The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) is the largest animal welfare charity in the UK. For nearly 200 years, this organization has dedicated itself to stomping out animal cruelty and rescuing those in need.
This summer, the RSPCA launched the “Cancel Out Cruelty” movement:
“Each year animal cruelty reaches its terrible annual peak in the summer months,” reports the RSPCA. “When an animal is beaten on average every hour of every day.”
The RSPCA has made it their mission to cancel out animal cruelty in the UK for good. And there are many animals whose lives have already been saved as a result of this movement.
One such animal is Moses, a nine-and-a-half-year-old Shih-Tzu who experienced horrendous neglect.
An Unfortunate Series of Events
The RSPCA rescue team first learned of Moses thanks to a report from a Good Samaritan. This person had seen Moses wandering the streets and became concerned for his welfare.
When members of the RSPCA saw Moses for the first time, those concerns became abhorrently clear.
Moses’ fur was so severely matted that rescuers were initially unsure of his actual size, weight, or breed. His coat, which inspector Pamela Bird described as a “hardened shell,” was soaked in urine and feces. The smell was incredibly foul.
The amount of neglect that Moses had experienced was rage-inducing. However, while Moses was not well cared for, he had certainly been well loved:
“It became clear that Moses had been part of the family for a long time, but his owner was trying to deal with significant health issues, and things had become too much for him to cope with,” said Bird. “As a result, Moses had not been receiving anything like the quality of care he should have, but his owner did the right thing by signing him over to us so we could get him the treatment he desperately needed.”
One of the Worst Cases of Matting Ever Seen
Once Moses had officially been relinquished, the first priority was to rid him of his matted fur. Medical personnel carefully sedated Moses and began shaving.
The matting itself weighed over one-and-a-half POUNDS, and the skin underneath was severely irritated.
The veterinarian who oversaw this procedure stated that Moses’ matting had been forming for some time.
“The scale of what we were dealing with became apparent once the veterinary team had started work on Moses’ coat,” said Bird. “It was caked in urine and feces and smelt awful. We all became more and more shocked by what we were seeing and the realisation at what this poor little dog had endured.”
Moses’ tail was so matted that it stuck out at a right angle from his body, unable to wag freely. Underneath the coat, caretakers also uncovered several painful patches of skin.
They suspected the mats had been pinching his fur, which must have been seriously uncomfortable.
“It’s one of the worst cases of matting I’ve ever seen,” said Bird. “But despite this hardened shell of foul-smelling fur which he was carrying around… Moses was one of the most lovely-natured dogs you could ever meet.”
A Fresh Start
Moses was, at first, apprehensive of physical touch. His actual skin hadn’t been touched in years, and the ability to feel pets, hugs, and kisses was a big adjustment.
However, once free of his fur-clad prison, Moses became a totally different dog:
“It’s taken Moses a little while to get used to having so little fur,” said caretaker Lucy Belle. “But now he realises he can finally move around properly without his coat weighing him down, he’s getting happier and happier every day and we all think he’s so handsome.”
Once his fur was no longer an issue, Moses received treatment for anemia. This condition of red blood cell depletion is commonly caused by flea infestation. He is also receiving frequent medicated baths to soothe his skin.
Moses has now been deemed sufficiently healthy and transferred to the adoption center. There he remains, today, awaiting a forever home.
Despite his traumatic history, Moses’ caretakers have no doubt that he will make someone the perfect companion:
“…we’re really beginning to see his playful side come out, despite the fact he’s a little more mature in years,” said Bell. “It’s been a team effort to get him to where he is now, and we’re so pleased that we’ve been able to help give him this second chance as we think he’s going to make someone a wonderful, loving pet.”