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PDSA Pet Fit Club photos

PDSA Pet Fit Club 2012

PDSA has announced the line-up of podgy pet finalists in its annual slimming competition – Pet Fit Club – who are about to start their journey to becoming healthier, happier and shadows of their former selves.
The contestants - 11 dogs, 5 cats and 2 rabbits - are currently carrying a combined excess weight of over 24 stone which equates to over 380 tins of dog food, the weight of 35 average sized cats or the weight of 50 Yorkshire Terriers. All of the finalists fall into the category of obese or morbidly obese and desperately need to lose weight to improve their quality of life. Pets carrying 20% or more of their ideal body weight are classed as obese, while pets carrying over 50% are deemed morbidly obese. 
PDSA vets are guiding the owners of each of these supersized pets on their journey to slim down and shape-up with a balanced diet and tailored exercise plan.
Sean Wensley, PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, said: “Excess pounds can contribute to a number of serious health conditions and, sadly, it does reduce life expectancy. But the good news is that it’s never too late to make positive changes to a pet’s diet and lifestyle.”
For further information and advice, visit www.pdsa.org.uk/petfitclub
The heavyweight finalists are:
German Shepherd Dog Alfie (5) from Strood, Kent, is currently 52.5kg which makes him 22% overweight when she should be nearer 43kg. Owner Maureen Parks says she wants to help Alfie lose weight to ease his suffering from arthritis and is already taking positive steps by taking part in Pet Fit Club and is taking her beloved pet to hydrotherapy sessions.
Bailey Connor (6) is a ‘biscuit and wine-gum loving’ Border collie from Wishaw, Glasgow who was nominated by his owner Duncan Connor (52). Weighing into the competition Bailey tipped the scales at 43.1kg, making him 80% overweight for his breed and size. Duncan and his wife, Pauline (48) are determined to help Bailey become a slimmer and healthier dog.
Billie Warren (10) a black-and-white tom  cat from Eden Vale in Sunderland, was nominated for PDSA Pet Fit Club by his owner Vilma Warren (73). Billie’s weight has ballooned due to his love of food - his own and that of his former feline friend who he used to steal food from. Weighing 8.7kg Billie is a whopping 93% overweight but is now on a healthy diet with a target weight of 4.5kg. 
Six-year-old Billy Hunter from Airdrie, Glasgow is a Cocker Spaniel whose craving for treats and second helpings of vegetables and gravy has made him 23.4 kg which is 34% above his ideal weight , that’s. Billy’s owner, Jane Hunter (67) says she knows she spoilt him when he was a puppy but now she and her husband George (66) are determined to help Billy become a slimmer and healthier dog.
Bulging bunny Bobby (4), a Mini Lop from Richmond, North Yorkshire, has a  tendency to steal her companions’ food which has resulted in her gradually piling on the pounds. Now her dewlap (the fold of skin under her chin) is so huge she struggles to groom herself properly. Her owner, Becky Magson (30) is determined to help her overweight bunny slim down. Bobby weighs 2.39kg when she should weigh closer to 1.6kg, making her 49% overweight.
Portly puss Casper (9) from Edinburgh, can no longer squeeze under the fence or climb onto  the sofa without help due to weighing in at a hefty 8.6kg – nearly twice as much as a healthy cat of his size should be. Owner Christine Collins says Casper is such a lovely, affectionate cat, but he is also very lazy and will steal her other pet’s food given the opportunity! She is determined to get him down to his ideal weight of 4.5kg so that she’s able to pick him up again.
Cake-loving Labrador Deco (3), from Bradford, once stole and ate 36 buns from a cooling tray, and used to follow his owner’s grandkids around to vacuum up any food they dropped. At his heaviest he weighed 55kg, making him 57% overweight and morbidly obese. He has already made it to a slightly slimmer 44.3kg and his owner, Jan Green (53), hopes he will reach his ideal weight of 35kg by the end of PDSA Pet Fit Club.
Shiba Inu Dexter (2), from Cheshire, is 90% overweight with the scales currently showing 21.85kg when they should be nearer 11.5kg. Owner Debbie Machin, who has had Dexter since he was a pup, said she was at a loss as to what was causing his weight gain. Dexter has a particular fondness for fat balls and likes to steal them from the birds in the garden.
Greedy Bradford puss, Fifi Bottomley (8), was found starving to death as a kitten, but went on to gorge herself at any opportunity. Even when put on a strict diet, she continued to steal food from other cats and charmed neighbours into giving her daily treats and milk. She eventually ballooned to 9.3kg making her 107% overweight – more than twice as heavy as she should be.
Morbidly obese Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Jack (7), from Middlesex could barely walk when he was rescued by his new owner Rose Welch in January. ‘Jumbo Jack’ as he was affectionately nicknamed by the family, originally weighed a whopping 22kg when he should be closer to 10kg, making him 105% overweight.
Mighty moggy Maverick (6) from Edinburgh was taken in by his current owner Dee Doyle (26) during the cold and snowy Christmas of 2010. The Blue Longhair weighs a whopping 10.2kg and is the biggest cat that vets at Edinburgh PDSA Vets have ever seen. His ideal weight should be around 5.5kg making him 85% overweight.
Red and white Border Collie Merlin, from The Wirral, tips the scales at 42.2kg making him a whopping 111% overweight and one of the most overweight contestants in the competition. His owner Victoria Rodgers says she is worried about Merlin struggling with his weight and she wants him to shed the pounds in a bid to ease the suffering caused by his arthritis.
Mega moggy Mini Moo (6), from Basildon, ballooned to a hefty 9.7kg – making her 94% overweight. Now morbidly obese, Moo’s problems first started three years ago when owner Sharon Dowman became seriously ill, and the podgy puss kept her company on the sofa. Sharon says this has led to Moo gaining an enormous amount of weight and her size has got out of control. But Sharon is determined to get Moo back down to a healthy weight.
Rottweiler Molly (4) from Barnsley is currently 65.6kg which makes her 65% overweight when she should be nearer 40kg. Owner Wayne Houlston says the family want to help Molly lose weight and prevent her from developing health problems before it’s too late.
Bin-raiding Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Ottis (5) from Edinburgh is currently a hefty 11.3kg, making him 41% overweight. Owner Helen Melrose (64), who adopted the overweight pooch a year-and-a-half ago, says Ottis will eat anything in sight and always likes to get his own way, particularly when it comes to food. But Helen is now determined to help him lose weight so that he has the best chance of a long and healthy life.
‘Roast dinner loving’ Labrador, Romeo (4) from Tamworth in Staffordshire has had to give up dancing with his owner, Lorrette Hughes, due to a leg injury. But when the vet said he couldn’t give Romeo an x-ray as he was too overweight Lorette became very worried about her beloved pet and began his treat-free diet.  Romeo tips the scales at 58.9 kg, making him 47% overweight.
Rotund rabbit Samantha (2) from Wakefield was rescued by her current owner Amanda Hammond (47) in a terrible state; very overweight and scared of people and other rabbits. The lazy bunny, who is morbidly obese, weighs in at a whopping 4.63kg – more than the average healthy sized cat – when she should be closer to 3.5kg.
Springer spaniel Skippy (4) from Pontyclun, South Wales, is currently 31.8kg, when he should be nearer 22kg, which makes him 45% overweight. Owner Marilyn Smith admits the family has spoilt Skippy, even giving him food from the dinner table, but everyone is changing their ways to help Skippy get down to a healthy size. All treats are now banned, and they have vowed not to give in to his puppy dog eyes when he begs.