Former dirty dog Arlo mopped up the competition Tuesday when it was announced that he won the national Wahl Dirty Dogs competition, along with the $5,000 first-place prize. According to online voting, Arlo, a Lhasa Apso/Schnauzer mix, finished with 24,184 votes. The runner-up, a German Shepherd named Zorro from Orange County, California, finished with 22,086 votes.
“Lost Fantasy is very grateful for the support of our favorite fuzzy dog,” said Sarah Dutton, owner of Lost Fantasy Rescue in Ceres. “In helping Arlo, you have in turn helped the community by allowing us to continue to help our community with spay/neuter assistance & other vetting needs.”
Arlo led the pack throughout the online competition, which ended Monday. His fans came through for him in a big way, especially considering that the rescue group that sponsored Zorro has nearly 650,000 fans on Facebook, compared to Lost Fantasy’s 5,800. The group that sponsored the third-place finisher has more than 683,000 likes on Facebook.
“We have a small but mighty fan base and we drew on our relationships with other rescues, shelters and small businesses to help us to win this competition,” Dutton said. “We are so grateful to our fans and partners.”
It’s been a wild few months for 10-year-old Arlo. In April, he was found matted and filthy along a roadside in Smyth County and taken to the Smyth County Animal Shelter. After groomers at the Smyth County Animal Hospital cleaned him up, Sarah Dutton at Lost Fantasy Rescue in Ceres took him in.
Jump ahead four months and Arlo is living the high life with his foster mom, a hospice doctor in northern Virginia. He has his own masseuse to help him with his arthritis and enjoys walks around the backyard, sniffing about and sleeping on the bathroom floor.
Wahl, the contest sponsor, offers a wide variety of grooming supplies and products for pets and people. The brainchild of Wahl and GreaterGood.org, the Dirty Dogs Contest, now in its eighth year, donates funds and grooming supplies to rescues and shelters nationwide so thousands of dogs can be cleaned up to increase their chances of being adopted.
In addition to Arlo’s first-place prize, the second place winner received $2,000 and the third-place finisher earned $1,000.
To reach reporter Millie Rothrock, call 276-228-6611, ext. 35, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.