Fight The Oil Spill By Giving Your Dog A Haircut

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

Until today, Hair Balls thought pet hair clippings were only good for making you sneeze, but apparently the hair is incredibly absorbent, which could come in handy in the case of, say, a gigantic freakin' oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Pet Paradise, a chain of chichi pet spas, with two in Houston, has started collecting hair clippings from its 13 locations and is donating them to Matter of Trust, a San Francisco-based charity that uses pet and human hair wrapped in used nylon stockings to make "booms" to help soak up oil spills. Matter of Trust is collecting as much hair as possible to battle the BP oil slick covering about 3,500 square miles. (Weird fact: Pet Paradise Spokeswoman Lisa Pogue tells us that "it's estimated that one pound of dog hair can soak up one quart of oil in one minute.")

The chain collects about 100 pounds of hair a week, which, if our math is correct, means the BP oil spill can be cleaned up in four seconds. But that's just a rough estimate. The hair is shipped off to Matter of Trust's warehouses in boxes lined with garbage bags, to ensure that not one strand goes missing.

Check out the Matter of Trust website for info on how you can donate your pup's hair. (Or maybe you just want to send the whole dog.) Or, if you don't own a dog but are raising rabbits, horses, sheep or alpacas in the backyard, Matter of Trust accepts their hair, too.

And don't worry, the oily booms aren't just tossed in the trash when they're all used up -- Matter of Trust says they use a totally green disposal method that involves worms eating the booms. That's right: worms eating giant piles of oil-soaked animal hair. Hope we didn't ruin your lunch.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.