Local rescue removes almost 9 lbs of matted hair from shih tzu, who has now found forever home

Posted at 12:49 PM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-28 18:04:23-05

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - It's a heartbreaking sight -- when a dog enters a shelter looking more like a mop than an actual animal.

On Wednesday, that's what happened at Hope for Life Rescue in Virginia Beach.

Their newest resident, Master Roshi, is believed to be a 17-year-old shih tzu mix who was surrendered.

Founder and Director of Hope for Life, Paulina Cushman, said a woman dropped off the dog in a box, but refused to provide any information.

Cushman said at that point the pup was so weak he wasn't able to walk or move.

"That didn't happen overnight and it didn't happen in a short few months. It's probably been well over a year or two for him to get that bad," she said.

Master Roshi was immediately taken to the groomers, where it took about three hours to navigate through his hair.

"We weren't even sure he had eyes, he was so bad," Cushman said.

After some proper love and care, in just 24 hours Master Roshi had made an incredible transformation. News 3 was even there as he took his first bites of food and first steps.

Related: 20 cats found living in Virginia Beach storage facility in need of new homes

Once Master Roshi was groomed and examined, they found he is blind, deaf and has trouble walking.

Master Roshi had a vet appointment Thursday afternoon to check his liver, kidney and other organs.

Cushman said she just wishes they could have gotten to him sooner.

"I don't understand why people don't cry out for help instead of letting the neglect go this far. Anybody would be willing to take and help a dog rather than waiting until it gets this far."

On January 28, Hope For Life told News 3 that Master Roshi has found his forever home. While he'll be in hospice care, he'll be loved for the rest of his life.

"The minute they walk through this door at Hope for Life, everything changes," Cushman said last week.