A spate of arrivals at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home have come in with such matted, neglected fur that it has begun to cause serious health problems.

Gizmo on arrival at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home.

Gizmo, a six-year-old Lhasa Apso, was brought into Battersea after his owner rescued him from an online seller but found his health issues too much to cope with. His fur was so matted it was pulling on his skin, causing it to break and bleed.

It was so long around his face that he was completely unable to see. The dirty tangles and mats meant he could no longer open his eyelids.

After careful grooming from Battersea’s dog groomer Catherine Etheridge, as well as medical attention from Battersea’s clinical team to treat his broken skin, Gizmo was nursed back to good health – and finally able to find a loving home.

Battersea’s groomer, Catherine Etheridge, said: “These breeds do not come ready styled and people need to make some investment with long-haired dogs, either to groom them themselves or pay to have a professional do it. But it doesn’t cost anything to keep your dog clean, healthy and matt-free – it doesn’t matter if their hairstyle may end up being a little bit individual. Ultimately, it’s the dogs’ comfort and health that is paramount.”

Rob Young, head of rehoming at Battersea, added: “People think of Shih tzus and Lhasa Apsos as spoilt little darlings and pampered poppets. It’s heartbreaking to see these dogs arriving at Battersea in such an appalling condition – neglected and in pain. But all dogs are welcome at Battersea – we’ll always try to nurse them back to health and get them looking their best.”

If you would like to give a home to a rescue dog, please call Battersea on 0843 509 4444 or visit www.battersea.org.uk

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