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10 shelter dogs make the cut in Wahl's 2020 Dirty Dogs Contest

STERLING, Ill. (PRNewswire) -- Need someone to hug? They're there. Need a workout buddy? They jump at the chance. Need a sympathetic ear? They keep all our secrets. If we learned anything this year, it's that dogs are invaluable. And while many people added a furry family member to their home in 2020, there are still millions of homeless dogs looking to share their love.

Unfortunately, many of these dogs have been overlooked by adoptive families, simply because of their appearance. This is why pet industry leaders Wahl and Greater Good Charities have partnered once again for their ninth annual Dirty Dogs Contest.

They donated grooming supplies to rescues and shelters nationwide. In turn, these organizations shared remarkable photos in the Dirty Dogs Before & After Gallery – including the Top 10 Shelter Dog Makeovers of 2020.

Starting October 13, voting will begin to decide which three dogs rise to the top; and the organizations affiliated with these dogs will receive monetary grants to further support their efforts.

Visit the Dirty Dogs Before & After Photo Gallery ( to see amazing makeovers.

Toko was turned over to his rescue in a rabbit cage, after years of neglect. He could hardly walk because of horrible mats that would pull on his red and raw skin. While he needed the relief of a good grooming, he was scared to let anyone touch him. Thankfully, a dedicated groomer worked wonders and Toko instantly became a different dog running and playing around the shop. In fact, his new bubbly personality won the heart of a grooming employee. He’s now spoiled with treats, cuddles - and baths.

Buddy had a great start to life, and was a loving playmate to a little girl. Unfortunately, as the little girl got older Buddy went from playing tea party to being tied up outside every day. His owners finally decided he deserved better and turned him over to a rescue where he could get nutritious food, medical care and grooming. Buddy’s life is great once more, as an elderly gentleman adopted him and they are now best friends.

Truman’s harrowing rescue saved him from a criminal abuse case. He was so badly neglected that his coat was a shell of matted fur and feces, and he couldn’t move without being in extreme pain. After shaving off nearly five pounds of fur, Truman had to regain the use of his legs. Thankfully, however, it wasn’t long before he was running and playing again. Truman’s new family is now spoiling him overtime, as they’re determined to give him a future far brighter than his dark past.

Poor little Patterson came to his rescue with a jaw that was broken in several places. For weeks, he wore a soft muzzle that left his skin irritated and his fur matted. His first grooming was a delicate process, but Patterson was a trooper and everyone was amazed by his adorable makeover. He now lives with a loving forever family, and they don’t care one smidge that he’s a bit of a messy eater.

Stein’s original owners bought him from a breeder as a puppy, but soon decided they didn’t have time for him. Stein spent much of his life alone and outside until his owners agreed to surrender him. Once rescued, and after some medical care and a grooming makeover, Stein flourished. This handsome dog is no longer alone and lives with a family that loves him.

Barbie and her beau Ken were brought into the shelter as strays. Both were matted and dirty, but poor Ken also had a severe leg injury that required amputation. While recovering from surgery, Ken refused to eat without his true love by his side. Once reunited, these freshly groomed and healthier dogs became a true golden couple. Thankfully, they were adopted together and now live in a happy home where Barbie calls the shots.

Winston’s story did not begin as a happy one. The loyal pup was kicked out of his home, but kept returning only to be rejected again and again. Alone and with nowhere to go, thankfully, a good samaritan took pity on Winston and brought him to a rescue. After grooming and vet care, Winston went to a foster family for some added TLC. The foster family immediately cherished Winston, and weren’t about to let him leave. He’s now sharing his love with people who appreciate it.

Scruffy was found along the side of a road by a passing driver, who then called the rescue organization. On the phone, the driver said Scruffy was matted, but no one was prepared for the extent of his neglect. Under his shell of fur, groomers found a harness, sticks and other debris. Once cleaned up, his transformation into a handsome little guy with a big heart was truly remarkable. Scruffy no longer looks like his name, and his new mom thinks the world revolves around him.

Chloe was rescued from a high kill shelter. Her fur was so severely matted she could barely see through the hair covering her eyes. After hours of careful grooming, most of her matted coat came off in one piece. What emerged was a pretty pup ready to rock a photoshoot. She now lives with a loving forever family that gives her the pampering she deserves.

Florence was only six months old when she was rescued from a rural shelter that couldn’t care for her. The beginning of her life was harsh, as she suffered from untreated and painful mange. With some medical treatment and a foster family that nursed her back to health, Florence’s skin slowly healed and her beautiful fur grew back. Her transformation was on the inside too, as she went from being shy and scared to loving and playful. For Florence’s new mom, it was love at first sight.

To help bring more awareness to the Dirty Dogs contest this year, Wahl turned to animal advocate and dog dad to eleven adorable rescue pups, Lee Asher.

Dog lovers are a breed all their own, and some would say Lee Asher leads the pack. He and his pooch posse have spent the last four years traveling the country hosting adoption events, and educating people on the rewards of dog rescue.

"If shelter dogs could talk they'd have amazing stories to tell; unfortunately, they can't," said Asher. "So I'm happy to lend my voice, and help shed some light on the importance of grooming when it comes to adoption.

The dog's appearance can completely transform, but more importantly, the dog feels healthier and happier, and their true personality can finally shine through. Sometimes, that's all it takes to capture the heart of their new human."

Dirty Dogs photo gallery and contest

Since 2012, Wahl's donation of pet grooming supplies has helped rescues and shelters nationwide transform more than 130,000 dogs and get them ready for adoption.

Hundreds of these incredible makeovers have been captured through the Dirty Dogs Before & After Photo Gallery.

What makes this gallery unique is that visitors can see what each dog looked like when they arrived at the shelter or rescue, and how they transformed once they were groomed.

The site also allows visitors to search for adoptable dogs in their area, learn more about the dogs' backgrounds and stories and share their favorites on social media.

To promote the gallery and help get the dogs adopted, Wahl is also launching the ninth annual Dirty Dogs Contest.

Ten of the most dramatic transformations from the gallery have been selected to participate in the contest. Public votes will determine the top three winners.

The shelters and rescue groups affiliated with these transformations will receive monetary grants to further support their efforts.

First place takes home $5,000, second place receives $2,000 and third place earns $1,000. The Dirty Dogs Contest runs from Oct. 13, 2020 – Nov. 3, 2020. To vote for one of the dogs, visit

For more information on Wahl's complete line of pet products, including grooming tips, visit, or follow @WahlPets on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

About Wahl Pet Products Wahl offers a full line of pet grooming solutions that make grooming from home safe, easy and enjoyable. The line includes hygiene products, clippers and accessories.

Every year, Wahl is also dedicated to giving shelter animals a fresh start by donating pet grooming products to support adoption efforts and shelters devastated by natural disasters. For more information, visit

About Greater Good Charities Greater Good Charities is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit organization, with a 100/100 rating on Charity Navigator, that works to amplify the good in the world to improve the health and well-being of people, pets, and the planet.

Since 2007, Greater Good Charities has given over $300 million in cash and in-kind grants to over 5,000 charitable partners worldwide and funded projects in 121 countries.

To date, Greater Good Charities has provided $18 million in support for COVID-19 disaster-relief, including cash grants, in-kind supplies, and programmatic support. To learn more about how Greater Good Charities is amplifying the good across the globe, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

SOURCES: Wahl, PRNewswire

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