The history of Sang Su’s past life remains a mystery since nobody knows exactly what he endured before being rescued as a stray on the streets of Chicago. However, it was evident that he had been neglected for an extended period due to his matted fur, which covered him entirely from head to tail.
Sang Su’s condition was so severe that his overgrown fur had rendered him virtually unrecognizable as a dog. He was trapped under a thick, matted coat, making it impossible to determine his breed. The shelter staff, realizing that Sang Su required more specialized attention than they could offer, contacted the Trio Animal Foundation for assistance.
The nonprofit organization specializes in caring for animals that have experienced severe neglect, but even they were shocked by the dog’s deplorable state. Sang Su’s fur was so tightly wound around his ears and legs that it caused discomfort, and the stench from his urine-soaked coat made it difficult for people to stay near him, according to Sue Naiden, the president of the Trio Animal Foundation.
“His fur was so tightly wrapped around his legs and ears that it was like a vice,” Sue Naiden, president of the Trio Animal Foundation, told The Dodo. “He was hard for people to stand by because the stench from his fur burned your nose and throat.”
Despite the challenging circumstances, the rescuers refused to give up on Sang Su!
Upon arrival, Sang Su received immediate medical attention, and a team of professionals worked tirelessly to give him an emergency groom to free him from the coat that had trapped him.
“Sang Su’s medical team, consisting of four members, spent two hours simultaneously cutting through his matted fur,” Naiden reported. “In total, they removed over 3 pounds of fur from his body.”
After the extensive grooming, Sang Su looked like an entirely different dog. While Naiden had previously speculated that he might be a mix of Shih Tzu, poodle, or Lhasa Apso, his true breed was revealed after the transformation.
“It was not until he came walking out from the back room that I saw he was a cocker spaniel mix,” Sue said. “I have been in rescue for 20 years and this was the first time that I was wrong about the breed of the dog underneath such matted fur.”
Aside from the lack of proper care, what Sang Su missed the most was the warmth of a loving touch on his skin. Despite still feeling wary of people after the traumatic experience he had gone through, it was clear that he craved human contact deep down.
“He just wants to be held or leaned against you. His legs may shake, but he still wants you to pet him,” Naiden stated. “This desire for affection is crucial to his recovery and his ability to trust people again.” Although there have been significant improvements in Sang Su’s life, he still has ear infections that require ongoing treatment, and he is participating in therapy sessions with other dogs to enhance his social skills.
Things are looking up for Sang Su. Once he’s ready, the Trio Animal Foundation will make him available for adoption, but his rescuers will require financial assistance to cover the medical expenses involved in getting him there. However, seeing how a little dog’s life can be so profoundly impacted by love makes cases like Sang Su’s more than worthwhile in terms of the effort and expense.
“His story and transformation are genuinely remarkable!” Naiden exclaimed.