Neglected pet makeover nets BARL $3,000

Neglected pet makeover nets BARL $3,000

Posted at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 12, 2022

BARL of Brookhaven, the local animal rescue league, won second place in this year’s 11th annual “Dirty Dogs” competition.

Dirty, neglected dogs are sometimes a rescue group’s worst nightmare, especially since potential adopters tend to come across them at a shelter.

That’s why America’s Rescue Leagues meet once a year to show off their dogs who have been given a makeover after being found matted, discolored and neglected.

Each year, with the help of grooming supplies donated by Wahl and support from Greater Good Charities, hundreds of shelters share incredible transformation photos and stories of neglected dogs. From there, 10 of the most spectacular dog makeovers are selected. The public then votes to determine the top three winners.

The winners were announced today (Wednesday), with Zen, a Tennessee rescue, topping the list. A press release said: “Zen has been rescued from a horrific hoarding affair. She arrived at the shelter with scabies that required regular medicated baths and severe damage to one of her eyes. After extensive grooming and care, the 6-month-old pup went from sick to healthy and brave in no time.

The audience accepted and awarded Zen first place. The Humane Society of Dickson County in Dickson, Tennessee, the rescue organization that saved Zen, will receive a $10,000 grant to further support its efforts.

The Brookhaven Animal Rescue League submitted the runner-up winner, Bentley and BARL will receive a $3,000 grant. Third-placed dog Luna won $2,000 for the National Mill Dog Rescue in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

“Second place isn’t too bad,” laughed Rusty Adcock, BARL volunteer and chairman of the board. “We are really excited about this. We have no particular reason to use the money – we have lots of bills and needed vet supplies. But maybe we’ll hold back a bit for the next Bentley coming through BARL so we can help this dog get adopted.

It’s bittersweet stories like Zen, Bentley and Luna that inspire the contest: by highlighting the influence grooming can have on dog adoption and rewarding contest winners with cash, they hope more dogs find forever homes and live long, healthy and happy lives they deserve.

Adcock said participating in the contest was fun. “We have great social media monitors [with BARL] who pushed the information out there, informed the public,” he said. “We had a fun mock rivalry with the eventual winner and it was on the wire.

“The bottom line is that it was for a good cause — focusing on animals, whether in Mississippi or Tennessee, who need help.”

Bentley was adopted by a woman named Connie, and he still looks great. “He’s got life now,” Adcock added, “and he’s living it.”

Download images of the Top 10 Dirty Dogs, including Zen, Bently and Luna, here. For more information on Wahl’s full line of pet products, including grooming tips, visit Greater Good Charities is a global 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to help people, pets, and the planet by stepping up in response to need and amplifying good. Visit for more information.