Slimline pets now fighting fit

A group of pets has gone from fat to fit after taking part in an animal slimming competition.

The animals were put on tough diets and strict exercise regimes in an attempt to get them to shed the bulk.

The competition, organised by veterinary charity PDSA Pet Fit Club, helped 17 obese pets lose a total of 13 stone and seven pounds - roughly equivalent to 28 Yorkshire terriers.

Jack, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, was crowned the UK's pet slimming champion for 2012 after shedding nearly one third of his body weight - an impressive 14lb - taking him to a healthy 31lb.

Owner Rose Welsh, 52, said the seven-year-old was over-fed and hardly exercised as his obesity led to deafness, as fat blocked his ear canals, leaving him struggling to walk more than a few steps.

"Today he is a different dog and we call him Jumping Jack instead of Jumbo Jack, as he jumps every time he barks now," Ms Welsh, from Stanmore, Middlesex, said. "He is fit, healthy and happy, everything a pet should be, and we are absolutely thrilled."

Fifi Bottomley, a black and white female cat from Bradford, shed 4.4lb to be a healthier 16lb. The eight-year-old cat was rescued as a starving kitten by her first owner and her greedy nature is thought to be related to this early experience.

The cat gorged on extra meals from neighbours and her growing appetite also encouraged her steal bird food from the garden. Her weight ballooned until she was morbidly obese, but since dieting she is much more active and playful.

Six-year-old cocker spaniel Billy's huge bulk meant he struggled to climb stairs, but he has now shed 15.2lb to be a trim 36.6lb.

Rabbit slimmer Bobby, a four-year-old mini-lop from Middlesbrough, stole her partner's food rations and eventually the roll of skin under her chin grew so big she had difficulty grooming herself properly. She has gone from 5.3lb to 3.8lb, shedding 29% of her bodyweight. Bobby is now much more active and happier, her owner says.