Unmanaged fur often tangles and mattes on abandoned or stray dogs, causing them distress. However, a new haircut can completely change their appearance and give them a new lease on life.

Recently, a dog with extremely matted fur received a makeover that has given him newfound hope.

The South Plains SPCA posted on their Facebook page on July 16th, describing it as “the worst case of dog neglect we have ever encountered.” The dog, estimated to be six years old, had thick, matted fur and was in a terrible condition.

According to the SPCA, the dog had “rotten skin spots, matted hair so bad it is ingrown into the skin, and two-inch-long nails.”

Kim Moyers, president of the South Plains SPCA, told KLBK-TV, “his hair growth was about five years of matting.” It’s simply heartbreaking that people presumably missed him and observed him in various locations. I find it incomprehensible that no one has spotted him wandering in the state he was in. He is unlike anything I have ever seen. It was shocking.

The South Plains SPCA adopted him and named him Matt due to his matted fur. Even though they found him in a horrible state, they were determined to restore him and give him another chance.

They had to sedate Matt because he reportedly cried out in agony every time they attempted to trim his hair. They shaved off a shocking three pounds of fur after five years of neglect, cutting through a collar and leash embedded in the hair.

Thousands of goathead stickers, sticks, grass, and even beetles matted his fur. Because his fur was too tight against his skin, he had serious bruises all over his body, according to the SPCA. Despite being heartworm negative and free of tick disease due to his thick fur, the dog was anemic and prescribed medication.

Matt still has a long healing journey ahead of him, and once his blood work clears, he will require dental work.

However, the removal of all that disgusting fur has drastically changed Matt’s life, and he now looks like a completely different dog.

Houston told People, “After we had one of our professional groomers—who’s also an SPCA foster—groom him, he looked amazing. I have never seen a dog as beautiful-looking as this one. He is quite beautiful.”

The SPCA described Matt as a “sweet boy” after he woke up from his grooming, and ever since then, he’s been experiencing a taste of a contented, typical life.

Houston told KLBK, “He went for his very first walk without his bulk of hair in probably five years. He was ecstatic, with his tail wagging and his little bottom just going back and forth.”

Tori Houston is now Matt’s foster mother and will put him up for adoption after he heals.

What an amazing transformation! Matt’s suffering from having so much matted fur on him and his prolonged neglect are tragic, but we’re relieved that he’s now secure, well-groomed, and ready for a new life!