Animal shelters are overflowing with friendly dogs seeking new homes — and residents need to look their best because there are plenty of canines to choose from.
Enter nonprofit organization Greater Good and grooming supply maker Wahl, who partnered to help clean up rescued pooches to get them adoption-ready. Shelters untangled and cleaned over 20,000 dogs, revealing the princes and princesses hidden under their matted fur. Wahl donated 1,200 bottles of their all-natural pet shampoos. That’s a lot of lather.
Shelters submitted photos of the transformations, which were entered into the Dirty Dogs Contest to determine America’s top shelter dog makeover.
Mouse, below, took first place. Mouse was a resident at the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, which was awarded a $5,000 grant.
Second-place winner Olaf (whose eyes were completely covered with fur) hailed from the Rainbow Bridge Can Wait Rescue. They received a $2,000 grant.
The third place winner, Knotts, came from hoarding situation and didn’t even look like a dog. Knotts was staying at Pets and People Humane Society, who are now the recipients of a $1,000 grant. Knotts may have come in third, but he’s Lady Freethinker’s official pick for top dog.
The canines were grateful and delighted with their spiffy new looks — shelter staff said Mouse kissed them throughout his bath.
“Mouse is an example of the millions of healthy and lovable dogs living behind the appearance of neglect, and that with a little grooming their true selves can shine through,” Shay Moeller, pet product manager for Wahl, told Lady Freethinker.
The Dirty Dogs Before & After Gallery illustrates how a disheveled pooch becomes an exquisite pup after some strategic snips and a sudsy bath.
“When it comes to pet adoption, a first impression is crucial in determining if an animal will find a family,” says Moeller. “The same animals often perceived to be ‘damaged goods’ are actually healthy, fun loving pets deserving of a new home.”