Matted Rescue Pooch Undergoes Transformation, Unveiling Its Adorable Countenance

Irie was a small bundle of matted fur when a local animal shelter took her in. Knots covered the terrified Maltese mix’s face and body, making her unrecognizable. She needed a makeover to feel more like herself again — and maybe find a home, too.

So, just before Rhode Home Rescue took over Irie’s care, the shelter shaved her.

And what they saw beneath the hair shocked them all.

An unrecognizable dog before a haircut.

“Animal control did an amazing job with her shave, ”Hillary Gillinder, Irie’s foster, told The Dodo. “She let them shave her for about 45 minutes before she started getting stressed. The rest had to be done in short bursts there and at my house once she came home.”

No one knew much about Irie’s past or how her fur became so matted, but they did their best to chip away at the mess until her adorable face was finally revealed.

A white dog waits on a pink leash.

After the big chunks of hair were gone, Irie still had some mats that had to be cut out with scissors. Now her hair is growing back and she’ll need another trim soon. In the meantime, she’s still working on learning how to trust those who care for her.

“She is absolutely terrified of boy dogs specifically and very fearful of men,” Gillinder said. “We’re not sure what exactly happened to her before she came to us, but all we can do now is help her grow and make up for it with love and kindness.”

A white dog waits in a kennel.

The 11-pound pup stays mostly quiet, but does enjoy the occasional car ride or stuffed toy. Gillander also plays music to soothe her anxiety.

“I’m so proud of how far she’s come since I first got her,” Gillinder said. “She started not wanting to be near me and even barking at me through her crate. Now, she follows me everywhere and loves hopping up on the couch and rolling around in the soft blankets!”

A white dog wears a blue bandana.

In time, Irie will let her personality shine through but, at least now she won’t have mats weighing her down.

“It’s heartbreaking to think of everything she must have been through,” Gillinder said. “She’s gonna have a harder life than most dogs. But she is absolutely looking to be adopted to her forever home.”

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