When a ball of matted fur arrived at the Clinton Animal Hospital, Betty Burns and her fellow volunteers from Heart of LCAC, were shocked.
Animal control had alerted her that they'd found a matted dog — or, at least, what they thought was a dog — wandering around a yard in Clinton, South Carolina. But nothing could've prepared Burns for seeing the animal up close.
"If we didn't hear him panting, we wouldn't have been able to tell which end was his head," Burns told The Dodo. "You couldn't see his eyes, you couldn't see his nose, you couldn't see his mouth. How this dog got around like he did I still do not know."
Burns and a team of groomers and medical professionals immediately sedated the dog and started freeing him from his fur prison.
Over the course of four hours, nearly 15 pounds of hair filled up two garbage bags.
The groomers estimated that the dog was most likely kept in a crate for at least a year for his fur to get to this state.
With so much hair wrapped around the little animal, it was impossible to tell what kind of dog he was. But once their work was complete, the team discovered that the adorable pup, whom they dubbed Pat the Mat, was a 9-year-old cocker spaniel mix with a long body and short legs.
After his life-changing haircut, Pat immediately started running around, playing with toys and was clearly happy to just be a dog again.
Despite everything Pat has been through, the loving dog seems intent on leaving the past in the past.
"He's such a sweetheart," Burns said. "He gets around great. He's a favorite at the clinic, that's for sure."
Too Broke Girls Dog Rescue stepped up to care for the senior pup, and now he's enjoying a life of comfort at the home of his new foster family.
"He's just a happy little guy," Burns said.