A dog that is matted and dirty isn’t going to attract many people wanting to adopt him.
Dog groomer Becky Nelson shaved away at Charlie’s face. The small dog had come into the Flagler Humane Society overwhelmed in hair, some matted.
“After I shaved some of the hair away from his face he just started kissing and kissing me,” Nelson one of the volunteer groomers at the humane society, said. Nelson was a professional dog groomer in Salt Lake City, Utah before moving to Palm Coast two years ago. She has been grooming humane society dogs for the past year.
Now Charlie is kissing someone else, his new family. Dogs groomed by volunteer groomers at the shelter are adopted much faster according to FHS Director Amy Carotenuto.
“They get to go home a whole lot faster when our groomers are done with them,” Carotenuto said.
A good grooming not only improves the dog’s appearance, but also its personality. Both women said the groomed dogs present much better in the kennels and attract much needed attention.
Matting is the biggest problem and can become a medical issue. Heavy matting can result in the skin separating underneath. Nelson said that by being gentle, talking to them softly and loving up on them, most of the dogs are very good about being groomed.
“I have to be firm and show them who is boss,” Nelson said. “I’m the alpha dog and they respect me.”
Nelson said ideally dogs should be groomed every six to eight weeks and short-haired breeds like Labrador retrievers should be bathed every 10-12 weeks.
The transformations are remarkable.
“We have had dogs come in where it was difficult to tell one end from the other,” Carotenuto said. “Becky makes them look like movie stars.”