Dog was dying underneath 9 pounds of matted fur – gets life-saving makeover from shelter

Animal rescuers encounter a lot of different things throughout the course of their careers. From wretched cases of abuse and neglect to rescuing them from high kill shelters or living on the streets, there is little that can surprise these amazing human beings. Ellie Mae is one dog who is an exception to this rule, however.

Ellie Mae first came to the Nebraska Humane Society a couple of months ago. At first, NEHS staff weren’t really sure what they were looking at, let alone that it was a small, living, dog.

Twitter/NEHS Source: Twitter/NEHS

The NEHS explained that the poor dog had been discovered by accident as volunteers were cleaning out her deceased owner’s house.

Much like Ellie, the house had clearly been the subject of neglect for quite some time. The house was full of stuff stacked high like an episode of Hoarders and covered in filth. So much so, that Ellie Mae was almost entirely overlooked.

“Basically, she just looked like it was a container of dirty mops, and then we saw it move a little bit,” volunteers told reporters.

The dog was being so strangled by the matted fur that she could no longer walk. So, volunteers lifted Ellie Mae and placed her in a plastic storage bin to take her into the humane society. They wanted to help the poor girl.

Twitter/NEHS Source: Twitter/NEHS

When volunteers arrived at NEHS with the unrecognizable dog in tow, shelter staff worked quickly.

They had seen a similar case not long before where they had to amputate a leg from lack of blood flow and were hoping to avoid doing it again. So, they put Ellie Mae under anesthesia so they could insert a breathing tube and get to work.

Three shelter workers gathered around the sedated dog to painstakingly clip away at the mass of fur. Once they did, they couldn’t believe what they found underneath.

“As our team clipped away, they found something extraordinary. Ellie Mae’s legs were pink with blood flow. The added matting and length were seven-inch toenails that were cocooned in hair, feces and years of grit,” shelter staff wrote in an update to Twitter.

Twitter/NEHS Source: Twitter/NEHS

When volunteers first brought Ellie Mae in, she weighed a total of 20 pounds. As shelter staff soon found out, though, most of that weight was coming from the matted fur loaded with dirt and feces.

After cutting away the filthy mass of fur, the tiny dog only weighed 11 pounds!

Workers were left with an unsightly mass of foul dog fur weighing an unbelievable 9 pounds! This was hands down the worst case of matting that the staff had ever seen.

“Ellie Mae came to the shelter a few weeks ago in extremely rough shape. She was covered in 9 pounds of matted and smelly hair, the worst that we’ve ever seen,” the shelter wrote about the dog in a Facebook post.

Twitter/NEHS Source: Twitter/NEHS

While the dog had definitely been suffering, her condition could have been far worse.

“After her clean up, we were amazed that she didn’t have more health issues. The hard shell of hair apparently protected her skin from infections and parasites. We’ve seen cases where the hair gets so tight it actually strangles the limbs and naturally “amputates” them,” explains NEHS representative, Pam Wiese, in an interview with Bored Panda.

Within 5 hours after the surgery, little Ellie Mae was taking her first steps outside since only God knows how long.

Twitter/NEHS Source: Twitter/NEHS

As it turns out, Ellie Mae is a pretty darned cute dog beneath that mess of hair. Shelter workers could only guess that she is Shih Tzu or some sort of Shih Tzu mix. Regardless, she is most definitely recognizable as an adorable dog again.

As for the shelter, they are just elated that Ellie Mae’s story is going to have a happy ending.

“We are so sorry this little peanut had to go through such an ordeal, which was likely for an extended period of time. But we are so happy we were here for her and able to give her a second chance! That’s why we do what we do!” Pam Weise exclaims.

Giving the dog a second chance at life is exactly what the shelter did! Just a couple weeks after her makeover, Ellie Mae met her perfect forever family.

Omaha World Herald Source: Omaha World Herald

A 91-year-old Omaha woman named Bette Mae came into the shelter to meet Ellie, and it was a match made in heaven.

“Mom said it was love at first sight and that Ellie Mae was the perfect match for her….In no time, she was giving Mom kisses. We feel very fortunate that we were chosen for Ellie Mae because those two were just meant for each other,” excaims Megan Wilson, Bette Mae’s daughter.

Could Ellie Mae’s story possibly have turned out any better? We don’t think so. We are so grateful for everyone involved in bringing this sweet furbaby back to life. If you want to know more about her incredible journey, watch the video below.

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