September 17 2014 Latest news:
Jane Ball, News editor
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
A bruiser bunny has been put on a strict bootcamp-style programme of diet and exercise after growing to a fur-ocious 3.65kg.
Obese rescue rabbit Snowball’s weight has, er, snowballed to that of a large baby’s after being spoilt by his well-meaning owners the Crumps, from Rainham.
The five-year-old bunny butterball - ironically a dwarf lop - was badly malnourished when first spotted by the family-of-six in a pet store window.
“It was love at first sight,” said Ian Crump. “He was very underweight when he first arrived at our home.
“He’s a very affectionate rabbit, which led to the whole family spoiling him rotten.”
But too many treats meant Snowball’s waistline has ballooned to 44cm and the jumbo fur-ball is now 35 per cent overweight.
However, this is all set to change after Snowball’s owners signed him up to the PDSA Pet Fit Club, based at the Romford PDSA PetAid hospital, in Danes Road, Romford, where he will undergo a six-month lifestyle overhaul.
The podgy pet is among 17 cats, dogs and rabbits who will compete for the prestigious title of PDSA Pet Fit Club slimmer of the year.
Vets and nurses will also coach owners on their pets’ battles of the bulge and on how keep the animals in shape.
Elaine Pendlebury, PDSA senior veterinary surgeon, said: “Obesity is one of the biggest welfare issues affecting pets in the UK today. Sadly, it also means millions of pets are at risk from potentially life-threatening health problems related to obesity.
“But the good news is that obesity is entirely reversible. With veterinary advice and guidance and it is never too late to try and improve a pet’s quality of life by tackling weight problems. The owners of this year’s finalists will soon have happier and healthier pets and we hope their stories will help encourage other owners to take action.”
The diet food for the Pet Fit Club finalists is sponsored by Hill’s and Burgess.
The winning cat and dog win a year’s free food from Hill’s, and the winning rabbit wins a year’s free Burgess Excel food.
The overall Pet Fit Club champ’s owner will win a pet-friendly break, kindly sponsored by Hill’s.