America's Dirtiest Dog Revealed: Shelter Dog Makeover Sheds Light On Animal Adoption

Dog Sissy revealed

STERLING, IL. (Aug. 22, 2017) – Sissy came to her rescue so badly matted it was difficult to tell she was a dog. Her ears were matted to the side of her head, her chin was matted to her chest and her four paws were the size of boxing gloves. After a full eight hours of grooming, her true beauty was revealed and she was quickly adopted. Sissy’s dramatic transformation not only got her a second chance at life, but the title of America’s top shelter dog makeover in the 2017 Dirty Dogs Contest (view all the finalists). The annual effort from pet industry leaders Wahl and demonstrates the power of grooming, and awards the top three dog makeovers with grant money for their local shelters.

View hundreds of amazing shelter dog makeovers in the Dirty Dogs Before & After Gallery(

“Without proper grooming, shelter dogs are often perceived to be ‘damaged goods’ and overlooked by adoptive families,” says Shay Moeller, pet product manager for Wahl. “However, by providing shelters with much-needed grooming supplies, we can help in their efforts to transform these dogs into the healthy, fun loving pets they really are. The end goal is for all dogs to find a forever family, just like Sissy did.”

About the Dirty Dogs Contest

Millions of dogs enter shelters each year, and the vast majority of them are dirty and matted. Unfortunately, less than half of these dogs are getting the grooming they need. For the past six years it has been Wahl’s mission to draw attention to this problem with their annual Dirty Dogs Contest.

This year, 2,400 bottles of Wahl’s pet shampoos were donated to shelters in need, helping to wash and ready more than 20,000 dogs for adoption. In turn, the shelters posted hundreds of amazing transformations into the Dirty Dogs Before & After Gallery. Ten of the most dramatic makeovers from the gallery were selected to participate in the contest, and public votes determined the top three winners.

Suncoast Animal League in Palm Harbor, Fla., the shelter that saved Sissy, will receive a $5,000 grant to further support their efforts. In addition, second place winner Wookie from J.J. Woofin’ Paws Rescue Agency in Woodland Hills, Ca., will receive a $2,000 grant, and third place dog Stubin from CARES Rescue in Brooksville, Fla., will receive $1,000.

“Our rescue is known for taking on some of the most difficult cases,” said Rick Chaboudy, Executive Director at Suncoast Animal League. “For instance, Sissy and the other four dogs she was rescued with known as ‘The Fab Five,’ required extensive medical and grooming care that cost nearly $9,000. Winning this grant will allow us to help many other animals like Sissy in life threatening situations.”

“Dogs left ‘as is’ most likely won’t get adopted,” continued Chaboudy. “This is why grooming is immensely important. The dog not only looks better, but feels better, which makes them even more adoptable.”

View the contest winners’ and finalists’ before and after photos on the Wahl Pets Facebook Page. To see even more adoptable dogs visit the Dirty Dogs Before & After Gallery. To purchase Wahl pet grooming products for yourself or for your favorite shelter, including shampoos, wipes and doggie deodorants, visit And follow Wahl Pets on Facebook and Twitter.

About Wahl Pet Products

Wahl offers a line of pet grooming solutions that make grooming from home safe, easy and enjoyable. The line includes hygiene products, clippers and accessories. Every year, Wahl is also dedicated to giving shelter animals a fresh start by donating pet grooming products to support adoption efforts and shelters devastated by natural disasters. For more information, visit


About is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that works to improve the health and well-being of people, pets, and the planet. accomplishes this mission by partnering with charitable organizations and administering programs worldwide that address hunger and illness (particularly in women and children), promote education and literacy, feed and care for rescued animals in shelters and sanctuaries, and protect wildlife and restore the environment. A suite of internally funded Signature Programs staffed by experts in their respective fields furthers the mission of Giving Where It Matters. Over the last 10 years, has worked with more than 3,000 charitable partners worldwide and created and operated several Signature Programs including Rescue Rebuild, Rescue Bank, and Girl’s Voices. You can learn more about on our website or by following us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. 

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