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Dogs Change Our Lives, Grooming Can Change Theirs: Top 10 Shelter Dog Makeovers of 2020

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Need someone to hug? They’re there. Need a workout buddy? They jump at the chance. Need a sympathetic ear? They keep all our secrets. If we learned anything this year, it’s that dogs are invaluable. And while many people added a furry family member to their home in 2020, there are still millions of homeless dogs looking to share their love. Unfortunately, many of these dogs have been overlooked by adoptive families, simply because of their appearance.

That’s why pet industry leaders Wahl and Greater Good Charities have partnered once again for their ninth annual Dirty Dogs Contest. They donated grooming supplies to rescues and shelters nationwide. In turn, these organizations shared remarkable photos in the Dirty Dogs Before & After Gallery – including the Top 10 Shelter Dog Makeovers of 2020. 

Starting today, public votes will decide which three dogs rise to the top; and the organizations affiliated with these dogs will receive monetary grants to further support their efforts.


Winston Before After Multivu2

Winston’s story did not begin as a happy one. The loyal pup was kicked out of his home, but kept returning only to be rejected again and again. Alone and with nowhere to go, thankfully, a good samaritan took pity on Winston and brought him to a rescue. After grooming and vet care, Winston went to a foster family for some added TLC. The foster family immediately cherished Winston, and weren’t about to let him leave. He’s now sharing his love with people who appreciate it. Winston is from Lost Our Home Pet Rescue in Tempe, Arizona.


Chloe Before After Multivu

Chloe was rescued from a high kill shelter. Her fur was so severely matted she could barely see through the hair covering her eyes. After hours of careful grooming, most of her matted coat came off in one piece. What emerged was a pretty pup ready to rock a photoshoot. She now lives with a loving forever family that gives her the pampering she deserves. Chloe is from Sequoia Humane Society in Eureka, California.


Patterson Before After Multivu2

Poor little Patterson came to his rescue with a jaw that was broken in several places. For weeks, he wore a soft muzzle that left his skin irritated and his fur matted. His first grooming was a delicate process, but Patterson was a trooper and everyone was amazed by his adorable makeover. He now lives with a loving forever family, and they don’t care one smidge that he’s a bit of a messy eater. Patterson is from Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin in Austin, Texas.


Buddy Before After Multivu2

Buddy had a great start to life, and was a loving playmate to a little girl. Unfortunately, as the little girl got older Buddy went from playing tea party to being tied up outside every day. His owners finally decided he deserved better and turned him over to a rescue where he could get nutritious food, medical care and grooming. Buddy’s life is great once more, as an elderly gentleman adopted him and they are now best friends. Buddy is from AnimalVILLAGENM in Alamogordo, New Mexico.


Toko Before After Multivu2

Toko was turned over to his rescue in a rabbit cage, after years of neglect. He could hardly walk because of horrible mats that would pull on his red and raw skin. While he needed the relief of a good grooming, he was scared to let anyone touch him. Thankfully, a dedicated groomer worked wonders and Toko instantly became a different dog running and playing around the shop. In fact, his new bubbly personality won the heart of a grooming employee. He’s now spoiled with treats, cuddles – and baths. Toko is from Whitman County Humane Society in Pullman, Washington.


Barbie Before After Multivu2

Barbie and her beau Ken were brought into the shelter as strays. Both were matted and dirty, but poor Ken also had a severe leg injury that required amputation. While recovering from surgery, Ken refused to eat without his true love by his side. Once reunited, these freshly groomed and healthier dogs became a true golden couple. Thankfully, they were adopted together and now live in a happy home where Barbie calls the shots. Barbie is from Lehigh County Humane Society in Allentown, Pennsylvania.


Truman Before After Multivu2

Truman’s harrowing rescue saved him from a criminal abuse case. He was so badly neglected that his coat was a shell of matted fur and feces, and he couldn’t move without being in extreme pain. After shaving off nearly five pounds of fur, Truman had to regain the use of his legs. Thankfully, however, it wasn’t long before he was running and playing again. Truman’s new family is now spoiling him overtime, as they’re determined to give him a future far brighter than his dark past. Truman is from Bluetails Pet Rescue in Marrero, Louisiana.


Stein Before After Multivu2

Stein’s original owners bought him from a breeder as a puppy, but soon decided they didn’t have time for him. Stein spent much of his life alone and outside until his owners agreed to surrender him. Once rescued, and after some medical care and a grooming makeover, Stein flourished. This handsome dog is no longer alone and lives with a family that loves him. Stein is from Tucson’s Cause for Canines in Tucson, Arizona.


Scruffy Before After Multivu2

Scruffy was found along the side of a road by a passing driver, who then called the rescue organization. On the phone, the driver said Scruffy was matted, but no one was prepared for the extent of his neglect. Under his shell of fur, groomers found a harness, sticks and other debris. Once cleaned up, his transformation into a handsome little guy with a big heart was truly remarkable. Scruffy no longer looks like his name, and his new mom thinks the world revolves around him. Scruffy is from Lost Fantasy Rescue in Ceres, Virginia.


Florence Before After Multivu2

Florence was only six months old when she was rescued from a rural shelter that couldn’t care for her. The beginning of her life was harsh, as she suffered from untreated and painful mange. With some medical treatment and a foster family that nursed her back to health, Florence’s skin slowly healed and her beautiful fur grew back. Her transformation was on the inside too, as she went from being shy and scared to loving and playful. For Florence’s new mom, it was love at first sight. Florence is from The Little Red Dog, Inc. in Lake Forest, California.

Visit the Dirty Dogs Before & After Photo Gallery to see amazing makeovers, and learn how you can vote for your favorite.

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