1. ITV Report

Rescue dog's remarkable transformation after being left with fur so matted she couldn't walk

Molly is almost unrecognisable after finding a new home. Credit: RSPCA

A couple who let their dog’s fur become so matted she was struggling to open her mouth have been banned from keeping animals for 15 years.

12 year old Molly was unable to walk properly when she was rescued by the RSPCA.

Inspector Anthony Joynes said the shih-tzu "appeared to be a ball of long and filthy matted fur" - and that he couldn't tell her back end from her front.

Molly at the time of her rescue. Credit: RSPCA

I was so shocked.

It was the worst case of matting I have seen in my nine years as an inspector.

– Inspector Joynes

Molly also had a bad case of fleas and a chronic eye condition caused by the excess fur.

Molly was given a "life-saving" shave. Credit: RSPCA

Molly was given emergency treatment and five hours of clipping and shaving.

She has now been re-homed to a new family, who say it was "love at first sight".

Molly with her new owner's granddaughter, Penelope Richards. Credit: RSPCA

Molly's new owner Shelby Ford says the dog has become part of the family and loves everyone she meets.

Molly is almost unrecognisable today. Credit: RSPCA

Her former owners pled guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to their animal.

They were ordered to pay costs and banned from keeping animals for 15 years.

In mitigation, the court was told that the couple had ill health and were struggling to cope with the dog.