Many stray and neglected dogs go ungroomed, causing them distress as their fur becomes tangled and matted. But a haircut can make all the difference.
On July 16, the South Plains SPCA shared a post about the “worst case of dog neglect we have ever encountered.” A 6-year-old dog was covered in extremely matted, thick fur, and was in poor shape.
“The dog has rotten skin spots, hair matted to the skin so bad it is ingrown into the skin, the nails are 2 inches long,” the SPCA reported.
“His hair growth was about five years of matting,” said Kim Moyers, president of the South Plains SPCA, told KLBK-TV. “It’s just awful that he was probably seen in different places and overlooked. I don’t see how he hasn’t been seen roaming in the condition he was. I’ve never seen anything like him. It was shocking.”
The South Plains SPCA took him in and named him Matt, after his matted fur. Despite the terrible condition they found him in, they resolved to fix him up and give him a second chance.
Matt reportedly yelped with pain every time they tried to cut his hair, so they had to sedate him. They cut through a collar and leash that was embedded in the hair, and shaved off a whopping three pounds of fur — the result of five years of neglect.
“There were thousands of goat head stickers, sticks, grass, and even beetles matted in his fur. He has severe bruises on his body from his fur being tight on his skin,” the SPCA wrote. The dog was anemic and placed on medication, though he was found to be heartworm negative and free of tick disease (as ticks couldn’t have gotten through his thick fur.)
Matt still has a lengthy road of recovery ahead, and he will need dental work once his blood work indicates that it’s safe.
But after removing all that gross fur, Matt’s life has already changed in a huge way and he’s looking like a whole new dog:
“After we had one of our professional groomers — who’s also an SPCA foster — groom him, he looked amazing,” Houston told People. “He is the most gorgeous-looking dog I’ve ever seen. He’s just drop-dead gorgeous.”
The SPCA said Matt was a “sweet boy” after waking up from his grooming, and since then he’s been getting a taste of a happy, normal life.
“He went for his very first walk without his bulk of hair in probably five years,” Houston told KLBK. “His little bottom was just going back and forth, his tail was wagging and he was so happy.”
Matt is currently being fostered by Tori Houston and will be placed up for adoption once he has recovered.
What a stunning transformation! It’s heartbreaking that Matt was neglected for so long and suffered with all that matted fur on him, but we’re glad he’s finally safe, groomed, and on his way to a new life!
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