Rescued sheepdog neglected for five years is transformed after 11lbs of matted fur shaved off
Many are fond of a shaggy dog story, but for one old English sheepdog his was a miserable experience.
Barney, who had not been walked in five years by his previous owners, has undergone a dramatic transformation after 11lbs of matted fur was removed by groomers.
He was taken in by the RSPCA from a house in south London, where he had struggled to eat or drink because of overgrown fur which also covered his eyes.
Barney had never been exercised, socialised or groomed in his life, but is now said to be thriving after the charity's intervention.
Chloe Wilson, an animal rescue officer, said: “He was so matted that he had to be sedated by a vet to be clipped.
“It was so bad that the matted fur was covering his eyes and it affected his eating and drinking. The total weight of his matted fur was 5kg (11lb).
“Thankfully, he had no ongoing health concerns as a result of the matting,” she said. "He looked like a completely different dog after his extensive grooming."
Barney is now available for rehoming through the RSPCA’s Millbrook Animal Centre in Woking, Surrey.
Sue Walters, who manages the centre, said: "When Barney came into us, he was so shut down and scared, but our team gave him lots of time to trust them and now he has come on leaps and bounds.
“He now really enjoys his walks with the people he knows and trusts."
The charity is looking to rehome Barney to an adult-only home and owners with experience of old English sheepdogs.
'Barney needs an understanding home'
Ms Walters said Barney needs a home that will go slowly with him and give him time to settle and adjust to a new family and home environment.
“He needs an understanding home where his new family realise that it may take a bit of time for him to bond with them.
“Barney has been through a hard time and he is becoming such a loving dog and really does deserve the best,” she added.
Anyone interested in applying to adopt Barney can do so on the RSPCA website.
The organisation said that he will need patient owners, who are prepared to housetrain him and teach him to travel by car.
Barney will also require regular grooming and clipping in his new home, but because this will be so unfamiliar it will need to be done slowly and be a “positive experience”.
According to the Kennel Club, old English sheepdogs require daily grooming and a large garden. In Barney’s case, this will also mean a six-foot fence to make sure he does not escape.
Despite his lack of socialisation, he enjoys meeting other animals, and can be rehomed with a family who already own a neutered dog.
Since being taken in by the RSPCA, Barney has started to enjoy walks and playing with toys – particularly footballs.
'Barney has not had a great start to life'
According to his profile: “Barney has not had a great start to life, he never left his previous house and he is five years old, you can imagine how much he has missed out on.
“Barney really has been through a hard time and he is becoming such a loving dog and really does deserve the best.”
In October, the RSPCA said that the cost of living crisis meant more animals were being given up by their owners while fewer people were prepared to adopt a new pet.
In 2021, the RSPCA rehomed 26,945 animals – an 8 per cent drop from the previous year, and a fall of almost a third since 2019.