These Formerly Dirty Rescue Dogs Had the Most Amazing Transformations of 2020
13th November 2020


Each year, pet industry leaders Wahl and Greater Good Charities host the Dirty Dogs Contest, a public call for shelters and rescues across the country to share their most amazing rescue dog transformations. The contest is designed to show how much a makeover can help get a dog adopted, and showcases the hard work shelters put in to help animals find homes. This year thousands of adorable, adoptable dogs entered, and while all of them are winners, these are the top dogs from this year’s contest. 

Scruffy won this year’s top honor for his new look. The little dog was found on the side of a road, dirty, matted, and covered in debris. Lost Fantasy Rescue in Ceres, Virginia, was able to clean Scruffy up and found him a new loving home. Since Scruffy won this year’s contest, Lost Fantasy Rescue received a $5,000 grant to help them groom even more shelter animals. 

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At just six months old, Florence arrived at The Little Red Dog, Inc.  with painful and untreated mange. The Lake Forest, California rescue got the shy dog the medical treatment she needed and placed her with a loving foster family. This devoted care allowed Florence’s skin to recover and let her fur grow back, it also helped to transform the pup from a scared canine to a playful pooch.  Florence won 2nd place in this year’s Dirty Dogs Contest and The Little Red Dog, Inc. received a $2,000 grant as a thank you for their work. 

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Patterson came to Texas’ Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin with a broken jaw that needed treatment. To help heal the injury, Patterson wore a soft muzzle for several weeks. While the muzzle helped the dog’s jaw, it left him with matted fur and irritated skin. A loving and delicate makeover helped Patterson with both of those issues. The adorable dog got 3rd place in this year’s contest, with a $1,000 grant going to the rescue that helped him transform. 

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Sequoia Humane Society in Eureka, California, pulled Chloe from a high-kill shelter and found that the pup was so matted she could barely see through the fur covering her face. After hours of careful grooming, Chole’s true (and cute) form emerged. 

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Barbie was found as a stray, with her dog beau Ken (of course), severely matted and filthy. A thorough grooming revealed the gorgeous gal underneath, and boosted Barbie’s confidence. After her makeover, Barbie comforted Ken through amputation surgery and recovery and the canine couple was adopted together from Lehigh County Humane Society in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

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This owner surrender arrived at AnimalVILLAGENM of Alamogordo, New Mexico, feeling a little down, but a makeover helped put pep back in Buddy’s step and helped him land in a brand new home. 

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Toko came to Whitman County Humane Society in Pullman, Washington, after years of neglect. The rescue got the pooch to a caring groomer and tenderly treated his raw, irritated skin. Now, the handsome dog, who was adopted by a grooming employee, is treated to baths and snacks regularly. 

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Stein, who now lives with an adoring family, made a pit stop at Tucson’s Cause for Canines in Arizona between owners. The dog’s originally owners neglected Stein, often leaving him outside for long periods. When they surrendered him to the shelter, Stein needed a little help. The rescue was happy to provide the love and grooming Stein needed to find his way into his new forever home. 

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Prior to his astounding transformation, Truman was part of a criminal animal abuse case. The dog was brought to Bluetails Pet Rescue in Marrero, Louisiana, where rescuers quickly realized how serious the situation was. Truman’s body was surrounded by a shell of matted fur and feces that made it painful for the dog to move. The rescue removed 5 pounds of fur and retaught Truman how to walk, run and play. Luckily, Truman found a new home where he can do those three things all the time. 

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