Wahl and GreaterGood Transform Shelter Dogs

When we first rescued Buddy ten years ago, he was so skinny and emaciated it was heartbreaking. All it took was a bath, some love, and some good food to turn him into the beautiful dog he is now. He's been my best friend and I'm so blessed that we found him. I believe rescue pets make the best pets!

Pet Grooming Leader Wahl and the GreaterGood.org are inviting the public to help transform the image of shelter and rescue pets from what is portrayed on TV to what is reality—these are beautiful animals that deserve a fresh start. With the aid of grooming products and the support of pet shelters nationwide, the two industry leaders are launching an online before and after photo gallery of shelter pets. The first-of-its-kind gallery allows the public to not only see these animals for what they truly are, but actually adopt them.

The Dirty Dogs Before & After Gallery will feature hundreds of pet transformations, thanks in part to Wahl’s donation of more than 1,000 bottles of pet shampoo to animal shelters nationwide. What makes this gallery unique is that visitors can view each animal as they arrived at their shelter and after they were cleaned up. The goal: Get people to visit the gallery, share it with friends and family and, ultimately, adopt these animals.

To promote the gallery and makeovers, Wahl, will be launching the third annual Dirty Dogs Contest. The effort, which highlights the positive side of shelter dogs, will feature celebrity dog groomer Jorge Bendersky and award-winning photographer Seth Casteel selecting the 25 best makeovers and inviting the public to vote for the top three. The animal shelters or rescue groups affiliated with the winning makeovers will receive cash grants and grooming prize packs. While the Dirty Dogs Gallery and Contest are helping to ‘clean up’ the image of pet adoption, presenting the effort in a more positive light is what many believe to be the biggest challenge facing animal shelters today.

“We now know that three out of four pet adoptions begin online,” said Noah Norton, director of operations at GreaterGood.org. “This would suggest an animal’s online photo is often the best chance it has for finding a forever home. Unfortunately, due to limited resources, only half of all pets entering shelters today are receiving the proper grooming they need. That’s what makes this gallery and partners like Wahl so important to this cause.”

Adoption is a major component of the new gallery. Those looking to adopt can sort photos by adoptable only or look for the heart icon on the top right corner of each animal’s picture. Once clicked, the image expands to show the before and after transformation along with the pet’s name, story and shelter information. Facebook integration makes it easy for visitors to share a makeover with friends or join the conversation already started. According to Shay Moeller, pet product manager for Wahl, the goal of the gallery is to increase pet adoption by demonstrating that the same animals often perceived to be ‘damaged goods’ are actually healthy, fun loving pets looking for a home. “The transformations are truly amazing, some even downright unbelievable,” said Moeller. “The gallery is a great visual to show the importance of providing resources to shelters and the difference they can make.” In addition to providing the resources to make this gallery a reality, Wahl’s donation of shampoo also helped animal rescue groups and shelters wash and ready more than 10,000 dogs for adoption this year.

The Dirty Dogs Before & After Gallery is an extension of the One Picture Saves a Life Campaign, a collaboration among pet industry leaders to change public perceptions about rescued animals and provide grooming and photography resources to shelters. It consists of a five-city tour with celebrity dog groomer Jorge Bendersky and renowned pet photographer, Seth Casteel. The Dirty Dogs Contest runs from July 16 – 30. To support a shelter and vote for a shelter dog makeover, visit dirtydogscontest.com. The top three vote getters will receive cash grants for their respective shelters. First place takes home $5,000, second place receives $2,000 and third place earns $1,000. Winners will be announced on August 2. For information about Wahl or Wahl’s pet grooming products, visit www.wahlpets.com or follow Wahl Home on Facebook and Twitter.

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