ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - Five dogs with horribly thick matted fur, mired with their own waste, are getting the love and care they deserve after rescue organizations came to their rescue.
Even the man who rescues animals full-time called it the worst he's ever seen. How the five little Lhasa Apsos survived is incredible.
All five dogs had fingernails more than an inch long, rotting teeth, infections and eye problems. Their conditions are likely the result of years of mistreatment.
Monday night, a rescue organization in Ruskin called Critter Mama's Rescue for help after the dogs' owner surrendered them. As did the smaller rescue in Ruskin, Critter Mama's staff realized they needed assistance, and Suncoast Animal League stepped in to help.
Rick Chaboudy and a couple of volunteers took the dogs to Island Dog Outfitters in Clearwater where they worked all night cleaning them up. It took more than three hours for staff to clean and shave one of the female dogs in the worst shape.
"These are nails that are upside down, twisted around," explained Rick Chaboudy with Suncoast Animal League. "Animal abuse, right here."
All five dogs went to the vet who found them under-nourished, with skin and ear infections, and severe dental problems. They may have to have all their teeth pulled.
Later Tuesday, Suncoast sent video of one of the badly-matted dogs after her vet visit and grooming. Sadly, she and the other dogs are having trouble walking.
Rick says the matting was so bad; it was like having a cast on their legs, so it may take them some time to learn to walk again.
In a few days, they'll go to foster homes.