That is so sad. Thank you for saving him. His story reminds me of my dear Matilda. I worked for animal control for a year and a half.. one day in the middle of summer, I got an urgent call, a dog had shown up on someone's doorstep, they told me nothing except that it was very urgent. I rushed down there, to find a small black dog COVERED in mats. Honestly, you couldn't tell she was a dog, much less what kind she was. It was at least 90 degrees outside and this poor thing was suffering greatly. I rushed her home, and got the clippers out. I just started shaving. The mats were to the skin, and there was no "hair" left really, it was just all mats. It took me 12 hours that first day, and another 6 hours the next day to have her completely shaved... and the smell was unlike anything I've ever experienced. She was a trooper though, never once complained. After she was shaved and cleaned up it became clear that she was a Cocker Spaniel. I took her to the vet the next day when he opened, and he said she was about 10 years old, and had a heart murmur... and she was blind.
I fostered her for awhile and then found her an excellent home. Months later I was talking with someone that bred Cockers in the area and we found out who had owned the dog... the "owner" was contacted, and they said they had left her tied in some friends backyard three years before and never went back for her.