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3 dogs in ‘horrifying’ condition brought to Prince William animal shelter

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Three Shih Tzu’s – Marley, Rita and Ziggy – were given to the Prince William County Animal Shelter after being found in ‘terrible’ condition in West Virginia. 

“They came in as strays, so we didn’t really have a lot of background information. The person who brought them in – her brother found them in West Virginia somewhere – and she was a resident here and got a hold of the dogs and she brought them to us,” a volunteer at the shelter said.

The dogs’ fur was so badly matted, that they could no longer walk or relieve themselves, according to an animal shelter release.

“They were barely recognizable as dogs due to the long matted and chorded hair that smelled so strongly of urine and feces that it was hard to breath around them. The shelter’s groomer, who has been grooming animals for over twenty years, said these were the worst cases she had ever seen. It was heartbreaking, but the staff sprang into action to help end the distress these dogs were going through,” said an animal shelter release.

According to a volunteer at the shelter, the three dogs are now in good health.

“They were in horrible condition when they first came in. Now they’re all healthy and fine – their skin’s still a little sensitive…other than that they’re perfectly healthy,” a volunteer said.

Marley and Rita are currently up for adoption at the shelter, and Ziggy is in foster care while she is taught how to walk on a leash, the volunteer commented. 

The Prince William County Animal Shelter said they have no way to identify the original owner of the dogs to reunite them, or cite them for animal neglect.

“They came from West Virginia, and we really don’t have any idea of where they came from…they didn’t have microchips or tattoos or anything that would lead them back to anybody,” the volunteer commented.

While these three dogs were one of the worst cases that they’ve seen, the shelter stated that grooming dogs is an essential part of pet care.

“We want to emphasize to people how important grooming is…these were like the absolute worst [cases] but we do get ones in all the time – ones that do not get groomed for probably over a year, and the matting is just terrible. It pulls at their skin – causes infections,” a volunteer said.

The adoption fee at the shelter is $45 per dog, and $140 for any spaying and neutering done by contracted veterinarians through the shelter.

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  • Thank goodness for organisations like this one. These wonderful animals deserve a second chance. Shih Tzu’s are amazing dogs, they are intelligent, loyal and loving, plus great fun. I hope you find them all loving homes. Good luck.



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