Shelter Dog Makeover Contest Winners

Wahl and GreaterGood.org show how simple grooming can reveal a hidden gem. 

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Whether they were poorly cared for and dumped by their former owners, found wandering the streets as strays, or even severely neglected or abused, many pets who find themselves in shelters don’t look their best.

Great volunteers know that one of the keys to getting a pet adopted is making sure they look and smell wonderful. Grooming transformations can be the difference in getting a pet out of the shelter and into a loving home. In an effort to spread the word, grooming manufacturer Wahl partnered with GreaterGood.org to launch the 2014 Dirty Dogs Before & After Makeover Contest.

Contestants submitted before and after photos of adopted and adoptable dogs to the Dirty Dogs Before & After Gallery. Celebrity dog groomer Jorge Bendersky and award-winning photographer Seth Casteel narrowed down hundreds of inspiring before and after photos to choose the top 25. The top three transformations were determined by popular vote from the public.

Gigi, a sweet Shih Tzu from Iowa, was the grand-prize winner of the Dirty Dogs Before & After contest. Animal Rescue League of Iowa in Des Moines will receive a $5,000 grant.
Gigi, a sweet Shih Tzu from Iowa, was the grand-prize winner of the Dirty Dogs Before & After contest. Animal Rescue League of Iowa in Des Moines will receive a $5,000 grant.

“We would like to thank the public and shelters who participated in this program,” said Noah Horton, director of foundation relations at GreaterGood.org. “The support for the cause and shelters was overwhelming. We greatly appreciate everyone who helped raise awareness – whether by voting, liking or sharing the photos. It has truly made a difference.”

Southern California German Shepherd Rescue will receive a $1,000 grant for its third-place photo of Vita.
Southern California German Shepherd Rescue will receive a $1,000 grant for its third-place photo of Vita.

Wahl donated 1,000 bottles of shampoo to shelter and rescue organizations nationwide to help groom more than 10,000 dogs for adoption.

“Unfortunately, due to limited resources, only half of all pets entering shelters today are receiving the proper grooming they need,” said Shay Moeller, pet product manager for Wahl. “To help make a change, we sought to get supplies into the hands of shelter volunteers, while working to change public perceptions about dogs that might just need a little extra grooming and TLC.”

The Dirty Dogs Before & After contest is an extension of the One Picture Saves a Life campaign, a cooperative effort to promote rescue pets, and provide grooming and photography resources to shelters.

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Jackie Brown

Jackie is a freelance writer specializing in the pet industry. She lives in Southern California with her husband, son, and adorable Miniature Poodle, Jäger, who is obsessed with fetch and killing all the toys. She is the former editor of Rescue Proud, Dog World, and Puppies 101. Follow her on Twitter or visit her website.

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