The ISPCA says it rescued two dogs in the Limerick area who had "the worst case of hair matting" an inspector has ever seen.
Ben and Elsie were taken into care last week after Inspector Emma Carroll, assisted by Gardaí, responded to a report made to the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline.
The dogs were not microchipped and investigations are ongoing to locate the dogs' owner.
Inspector Carroll said: "This is by far the worst case of hair matting I have ever seen.
"Both dogs smelled so bad of urine and faeces which had soaked so deeply into their coats, it was restricting their ability to move.
"It was impossible to identify what dog breeds they were under their matted hair.
"They had to be sedated and completely shaved to relieve their suffering caused by the matted coats pinching their skin".
"This case is a very stark reminder that long coated dogs need to be regularly groomed and this must be taken into consideration when getting a pet".
After grooming it was discovered that Ben is a Bichon Frise cross terrier aged around nine, while Elsie is a Shih Tzu cross of about seven years.
Both dogs are undergoing veterinary treatment and will require extensive dental work, but the ISPCA says they are both doing well and are expected to make full recoveries.
Anyone who suspects animal cruelty, abuse or neglect can contact the ISPCA National Animal Cruelty Helpline on 1890-515-515 or report online in confidence.