For Immediate Release:
April 7, 2021
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – When PETA fieldworkers first encountered Winnie, a small, anxious dog who was kept in a filthy pen outdoors 24/7, she was known as Fluffy. But as a new PETA video released today shows, the dog wasn’t “fluffy” at all—her body was covered with heavy mats of fur, which are terribly painful and can hide skin infections and even broken bones.
After the dog’s owners gave her to PETA, shelter staff gently shaved off many months’ worth of tightly matted fur—and Winnie’s real personality started to shine through. Once shy and fearful, she now relishes every moment—spending time with her adoptive guardians, playing with Honey (her new canine companion), and snoozing on the sofa, safe and comfortable indoors.
“Once those clumps of tangled fur were gone and she experienced joy and a life beyond the cruel confines of a pen, Winnie broke into a celebratory dance,” says PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “Lack of grooming is an overlooked aspect of neglect, and grooming is so much more than a beauty treatment for dogs—it’s essential to their physical and mental well-being.”
PETA urges everyone to let their dogs live indoors. Dogs kept penned or chained outside—like those featured in the documentary about PETA’s work, Breaking the Chain—are often deprived of adequate food, water, and shelter as well as essential care like basic grooming. Matted fur can hide parasites and wounds, tug at dogs’ skin, and limit their movement, while rain can tighten the mats and exacerbate skin problems.
The animal rights group also notes that grooming should always be performed to benefit dogs’ health. Decorating dogs for purely aesthetic purposes, as seen in shows such as Pooch Perfect, subjects them to the discomfort and stress of standing stock-still for hours while strangers clip, pull, spray, and paste their fur. Using dyes can also cause dangerous allergic reactions.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.