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Dog With Painful Mats Receives Transformative Makeover And New Beginning

Written by: Julie Hunt
Julie Hunt is an avid dog lover and writer for, and has a background as a veterinary technician. She rescued a beautiful former bait dog named Rory.Read more
| Published on June 21, 2024

The dog, discovered as a stray in a terrible state, had come in feeling utterly wretched. He was clearly unhappy but responded well to the promise of hot dogs and cheese. His ears were completely matted together, forming a solid mass that suggested he had been exposed to the elements for quite some time. Any rain or water would just clump up his fur into a heavy load. As the team with Annenberg Pet Space gently placed him on the floor of their facility, he approached each person, wagging his tail as much as the heavy mats would allow.


It was clear from the outset that this dog needed their help. The stench clung to him as they loaded him into their vehicle, taking a moment to let him decompress. Once back at the rescue center, the dog later named Panda, was placed on the grooming table. He was ready to be relieved of his burden. He seemed to recognize he was in a place where he could get help, his demeanor shifting to cooperation.

The grooming process was arduous. The groomer had to use a surgical blade to carefully make initial cuts into the dense mats. “I had to create tunnels just to safely clip right through it,” Mario with the rescue explained to The Dodo. He worked meticulously to free him from the matted fur. As they made progress, Panda seemed to understand and appreciate the effort, leaning into the care he was receiving.


Each piece of matted fur removed, revealed more of the dog beneath. What they initially thought might be an older dog turned out to be a surprisingly young and, apart from his fur, healthy animal. “It was like unwrapping a gift,” one rescuer expressed, as more of the dog’s true form was revealed. The transformation was astonishing; once the outer layers were removed, they realized he was actually a small, skinny, young dog.

The rescue was thrilled with the outcome. “He really turned out to be such an incredible little dog and so cute and so friendly,” one of them shared, delighted by his newfound happiness and playfulness. Panda thrived in his new environment, running around joyfully and snuggling into his new human friends’ laps, showing profound gratitude and affection for their dedication.


Panda’s story reached even further as he became a sensation on social media, his grooming session catching the eye of many, including one viewer who felt a deep connection and desired to meet him. Upon visiting, the connection was instant; Panda was energetic and loving, fully embracing his new life.


Now, with a soft bed, blankets, and even car seats for rides, Panda had found his pack. His love for outings, whether to Target or Starbucks, showed his enthusiasm for life. “Every time I grab my purse, he’s like, where are we going?” his new owner shared, reflecting on how rewarding it was to provide him with a warm, happy home. “It just feels really good being able to give him this,” she added, looking forward to their future together, filled with love and care.

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