"Believe it or not," seems to be the most appropriate way to begin the story of little Ripley, a rescued poodle who was brought in to the vet with over 2.5 pounds of matted fur which also contained both dead and live cockroaches.

The two year old dog was found in a ditch with no identification about 60 miles from New Orleans and, although little Ripley was in terrible shape when he was brought in, he is in amazing condition now.  The sores that were exposed when his fur was cut away healed when they were exposed to air and, although his condition was deplorable, he was not malnourished even though his mouth was packed with hair.  Ripley also had to relearn how to walk after being groomed.

Tracy Lapeyrouse, the veterinarian who oversaw the dog's care, named him Ripley after the famous Robert Ripley, the originator of "Ripley's Believe it or Not!"  Once news of the dog reached Ripley Entertainment Inc., parent of the Ripley's Believe It or Not! brand in Orlando, Florida, they offered whoever adopts the dog a gift card for future grooming and other expenses and then donated $400 to the shelter, planning to feature the former fur ball in its next book.

At last reports, several families were lined up to give Ripley a safe and loving home.

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