When someone goes into an animal shelter to look for a dog, they intend on finding a “good dog.” But when they get there, the first thing they look for is a pretty dog. Beauty is not everything when it comes to a dog. I have witnessed many times first-hand where a dog was overlooked because he was scruffy or shaggy. Truth be told, that dog may have behaved and been better trained than any other dog that was available in the shelter, but because he wasn’t shiny or beautiful, he missed out on his chance to find a good home.
At the animal shelter I volunteer for, the staff works harder with the dogs that are less appealing to the eye. This is because they have to have a special skill set that will pull in a potential owner. When someone comes in looking for a dog, we typically ask what they are looking for in the personality of the dog to determine whether or not we can draw them to one of the dogs that are not as beautiful. But many people cringe when you take them to a dog that is scruffy and matted because their old owner did not care for them.
There are also other things we do to draw in potential owners. We are willing to lower adoption fees, and many of us spend our own money to get them groomed, and bathe them regularly to ensure that they are in tip-top shape.
Next time you go to a shelter to adopt a dog, tell them what you are looking for in a personality of a dog and actually give the dog they show you a chance. Just because they are not the most beautiful dog in the world does not mean they will not be a great companion.