We’ve all had a bad hair day at some time or another but in Rasta’s case, a young severely emaciated and grossly neglected poodle cross, he was in a real tangle.
“His owner brought him to us claiming that he had stopped eating. The first thing that struck us was his overall neglected state and feather weight,” the Animal Welfare Society said.
When he was lifted onto the examination table the nursing assistant felt something solid around Rasta’s neck and after cutting away chunks of filthy, matted fur found a collar that was throttling Rasta, preventing him from swallowing anything.
The owner looked astonished when confronted and went on to explain that they fitted the collar on him when he was still a young puppy – and forgot to remove it as he quite literally grew into the unforgiving collar.
As soon as the collar was removed, Rasta was presented with a bowl of irresistible Husky dog food kindly gifted by Martin and Martin.
According to the nursing assistant, Rasta “went mad” for the bowl of food that vanished within seconds, liking his lips for more.
The nursing assistant, realising that poor Rasta was owned by someone uncaring and cruel, managed to persuade the owner to surrender Rasta to the Society– which he did in the blink of an eye.
The nursing assistant continued with his examination and found that Rasta had tick-bite fever and a massive worm infestation and admitted him for further treatment – and a sorely needed grooming.
It took three experienced groomers over an hour to groom Rasta who patiently lay on the preparation table as they gently went about their task removing hundreds of Devil Thorns that had become embedded in his fragile skin.
The amount of tangled and knotted fur filled a black bag and the joy and relief on Rasta’s face was instant. Despite being “skin and bones” he stood up somewhat shakily and wagged his skinny little tail in appreciation.
Poodle animals like Persian cats and Angora rabbits demand constant care and attention to keep them fit and healthy and we would discourage anyone who does not have the time or means to care for them, to get any “high maintenance” pet (like Rasta) and the many other long-haired pets that end up being surrendered to when the novelty of owning them wears off.
Despite his ordeal, Rasta has an awesome personality and this story has a happy ending. Rasta found a new forever home as he was adopted yesterday.
To meet Rasta please call Lawrence Nkotha on (021) 692 2626 or pop in for a visit!