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Humane Society volunteers help dogs put their best paws forward

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Sunday, June 30, 2013, at 5 p.m.
  • Updated Sunday, Oct. 6, 2013, at 1:58 p.m.

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Sometimes when Lee Carney is gently brushing a dog or clipping gobs of matted fur from its coat, the animal will rest its head on Carney’s shoulder.

“They know we’re helping,” she said. “Without anybody saying anything, just the look on their face – it’s very rewarding.”

Carney, who owns The Groom Room in Rose Hill, and Val Hind, a retired groomer, spend most Thursdays at the Kansas Humane Society, bathing and clipping animals to pretty them up and improve their chances of being adopted.

Abandoned or neglected dogs – particularly long-haired breeds such as Shih Tzus, poodles and Lhasa Apsos – sometimes get so tangled and matted that it causes health problems, Carney said. If matted fur cuts off circulation, they can even lose a limb.

“When they get all that shaved off, they’re bouncing around, and they’re like a totally different dog,” she said.

“Sometimes they’ll bring a little dog in and we clean him all up, and he has barely gotten out onto the floor before he’s adopted,” Hind added.

Hind, who has worked in veterinarian’s offices and as an animal control officer in other parts of the country, said she loves working with animals at the Humane Society. She and Carney said they hope others, particularly retired people, will consider volunteering.

“What a satisfying, overwhelmingly good feeling it gives you when those dogs lick you in the face,” Carney said. “It’s like they’re saying thank you.”

Reach Suzanne Perez Tobias at 316-268-6567 or stobias@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @suzannetobias.

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