Matt Southcott spotted what he thought was a pile of rags on the side of the road and didn’t think much of it. However, he soon realized that the pile wasn’t made of rags at all, but rather was a group of extremely matted dogs. There were nine dogs, who were later identified as poodles, in total who had been dumped in a ditch near Winchester in Hampshire County, UK.

“I couldn’t tell if they were sheep or dogs. You couldn’t see their faces,” he said to The Daily Mail. “They looked so badly matted and injured. I have never seen an animal in that state.”


The group was made up of a mother, named Sian, and her eight puppies who vets estimate are around one year old. While the guardian of these abandoned dogs has not been identified, it is clear that these pups have been given very little care. Poodles have extremely curly hair that is prone to matting if it is not kept short or properly groomed.

Each poodle was given a long grooming. It took over three hours to shave each dog and poor Sian had to be sedated to undergo the process.

“She had stones trapped between her paw pads which had obviously been there for some time. It is disgusting. I have never seen a dog in this condition before,” said rescuer, Martha Edward.

After all the matted hair was removed, it was clear that the dogs were extremely underweight and malnourished.


Animal welfare experts believe that that dogs had been kept in “unlivable” conditions for their entire lives before being abandoned. This allowed them to reach the horrific state they were in. Thankfully an investigation to find the person who did this to these animals in underway. The RSPCA are asking for help in finding the person responsible.

When Matt Southcott first saw the dogs, he thought they were piles of rags.

“I couldn’t tell if they were sheep or dogs. You couldn’t see their faces,” he said.

It took around three hours to shave each dog.

The dogs were so scared of human contact, vets believe they were badly beaten.

Rescuers named the mother Sian.

Her eight pups have been named Fay, Mavis, Martha, Justin, Wills, Kate, Maria and Dave.

We certainly hope that who ever is responsible for their abuse is found, but we are glad to know that these nine dogs are safe now. 

And soon these adorable dogs will be going to forever homes where they will be well cared for. Good luck, pups!

All image source: The Daily Mail