Poodle’s Hair So Matted He Needed Sedation for Grooming

(Warning: Don't read this if you have a tender tummy or if you're eating.) A toy poodle who was found in a Louisiana ditch had...
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Ripley shortly after he was found in a ditch

(Warning: Don’t read this if you have a tender tummy or if you’re eating.)

A toy poodle who was found in a Louisiana ditch had hair so matted and overgrown he had to be sedated to be groomed. Rescuers found cockroaches — live and dead ones — throughout his coat. His legs could barely move. His mouth was unable to open because the fur was so badly matted around it. (But somehow he was only skinny, not malnourished.) He didn’t seem to have eyes or ears. His rescuers did not know whether he was a boy or girl until he was shaved.

“You would have never believed there was a dog under there,” said My Heart’s Desire animal rescue co-founder Tracey Lapeyrouse. “He didn’t even look like a dog. He looked like the elephant man. All you could see was his snout.”

Ripley after his intensive grooming

His condition was so unbelievable she named him Ripley.

And now, as you can see, Ripley looks like a real poodle.

For the first time in ages, he can feel something — at least something other than misery.

“He’s physically never felt the sensation of touch. When you touch him you can tell it’s been a very, very long time since he’s been physically touched,” said Lapeyrouse.

Getting used to his new body is taking some time. He was a little skittish when walking without overgrown hair covering his paws. And when his ears touched his skin, he would shake his head. “He didn’t know he had ears,” said Lapeyrouse.

But he’s becoming a pretty happy guy. Lapeyrouse says he is becoming quite social, wagging his stub of a tail and seeking out companionship of others.

Ripley is seeking out a forever home. Ripley’s Believe it or Not! was so taken with this story that it’s donating $400 to the shelter, and will provide a gift card for food, grooming, and other expenses to the new adoptee. Ripley will be featured in the 2012 edition of Ripley’s Believe it or Not book.

Ripley is aptly named. It really is unbelievable that a dog could be allowed to get into this condition. And it’s more unbelievable that such a cute little dog was hidden under all that horrible matting and overgrowth.


Washington Post, WWL TV, AOL News

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