1. Dennis The Dachshund Loses 44 Pounds, Doesn’t Eat Burgers And Pizza Anymore
Less than two years ago, the little dog weighed 56 pounds. He was on a diet of White Castle burgers and pizza, according to the Associated Press. When nursing student Brooke Burton saw Dennis, who belonged to a relative of hers, she was upset over his condition. Burton persuaded her relative to let her adopt the pooch.
Now, Dennis is a slim and trim 12-pound pup, thanks to a diet of dry food and a walking regimen.
“We should not be feeding dogs people food and overfeeding them and giving them excessive amount of treats. And just like humans they need proper diet and exercise to live a good healthy life,” Burton told WSYX in January.
Dennis needed some surgical help, too, due to excess skin after his weight loss. He would trip over the loose skin and cut himself. Those cuts in the skin folds ultimately became infected. He has had three reconstructive surgeries to help this, according to the Columbus Dispatch, partly paid for by donations from a GoFundMe account that Burton set up.
Dennis’ personality is now shining through.
“In the beginning, you could tell he was very depressed, that he really didn’t feel good at all,” Burton told the AP. “He didn’t have much of a personality. After he lost weight, this bossy little demanding man popped out. He’s into everything, he wants to play with everybody.”
2. Obese Monkey 'Uncle Fat' Is Proof You Shouldn't Feed The Animals
Wildlife officials caught the chunky monkey — nicknamed "Uncle Fat'' by locals — after photos of the animal started circulating on social media last month.
Wild monkeys roam free in many parts of Thailand, attracting tourists who feed and play with the animals. Most of the monkeys are macaques like Uncle Fat, and they typically weigh around 9 kilograms (20 pounds).
Uncle Fat weighs three times that, tipping the scales at around 26 kilograms (60 pounds).
Other monkeys would bring him food
"It was not easy to catch him,'' said Kacha Phukem, the wildlife official who conducted the capture and rescue on April 27. "He was the leader of his pack, and when I tried to go in, I had to fight off a flock of them with sticks.''
The subordinate monkeys fed into Uncle Fat's bad habits.
"He had minions and other monkeys bringing food for him but he would also re-distribute it to younger monkeys,'' said Supakarn Kaewchot, a veterinarian in charge of the monkey's diet.
"After he ate food given by humans for a while, he developed a fat mass, which became a type of benign tumour,'' Supakarn said. "He is now in critical condition where there is a high risk of heart disease and diabetes.''
Uncle Fat is believed to be between 10 and 15 years old. To help him lose weight, his new diet is limited to 400 grams worth of lean protein, fruits and vegetables twice a day. Supakarn said she hopes that within a few months they can consider releasing him to the wild.
She said Uncle Fat is an example of why people shouldn't feed wild monkeys unhealthy food.
"I understand that people feel sorry for the monkeys and want to feed them when they see them,'' Supakarn said. "But please don't feed them food that people like to eat like snacks and soda. It is very bad for their health and the problem is entirely man-made.''
3. Cat That Shed 2 Lbs. of Matted Fur Is Adjusting Well to New Hair and Home
When he went to check in on the cat of a distant 82-year-old relative who recently moved into a nursing home, he had no idea there was a second animal living under the same roof — “animal” being the operative word, because he couldn’t determine what exactly it was.
“Out from under a bed it darted,” he tells PEOPLE. “At first I thought it was a cat that had a blanket on top of it. The next day I went into the creepy old cellar and it was hunkered in a corner. I thought, ‘My god this is a cat.’ ”
The animal-lover and his wife Jill of Churchill, Pennsylvania, took both cats in and made an appointment at the Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center, which eventually removed years’ worth of matted fur from 14-year-old Hidey’s body (the other cat, Siam, is about 17 years old and is doing just fine).
Since her discovery, Hidey, who was named for her penchant for hiding, has become a symbol for how important it is to check on the elderly and their pets. The Russells — who say the cat’s previous owner suffers from Alzheimer’s and “doesn’t know anybody anymore” — believe the mats formed partly because the neglected, morbidly obese feline was too large to groom herself properly.
“The companionship of a pet can bring many positive benefits to the elderly, however, owning a pet is a large responsibility,” said Dan Rossi, CEO of the Animal Rescue League Shelter and the Western PA Humane Society. “If a family member, friend or neighbor owns a pet, please help them to make sure there is a support system in place if/when mental faculties begin diminishing. Also, open door shelters such as Animal Rescue League Shelter and the Western PA Humane Society do not turn any animal away if there are no other options for the pet.”
Both felines now have a forever home with the Russells, and instant siblings in the couple’s three other cats and two dogs. It will take more time to see who Hidey really is, but she’s slowly adjusting to life without pounds of overgrown fur.
“For the first couple of days she hid under the bed,” Russell says. “When you hold her, she’s clearly shivering and nervous. She’s just starting to come out on her own now.”
This holiday will no doubt be brighter for Hidey, who will meet the couple’s other cats on Thursday after receiving her vaccinations. “Other than being standoffish, you hold her and she starts purring,” Russell adds.
Jill thinks there’s much more in store for Hidey in 2017. “In six months she’ll be running the house,” she says. “And hopefully she’ll be a little trimmer.”
4. Aberdeen fat cat in finals of PDSA pet slimming competition
The competition chose seven of the most obese dogs, cats and rabbits that are expected to lose weight over the course of six months.
The pets will follow a strict diet and exercise programme guided by their vets for a chance to be crowned Pet Fit Club Champ.
