Matted Dog Does Touchdown Dance After Getting Long-Overdue Haircut

Published by Alisa Mullins.

If you ever had your pigtails yanked in elementary school (or even saw it happen to someone else), you know how much it hurts. Schoolyard taunting is bad enough, but imagine what it would be like if your hair were pulled all day, every day. That’s what life was like for Winnie, a 15-pound poodle/lhasa apso mix whose tiny body became nearly engulfed in mats after she was relegated to a cramped pen in a North Carolina backyard.

Rescued dog Winnie's matted hair before grooming

“[Lack of g]rooming is often an overlooked aspect of neglect,” says Cat Daniels, the professional groomer PETA took Winnie to after we lobbied her owner for over a year to allow us to provide her with proper care.

Winnie in pen before being rescued by PETA

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As Cat carefully peeled away the layers of dirt, leaves, twigs, and matted hair, she found patches of red, inflamed skin.

Groomerr shaving off Winnie's matted fur

Matting can hide a lot of medical conditions,” she says, including “hot spots, skin infections, and … even broken bones.” The pain and discomfort “can affect not only the medical health but also the mental health of the animal.”

Groomer holding Winnie wrapped in a towel

The latter appeared to be the case for Winnie, who had not yet developed any serious physical problems but was fearful and anxious, especially during the thunderstorms that she was powerless to escape while trapped in her backyard prison cell.

Pre-rescue Winnie peers out of her pen

“However, once we removed that hair and gave her a nice bath, her personality came out immediately,” says Cat.

PETA rescue Winnie with her new canine sibling Honey

Winnie was so thrilled to be free of those painful mats that she even broke out into a celebratory dance.

In her new home with a PETA fieldworker’s in-laws as well as a canine sister named Honey, Winnie is feeling as fabulous as she looks with her spiffy new haircut.

Please make a generous gift today and help our fieldworkers change the lives of more neglected animals like Winnie.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind