Española shelter dog competing in national makeover contest

ESPAÑOLA, N.M. (KRQE) –  He came into a northern New Mexico animal shelter sick with pounds of matted fur. Now, this dog’s impressive transformation is now catching national attention and could even help the shelter that rescued him win a major payday.


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“We think he had been kept inside of some type of small kennel or crate. He couldn’t stand up. He could not move. He was completely matted from nose to tail,” said Director of Communication for Española Humane, Mattie Allen.

Giuseppe, who now goes by Joey, was rescued last year in Rio Arriba County. Española Humane said he had 5 pounds of matted fur when he arrived. “His feet, his legs; completely matted together. He was in absolute horrific pain,” said Allen.

Joey came to the shelter terrified of people and had a list of medical issues that even made it hard to walk. “We did x-rays, and we found his lungs were full of fluid and his heart was enlarged,” added Allen.

After a long recovery, Joey was finally adopted by Donna Karr in October who said he’s lost weight and loves to go on hikes. “Now that he has settled in, he acts like a little puppy. He runs around the house,” said Karr.

Joey’s now one of ten shelter dogs competing in the national Dirty Dogs Contest. His makeover story was chosen out of more than 400 submissions. The winning dog will get $10,000 for the shelter that took them in. “Every dollar counts, every penny counts. This is an easy way for people to help us,” said Allen.

You can vote for your favorite dirty dog once a day until May 31. The top three winners will be announced in June.

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