Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Helps Namesake Dog

Known for covering unbelievable stories, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! recently heard the story of a dog with such badly matted fur it was hard to believe a dog was beneath that coat…so Ripley’s stepped up to help.

Ripley-beforeRipley, a neglected dog found in a ditch in Houma, Louisiana, was rescued with fur so badly matted that he couldn’t even walk (see Ripley’s “before” photo, right).  Staff at a local animal rescue group, My Heart’s Desire, rescued the dog, had his massive mane shaved, and gave him a very fitting name: Ripley.

According to shelter co-founder Tracey Lapeyrouse, they chose the name Ripley because “you would have never believed there was a dog under there. He didn’t even look like a dog. He looked like the elephant man. All you could see was his snout.” The company’s love for unusual animals comes directly from Robert Ripley himself, who owned many pets including a one-eyed dog name Cyclops.

Ripley-afterRipley (seen in his “after” photo, at right) has been given a good grooming, lots of TLC, and has been neutered. My Heart’s Desire is now looking for a permanent home for him.

Ripley Entertainment Inc., the parent of the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! brand, is making a donation to the shelter and to Ripley’s future family. The company will give $400 to My Heart’s Desire and Ripley the dog will come with a gift card for a local pet store that his new owners can use for food, grooming, toys and other expenses.

“Ripley the dog is what Ripley’s Believe It or Not! is all about,” said Tim O’Brien, VP of Communications for Ripley’s Believe It or Not! “It’s unbelievable that a dog could even be in this condition, let alone survive and go on to potentially become a great pet for someone.”

This may not be the last time that Ripley the dog will hear from the people at Ripley’s. His story is being considered for the next Ripley’s Believe It or Not! book.

Anyone interested in making a donation to My Heart’s Desire should contact Tracey Lapeyrouse at or call the shelter at 985-226-4693.

Top photo courtesy Ripley’s Believe It or Not!; bottom photo courtesy WWL-TV News, New Orleans

From Our Store!

About Paris Permenter & John Bigley

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the award-winning authors of over 30 pet and travel books as well as the founders and publishers of CatTipper and DogTipper.