A poodle named Ginger was found in a Denton, Texas apartment recently and was so matted with overgrown hair that she couldn't walk.
Authorities say Ginger was the victim of a "hoarding situation" and had been neglected basic grooming for so long that her hair had knitted together from paw to ear on one side, leaving her unable to walk. Her nails were also so long that they had grown into the pads on her paws. But thanks to the City of Denton Animal Shelter, Ginger has learned to walk again unfettered by the matted hair that kept her prisoner for so long, and she has a foster family lined up who want to take her in.
The family could end up being long-term caregivers for Ginger, who is 14-years old, but rescuers say they won't release her into their care until all her medical issues are taken care of. Kennel supervisor Gayla Nelson said the dog's situation was one of the worst she's ever seen.
“The dog had never been outside. It had never been groomed,” Nelsen said. She added that after they removed all the hair and resolved her nail issues, Ginger had new energy and was “sniffing and greeting everyone. It was like a bird out of a cage.”
Ginger's hair had taken over so much of her body that it had grown into her mouth, and she was dehydrated because she hadn't been able to take in water through it. Stacy Smith of Flower Mound Veterinary Hospital said that was one of the most worrisome things about getting her cleaned up.
“Her mouth is a big concern,” she said. “It was so bad that when they shaved her, junk was still in there.”
For now, Ginger is well on her way to full recovery, and will likely be placed with a new family within the next month.