1. Headline
  1. Headline
Ripley
Ripley's Newsroom via AP
By
updated 11/4/2010 7:54:05 AM ET 2010-11-04T11:54:05

Its hair was so matted and overgrown, the poodle had to be sedated just to be groomed. Veterinarians found live and dead cockroaches snared in the 2.5 pounds of fur they cut from the dog.

The dog's condition was so unbelievable that Tracy Lapeyrouse named him Ripley.

The 2-year-old poodle was found Oct. 19 in a ditch in LaPlace, La., with no identification. He was taken to Lapeyrouse, who runs My Heart's Desire animal shelter in Houma, La., about 60 miles from New Orleans.

"He didn't know he had ears. When his ears would touch his skin, he would shake his head," Lapeyrouse said in a telephone interview from Louisiana.

"It took a week before he could walk normally."

  1. More from TODAY.com
    1. Snack maker? Wig creator? Check out these supermodels' surprising side gigs

      Although people may think most supermodels just pose for the camera, a number of top beauties have other jobs that keep th...

    2. Jock brand Under Armour sells itself to the ladies in new ad
    3. 'Bachelorette's' Nick talks intimate confrontation: I could have been 'more delicate'
    4. See this hardworking mom of 4 and Army veteran get the makeover she deserves!
    5. Jimmy Fallon goes head over heels for Heidi Klum on 'Tonight Show'

The dog was skinny but not malnourished, and no one could figure out how he ate because his mouth was blocked by overgrown hair. He has packed on a half pound since his rescue and now weighs 5.5 pounds.

Sores hidden beneath the fur healed once they were exposed to the air.

"Now he's a social butterfly," Lapeyrouse said. "We have to go slow, but he wags his nub of a tail and is seeking interaction with people."

Several people have filled out adoption papers. Ripley Entertainment Inc., parent of the Ripley's Believe It or Not! brand in Orlando, Fla., will offer the new owners a gift card for future grooming and other expenses. It also donated $400 to the shelter and plans to feature the former fur ball in its next book.

"His life will be very public," Tim O'Brien, Ripley's vice president of communications, told AOL News. "It will be a big deal when he's adopted. I hope his new owners understand they'll have to share him with the world."

More on TODAYshow.com
Awww ... animal babies make conservation cute
Sneezin' in the rain: New monkey discovered
Buffalo found in Georgia swimming pool

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Only enough for one: Experimental serum used on US Ebola patient

    A dose of “experimental serum” arrived in Liberia to be tried on a U.S. charity worker struggling for her life — but there was only enough for one of the two infected workers.

    7/31/2014 4:20:32 PM +00:00 2014-07-31T16:20:32
  1. See this hardworking mom of 4 and Army vet get the makeover she deserves!

    Tara Green, a mother of four who’s planning to start her first job since leaving the Army 15 years ago, was hoping a makeover would give her the new professional look she needs.

    7/31/2014 4:49:33 PM +00:00 2014-07-31T16:49:33