Sissy came to her rescue so badly matted it was difficult to tell she was a dog. Her ears were matted to the side of her head, her chin was matted to her chest and her four paws were the size of boxing gloves. After a full eight hours of grooming, her true beauty was revealed and she was quickly adopted. Sissy’s dramatic transformation not only got her a second chance at life, but the title of America’s top shelter dog makeover in the 2017 Dirty Dogs Contest. The annual effort from pet industry leaders Wahl and GreaterGood.org demonstrates the power of grooming, and awards the top three dog makeovers with grant money for their local shelters.
“Without proper grooming, shelter dogs are often perceived to be ‘damaged goods’ and overlooked by adoptive families,” says Shay Moeller, pet product manager for Wahl. “However, by providing shelters with much-needed grooming supplies, we can help in their efforts to transform these dogs into the healthy, fun loving pets they really are. The end goal is for all dogs to find a forever family, just like Sissy did.”
Millions of dogs enter shelters each year, and the vast majority of them are dirty and matted. Unfortunately, less than half of these dogs are getting the grooming they need. For the past six years it has been Wahl’s mission to draw attention to this problem with their annual Dirty Dogs Contest.
Suncoast Animal League in Palm Harbor, Fla., the shelter that saved Sissy, will receive a $5,000 grant to further support their efforts. In addition, second place winner Wookie from J.J. Woofin’ Paws Rescue Agency in Woodland Hills, Ca., will receive a $2,000 grant, and third place dog Stubinfrom CARES Rescue in Brooksville, Fla., will receive $1,000.
“Our rescue is known for taking on some of the most difficult cases,” said Rick Chaboudy, Executive Director at Suncoast Animal League. “For instance, Sissy and the other four dogs she was rescued with known as ‘The Fab Five,’ required extensive medical and grooming care that cost nearly $9,000. Winning this grant will allow us to help many other animals like Sissy in life threatening situations.”
“Dogs left ‘as is’ most likely won’t get adopted,” continued Chaboudy. “This is why grooming is immensely important. The dog not only looks better, but feels better, which makes them even more adoptable.”
View the contest winners’ and finalists’ before and after photos on the Wahl Pets Facebook Page. To see even more adoptable dogs visit the Dirty Dogs Before & After Gallery. To purchase Wahl pet grooming products for yourself or for your favorite shelter, including shampoos, wipes and doggie deodorants, visit WahlHomeProducts.com.