9-Year-Old Neglected Dog With Feces-Riddled Coat Receives First Shave, Looks Unrecognizable

A 9-year-old dog with the most captivating eyes, who was found in a state of neglect and with severely matted, feces-riddled hair, has been given a new lease on life after an intensive grooming session that lasted for 9 hours.

On Aug. 25, 2023, 30-year-old professional groomer Adrijana Farkaš from Novi Sad, Serbia, first heard of a Maltese terrier, now named Max, in desperate need of help. A woman reached out to her through Facebook—after Ms. Farkaš posted to offer free grooming services for neglected dogs. She alerted Ms. Farkaš to Max’s plight, stating that a dog in her neighborhood was suffering from severe neglect.

(Courtesy of Adrijana Farkaš)

Not wanting to waste any time, Ms. Farkaš and her husband, Banta Farkaš, tracked down the dog and went over to investigate on the same day.

When they arrived at the property, they couldn’t believe their eyes.

“The sight was gruesome,” Ms. Farkaš said.

But despite the burden that Max was carrying around, his soulful eyes spoke to Ms. Farkaš, and she could feel that he was waiting to be saved.

After a brief chat with Max’s owner, Mr. and Ms. Farkaš tried to persuade him to let them take Max to give him a better life. Initially, the owner was reluctant but, after being presented with a cash offer, he agreed.
(Courtesy of Adrijana Farkaš)

Overjoyed that they‘d managed to save the dog, the couple took him to their grooming salon. It was only after they got him inside that they realized the true extent of Max’s condition—it was much worse than they’d thought.

“The hair was plastered with excrement,” Ms. Farkaš said. “I couldn’t catch my breath … I couldn’t believe that someone allowed him to be in such a state.

“But then I looked at the dog and saw how much sadness there was in his eyes, and that’s when I gathered all my strength and started to [work].”

The process of grooming Max took hours and required “superhuman” efforts. His fur was unbelievably thick and matted, cutting it resulted in several broken scissors and knives, but the team persevered.

Through the process, they were conscious that even a moment’s drop in concentration could result in a serious injury to the dog, they thus focused on helping him as much as possible. But when the final patch of hair was shaved, it was all worth it, because the relief and happiness in Max’s gentle eyes was clearly visible.

After the long and arduous grooming session, Max was taken to a veterinarian for a health check. Before long, a forever home was found for the senior dog.

“He has a beautiful family and all the love he’ll ever need,” said Ms. Farkaš, who sees Max regularly as he comes in for grooming sessions. “He’ll never be neglected again.”

Reflecting on Max’s rescue and transformation, Ms. Farkaš said: “Just imagine that this dog had not left the yard for nine years, that he had never been bathed or had contact with people, and then we show up and …  take him in our arms, put him in the car, and bring him to the salon. He knew from the first second that we wanted to help him, and we would never hurt him.”

Owner of the only registered grooming school in Serbia, Ms. Farkaš and her husband opened their first dog grooming salon in April 2021. In their mission to save dogs in need, the couple regularly drives several hours a day to undertake rescues; and share videos with their 9,000 YouTube followers.

Watch the incredible transformation:


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