Pumpkin’s owner Chelsea Mullen, 21, of Aberdeen’s Bridge of Dee, said: “We would like Pumpkin to lose weight so he can start having fun and learn how to play with his toys and his sister Munchkin again, but most of all we want him to lose the weight in order to keep him healthy.”
Currently, Pumpkin weighs 10.2kg (22.48lb) and needs to lose 3.2kg (7lb) in order to win.
Pumpkin’s weight-loss regimen will be carefully supervised by vets and nurses at Aberdeen’s PDSA Pet Hospital.
Fiona Gregge, PDSA Aberdeen’s senior vet, said: “The competition is a great idea to encourage owners to look at their pet’s health.”
As for Pumpkin bringing home the title, Fiona added: “We’ve got a very good chance of getting Pumpkin to a top spot.
“But, right now, we’re taking it one step at a time and his owner has taken the first step to move forward for Pumpkin’s health.”
5. Overweight dog sheds six stone
Tyko, a cross-breed Corgi, was so fat he could only take a couple of steps before becoming breathless and slumping to the ground.
The dog was taken into care by the Scottish SPCA after the owner was prosecuted.
Tyko is now a healthy 12kg (2st). He was 49kg (8st) at his fattest - so has achieved a weight loss of 37kg (81lbs).
The animal welfare charity is now looking for a new home for him.
Tyko's weight had ballooned to double his normal size due to over-feeding and a lack of exercise. His owner's neighbour tipped off the Scottish SPCA.
Vets said they had never seen a dog so obese, adding that it resembled a seal.
Owner Denise Leitch was admonished at Selkirk Sheriff Court after being of good behaviour during a year-long period of deferred sentence.
The 60-year-old had bought the dog as a Christmas present for her husband but was the person charged as she was responsible for it.
She pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to provide treatment for a morbidly obese dog.
She admitted causing Tyko unnecessary suffering at her home in Earlston between 1 April and 13 October 2015.
Leitch failed to provide an appropriate diet for the dog which became morbidly obese and failed to provide treatment for its mobility and respiratory conditions.
The offence carries a maximum penalty of 12 months imprisonment, a fine of £20,000 or a disqualification from owning animals.
But Sheriff Derrick McIntyre accepted it was not a normal case of maltreating an animal.
The court heard that a Scottish SPCA officer told Leitch she had been "killing the dog with kindness."
Defence lawyer Natalie Paterson said that Tyko had been "freaked out" by a nearby firework display and rarely ventured out to exercise.
Ms Paterson said: "She has already been punished by losing custody of the dog. It was not intentional for the dog to reach that size but it is accepted she did not seek the proper treatment."
Scottish SPCA centre manager for Edinburgh Diane Aitchison said: "Tyko has lost 37kg after coming into our care weighing a massive 49.5kg.
"He'll need medication for the rest of his life as he has a thyroid problem but he doesn't let it affect him
"He's now looking for an active forever home to keep his fitness up. He loves chasing a ball, but he's not so keen to give it back.
"We feel he would be best suited to an adult-only home without any other dogs or cats."
6. Bear Takes Her First Steps Of Freedom After Living Locked In A Cramped Cage For 10 Years
It is something we’ve never been without, it is something that we’ve had and just understood to be a normal part of our lives. But for animals, freedom is not always guaranteed, even if these beautiful creatures are meant to live in the wild.
There is a lot of debate about animals in circuses, zoos, and roadside shows. As many of the establishments and groups have been discovered to treat their animals poorly, many advocates work hard to free them.
Lily the bear has been living at a roadside zoo in Maryland for the last 10 years. She was stuck in a tiny cage that was clearly not big enough for her.
Because her confinements were so small, she constantly walked all over her own waste. The space was so tiny, she could not exercise and became severely overweight.
But with the help of the wonderful people at PETA, Lily was retired from the zoo and will live the rest of her life as she should.
She was retired to the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado and got to enjoy her first steps outside a tiny cage. Now she can roam and enjoy her life, no longer needing to entertain others. With their help, her weight will hopefully be in check soon and Lily’s life will be stress-free.
7. Beloved Beagle Kale Chips Has A New Home... And A Slim Figure
Now, we have a good news/bad news followup: the good news is Kale Chips has trimmed down to a svelte 44 pounds and, according to a Facebook post on Wednesday from One Tail at Time, has officially been adopted by the foster family who had been previously looking after him. The bad news? Just that the hope we all held of making him ours is dashed—which we suppose we can live with, knowing he's got a good home and a bangin' summer bod.
Chart KC's amazing transformation in the gallery above for a dose of pure, unadulterated dog joy.
8. Chubby tigers seen at China zoo
The photographs show Siberian tigers relaxing at a zoo in northeast China’s Harbin province.
Some have expressed worries as the tubby tabbies look as if they are obese, and could therefore have heath problems.
However, according to the zoo, it is normal for Siberian tigers to eat a lot over the cold winter months and gain that amount of weight.
These tigers are expected to return to their normal weight during summer.
Harbin, which is known as Ice City, faces similar chilly temperatures to Siberia.
The area can experience temperature lows of minus 18 degrees in January and February.
Siberian tigers are known for being the biggest cats.
One record-breaking captive Siberian tiger named Jaipur weighed a massive 1,025lbs.
However, some animal welfare campaigners have raised concerns about their massive weight.
A spokesperson for the International Fund for Animal Welfare told the Metro that "based on the photos, it appears these tigers are obese.
"While dietary adjustments should be made to accommodate seasonal temperatures to ensure continued nutritional balance, captive tigers do not have to hunt for their food and 'stockpiling' weight for lean times is not necessary."