Jumbo bunny from Rainham runner-up in national pet slimming contest

Snowball before

Snowball before - Credit: Archant

A bruiser bunny that was placed on a strict no-carrot diet is jumping for joy after coming second in a national pet slimming contest.

The new look Snowball

The new look Snowball - Credit: Archant

Roly-poly rescue rabbit Snowball, of Rainham, hopped onto the PDSA’s six-month Pet Fit Club after ballooning to 3.65kg – 35 per cent overweight and the size of a large baby.

Snowball, ironically a dwarf lop, was up against 10 other podgy pets, all fighting to become the animal charity’s champ, and with the help of his owners the Crumps, now weighs a healthier 3.2kg.

“We rescued Snowball when he was young,” explained Ian Crump. “He was very underweight so he was spoilt rotten to get him healthy again.

“But he’s such an affectionate rabbit, we couldn’t stop and unknown to us, our daughter, Lucy, three, was also giving him extra treats and carrots.

Snowball was 35 per cent overweight.

Snowball was 35 per cent overweight. - Credit: Archant

“We were determined to do whatever was necessary to help him back to a healthy weight.”

Help from staff at The Julie and Robert Breckman Centre helped the jumbo fur-ball slim down, and he is now well on the way to reaching his ideal weight.

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PDSA vet nurse Julie Peters, who helped oversee Snowball’s diet, said: “The Crump family have done fantastically well. Snowball is clearly much fitter and happier. Rabbits must lose weight slowly or it can be dangerous for them. Cutting out the carrots is key – they are actually quite high in sugar.”

The results of the competition were announced on ITV’s Fat Pets on Friday.

Slimline Snowball with Julie Peters

Slimline Snowball with Julie Peters - Credit: Archant

The crown was won by Daisy the bulldog, who lost a staggering 27pc of her bodyweight and will now be joining her owners on a holiday before enjoying a year’s supply of free pet food from Hill’s.

The 11 finalists lost a combined weight of 30kg – the weight of a typical nine-year-old child.

PDSA senior vet and competition judge Elaine Pendlebury said Snowball’s achievement was a “real success story”.

“I’ve noticed a real difference in Snowball,” added Ian. “He’s so much more active and inquisitive, his personality really shines through since losing the weight.”