A giant ball of fur came into the Clarksdale Animal Rescue Effort and Shelter (CARES) recently and it was an urgent situation. Under all that fur was a four year old shih tzu mix named Rags, and his body was covered in very large mats of fur. The growth was so bad, in fact, that staff at the shelter reported he was almost being suffocated by it. They made it their mission to help Rags to be more comfortable and breathe easier after he was surrendered to the shelter. Staff said the mats were very hard and thick, which led them to believe they had been there for many years. The mats had grown into his ears and on his feet, and underneath all of them he was covered in fleas. So, two staff members and a volunteer got to work.
The trio started carefully shaving the fur from his body. He was very sweet and patient through the process, even though it was likely painful and uncomfortable for him. They used scissors to separate mats, then shave them off piece by piece so they wouldn’t harm his already sensitive skin. The painstaking process took over three hours and the staff removed four pounds of fur from his little body. Once they were finished, Rags was so happy to be free of the extra weight. The staff believes he’s never visited the vet, and it was discovered that he had heartworms and his front legs were misaligned due to the mats. But, Rags is on the road to recovery with treatment for his ailments and is on the mend. Despite all that he has been through in his life, Rags is a very sweet and affectionate dog that loves to be around both people and animals any chance he gets.