A matted ball of fur dropped off at an animal rescue and welfare centre turned out to be a dreadlocked cat.
Staff say the feline in a pet carrier was dumped outside the building and at first staff arriving for work thought he might be a dog.
But as when they examined further they realised the animal was a cat which was barely able to move because of the tangled mass of matted fur around his body.
The male cat was shaved and sores caused by fur pulling on his skin treated before he was snapped up for adoption.
The incident at Douglas County Animal Care & Services, in the Nevada suburb of Gardnerville in the US, left staff stunned.
Shelter supervisor Liz Begovich and her colleagues came across an animal carrier with the huge ball of unidentifiable fluff inside.
“All we saw was a matted mess,” she told animal website The Dodo.
The cat could not be pulled from the carrier because of the way he was shoved in, and the only way to get him out was to take off the roof.
He was taken to the vet and was sedated. Then about two kilograms of fur was shaved off, filling a full-sized kitchen rubbish bag.
The cat, who was also overweight due to a lack of exercise, was nicknamed Bob Marley.
Once the weight of his fur was shaved off, Bob was able to walk around much more easily.
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Bob now has a loving home to help him recover from years of neglect and to shed the excess pounds he was carrying.
Staff said the cat, whom they estimated was about 10 years old, was adopted within days of being given the all-clear.
Authorities are making inquiries to try to find Bob’s previous owner.
The man who dumped him was captured on CCTV and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying the person.
It is possible he was a Good Samaritan who rescued Bob and dropped him at the shelter for treatment.
Ms Begovich is unsure but has doubts about any good intentions from the mystery man.
“Normally, when someone leaves an animal after hours, there’s usually more to the story,” a spokesman for the sheriff’s office said.
“We would really like to know the backstory.”