He didn't look like one: “He knew he was being helped and he craved connection.”

He didn’t look like one: “He knew he was being helped and he craved connection.”

“He knew he was being helped, and he was dying for connection.”

When rescuers with Animal Friends Connection Humane Society found out about two dogs living in someone’s backyard who weren’t being cared for properly, they immediately made arrangements to go and help them. They weren’t sure what they were walking into — and nothing could have prepared them for what they found.

Waiting for them in the yard was one dog and one gigantic pile of fur who was, in theory, also a dog. He just didn’t look like one.

Poor Tony was one of the most severely matted dogs his rescuers had ever seen. The other dog, Clive, wasn’t matted but was just as dirty and very scared. Both the house and the yard were full of garbage, and the dogs were clearly struggling. Their rescuers were able to secure them without any trouble and whisk them away from the backyard for good.


Once both dogs were safe, Tony’s lengthy grooming process could begin. His rescuers were worried he might be scared, but instead he wagged his tail the entire time.

“He was such a good boy,” Victoria, one of Tony’s rescuers with Animal Friends Connection Humane Society, said in a press release. “He knew he was being helped, and he was dying for connection.”

After shaving 7 and a half pounds of fur away, Tony transformed from a giant pile of fur to a tiny, little dog. It was wild to think that such a small dog had been hiding under all of that, and as soon as Tony was free from all that extra fur, he seemed to feel so much better.


Both Tony and Clive were eventually taken in by Muttville Senior Dog Rescue, and it didn’t take either of them long to get adopted into wonderful homes. Tony’s new name is Riley (because his mom’s name is Toni), and his family loves taking him on adventures all over the place. Before, he could barely move, and now he gets to see the world every day with people who love him.



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