It’s estimated that at least half of all dogs currently stuck in shelters don’t receive the proper grooming they need. To that end, Wahl and GreaterGood have teamed up to help remedy the problem. Donating grooming supplies to shelters around the country, they estimate that more than 20,000 dogs this year alone were able to enjoy spa sessions thanks to the initiative.
A competition to find the most dramatic canine makeover also takes place each year. Called the Dirty Dogs Contest, online public voting is used to determine the grand victor, with rescues and shelters also receiving cash grants.
Here’s a roll call of the winners — plus a peek at some of the other most eye-catching transformations.
The 10-year-old Mouse took first place in the contest, winning a $5,000 grant for the Animal Rescue League of Iowa in the process. As you can see from his before and after pictures, this stray dog underwent some drastic grooming — and looks like a completely fresh pooch with his dapper close-cropped hairdo and bow tie.
Second place went to Olaf, who was found abandoned and chained to a porch in Oklahoma during a fierce snowstorm. His coat was originally matted and full of ice chunks; worse still, he was discovered to be partially blind once he’d undergone the makeover treatment.
These days, you can find Olaf the senior dog safely relaxing in his forever home. His old shelter, the Rainbow Bridge Can Wait Rescue, received $2,000 for their part in his recuperation.
Knotts scooped third prize in the contest, which netted the Pets And People Humane Society of Oklahoma a $1,000 grant. He was one of five dogs rescued from a hoarder and suspected breeder situation. One dramatic grooming session later, he emerged looking like a carefree, playful pup. Along with the other dogs picked up during the rescue, he quickly went on to find a new family.
After being surrendered by his former owner, Chulo was left in a shambles. His fur was overgrown, and he was in frail condition. After an intensive spa session, though, he spruced up very nicely indeed — and found his new family just a couple of days after his makeover.
Dumped in a shelter in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Snookie’s fur was in such dirty and turgid condition, that it made her head seem twice as large as it actually was. After undergoing extreme grooming, it was also revealed that she was suffering from bilateral cherry eyes. Luckily, corrective surgery fixed that issue — and Snookie’s been viewing the world from a fresh point of view ever since.
When she was discovered as a stray, Zelda’s matting was so bad that it was almost impossible to figure out what sort of dog she was. Thankfully, after a deep grooming session at the shelter, she revealed herself to be a sweet Shih Tzu. These days, after being adopted out by Paws for Seniors in Virginia, she’s guaranteed regular spa sessions at her forever home.
Check out more of the Dirty Dogs Contest gallery.