Snoopy passes away after 18 years of sanctuary

29 March 2022

The beautiful, special Snoopy was already a middle aged bear when Animals Asia rescued her in 2003.

We’ll never know how long she spent on the farm, but her many scars and terrified response to our rescue team suggested it had been a long time, and that she had experienced great trauma. 

However, being confined to a rusty cage and suffering repeated bile extraction weren’t the only things that were affecting Snoopy… she was also completely blind.

Can you even start to imagine how terrified Snoopy must have been, every day of her life? How isolated and dark her little world must have been and how every tiny little sound would have made her shake with fear?

We couldn’t wait to get this broken bear back to our sanctuary and do everything in our power to begin the long process of healing her wounds.

Like many bears who have suffered bile extraction, Snoopy’s gallbladder was so infected it needed to be removed - a major surgical procedure that our expert vets successfully carried out on-site.

While Snoopy was recovering, her carers spoiled her with lots of tasty treats, lovely enrichment and plenty of time, space and peace to let her body naturally heal until she was strong enough to start the rest of her life.

Snoopy was a truly unique character who didn’t take to many other bears, preferring her own company and doing things her own way. Her carers were utterly dedicated to her and did everything they could to make her comfortable and happy. 

She loved spending time exploring her enclosure and finding the delicious treats her carers had scattered around for her to sniff out and excitedly chomp down on. Although we gave her everything we possibly could, we were so sad that we could never give her the one thing we desperately wanted to: her sight back…

… or so we thought.

A vet from the UK who specialised in animal eye surgery thought she might be able to restore some if not all of Snoopy’s sight. We were over the moon and waited with our hearts in our mouths as she operated on Snoopy’s eyes.

After the operation Snoopy was taken to her den to recover while her carers waited anxiously and patiently for a sign that the operation had been a success. Animals Asia’s founder and CEO Jill Robinson explains what happened next: 

I passed Snoopy’s den one morning and suddenly saw her head turn towards me. I walked back again the other way and she turned around and followed. Back and forth we went with Snoopy following me every time.”

After observing and examining Snoopy over the next few weeks, our vet team confirmed that Snoopy could see objects at a distance. We were overjoyed that we’d been able to give her a bit more quality of life back. 

Snoopy had many physical and psychological problems as a result of her past, and kept our vet and bear care teams on their toes. Ryan Marcel Sucaet, Bear & Vet Team Director at Animals Asia’s China sanctuary explained:

“Snoopy was one of 418 bears who we’ve helped to make it out of the industry and who have had the opportunity to feel understood by humans. She was loved by so many people who constantly tried new ways to ensure her comfort and happiness.”

Snoopy passed away peacefully and surrounded by those who loved her, after experiencing deteriorating mobility. When they later said their final goodbyes and laid her to rest in our bear cemetery, they also celebrated a unique and beautiful bear, a bear that taught us so much, and left a piece of her in our hearts forever. 

Read more:

Snoopy’s Christmas kiss | Snoopy can see!