New York City Groomer Gives Shelter Dogs Free Haircuts

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Well-known as “The Dog Guy,” Mark Imhof works as an animal groomer in New York City. However, his job entails more than just making pets look good on the outside.

A bath and a haircut can do wonders for a dog’s mood and potentially change their lives. This is the reason why Imhof isn’t primping pets for his business.

He offers his services for free to shelter dogs looking to get adopted.

From Internal Auditor To Groomer


Mark Imhof didn’t have any experience working with rescue dogs. His has worked in finance working as an internal auditor at a bank, a role he wasn’t happy with.

Inspired by his girlfriend, they both adopted their first pit bull Cleo through Susie’s Senior Dogs. There is a Facebook page that advertises rescue dogs available at different shelters.

The dogs looked mean and messy with matted and dirty furs. Speaking with TODAY.com, Mark says that when matted hair gets wet and dries, and then wet again, it can turn into something like plastic which can cut off the dog’s circulation.

Alongside his girlfriend, Mark quickly cleaned up their new dog to help them feel more comfortable.


The idea to groom other rescue dogs to make them more presentable struck him when he noticed the moods of dogs brightening up once they got cleaned.

He believed doing this would help these dogs look more presentable for potential adoption. The idea sounded great, but that would mean he had to quit his job at the bank.

New Furry Clients

After 25 classes at the American Academy of Pet Grooming, this internal auditor turned groomer got accreditation to become a full-time dog groomer.

gain more experience to work on his technique, Mark had to get new clients to work with other than his adopted dogs. This meant that he had to contact Animal Care Centers in New York that eventually allowed him to work on their dogs.

Grooming a few dogs, Mark found himself falling more and more in love with the process. He says, “After the first dog I groomed, I thought, ‘Man, there are so many digs like this at the shelter who look mean and are the most lovable animals.'”

Mark has since done pro bono work for dozens of adoptable pups in the New York City area, and of those dapper dogs, many have gone home to loving families.

Making a Difference

The project has been ongoing for two years, and the demand for canine makeovers doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon.

Imhof says, “The shelter workers and other incredible volunteers and foster parents of the animals all love to help get the animal looking better so it can find its forever (forever) home.”

He is so adamant about still helping with the shelter not only because of the experience he gets but because of the joy and change he sees in these dogs.