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Severely matted and in pain, dog found wandering Shuswap given new ‘leash’ on life

A Rover Makeover grooming, community support helping neglected dog find new family

A dog found wandering around the Sorrento area last week, severely matted and in pain, is almost unrecognizable after a makeover and a showering of community support.

Sorrento resident Amy Berry found the small brown dog on her rural property after it came over from her neighbour’s house. Berry noticed the dog was in bad shape, with heavy matting, fur covering his eyes and mud caked to his paws. She immediately took him to the vet for an assessment, where they found no tattoo or microchip and estimated his age at about five years old. Berry reached out on Facebook to find a groomer to help make the dog more comfortable.

“He had tape in his fur, and burrs, and wasn’t properly able to even eat the way his chin was stuck down to him,” said Berry.

Donna Meads, owner of A Rover Makeover grooming business in Sorrento, said her daughter saw the post about the pup. Meads knew she needed to help, contacted Berry, and came in on her day off Friday, April 21 to tackle the job.

“While I was grooming him, I noticed the dog wasn’t skinny,” said Meads. “I figured the dog had an owner who had probably dumped him, he wasn’t lost.”

She was concerned that although the dog had been being fed, it wasn’t being properly taken care of.

Meads said the matting had to be from at least two years’ worth of buildup and the tops of his ears were bald from heavy matting pulling out his fur.

On Saturday, April 22, Berry approached the owner about the dog. She asked why the dog was in the shape it was in and said the owner didn’t give a response, simply surrendering the dog to Berry’s care when she mentioned the SPCA had been contacted.

Meads had been housing the dog with the intention of fostering and potentially adopting him. When she heard the owner had officially given him up, Meads decided to fully trial the adoption idea, bringing the dog to her grooming shop to see if the lifestyle she leads would work for the dog. Otherwise, Berry has had an outpouring of support through social media to fall back on, including multiple offers of adoption.

“He’s not had a great start, for sure, so if it doesn’t work for him, it’s not a life that’s gonna work for him, he can’t be stressed,” said Meads. She said she’d be getting the dog neutered and caught up on its vaccinations on April 27.

Although it doesn’t seem as if the dog has ever even been in a house – he’s afraid of stairs, TV, jumping on or off furniture and being on a leash, Meads said he’s a ‘sweet little guy’ who seems to be doing well, acting happy and playing with other dogs in her shop.

While Meads is waiting to see if she officially adopts the pup, Berry has temporarily dubbed the dog “Lucky.”

“When I first took him to the vet, they asked for a name, and I just thought, I don’t know, he’s pretty lucky today, let’s go with that,” said Berry.

Meads has performed the grooming services free of charge and taken on the additional vet costs. If anyone would like to help with costs, they can stop by A Rover Makeover at 1240 Trans-Canada Hwy. in Sorrento or email

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Rebecca Willson

About the Author: Rebecca Willson

I took my first step into the journalism industry in November 2022 when I moved to Salmon Arm to work for the Observer and Eagle Valley News. I graduated with a journalism degree in December 2021 from MacEwan University in Edmonton.
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