When most people head to an animal shelter looking for a new pet, they’re usually only interested in puppies, kittens, and other young animals.
Sadly, older animals like thisadorable 14-year-old cocker spaniel named Honeybelle are often ignoredbecausethey’re not as “cute” or because people assume there is something “wrong” with them.
For professional dog groomer Mark Imhof, this is unacceptable. Using his special set of skills, Mark is determined to help senior shelter dogs find their forever homes, one haircut at a time.
After noticing that many shelter animals have dirty, unkempt coats, Mark realized that he could show the world howsweetand loving senior dogs can be just by helping to improve their appearances.
By donating his time and effort, Mark has already changed the lives of dozens of dogs, many of whom have found loving families thanks to his acts of kindness!
Scroll through the images below to see the amazing transformation Mark has helped to bring about for these adorable dogs.
By the time Mark meets them, many senior dogs look like Elmo here.
Their coats are overgrown and dirty, with lots of matting and uncomfortable tangles.
With just a few swipes of his clippers and some expert styling around the face, however, dogs like Elmo undergo amazing transformations!
All of a sudden, you can see their true shapes (which areoften far too skinny) and their precious faces, which are now full of smiles!
Although he clearly has a knack for grooming, this wasn’t always Mark’s job.
In fact, he was finishing up a consulting job when his fiance suggested he make a change.
“She didn’t want to see me go for another soulless job, and she saw the joy I had when I interacted with our animals,” Mark told the Dodo.
He was also inspired by Erin O’Sullivan ofSusie’s Senior Dogs he and his fiance had previously adopted two dogs from the rescue group.
After attendingtheAmerican Academy of Pet Grooming,Mark had a great idea that would help him gain valuable experience, while also making life better for shelter dogs.
He went to the Animal Care Centers of NYC, and offered to groom the senior dogs completely free in hopes that it would help them look and feel better.
It worked marvelously.
Many of the dogs Mark helps have been victims of neglect and abuse.
Because of behavioral issues, they’re often put on the “unadoptable list,” whichis a dangerous place for a shelter pet.
When talking about these dogs, Mark asks people to imagine how they would feel if they were told to go to work with dirty clothes and matted hair.
He says: “You would probably have behavior issues, too.”
…into stunners like this!
Mark hopes that his work will help people to see that problems with senior dogs are often only skin-deep. With a little love and a good haircut, many of them will become companions for life.
Have you ever adopted a senior animal? Tell us about it in the comments.
Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/mark-the-dog-guy/