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Before and After Pictures of Rescued Pets Show Inner Beauty

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As humans, we are often conditioned to judge others by outward appearances. Nowhere is this habit more deadly than in the animal shelter environment. First impressions are indeed the most critical, but it can be difficult to see through mats and dirt and anti-social behavior when you’re looking to adopt a new pet. The animals at shelters are going through the most difficult times of their lives and it can be hard to look past the fear, depression and abuse.

That’s why I love this new program from Wahl and GreaterGood.org called One Picture Saves (The Dirty Dogs Program). Not only are they taking the time to profile the true beauty of shelter animals with makeovers, they are encouraging adoption by focusing on pets that need homes. (More info on how shelters can participate is below).

By showing the inner beauty of animals, they may just encourage more adoptions and help much needed funds to assist in the time and energy it takes to rehabilitate animals.

Mackenzie came from a cruelty case. She had been starved, was riddled with mange, and both ears had stitches around them due to neglect. After many baths and high-quality food, she blossomed into an incredible, loving Cocker spaniel who was adopted by a very special person.

The old adage, “Beauty is only skin deep,” is particularly true in the world of animals. Potential families often pass over the most amazing animals because they are not ever at their best in a shelter environment.

“Unfortunately, due to limited resources, only half of all pets entering shelters today are receiving the proper grooming they need,” said Noah Norton, director of operations at GreaterGood.org. “That’s what makes this gallery and partners like Wahl so important to this cause.”

Thanks in part to Wahl’s donation of more than 1,000 bottles of pet shampoo, the Dirty Dogs Before & After Gallery features hundreds of pet transformations. Now you can see what rescuers see when they walk through the local animal shelter.

[heading style=”2″ color=”#996633″ style_color=”#996633″]How it Works[/heading]

To promote the gallery and makeovers, Wahl, is promoting the third annual Dirty Dogs Contest. The effort, which highlights the positive side of shelter dogs, will feature celebrity dog groomer Jorge Bendersky and award-winning photographer Seth Casteel will select the 25 best makeovers.

Voting will then be opened up to the public who will vote for the top 3 pets. The animal shelters or rescue groups affiliated with the winning makeovers will receive cash grants and grooming prize packs.

Khloe was rescued by K9Kastle. She had been a victim of abuse and neglect, weighing in at only 36 lbs. She was severely depressed and suffering from malnutrition. The staff wasn’t sure she would make it. But after lots of high-quality food and plenty of baths and attention from volunteers and staff, Kloe was able to show everyone how beautiful she really is. She was adopted into a caring home and is now a healthy 50 lbs. She will never know hunger, sadness or loneliness again!

Adoption-friendly: Miracles Encouraged

Those looking to adopt can sort photos by adoptable only or look for the heart icon on the top right corner of each animal’s picture. Once clicked, the image expands to show the before and after transformation along with the pet’s name, story and shelter information. Facebook integration makes it easy for visitors to share a makeover with friends or join the conversation already started.

Marvin came from the Pompano shelter. He kept being overlooked because his skin was in such poor condition. The shelter manager decided to make a cute video of him, which was aggressively promoted on Facebook. Still, no one took him on. He was scheduled to be destroyed. Volunteers took it upon themselves to take him on and at the last minute, he was saved.

According to Shay Moeller, pet product manager for Wahl, the goal of the gallery is to increase pet adoption by demonstrating that the same animals often perceived to be ‘damaged goods’ are actually healthy, fun loving pets looking for a home.

“The transformations are truly amazing, some even downright unbelievable,” said Moeller. “The gallery is a great visual to show the importance of providing resources to shelters and the difference they can make.”

What makes this gallery unique is that visitors can view each animal as they arrived at their shelter and after they were cleaned up. The goal: Get people to visit the gallery, share it with friends and family and, ultimately, adopt these animals.

[heading style=”2″ color=”#996633″ style_color=”#996633″]About the Contest[/heading]

The Dirty Dogs Contest runs from July 16 – 30. To support a shelter and vote for a shelter dog makeover, visit dirtydogscontest.com. The top three pets will receive cash grants for their respective shelters.

  • First place:      $5,000
  • Second place:  $2,000
  • Third place:     $1,000

Winners will be announced on August 2.

It’s called the Dirty Dogs Contest, but it reaches far beyond dogs. For instance, meet Tony.

Tony was found in the middle of a busy intersection in Philadelphia. A good Samaritan passed by and scooped up the sick kitten. He was dirty, sticky and matted. His eye was badly infected. Green Street Rescue was able to get him the medical attention he needed and the grooming he so badly needed. He was later adopted by the volunteer who rescued him.

To promote the gallery and these unbelievable makeovers, Wahl is inviting the public to identify the best of the best transformations through the third annual Dirty Dogs Contest. Overall, three shelters will be rewarded with additional funding (up to $5,000) to keep up the great work.

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