New York City resident Mark Imhof, is transforming shelter dogs with haircuts and helping them find their forever homes.
Imhof, a professional pet groomer, visits Animal Care Centers in NYC multiple times per week giving shelter dogs haircuts for free.
After adopting two shelter dogs with his fiancé, Imhof was inspired last April to leave his job as a certified professional accountant and attend the American Academy of Pet Grooming School in Manhattan.
He launched his business “Mark The Dog Guy” in October 2015, offering various pet services, and began donating haircuts to sweet shelter dogs on the side. Imhof estimates that he’s given haircuts to around 50 shelter dogs, most of which have found their forever homes with loving families.
Imhof told ABC News that these dogs “want to love someone and I think when they have a crusty shell on them and things like that, it makes them unable to do so. When I can clean them up, you can see [their] eyes and it makes them easier to connect. It’s trying to bring these dogs to comfort, so they can become more adoptable and that’s the goal.”
Imhof soon realized that many shelters didn’t have the time or proper resources to groom their rescue dogs, making it that much more difficult for these loveable pups to be adopted. In an interview with ABC News Imhof stated that the shelters “don’t have a variety of razors or clippers and things like that. Any dog, if it gets dirty or matted, becomes in a lot of pain. I get rid of the [tangles] and if I’m able to, I make them as cute as I can.”
Imhof travels regularly to the Animal Care Centers of NYC in Brooklyn and Manhattan giving dogs haircuts. “The first dog I cleaned was mean and scared me to be honest. But it turned out it’s just because these dogs are in pain. Their fur is knotted and it’s uncomfortable for them. But as soon as I’m done, they’re jumping up and down and kissing me because they feel so much better.”
Once the rescue dogs are relieved from the uncomfortable, matted and knotted fur, the dramatic changes in their personality’s shows just how life-changing a haircut can be. Each haircut Imhof provides helps these shelter dogs get a fresh start and become one step closer to finding their forever home.
“My soul is renewed everyday when I do this,” Imhof said. “I’m just overjoyed….”