Ten Havanese-mix dogs rescued from a hoarding situation in Florida have come a long way in just a short amount of time thanks to love, veterinary care and a heavy dose of grooming.
“I find that animals bounce back quickly when they are cared for,” Sherry Silk, CEO of the Humane Society of Tampa Bay, told HuffPost in an email.
The Humane Society of Tampa Bay took in the dogs after the Hillsborough County Pet Resource Center removed them from their former home earlier this month due to terrible living conditions.
Silk described the dogs at that point as “filthy,” suffering from fleas and hair loss, and “extremely unsocial and shut down.”
“When you walked in the room, you could smell the urine-soaked coats of the dogs,” she said.
Multiple local pet groomers stepped in to volunteer to help clean up the dogs, and photographer Adam Goldberg reached out to the shelter about doing a before-and-after photo shoot. Goldberg took the “after” photos two days after shooting the “before” pictures, and for many of the dogs, the physical transformation mirrored the emotional shift they were also undergoing.
“They were pretty aloof on the initial day and stayed pretty still while we took their photos,” he told HuffPost in an email. “Two days later, they were not nearly as still but with some of them, we could tell they got their confidence back.”
Six of the dogs have already found new homes. Of the remaining four, two were available for adoption as of Thursday and two will need a little extra attention before they’ll be put up for adoption. One dog, JoJo, is ill and under medical care, while a dog named Maggie is “by far the most stressed out” and will need “lots of TLC” before she’s put up for adoption, said Silk.
Silk, who noted the hoarding situation is still an active case, emphasized that the former owners of the dogs are dealing with mental health issues and that in most hoarding cases, owners “love and care about” the animals but have simply “lost complete control.” She wants the public to be aware that if “they see a person who is struggling like this, most animal welfare agencies will help before it gets this bad.”
See all the before-and-after photos below: