Countless stray and neglected dogs endure unnecessary distress due to the lack of grooming, leading to tangled and matted fur. However, a simple haircut can make a world of difference.
This became evident in a recent case where a dog, covered in severely matted fur, underwent a transformation that has given him a fresh start in life.
On July 16, the South Plains SPCA highlighted the “worst case of dog neglect we have ever encountered.” The 6-year-old dog was in dire straits, with extremely matted and thick fur, along with various health issues.
“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,” reported the SPCA.
Kim Moyers, the president of the South Plains SPCA, shared, “His hair growth was about five years of matting.” Speaking to KLBK-TV, she expressed disbelief, saying, “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 in the dog and gave him the name Matt, inspired by the condition of his severely matted fur. Despite the distressing state they found him in, they were determined to rehabilitate him and offer him a fresh start.
Matt’s pain was evident, as he reportedly yelped each time they attempted to trim his hair, necessitating sedation. The grooming process revealed a collar and leash embedded in the matted fur, and an astonishing three pounds of neglected fur were shaved off—accumulated over five years of neglect.
The SPCA detailed, “There were thousands of goathead 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.” Matt was diagnosed as anemic and placed on medication, but fortunately, he tested negative for heartworm and tick disease, as the thick fur had provided some protection.
Matt’s journey to recovery is far from over, and he’ll require dental work once his blood work indicates it’s safe to proceed. Despite the challenges, the transformation brought about by the removal of the matted fur has already made a significant impact on Matt’s life. He now resembles a completely different and revitalized dog:
“After one of our professional groomers, who’s also an SPCA foster, worked on him, he looked amazing,” shared Houston with People. “He is the most gorgeous-looking dog I’ve ever seen. He’s just drop-dead gorgeous.”
The SPCA noted that Matt turned into a “sweet boy” after waking up from his grooming session, and ever since, he’s been experiencing the joys of a happy and normal life.
“He went for his very first walk without his bulk of hair in probably five years,” Houston shared with KLBK. “His little bottom was just going back and forth, his tail was wagging, and he was so happy.”
Currently under the care of Tori Houston, Matt will be available for adoption once he completes his recovery.
What an incredible transformation! It’s truly heartbreaking that Matt endured neglect for such a long time with all that matted fur, but we’re relieved that he’s now safe, groomed, and on the path to a new and better life!