We all love to look at cute, chubby animals. They’re fluffy, silly looking, and downright adorable. So, what’s not to love?
Sometimes we overlook the negative effects of obesity in animals and value their cuteness above their health. We need to remember, however, that it is a medical condition that it is completely treatable — which is exactly what this one dog proved.
Pearl, a sweet Jack Russel mix, unfortunately ended up in the hands of an abusive family. When she was abandoned by them in a parking lot, she got a lucky break.
She was found by animal rescuers, and when The Dog Networking Agents Inc. got to her, they were shocked by what she looked like.
Healthy Jack Russel dogs weigh between 13 and 17 pounds. At the time of her rescue, Pearl weighed 80.
This is obviously a massive amount for a dog that should normally only be more active and fit. Pearl’s owners did not exercise or play with her, but had no problem overfeeding her.
Haley Zielinski, who runs The Dog Networking Agents Inc. said “vets told us that her heart could stop at any moment,” and that “dogs like pearl would normally be euthanized in the shape she was.” Luckily for Pearl, a team of vets and trainers set to work to help her beat the odds.
Pearl required a special diet and exercise regime, which would help her lose weight quickly— one pound a week. Being so large, she couldn’t just run around and play fetch, but required tools like exercise balls, an underwater treadmill, and even a harness to help lift her.
It’s amazing how far Pearl has come in a few months. She still has a long way to go, but her quality of life has…
The process was difficult for Pearl, as her weight was causing medical complications. At one point she developed pneumonia, but still she persevered.
To be able to go for walks, Pearl needed to undergo excess skin removal surgery. All of this would not have been possible without the amazing work of many vets and trainers.
Pearl cut her weight down nearly in half — to 44 pounds — and was then adopted by a loving owner. She’s healthier than ever and even inspiring human members of her community to lose weight!
Remember, pets depend on us for all aspects of life. They give us so much, and it’s up to us to make sure they live healthy and happy lives.