RSPCA inspector Emma Dingley was called to a home in Accrington last month after a member of the public reported concerns about the welfare of Jack, a 9-year-old Shih Tzu.
When Emma visited, she found Jack had terrible matts which had grown over his eyes, leaving him struggling to see.
Emma was concerned for Jack’s wellbeing because sometimes matting can cause the blood supply to be cut off. In some cases, dogs left in this state have had to have amputations, which is why it is important that fur is cut regularly.
She sought the owner’s consent to take the pet to the charity’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital where veterinary staff spent two and a half hours cutting the matts off. When they were done, the mats removed from Jack weighed 1.5kilograms.
After his grooming, he was found to be in good health and the matts were found to have caused no further issues.
Emma said: “The transformation was amazing. Jack looked such a mess when I first saw him and he was really struggling as he could not see and the matts were limiting his movement.
“Once he had them removed, he looked just how you would expect a dog of this type to look – and he seemed so happy – it must have been such a relief for him to be free of the uncomfortable excess weight he was carrying.”
Urgent call is made to Lancashire’s dogs owners this spring and summer
Emma said Jack’s owner had struggled recently but was delighted with Jack’s transformation and couldn’t wait to have him back at home.
The owner, who does not want to be named, said: “He is my constant companion who I have had for six years after he was rescued.
“I love him dearly and he snuggles up with me on the sofa and sleeps on the bottom of my bed – we are such good friends.
“I have been struggling recently and I really didn’t realise his fur had become so bad it was causing problems.
“I am so grateful for the RSPCA helping me and Jack. Emma has been fantastic and has taken Jack for subsequent check ups for me.
“I have made a donation to the charity as I am so appreciative of what they have done.”
Emma said the case highlights the importance of charities like the RSPCA, who are there to help animals and their owners when times get tough.
She added that owners should always reach out for a helping hand if needed, to prevent their pet’s suffering in silence.
“Jack is a much-loved boy and his owner fell into a difficult situation,” said Emma. “So I am glad we were able to help the pair – and they both seem much happier now.”