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Animal rescue workers are used to seeing animals in terrible conditions. After all, their job revolves around saving and rehabilitating animals in need. However, when rescue workers in Chicago came across a weird looking creature on the streets, they had no idea what it was. As they got closer, however, they realized the horrible truth!

20. Trio Animal Foundation


Trio Animal Foundation is a charitable organization that works to assist shelters and rescues with paying for medical bills of animals in need. The foundation specifically looks out for animals left at open access shelters.

19. Rehabilitation

Image: Trio Animal Foundation

Once the animals have gone through their medical treatment, the foundation then works on getting their mental health into shape. They pair the animals up with therapy dogs to help promote emotional wellness in the traumatized animal.

18. Recent Pick-Up

Image: Trio Animal Foundation

Recently, the foundation got a call about an animal that was in serious need of help. So the animal rescuers headed out to pick up the poor thing. However, when they got their they couldn’t understand what they were looking at…

17. Confused

Image: NBC Chicago

When they got to the open access shelter, there was a matter mess of fur staring up at them. They couldn’t understand what was looking at them. As they got closer, however, they realized that it was a helpless pup.

16. A Treat

Image: NBC Chicago

We couldn’t even figure out if the dog was a male or female. When we first saw this dog in it’s cage, we didn’t know which end was front or back. We had to get a treat to see which end lifted up to sniff,” the Trio Animal Foundation wrote on their website.

15. Matted Mess

Image: Trio Animal Foundation

Flies and gnats swarmed around the pup and what appeared to be the dog’s back legs dragged on the floor and left a watery trail… just like a snail. As it turned out, the dog had two very petite legs hidden underneath all the knotted fur and the outer appendages were just matted fur and debris.”

14. Rescue

Image: NBC Chicago

So the foundation took the dog from the open access shelter and brought them over to their shelter. They immediately brought the dog over to their veteran groomer Kelli at Mutt Hutt. Kelli came into work quite early that day to see if she could help the poor dog out.

13. Helping Out

Image: NBC Chicago

So Kelli set out to help get the poor dog out of the fur prison that it was trapped in. Throughout the process of shaving the dog, Kelli broke a lot of shaving equipment. However, eventually they began to see the dog underneath and they soon realized that it was a girl!

12. A Girl

Image: Trio Animal Foundation

Within the first ten minutes we found out that our matted pup was a girl… we named her Ellen. For the next hour and a half, I held Ellen and Kelli quickly worked to shave the heavy casing of fur away from Ellen’s body.” Even though the entire process was pretty irritating, Ellen was a trooper through it all.

11. Good Pup

Image: Facebook/Trio Animal Foundation

Never once did Ellen growl or show her teeth. When it came time to shave the matted fur that had tightly wrapped its way around Ellen’s raw legs like a snug boot, Ellen actually looked up at me and started to give me kisses…” Ellen was proving to be quite the sweet pup.

10. New Dog

Image: NBC Chicago

Finally, after a lot of time and effort, all of the matted hair had been shaved off of Ellen. There was roughly 2 pounds of hair that Ellen had been carrying around with her like a dead weight. She was now finally free from her fur prison!

9. Vet Visit

Image: NBC Chicago

After the shaving process was completed, Ellen was brought to the vet to be looked over. She was put on some antibiotics and pain medication after she had several tests done on her. Ellen would soon be healing and getting better each day.

8. Healing Process

Image: NBC Chicago

We also worked with Integrative Pet Care to best learn how to use therapeutic massage to help alleviate the pain that Ellen was experiencing in her lower extremities… the 2 pounds of matted fur caused an enormous amount of stress on her joints and muscles. Ellen was having a hard time figuring out how sit properly and even had discomfort when she tried to lean over and eat her food.”

7. Shy Dog

Image: Facebook/Trio Animal Foundation

Ellen was also a very shy dog and it was obvious by her nature that she hadn’t learned how to socialize with others properly. One of the animal rescue workers decided to take Ellen home with her to foster her in the meantime. During this time she learned how to be a social butterfly!

6. Socializing

Image: Trio Animal Foundation

At her new foster home, Ellen was brought into the company of three other rehabilitation dogs named Miller, Antler and Geiger. Ellen got along great with the other dogs and through subtle encouragement she learned how to play and how to have fun again.

5. Daycare

Image: Facebook/Trio Animal Foundation

In the weeks to follow, Ellen learned how to play and socialize by spending time with her foster buddies and going to daycare at Unleashed Pups boarding and daycare,” the foundation wrote. Ellen’s rehabilitation process was going great and everyone was so pleased.

4. Dramatic Improvements

Image: Trio Animal Foundation

Once she felt comfortable, Ellen’s trust quickly grew and she was thrilled to go there for visits and to play. This amount of love and attention catapulted Ellen’s recovery both mentally and physically. It was like the memories of her years of abuse had vanished.”

3. Adoption Time

Image: Facebook/Trio Animal Foundation

Finally, it was time for the foundation to put Ellen up for adoption. As soon as they did they got hundreds of applications of people looking to adopt her. At one point, they had over 200 applications that they had to narrow down.

2. Linus

Image: NBC Chicago

After pouring over 200 applications, TAF’s rescue division, Project Rescue Chicago, narrowed it down to 3 possible families. In the end, it would be a little boy named Linus that would win Ellen over. When this pup walked through the front doors of Unleashed, Ellen’s eyes lit up and she ran right to him.”

1. Going Home

Image: Trio Animal Foundation

Now Ellen has gone home to her new forever home where she will be loved a ton! Ellen is no longer the scared and shy pup that she was when rescuers first found her. Now she is healthy and happier than ever.

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