Yet Another Dog Buried in Matted Fur is Rescued & Relieved of Pounds of Excess Baggage

These are some of the saddest and most shocking stories. We’re talking about those poor neglected and abused animals that haven’t been brushed or groomed in years to the point of being buried alive by their matted coats. Every few years or so, we’ll read about them and pray it’s the last time we have to see it happen. It never is.

This time it’s a story out of New York’s Putnam County, where Chief Ken Ross received a call from a woman to report her neighbor’s dog was being neglected. Ross — who’s also the founder of the local SPCA — and other officers visited the residence identified in the call and asked the owner if they could see his dog.

severely matted dog
Photo: Facebook/Putnam County SPCA


Since founding Putnam County’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 2010, Ross is no stranger to mistreated animals. In fact, he’s sadly seen hundreds of them during his tenure there. But even he was blown away after seeing the animal which looked nothing like a dog at first glance. If anything, it looked like a Halloween costume for canines resembling something straight out of a sci-fi movie like The Spider that Ate Manhattan.

It turned out there really was a pup under there after all, in the form of a miniature poodle who was buried under more than eight pounds of thickly matted fur! It was so dense it concealed his eyes and most of his face, sprouting from his body at awkward angles like furry tentacles. We’ve seen roadkill that looked healthier.

“This is probably the worst case that we’ve ever seen,” Ross admitted to The Washington Post.

matted dog being shaved
Photo: Facebook/Putnam County SPCA

Animal Cruelty

It didn’t take but a moment to recognize this was a case of severe animal cruelty, and officers charged the canine’s owner accordingly. They then took the senior dog known as Pierre to Guardian Veterinary Specialists in Brewster, N.Y., where it took three vets more than two hours to remove the urine-and-feces-covered fur from his 13.8-pound frame.

In doing so, they discovered a red collar around the 9-year-old’s neck that had been completely overgrown by fur. Afterward, Pierre understandably looked like an entirely different pup.

Photo: Facebook/Putnam County SPCA

Is That a Dog?

Jason Berg, founder of the GVS animal hospital, stated that he sees dogs in Pierre’s wretched condition only about once every five years. “The pain that these guys are in when your hair is that knotted and matted,” Berg said, “it’s heartbreaking.”

He also noted that Pierre’s fur had likely been growing for at least 18 months. In fact, Pierre was experiencing pain when doctors touched his fur, so they decided to sedate him before using clippers and razors to remove the mounds of smelly hair. “Nobody would think it’s the same dog,” Berg acknowledged.

In addition to the removal of eight pounds of fur, Pierre reportedly had a bladder infection and a cut from the buried collar, according to Berg.

shaved dog
Photo: Facebook/Putnam County SPCA

Animal Rescue

Pierre remained in pain for a couple of days and wouldn’t eat, but since then he’s been inhaling chicken and ambulating normally around the clinic, where he’s continued to receive treatment. “You can tell he feels a lot better,” said Berg. “I mean, he’s still a very cautious dog, so we have to go slow with him because, you know, who knows what he went through?”

The dog’s owner is scheduled for an arraignment on August 30 at the Patterson Justice Court. His neighbors claimed they hadn’t seen Pierre outside in seven years. Fortunately, the SPCA was put in touch with Poodle Rescue Connecticut, Inc., where Pierre will live until he’s adopted.

Help Rescue Animals

Provide food and vital supplies to shelter pets at The Animal Rescue Site for free!