5 min read

Dog Is So Grateful That Rescuers Took Off All His Matted Fur

He wouldn't stop licking their hands while they worked.

When Rags was surrendered to a shelter, he was essentially just a ball of fur. The 4-year-old shih tzu mix had apparently wandered into a man’s yard a few days before, and could barely move because he was so severely matted. He had so much fur so tightly wrapped around him it was practically suffocating him, and staffers at Clarksdale Animal Rescue Effort and Shelter (CARES) knew they needed to get all that fur off him as quickly as possible. 

severely matted dog
CARES

“He was covered in thick, hard mats (the worst we've ever seen) from head to paw,” Paige Daugherty of CARES told The Dodo. “His mats had been there for so long that they had grown together between his feet and his ears. Beneath the mats, hundreds of fleas were running rampant.” 

Between the fleas and the weight of all his fur, poor Rags was incredibly uncomfortable, but the little dog barely showed it. From the moment he arrived at the shelter, Rags was calm and sweet, and just seemed so grateful for all the attention, despite the awful state he was in. 

severely matted dog
CARES

Desperate to help him, two staff members and one volunteer began the daunting task of shaving and cutting all of the excess fur off of Rags. The little dog was patient and sweet throughout the entire process, licking the hands of his new friends as they cut off years of fur and pain. 

severely matted dog
CARES

“The mats were so hard that we had to use scissors to separate them into sections and then shave small chunks of hair off of the mats to avoid pulling his skin any tighter,” Daugherty said. 

severely matted dog
CARES

Finally, after three full hours, staff finally uncovered a tiny, handsome dog. In total, they shaved a solid 4 pounds of fur off of little Rags, who was clearly so happy to finally be free from his fluffy prison. 

severely matted dog
CARES

Due to the state he was in when he arrived at the shelter, staffers are pretty sure poor Rags had never seen a veterinarian in his life, which is why they weren’t surprised when he was diagnosed with heartworms. They’re currently working on getting him treated, and he should make a full recovery. Additionally, Rags’ front legs are bowed inwards, probably from the mats forcing them to grow that way, but so far it hasn’t slowed him down at all. He’s loving life at the shelter, spending time with all his new friends, and staff are confident that he’ll make the absolute best pet for any lucky family. 

severely matted dog
CARES

“Rags is a complete sweetheart,” Daugherty said. “He wants to be a lap dog and gets along well with other animals. He's friendly, playful and loves his bed! He seems to be a healthy, grateful dog that will make a loyal pet.” 

severely matted dog
CARES
If you’d like to help with Rags’ treatment, you can donate to CARES

If you’re interested in adopting Rags, you can contact CARES for more information.