A fundraising appeal has been launched to help a ‘morbidly obese’ collie dog – who arrived at a Bristol animal sanctuary nearly double the weight he should be.
Benny and Ebony arrived at Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary in Barrow Gurney after their owner died.
Without any family to take them on, the pair arrived at the sanctuary last month.
Due to their weight the pair had fallen into a bad state, with staff at the sanctuary rushing them both to the vets.
Ebony, 16, who was also blind in one eye, was so heavy at 46 kgs she was unable to get up unassisted and had been spending many of her days splayed out on the floor.
Due to their size, both were also suffering with calluses from bearing the pressure of their weight whilst lying down.
They also had masses on their body which needed investigating, skin issues, painful joints, bad teeth and overgrown nails.
Staff at the sanctuary checked their history which showed that both dogs had been taken to the vets regularly by their owner who was given advice to help his pets slim down.
Despite them desperately needing to lose weight, he continued to shower them with treats.
Sadly, due to her age and her debilitating conditions, Ebony had to be put to sleep by vets.
Holly Hedge fundraiser Hannah Goodwin-Sharman said: “It is clear their conditions have been worsening for years and most of their health issues are a direct result of their obesity.”
Seven year-old Benny – who weighed in at 43kg – remains in the care of the sanctuary and is currently living with a foster carer while he fights his way back to full health.
“From the vet history we have been able to obtain, both dogs have been taken to the vets regularly, where the vet advised the owner multiple times that they urgently needed to lose weight.
“Although they were on weight control food, a close friend of the owner told us that he would top this up with other treats and wet food, as he didn’t want to deprive them of anything.
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“This is a desperately sad story to tell and we can only assume their owner did not realise he was killing them with kindness.
“From what people who knew him have said, there is no question that he loved his dogs deeply, but he was unable to give them the care they needed and felt unable to ask for help.
“We believe that he did the best he could.
“According to one of his close friends, every day he would give each of the dogs a cod liver oil tablet for their joints and take them out for their walks at 6am before the pavement got too hot for their paws.
“We know that the condition of the dogs has shocked many people who knew their owner as a man devoted to them.”
Benny will now need ongoing treatment- expected to cost several thousand pounds – to help with his conditions and get him back to health.
“Thankfully Benny, even at 46kg, has true Border Collie joy and a longing to play and explore.
“He has thrived here, loving all the walks and enrichment we provide,” said Hannah.
“We wanted to share Ebony and Benny’s story not only to help raise critical funds towards the medical treatment but also to raise awareness of the dangers of obesity in animals too.
“Although it doesn’t look like suffering in the way we so often see it, these two dogs were in chronic pain due to their overfeeding and inactivity, and recovery and rehabilitation is a long and uncertain road ahead.”
If you want to help Benny and make a donation click here.