The first thing you see is his big smile, but there is a sad reason behind his pearly whites always being on display.
It's impossible for someone not to smile when they meet Jasper, an adorable Chihuahua mix that can make anyone fall in love with him. But even though he looks happy on the outside, Jasper does not always feel that way because of a rare medical condition.
Like most other dogs, Jasper loves to play and snuggle up. And he currently lives at the Front Street Animal Shelter in Sacramento. The staff at the shelter believe he's about three years old.
What sets him apart from the rest is his constant smile, which can melt the heart of anyone he meets. "I think everyone that sees him just instantly smiles," said Haley Waugh, Front Street Animal Shelter Public Information Coordinator, according to CBS Pittsburgh. "It’s kind of the first thing you notice when you see him is he has a big old smile on his face."
But unfortunately, his pearly whites always being on display is the product of a neurological condition, which makes the muscles in his face pull back.
In a video that the shelter posted on Facebook, they mentioned that they are still trying to properly understand his medical condition that gives Jasper his nearly-permanent smile. "Jasper has an unknown condition that affects his facial nerves, causing them to pull back into a constant smile," the shelter said, as quoted by PEOPLE. "Sadly this is uncomfortable for him and causes lots of twitching, and he has kidney problems."
The shelter is determined to give the loving dog a happy life and is urging people to help out with donations for the tests and the treatment.
"We are intent on trying to give him a happy life, but the tests and treatment will be very expensive," the shelter wrote on Facebook. "That's why we're raising funds for sweet Jasper and the many other animals in need of care."
With Jasper and plenty of other animals in their care needing help, the shelter directed people to a GoFundMe page, where they can donate any amount they are comfortable wth.
When the time comes, Jasper will need a loving family that will take him in and help him recover after his treatment. Until then, the shelter is doing everything they can to make sure the dog is smiling and truly means it.
"He might not have the most time left but we’re going to do whatever we can to make the best of it and give him as much time here as we can as comfortably as possible," Waugh said, as quoted by CBS Pittsburgh.
While talking about the rough estimate of the treatment, Waugh said, "So far it’s looking like it will be around $4,000, but that could add up to more depending on how much treatment he needs and it could be ongoing."
Hoping to treat Jasper soon, the shelter now continues to watch him wag his tail and play with other humans and furry friends every day.
Cover image source: Front Street Animal Shelter - City of Sacramento