SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – A northern Ontario pet groomer is donating all the shop’s cut dog hair to create mats to help soak up the oil in the Gulf Coast.

The hair from Doggie Styles Pet Grooming in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., was previously bagged up and sent to the city’s landfill.

Owner Lianne Vipond is now donating the cut hair to a group called Matter of Trust.

The hair is shipped to one of 19 warehouses in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana or Florida to make brooms and mats.

An eight-pound box was shipped just days after she started collecting the fur and another two garbage bags are almost full and getting ready for shipment, Vipond said.

“I’ll keep doing it until the warehouses are full or they say they don’t want it anymore,” she said.

The idea of creating the booms from hair and fur was first proposed in 1989 by Alabama-based hairstylist Phill McCrory.

He realized hair was an efficient and abundant material for collecting and containing petroleum spills.

The mats and booms have since been used on the smaller, 2,600 oil spills that occur annually around the world.

Oil naturally clings to hair and the booms have proven successful in oil spill clean ups.

Matter of Trust says it has collected more than 400,000 pounds of hair from dogs, fleece from sheep, wool and human hair to make the booms.


  • There are about 2,600 oil spills annually.
  • About 726 million gallons of oil are spilled into the water annually.
  • One quart of oil can contaminate 1 million gallons of drinking water.
  • 300,000 lbs of hair and fur are cut daily in the U.S.

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