We knew there was a dog in there somewhere: Womble is shorn of his 2lb 'fleece' after years of neglect


Groomed: Womble the Lhasa Apso after having 2lb of excess fur removed by Dogs Trust staff

Dumped in a park, he looked like a cross between some tumbleweed and the contents of a barber shop’s bin.
But the shocking shaggy dog story of Womble the Lhasa Apso had a happy ending yesterday – after he was rescued and given a smart new haircut.
The three-year-old dog was found abandoned and seriously neglected, with fur so overgrown and matted he could barely walk or see.

Abandoned: Womble was found in a park in Leeds by a concerned member of the public

Only his tongue was visible beneath the tangle, thick with dirt and debris and containing rubbish ranging from a strip of Velcro to a sticky chocolate sweet – which led his rescuers to name him after the litter-collecting Wombles of Wimbledon Common. Staff at the Dogs Trust rehoming charity, which took in Womble, believe he had not been groomed for more than a year.
Emma Cooper, assistant manager of the organisation’s Leeds centre, said: ‘He was struggling to walk, he could hardly see and with the fur weighing as much as a bag of sugar, he was in some discomfort and under intense strain.’

Care: The dog was taken in by the local Dogs Trust and given a thorough grooming

It took two hours to shave off more than 2lb of fur, equivalent to about an eighth of Womble’s body weight. The discarded fur formed a bundle almost as big as him when placed beside him.
A concerned member of the public found three-year-old Womble in a park in Leeds and took him in to the local Dogs Trust.

Quizzical: Womble looks at the pile of shorn fur, which appears to be nearly as big as he is

When staff examined the unfortunate dog, they found pieces of Velcro and a chocolate sweet stuck in his fur.
Assistant manager Emma Cooper said Womble's 2lb burden of hair put immense strain on his body, and estimated that it had been a year since he was last groomed.
'Womble was brought to us by a member of the public just over a week ago and was a very immobile dog,' she said.

Playful: Womble is now back on top form after handlers helped him get over his harrowing ordeal

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