Dog groomers across the country are working to collect more than 400,000 pounds of hair to be used to absorb oil from the spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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The groomers were organized by Matter of Trust, a California ecological charity that began the drive to make the hair into booms and mats that soak up oil, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Thursday.

Matter of Trust convinced PETCO stores nationwide to join with individual pet groomers, said Danielle Soine, manager of PETCO in West Bend, Wis.

Dog hair comprises fibers that easily soak up oil and the hair is free -- in quantity, unlike human hair, which also is good at soaking up oil.

"A Great Pyrenees is good because it weighs about 150 pounds and will give a kitchen trash bag full of hair, about 3 pounds," groomer Kirsten Krause of the End of the Leash pet boutique in Mukwonago, Wis., told the Journal Sentinel. "But little dogs help, too, over time. We're putting all the fur aside."