Jasper a home. Obviously there is a big ask considering what he has been through and what he continues to go through, but hopefully there will be a light at the end of the tunnel for this. His future owner(s) will definitely need to be ultra dedicated, but we’re sure that they’re out there.
If you would like to find out more about the work that the Front Street Animal Shelter is doing, please visit their website here.
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Steve writes and proofreads buying guides, news stories and advice for Pets Radar, drawing on his lifelong experience as a pet owner. Currently sharing his house with two cats and a dog, he draws on the many highs and occasional lows of pet ownership he has borne witness to in his writing. He has worked in publishing for 15 years as an editor, sub editor and writer on a range of titles, such as SciFiNow, How It Works, All About History, Real Crime and Horrorville. You can follow him on Twitter @stevewright22