More like the Formerly Dirty Dogs Contest, am I right?

By Austin Cannon
November 11, 2020
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Who’s pumped for some awwww-inspiring (forgive me) before-and-after photos?  

Together with Greater Good Charities, human- and pet-grooming company Wahl held the ninth annual Dirty Dog Contest last month. For the competition, the public was asked to vote on 10 rescue dogs who had been treated to a much-needed spa day after they had been found with fur in deplorable condition.

Each of the newly groomed dogs (and their before photos) were entered alongside the shelters where they stayed. The shelters of the top three vote-getters received cash prizes of $1,000 (third place), $2,000 (second), and $5,000 (first). 

Here are the finalists, leading up to the top-three finishers. 

Truman 

Credit: Wahl

This poor buddy was so terribly neglected that his fur was more of a “shell of matted fur and feces,” Wahl writes in the contest materials. He couldn’t move without being in extreme pain. His rescuers shaved off 5 pounds of the disgusting fur before he could regain the use of his legs. But after that, he was soon running and playing. A Bluetails Pet Rescue alumnus, Truman is now spoiled by his new family.

Winston

Credit: Wahl

This pup’s former owner decided to kick Winston out of the house. He kept returning to his residence, but the humans there wouldn’t let him back in, Wahl writes. A passerby eventually picked him up and took him to Lost Our Home Pet Rescue, where he was able to get rid of his mangy, unkempt fur. He was eventually taken in by a foster family, who love him the way he deserves.

Chloe

Credit: Wahl

Chloe’s hair was so matted that she could barely see, Wahl writes. She was saved from a kill shelter and soon cleaned up, revealing a dog who was ready for both the camera and a new family. She joined her forever family after leaving Sequoia Humane Society

Buddy

Credit: Wahl

Buddy’s life actually wasn’t so bad when he was young. Wahl writes that he was the favorite playmate of a young girl, participating in tea parties. But the girl got older, and Buddy soon spent his days tied up outside. His owners eventually turned him in to AnimalVILLAGENM where he could get better food, health care, and grooming. An older man adopted him, so Buddy again has a best friend. 

Toko

Credit: Wahl

Ugh, this little guy was turned over to the Whitman County Humane Society in a rabbit cage, Wahl says. His hair was so matted that it would painfully pull on his skin, keeping him from walking. He was too scared to let anyone touch him, but a dedicated groomer was able to get rid of all that nasty hair. Soon, Toko was up and running around the shelter with a “bubbly personality.” He now gets well-earned treats, cuddles, and baths. 

Barbie

Credit: Wahl

Barbie and her boyfriend Ken (of course) arrived at Lehigh County Humane Society as strays, Wahl says. They both had super-matted fur and were dirty, but Ken had a leg injury that necessitated amputation. Afterwards, he refused to eat without Barbie nearby. Now, they’re freshly groomed and living together in a new home. 

Stein

Credit: Wahl

Stein's owners purchased him from a breeder, and he soon ended up spending much of his life outside, Wahl says. His owners decided they didn’t have enough time for him, so they surrendered him to a shelter. The pup got some medical care and some much-needed grooming, and soon he began to flourish. He eventually left Tuscon’s Cause for Canines to spend the rest of his life in a loving home. 

Patterson (Third Place)

Credit: Wahl

The little guy had his jaw broken in multiple places when he was rescued. Wahl says he had to wear a soft muzzle that irritated his skin and matted his fur, too. His first grooming took a while, but look at the results. The handsome guy was soon adopted by a new family, where they don’t care how messily he eats. Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Texas received the $1,000 prize. 

Florence (Second Place)

Credit: Wahl

Florence has already been through it. Painful, untreated mange ate at her skin, and a rural shelter couldn’t care for her, so another took her in, Wahl writes. A foster family was able to nurse her back to health, so her skin healed and her fur grew back. Her personality changed as well. She went from shy and afraid to gregarious and affectionate. The Little Red Dog Inc. took home the $2,000 prize.   

Scruffy (First Place)

Credit: Wahl

Our winner was found on the side of a road by a passing driver, Wahl says. Scruffy was extremely matted, so much so that rescuers found a harness, sticks, and other debri under his shell of fur. After that intensive grooming, he’s not so Scruffy anymore. His new mom loves him like crazy. Scruffy’s shelter, Lost Fantasy Rescue, won the $5,000 grand prize.