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Thursday, December 02, 2021

‘Clean Start’ program provides grooming to rescued dogs

A local grooming service is partnering with the Humane Society of North Central Florida

Sarah Headley, a pet groomer at Scenthound, sprays water on Daisy, the dog, on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.
Sarah Headley, a pet groomer at Scenthound, sprays water on Daisy, the dog, on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

On May 26, five rescued poodles shrunk to half their size after groomers shaved off several pounds of matted fur. Unrecognizable before the shavings, the dogs were brought in to be groomed after their owner died.

Several other dogs now also have a chance for a new start. Scenthound, a wellness-centered grooming service, launched a partnership with the Humane Society of North Central Florida on July 1. They will help groom and care for rescued dogs, including taking care of health concerns such as matted fur, which is when overgrown fur becomes knotted and tangled.


Kathryn Pizzurro, the co-owner of Scenthound Gainesville, said the ‘Clean Start’ program offers one free grooming to each dog adopted from the Humane Society, as well as free grooming services to dogs that have been rescued and await adoption. The service includes a bath, ear cleaning, nail trimming and teeth brushing.

“The Clean Start program essentially acts as a reward or a ‘thank you’ for adopting a dog,” she said.

Humane Society kennel technician Sally Ross adopted her beagle, Bessie, four months ago and advocates for adoptions from the no-kill shelter. She believes the new partnership will encourage people to adopt more dogs.

“It is a nice service because it gives you the opportunity to introduce your dog to a new groomer without knowing anything [about grooming],” she said. “It opens that door to you.”

Margot DeConna, the director of advancement at the Humane Society of North Central Florida, said the Pizzurros reached out to them in March asking about forming a partnership, and the Humane Society was thrilled at the opportunity.

Scenthound co-owner Joseph Pizzurro said the idea for the partnership came from  Scenthound’s South Florida branches, which partnered with the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League, another adoption service for dogs.

“We have a lot of alignment within our mission statements… so a partnership made a lot of sense,” Joseph Pizzurro said.

Laur’en Cocozello, a 21-year-old UF finance senior, adopted a Labrador Pitbull mix named Dasani from the Humane Society during her freshman year. She is hopeful the new partnership will increase adoption rates.

“Seeing how some of those dogs show up there, they deserve nothing but great treatment and whatever they want,” Cocozello said. “It’s really nice that you can go and get them taken care of and groomed.”

While Scenthound and the Humane Society are excited about the new partnership, both hope this new initiative will lead to more partnerships in the future.

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“If this partnership helps to remove some of the barriers to the dogs being adopted and for their proper health and care after they are adopted, then everyone benefits in the end,” Joseph Pizzurro said.

Contact Maya Erwin at merwin@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @mayaerwin3.

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Maya Erwin

Maya is a third-year journalism major at the University of Florida covering university general assignment news for The Alligator. In her free time, Maya loves traveling, spending time with friends and listening to music. 


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