STERLING, Ill. (August 5, 2014) – Gigi, a fun-loving Shih Tzu from Iowa is proving what many adopters have come to realize about shelter pets—underneath her dirty and scared exterior is a beautiful animal that deserves a good home.
While Gigi may have looked like many of the shelter dogs portrayed in TV ads, a little grooming and the right photo was all it took for her to become America’s top doggie makeover and the winner of the 2014 Dirty Dogs Makeover Contest, an effort from pet industry leaders Wahl and GreaterGood.org to promote the positive side of pet adoption and support local pet shelters.
As the winner, Gigi will receive a $5,000 grant to their nominated shelter Animal Rescue League of Iowa in Des Moines, Iowa. In addition, second place winner Howard of Allegany County Animal Shelter will receive a $2,000 grant and third place dog Vita of Southern California German Shepherd Rescue will receive $1,000. To view the contest winners’ and finalists’ before and after photos, visit wahlpets.com or the Wahl Pets Facebook page.
Overall, the contest put a spotlight on the importance of pet grooming and the role that it plays in adoption. Hundreds of amazing before and after photo transformations and stories were submitted to the Dirty Dogs Before & After Gallery. This first-of-its-kind online before and after photo gallery of shelter pets allows potential pet adopters to not only see the positive side of these animals, but actually adopt them.
Twenty-five of the best shelter makeovers were then selected from the gallery by celebrity dog groomer Jorge Bendersky and award-winning photographer Seth Casteel. The public was then invited to vote for the top three transformations and the top dogs were determined by popular vote.
“We would like to thank the public and shelters who participated in this program,” said Noah Horton, director of foundation relations at GreaterGood.org. “The support for the cause and shelters was overwhelming. We greatly appreciate everyone who helped raise awareness – whether by voting, liking or sharing the photos. It has truly made a difference.”
Wahl’s donation of 1,000 bottles of shampoo to shelter and rescue organizations nationwide helped wash and ready more than 10,000 dogs for adoption.
“Unfortunately, due to limited resources, only half of all pets entering shelters today are receiving the proper grooming they need,” said Shay Moeller, pet product manager for Wahl. “To help make a change, we sought to get supplies into the hands of shelter volunteers, while working to change public perceptions about dogs that might just need a little extra grooming and TLC.”
The Dirty Dogs Before & After Gallery and contest are an extension of the One Picture Saves a Life Campaign, a collaboration among pet industry leaders to change public perceptions about rescued animals and provide grooming and photography resources to shelters. It consists of a five-city tour with celebrity dog groomer and best-selling author Jorge Bendersky and renowned pet photographer and best-selling author, Seth Casteel. The last stop on the tour is November 1, 2014 at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control.
For information about GreaterGood.org and the One Picture Saves a Life program or the Dirty Dogs Program, visit onepicturesaves.com. For more information about Wahl or Wahl’s pet grooming products, visit www.wahlpets.com or follow Wahl Home on Facebook and Twitter.
About WAHL Home Products
Wahl Home Products, a division of Wahl Clipper Corporation, offers a line of pet products that make grooming from home safe, easy and enjoyable. The line includes all-natural shampoos and hygiene products as well as clippers, trimmers and accessories. Wahl is dedicated to giving shelter animals a fresh start with pet grooming product donations to support pet adoption efforts and shelters devastated by natural disasters. For more information, visit www.wahlpets.com.
GreaterGood.org is an independent 501(c)(3) charitable organization devoted to improving the health and well-being of people, pets, and the planet. Since 2006, it has given more than $30 million to charity partners and programs worldwide that work toward our mission.